Counseling Licensure in New Jersey
There are several steps that will be required of you in order to become a fully licensed Counselor in New Jersey. New Jersey has two levels of licensure, Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) which is the title you will need to begin to accumulate supervised experience. The full-fledged title is the Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). Each level will require that you have completed a Graduate degree level of education; however the LCPC level will require that you have accumulated experience.
You will need to complete a number of steps in order to gain your title as a Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) and eventually the title of Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in New Jersey:
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- Meet the educational requirement of having your Master of Counseling degree from a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited university.
- Apply to take your National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
- Apply to the state board to receive your Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) title.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Complete the supervised experience component for the LPC level of licensure.
- Apply to the state board to receive your Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) title in the state of New Jersey.
New Jersey requires prospective Counselors to complete the following educational steps.
- The first step is to earn your Bachelor’s degree in Counseling as the best option, or a highly related Social or Behavioral Science field such as Psychology, Social Work or Human Services.
- The next step is to apply to and get accepted into a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited Master of Counseling program.
Apply for and Take Your NCE Exam
The next step is to take your exam for the LPC title.
- Apply with the New Jersey Professional Counselor Examiners Committee to sit for your National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
- You can find the form here: http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/proc/ncexam.pdf
- Pass the NCE with a score acceptable to the Board.
Apply for Your Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) Title
You are now ready to apply for your license.
- Apply with the New Jersey Professional Counselor Examiners Committee for your Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) title.
- You can find the form here: https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/pc/Pages/applications.aspx
- You must pass a criminal background check before you can begin accumulating supervised experience and be granted your LAC title.
If you want to earn your LPC title you will now need to accrue a sufficient amount of supervised experience as follows:
- If you hold a Master’s degree you will need to complete 4500 hours of supervised experience.
- If you have 30 semester hours of post-graduate coursework this can be reduced to 3000 hours.
- Up to one year of experience can be reduced if you have sufficient post-graduate experience, or supervised experience from a practicum or internship that was beyond the required amount for you to earn your Masters of Counseling.
- You can complete this within six years.
- Your supervisor must be board approved.
Apply for Your LPC Title
You are now eligible to apply to the board to receive your LPC license.
- Apply with the New Jersey Professional Counselor Examiners Committee for your LPC title.
- You can find the form here:
New Jersey regulations will require you to renew your license every two years. You must also complete continuing education credits during this time.
- New Jersey requires that you complete 40 hours of CE every two years to maintain your license.
You will want to keep up to date on any changes to New Jersey law by periodically visiting the New Jersey Professional Counselor Examiners Committee website which you can find here: