Texas Mental Health Counselor Licensure | LPC Requirements in TX | MentalHealthCounselorLicense.com (2022)

Texas Mental Health Counselor Licensure | LPC Requirements in TX | MentalHealthCounselorLicense.com (1)

Texas mental health counselors work under Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) licensure. Their education encompasses mental health and human development. Counselors with different specialties may earn LPC licensing. However, it is not required of counselors who are working under certification as rehabilitation counselors or who are working at certified career counseling services. The license is required to perform counseling as described in the state’s Professional Counselor Act.

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    (Video) Texas Counseling Licensure Requirement

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Select a Texas Mental Health Counselor (LPC) Licensure Topic:

  • Licensed Professional Counselor Education Requirements
  • Required Examination
  • Supervision Requirements
  • Application Process
  • Criminal History
  • Out-of-State Candidates
  • Contacts and Additional Information

Educational Requirements

The foundation for practice is a degree at the master’s level; it may be in counseling or in a related field. Psychology, social work, guidance and counseling, and marriage and family therapy are among the degrees that may be license-qualifying. Sociology, theology, and education are considered non-counseling degrees.

The degree is to be earned through a regionally accredited institution. Currently, the minimum program length is 48 semester hours (https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/counselor/lpc_apply.shtm). Coursework taken outside the degree may be applied to this minimum.

Students who begin programs August 1, 2017 or later must complete at least 60 credit hours. (This is already the national standard for CACREP-accredited clinical mental health programs.)

The student must have a 300 hour practicum experience that is “primarily counseling in nature” and that includes at least 100 hours spent providing counseling services directly to clients. The Texas Board will not credit practicums that are primarily focused on assessment.

Currently, three semester hours are required in each of the following content areas:

  • Normal growth and development
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Counseling theories
  • Counseling techniques
  • Appraisal or assessment
  • Lifestyle and career development
  • Social, cultural, and family issues
  • Professional orientation
  • Research

Texas allows thesis to be credited toward the research requirement.

(Video) Texas Mental Health Counselors Waiting Months To Be Licensed

Beginning August 2017, the Board will require courses in psychopathology, counselor ethics, and addiction counseling. The ethics course is to include records management, business/ family law, and board rule.

A degree earned more than ten years in the past is only license-qualifying if the professional has been licensed in another state or has at least five years of experience providing counseling services in an exempt setting within Texas.

Examination Requirements

An individual must take and pass the National Counselor Examination (NCE) before a license can be issued at either the intern or professional level. Many students take the examination during their final term in graduate school. Individuals who have not yet taken the examination will find the appropriate registration form on the ‘Texas’ page of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) website (http://www.nbcc.org/directory/TX). The state insert includes registration codes for Texas schools as well as a code for candidates who completed their education out of state. Candidates will send $185 to the NBCC along with an official graduate transcript and a registration form with original ink signature.

Candidates are advised to allow four weeks from the time their fee clears to receive confirmation of eligibility and permission to schedule. Examinations are delivered via computer at AMP (www.goAMP.com) testing sites. There are nine AMP testing sites in Texas. It is also permissible to schedule the exam at an AMP site located in another state.

A candidate who fails an examination attempt will need to wait at least three months. The Texas Board will allow up to three attempts before imposing additional requirements. At this point, the candidate will be required to take nine semester hours of graduate coursework in his or her area of weakness or wait two years. A candidate who elects to take coursework must earn grades of at least ‘B’.

The Texas Jurisprudence Exam must also be passed prior to initial licensure and every two years thereafter; the test is available online (https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/counselor/lpc_jurisprudence.shtm).

Supervised Experience Requirements

The graduate will accrue at least 3,000 hours of work experience while credentialed as an LPC-Intern (https://www.sos.state.tx.us/tac/index.shtml). At least 1,500 of the required hours must be spent providing direct counseling services.

(Video) Texas LPC-Associates Can Now Own and Run Their Own Private Practice + My Checklist for Launching

An individual who is completing supervised practice requirements within Texas must have a board approved supervisor. The supervisor must be a professional who has been licensed at least 36 months, has had training in supervision, and is not subject to disciplinary action.

An LPC-Intern must have at least four hours a month of direct supervision. At least half the supervision must be individual (with no more than one other supervisee in attendance). At least half the supervision must be face-to-face; the remainder may utilize live webcam.

The minimum time frame for accruing hours is 18 months. The LPC-Intern license is issued for five years (60 months). An LPC-Intern who failed to accrue the requisite hours during that timeframe will need to reapply, meeting whatever licensing requirements are in effect at the later date.

The experience hours may be reduced by up to 400 hours for practicum that was earned in excess of the required hours, but only if the surplus hours were accrued after the “planned graduate program” in counseling had concluded. The minimum timeframe will still be 18 months.

