A license is required by most states to practice counseling or to call oneself a licensed counselor. The names of state licenses vary from state to state. Most common titles are: Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).
A license is issued by each state's regulatory board. The criteria and requirements vary from state to state and are set by state legislatures. Most states require some combination of a master's degree, counseling experience and supervision, as well as passing a national examination, such as the National Counselor Examination (NCE) and/or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE).
Prior to beginning the licensing process (including registering for an exam), please contact the state's regulatory board to determine the exact requirements for state licensure. National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) only acts as the examination administrator for this process. NBCC does not review your experience and supervision.
State Board Directory
Contact your state's regulatory board to determine licensing requirements and to obtain examination registration form.