4 Steps to Becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor in PA

by Olivia Murrin

December 16, 2020


Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School offers several career paths in counseling, including becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Pennsylvania. Some of the steps involved in this licensure are outlined below:

  1. Earn a master’s degree in Professional Counseling or a related field (60 credits).
  2. Complete post-master’s supervised clinical work (2 years minimum/ 6 years maximum).
  3. Pass the National Counselor Examination (NCE) licensing board examination. This is one of seven acceptable examinations.
  4. Apply for your Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) license through the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors.

 

Read more below about what’s required for each step.

How do I know if the master’s degree program will fulfill all the educational requirements for licensure?

The Pennsylvania Department of State website has a list of FAQs that includes a list of coursework in which your degree must contain within 60 graduate credits.

What is required for my supervised clinical experience after I earn the master’s degree in Professional Counseling?

In Pennsylvania, some of the requirements are:

  • 3,000 total hours in a minimum of two years and a maximum of 6 years.
  • 1,500 hours must be direct client contact, while the remaining 1,500 may be indirect work with clients.
  • 150 hours of supervision (75 hours must be individual supervision; the other 75 hours may be group supervision).

The Pennsylvania Department of State website has a list of FAQs that includes requirements of supervised clinical experience and supervisor requirements.

How do I prepare for and take the National Counselor Examination (NCE)?

  • The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) provides a handbook with the list of educational requirements for the National Counselor Examination (NCE).
  • Examination preparation for the NCE can be found through NBCC’s website.
  • Exam registration is through an individual’s ProCounselor account on the NBCC website.

I have fulfilled all the requirements! Now how do I get my Pennsylvania LPC license?

Apply to the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors through the Pennsylvania Licensing System (PALS), which includes:

  1. Application
  2. Application Fee
  3. Child Abuse Continuing Education documentation
  4. Criminal History Check
  5. Databank Report
  6. Educational Transcripts
  7. Exam Results
  8. Letter of Good Standing (LOGS)
  9. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  10. Supervised Clinical Experience

Ready to learn more about the counseling and social work options at LBC | Capital?

 

Visit the department webpage

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