How to Become a Rehabilitation Counselor in Connecticut

Rehabilitation counselors help people who have disabilities find healthy coping strategies and live more independent lives. These counselors work in a variety of settings, including in-patient mental health facilities, substance abuse clinics, and surgical rehabilitation centers.

Connecticut rehabilitation counselors hold a license similar to the credential for professional mental health counselors, and both licenses require the same education level. Candidates for the professional counseling license in Connecticut must have at least a master's degree from an accredited program. Prospective counselors must also have completed a minimum number of supervised practice hours and passed an exam.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs in rehabilitation counseling to grow 13% from 2016-2026 — a rate faster than the national average for all occupations. According to the BLS, rehabilitation counselors in Connecticut earn an annual mean wage of $44,540. This guide includes information about how to become a rehabilitation counselor in Connecticut, including education and licensure requirements.

Counseling License and Career Requirements in Connecticut

Explore more pathways to becoming a counselor in Connecticut here

Education and Experience Requirements

Practicing rehabilitation counselors in Connecticut must have earned a graduate degree from a program that includes coursework in specific topics. This academic requirement ensures that counseling students adequately prepare for the professional experience and examination requirements necessary to obtain licensure. The following section details the education requirements for rehabilitation counselors in Connecticut.

Education and Coursework

Rehabilitation counselors earn a license similar to credentials held by other types of mental health professionals in Connecticut. All substance abuse counselors in the state must hold a professional counselor license, which requires a master's or doctoral degree in a counseling field. Applicants to graduate counseling programs must typically have a bachelor's degree, and some programs prefer applicants with a bachelor's degree in counseling or a related field. Undergraduate students should consider their academic goals when choosing a major.

All substance abuse counselors in the state must hold a professional counselor license, which requires a master's or doctoral degree in a counseling field

The Connecticut Department of Public Health requires prospective counselors to earn at least 18 credits of graduate coursework in counseling from a regionally accredited institution. Candidates for licensure should hold a graduate degree in psychology, counseling, social work, marriage and family therapy, or a related field. A total of 60 graduate credits are required, and these must include coursework in competency areas including human development, counseling theory, individual and group assessment, and research and evaluation.

Applicants for counseling licensure in Connecticut must submit a course of study form completed by their graduate institution, affirming that program coursework meets the state's educational and competency requirements.

Interested in pursuing an education in school counseling? Check out the following pages to explore available academic programs by level:

Practicum and Internship

All prospective rehabilitation counselors in Connecticut must also complete practicum and internship requirements prior to earning licensure. The state requires a 300-hour supervised practicum and at least three years of experience in a professional position or internship.

Application and Exam Requirements for Connecticut Rehabilitation Counselors

The Connecticut Department of Public Health oversees licensing for mental health professionals. Licensure requirements for alcohol and drug counselors include a graduate degree in social work, counseling, or a closely related field.

In addition to state licensure, the Connecticut Certification Board (CCB) provides options for independent certification

Applicants for an alcohol and drug counselor license in Connecticut must submit official transcripts from a master's program demonstrating suitable coursework. Additionally, applicants submit verification forms documenting at least 300 supervised clinical practice hours, three years of supervised work experience, and 360 hours of education in drugs and alcohol.

In addition to state licensure, the Connecticut Certification Board (CCB) provides options for independent certification. The CCB works closely with the government licensure agency to provide exams and paths to licensure through the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC).

All candidates for alcohol and drug counselor licensure in Connecticut must take the alcohol and drug counselor exam from IC&RC. With their application, candidates submit exam scores, a $190 fee, and a photograph.

Out-of-state Rehabilitation Counselor Candidates

Out-of-state rehabilitation counselors seeking Connecticut licensure must submit verification of their current license. The process for out-of-state counselors to obtain Connecticut licensure varies based on individual circumstances.

  • Connecticut may waive certain requirements for applicants with a license from an IC&RC member state.
  • Applicants from states not participating in the reciprocity consortium must apply as a new applicant and submit all required materials and verification forms.
  • Out-of-state applicants without CCB certification can sit for the exam, which is offered four times per year.

Rehabilitation Counselor License Maintenance and Renewal Requirements

Rehabilitation counselors in Connecticut must renew their license each year. Licenses typically expire during the counselor's birth month. Alcohol and drug counselors generally receive notice to renew their license 60 days in advance, with a follow-up notice 30 days after the expiration date if they have yet to renew their license. Rehabilitation counselors must also complete at least 20 hours of continuing education each year, including at least two hours of training inworking with veterans.

Rehabilitation counselors in Connecticut must renew their license each year

Resources and Organizations for Rehabilitation Counselors in Connecticut

Professional organizations can provide assistance, information, and guidance for individuals pursuing counseling education and licensure. Membership in professional organizations can also provide networking and continuing education opportunities for current and aspiring rehabilitation counselors in Connecticut. The list below includes resources from state boards, professional groups, and government agencies.

  • Connecticut Association for Addiction Professionals This Connecticut-based association provides advocacy and education for professionals serving clients who struggle with addiction. Rehabilitation counselors in Connecticut can access continuing education opportunities and training workshops.
  • Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities This association of Connecticut healthcare facilities provides a list of member facilities and information about legislation advocacy for providers. Through the association, rehabilitation counselors can learn about current policies affecting practitioners.
  • Connecticut Certification Board This nonprofit organization works with the state to provide certification and paths to licensure. The board's website offers exam preparation materials and a job board for alcohol and drug counselors.
  • Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery CCAR provides resources for Connecticut professionals in the field, including volunteer opportunities and training workshops.
  • Connecticut Counseling Association This branch of the American Counseling Association provides opportunities to earn professional awards, a practice referral network, and mentoring programs. The association also offers scholarships for student members.
  • Connecticut's Network of Care for Behavioral Health This network comprises partnerships between state-based and private institutions, with the goal of improving state residents' access to behavioral health services. Its website provides information on current behavioral health policies, services and providers, and insurance.
  • Connecticut State Department of Public Health The Department of Public Health oversees licensure for health professionals in Connecticut, including rehabilitation counselors. The department's website provides information about licensing, renewal, and continuing education requirements.
  • International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium IC&RC provides reciprocity verification for participating states and administers the required credentialing exam for alcohol and drug counselors in Connecticut. The organization's website offers exam preparation resources and information about reciprocity.
  • Mental Health Connecticut This nonprofit organization works to promote recovery and mental health services in Connecticut. MHC provides advocacy, education, and events. Rehabilitation counselors can access a service and clinician directory and pursue employment opportunities through the organization.
  • National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors NAADAC provides certificate programs, continuing education opportunities, and professional advocacy. The association also hosts conferences and events for counselors, educators, and other addiction-focused professionals.

Explore More Pathways to Becoming a Counselor in Connecticut

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