Criminal History

Criminal history may or may not be disqualifying. A person who has a criminal history can request to have it evaluated, and a Criminal History Evaluation letter issued, before enrolling in a license-qualifying program (https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/plc_cheval.shtm). The cost for this service is $50.

The Application Process

Application forms are available on the Board website (https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/counselor/lpc_forms.shtm). Applicants must sign that they have read the Licensed Professional Counselor Act and are familiar with Board rules. They agree to be bound by a code of ethics.

In-state candidates apply to the Board for temporary licensure when they are ready to complete their postgraduate supervised practice. Education and examination must be documented at this stage. Practicum may be verified by the supervising professor or by a department representative. The Board will accept official transcripts by mail or e-script; transcripts may be included in the application packet in their original envelopes.

(Video) Texas counseling license response

A supervisory agreement is required for licensure at the LPC-I level. Graduates pay $200 with their initial application. A temporary licensee who applied for LPC-I before May 1, 2012 will pay an additional $106 after all requirements have been met for the standard license.

Applicants are advised that the licensing process can take four to six weeks. Written notice will be sent to applicants whose files are incomplete or who need to supply additional information.

Out-of-State Candidates

Out-of-state candidates may use their application files to verify supervised practice.

The Board may grant a provisional license to an out-of-state licensee who appears to meet requirements. The purpose is to allow the professional to begin work sooner. The state jurisprudence examination is a requirement, however, even at the provisional level. The counselor can pay the fee and take the exam online (https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/counselor/lpc_jurisprudence.shtm).

Additional Information

The Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/counselor) can be reached by phone at (512)834-6677 or by email at lpc at dshs.state.tx.us .

The Texas Mental Health Counselors Association is an additional resource, but is not involved with the licensing process (https://tmhca.txca.org/).

Find Mental Health Counselor Licensure Requirements in Your State:

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FAQs

How do I become a licensed mental health counselor in Texas? ›

5 Steps for becoming a therapist in Texas
  1. Acquire a bachelor's degree. ...
  2. Earn a master's degree. ...
  3. Complete post-graduate supervision hours. ...
  4. Pass the licensing exam. ...
  5. Begin practicing and continuing education.
Mar 25, 2022

Can you be a counselor in Texas without a license? ›

In Texas, professional counselors are required to be licensed in order to practice. To start your career as a counselor, you must fulfill academic requirements, including graduate-level study and a supervised practicum.

How long does it take to get an LPC in Texas? ›

Texas requires LPCs to complete 3,000 hours of supervision open_in_new in a minimum of 18 months, with at least 1,500 hours of client contact under the direction of an approved supervisor.

What does it take to be a counselor in Texas? ›

What Are the Requirements to Become a Counselor in Texas?
Counseling Educational TrackEducation RequirementsEducation Length
Undergraduate WorkEarn a Bachelor's Degree in Counseling4 Years
Graduate WorkEarn a Master's Degree in Counseling5-6 Years
PHD or Doctoral WorkEarn a Doctorate in Counseling7-8 Years

How long does it take to become an LCDC in Texas? ›

A total of 4,000 hours of approved supervised experience is required for licensure. Any applicant with an associates degree only must also complete the 300 hour practicum PRIOR to applying for CI registration.

What is the starting salary for a counselor in Texas? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing salaries as high as $139,823 and as low as $20,257, the majority of Licensed Professional Counselor salaries currently range between $53,854 (25th percentile) to $82,016 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $115,120 annually in Dallas.

Can I call myself a therapist in Texas? ›

Texas Can't Restrict Candidates from Calling Themselves Psychologists, or Counseling People, Just for Not Meeting Occupational Licensing Requirements.

How much does a licensed professional counselor make in Texas? ›

Average base salary

The average salary for a licensed professional counselor is $78,637 per year in Texas. 463 salaries reported, updated at September 6, 2022.

How do I become a mental health counselor without a degree? ›

14 counseling careers without a degree
  1. Teacher's aide. National average salary: $14,883 per year. ...
  2. Developmental service worker. National average salary: $16,593 per year. ...
  3. Camp counselor. ...
  4. Safe house program assistant. ...
  5. Community health worker. ...
  6. Peer counselor. ...
  7. Residential counselor. ...
  8. Health coach.
May 11, 2021

Where do LPC make the most money? ›

Maine is the best state for licensed professional counselors, where the median salary is $110,234. The highest position that you can reach as a licensed professional counselor is clinical director.
...
1. Maine.
Total Licensed Professional Counselor Jobs:383
Lowest 10 Percent Earn:$91,000
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$133,000
2 more rows
Apr 6, 2021

Can an LPC have a private practice in Texas? ›

(d) An LPC Associate may practice counseling only as part of his or her internship and only under the supervision of a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPC-S). The LPC Associate shall not engage in independent practice.

Can an LPC diagnose mental illness in Texas? ›

LCSWs, LPCs, and LMFTs are required to have a master's degree, supervised clinical hours, and have passed a licensing exam. They are allowed to diagnose mental illness and provide treatment, which generally means counseling.

Can an LPC be a school counselor in Texas? ›

LPC requirements can be found on the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council (BHEC) website. A school counselor may pursue this license to provide counseling services outside their employment with a school district.

What is an LPC A in Texas? ›

Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (TSBEPC)

Is it too late to become a therapist? ›

It's Never Too Late

Likewise, it is still possible for you to make your dreams a reality regardless of your age. If you have ever been on the fence about going back to school later in life, there is no better time like the present to get started.

Can a felon become an LCDC in Texas? ›

The LCDC Board will deny your application if your background check reveals a conviction of any of the following within10 years of the date of your application: Any other felony offense not listed separately in the categories on this page that results in actual or potential physical harm to others or animals.

How do I register for the LCDC exam in Texas? ›

The LCDC exam is available via computer based testing. To register please complete the application form beginning on the second page of this packet. Once your application is received and approved by TCB, TCB will pre-register you for the computer based exam with SMT/ISO Testing.

How do I verify my LCDC in Texas? ›

Instructions for How to Verify My License
  1. Go to www.bhec.texas.gov/verify-a-license/index.html.
  2. Click the Link to search by License Number.
  3. Type in my license number (36337), then click Search in order to find the status of my license, which is in good standing and active status.

What state do mental health counselors make the most money? ›

Best-Paying States for Mental Health Counselors

The states and districts that pay Mental Health Counselors the highest mean salary are New Jersey ($91,070), District of Columbia ($73,490), California ($73,150), Connecticut ($66,500), and Rhode Island ($65,430).

How much do counselors make per hour in Texas? ›

The average salary for a counselor is $30.12 per hour in Texas. 403 salaries reported, updated at September 6, 2022.

How much do LPC make an hour in Texas? ›

As of Sep 2, 2022, the average annual pay for a Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas is $62,929 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $30.25 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,210/week or $5,244/month.

What is the difference between a mental health counselor and a therapist? ›

Counselors tend to offer short-term care, while therapists tend to offer long-term care. Therapists can be more past focused and counselors more future focused. Counselors often have a set number of sessions, and therapists often work on an ongoing basis. Therapists are more likely to treat mental health conditions.

What's the difference between a counselor and a therapist? ›

A counsellor is more likely to help with a specific difficulty, current problem or surface issue. An example might include a bereavement or a difficulty that is not necessarily rooted in the past. A psychotherapist is more likely to help with more deep-rooted difficulties that affects a client's life.

What's the difference between a therapist and a counsellor? ›

A counsellor is usually someone who treats patients over a relatively brief period of time to address behavioural patterns whereas a therapist, or psychotherapist will treat patients long term to resolve more deep-seated issues.

How much does a school counselor make with a master's degree in Texas? ›

School Counselor Salaries With a Master's Degree

The BLS estimates that the 2018 median pay for school and career counselors was $56,310 annually.

How much does a Lmhc make in Texas? ›

How much does a LMHC make in Texas? As of Aug 14, 2022, the average annual pay for the LMHC jobs category in Texas is $62,600 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $30.10 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,203/week or $5,216/month.

How much do mental health therapists make a year in Texas? ›

$35,568 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $67,232 is the 75th percentile.

How do I become a mental health counselor without a degree? ›

14 counseling careers without a degree
  1. Teacher's aide. National average salary: $14,883 per year. ...
  2. Developmental service worker. National average salary: $16,593 per year. ...
  3. Camp counselor. ...
  4. Safe house program assistant. ...
  5. Community health worker. ...
  6. Peer counselor. ...
  7. Residential counselor. ...
  8. Health coach.
May 11, 2021

How much does a licensed professional counselor make in Texas? ›

Average base salary

The average salary for a licensed professional counselor is $78,637 per year in Texas. 463 salaries reported, updated at September 6, 2022.

Can an LPC diagnose mental illness in Texas? ›

LCSWs, LPCs, and LMFTs are required to have a master's degree, supervised clinical hours, and have passed a licensing exam. They are allowed to diagnose mental illness and provide treatment, which generally means counseling.

How do you become a licensed counselor? ›

4 Steps to Becoming a Licensed Mental Health Counselor
  1. Earn a bachelor's degree. Typically, this takes four years, and most often this degree is in psychology or sociology.
  2. Earn a master's degree. ...
  3. Get supervised mental health counseling experience. ...
  4. Pass your mental health counselor licensing exams.

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