Counseling Licensure in South Carolina
To become a licensed Counselor in South Carolina will take effort and discipline as the steps towards advanced licensure are extensive. South Carolina has two levels of licensure Licensed Professional Counselor – Intern (LPC/I) and with supervised experience you can eventually become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). You will need to follow these steps to obtain licensure in South Carolina:
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- Complete the necessary educational background of a Master of Counseling from an appropriately accredited program.
- Complete a practicum and internship.
- Take the National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
- Apply for your LPC/I license with the South Carolina Department of Financial & Professional Regulation.
- Gain the necessary supervised experience.
- Take the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination, but it is also administered by the NBCC.
- Apply for your LPC license with the South Carolina Department of Financial & Professional Regulation.
South Carolina has the following educational requirements for licensure.
- 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 or Council on Counseling Rehabilitation (CORE in the case of rehabilitation counselors) program.
- The Master’s program must have certain core elements as described on the South Carolina Department of Labor Licenses and Regulation website which you can find here:
- South Carolina law requires a practicum of 150 hours or more as part of your Graduate studies.
- For those who wish to treat severe emotional or mental disorders you will need a 600 hour internship.
Apply for and Take Your NCE or NCMHCE
The next step is to take your exam for the LPC/I title.
- Apply with the South Carolina Department of Labor Licenses and Regulation to take your National Counselor Examination (NCE) or National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
- Pass the NCE or NCMHCE with a score acceptable under South Carolina law.
Apply for Your Licenced Professional Counselor (LPC/I) License
You are now ready to apply for your license.
- Apply with the South Carolina Department of Labor Licenses and Regulation for your LPC/I title.
- You can find the form here:
Supervised Experience LPC
In order to earn the title Licensed Professional Counselor you will need to accumulate supervised experience.
- You must submit a plan for supervised experience by filling out the form here:
- You must complete 1500 of supervised experience in a clinical setting.
- You will need to meet the requirement of 1350 hours per year of face to face direct counseling.
- You must have 150 hours of supervision from a board approved supervisor.
- You can find a list of board approved supervisors here:
- Of these 150 hours you will need a minimum of 100 hours of individual supervision..
Apply for Your LPC License
You are now ready to fill out your application and send it in to receive your LPC title.
- Apply with the South Carolina Department of Labor Licenses and Regulation for your LPC title.
- You can find the form here: http://www.cce-global.org/Downloads/Apps/SC-LPCapp.pdf
License Renewal and Continuing Education
South Carolina law requires that you renew your license every two years. You must also complete continuing education credits during this time.
- You must have 40 hours of continuing education credits when you renew your license.
It is always wise to keep up to date on current licensure law by periodically visiting the South Carolina Department of Labor Licenses and Regulation website which you can find here: