Rehabilitation counselors perform meaningful work. These professionals use patience and counseling techniques to empower individuals to reintegrate into society after a setback like a car accident or drug addiction. They also work with clients with mental or physical disabilities. A rehabilitation counselor's goal is to encourage positive change and to help each patient lead an independent life.
If you possess the drive to become a rehabilitation counselor, now is an ideal time to pursue your passion. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects this career to grow by 13% from 2016 to 2026. In the guide below, we outline how to become a rehabilitation counselor in Delaware, what an aspiring counselor can expect to learn during their studies, and how to renew a license each year.
Counseling License and Career Requirements in DelwareExplore more pathways to becoming a counselor in Delware here
Education and Experience Requirements
The journey to becoming a licensed counselor in Delaware takes time. First, you need to acquire a master's degree from an accredited university. Of course, each employer usually defines their own set of desired prerequisites, but we've listed the most common Delaware counseling education requirements, including how many credits each aspiring counselor needs to obtain, plus practicum and internship specifics.
Education and Coursework
Delaware follows the education requirements set by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). If you want to obtain a counseling license in Delaware, you must first earn a master's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university in a field related to professional mental health counseling. This degree must include at least 48 semester hours and coursework in eight content areas, including addictive behavior.
Counselors in Delaware must earn a master's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university in a field related to professional mental health counseling
Before a candidate can take an NBCC-administered exam, they must earn at least a "C" grade in their counseling courses. However, they must earn at least an "A" or "B" in all field experience courses. Each aspiring counselor needs to complete six semesters or 10 quarter hours of field experience in the form of supervised counseling experience in an appropriate work setting.
The NBCC also requires a research and program evaluation class. This class covers basic types of research methods, including qualitative and quantitative research designs, basic parametric and non-parametric statistics, and ethical and legal considerations. NBCC also requires a professional orientation to counseling course, which provides information about the counseling profession's history, along with helpful tools and resources to help your career grow.
Interested in pursuing an education in school counseling? Check out the following pages to explore available academic programs by level:
Practicum and Internship
Internships and practicums serve as crucial career development tools for rehabilitation counselors, as they allow aspiring counselors to apply what they have learned to practical work experiences. The Delaware counselor board requires each licensure applicant to complete nine internship credit hours. The internship must include at least 300 hours of direct client counseling.
Application and Exam Requirements for Delaware Rehabilitation Counselors
The Board of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals oversees the licensing for counselors in the state. This organization sets specific requirements beyond education that each candidate must meet before earning a license. First, you must submit your official transcripts. After meeting the education requirements, each candidate can take the national counselor examination (NCE) or other examination acceptable to the board, such as the clinical mental health counseling examination (NCMHCE).
After the Exam
After passing the exam, you still need to complete 3,200 hours of supervised professional mental health counseling. Of these hours, 1,600 must take place under the direct clinical supervision of a board-approved supervisor. The board does not consider certified school counselors and certified school psychologists as approved clinical supervisors.
At least 100 hours must be face-to-face professional direct supervision with your supervisor, which can include in-person meetings or live video conferencing. However, no more than 50 hours may take place through video conferencing. You must complete these hours in at least two years but no more than four.
You also need to fill out an application, submit a $236 application processing fee, and undergo a criminal background check. Applicants must also make arrangements for the board office to receive verification of their NCE or NCMHCE scores.
Out-of-State Rehabilitation Counselor Candidates
If you hold a license from another state, you might not need to retake the licensing exam in Delaware. To apply by reciprocity, an applicant must hold a current professional counselor of mental health license in another jurisdiction state, District of Columbia, or U.S. territory. This license must be in good standing.
If you have been licensed for at least five years in a U.S. jurisdiction, you do not need to provide additional documentation. All other applicants must submit copies of the licensing laws, rules, and regulations from the jurisdiction, and the board will compare them to Delaware's licensing requirements.
Rehabilitation Counselor License Maintenance and Renewal Requirements
Delaware counseling licenses expire on September 30 of every even-numbered year. All license renewal candidates must complete continuing education hours. Luckily, professional organizations host annual conferences, training opportunities, webinars, and workshops.
Delaware counseling licenses expire on September 30 of every even-numbered year
Several weeks before your license expires, you will receive a renewal notice by email. This email notice explains how to access the online renewal application. Each applicant must pay a renewal fee with a credit card. If a license lapses, a counselor may pay a late fee in addition to the renewal fee up to one year after graduation.
Resources and Organizations for Rehabilitation Counselors in Delaware
To succeed as a rehabilitation counselor, you need to commit to lifelong learning. Join informative networking organizations to stay in touch with other professionals and the latest industry trends and discoveries. Even current students can join certain professional organizations to take advantage of helpful tools like resource libraries, weekly industry newsletters, and webinars.
- American Rehabilitation Counseling Association This network of rehabilitation counseling professionals helps connect members through networking opportunities and career development resources. The ARCA offers something for professionals at all levels, including a student task force.
- Board of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals This Delaware state board distributes important information and ensures that professionals apply safe practices in their field. Aspiring counselors can apply themselves to leadership opportunities, with opportunities to run for board membership.
- Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification Dedicated to improving the lives of those with disabilities, this organization provides certification and resources for professionals in the rehabilitation counseling field. Members can also find opportunities for advocacy and ethics research within their careers.
- Delaware Association for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors The National Association for Addiction Professionals provides this regional organization for Delaware residents that advocates and promotes the profession. Members can access helpful resources and education programs, in addition to professional development events.
- Delaware Certification Board Since 1979, the Delaware Certification Board has provided state-level credentialing to alcohol and drug abuse professionals. Their website also features a job board and information on ethical practices in the field.
- Delaware Guidance Services Delaware Guidance Services offers resources for community members and professionals alike. By providing local news updates, online resources, and a regular newsletter, counselors can stay up to date with the latest in their state.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness The National Alliance on Mental Illness holds a Delaware branch that offers continuing education to residents. Members can also attend the Inspiring Hope Conference each year for networking and professional development opportunities.
- National Board of Certified Counselors The National Board of Certified Counselors provides professionals with tools like counselor resources, advice for personal branding, and continuing education opportunities and certifications.
- I-Counseling This high-quality certification and continuing education provider offers many opportunities for professional growth. Recommended by the National Board of Certified Counselors, rehabilitation workers can earn credits online at their convenience.
- International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals Professionals looking to expand their professional networks often look toward international organizations. Providing networking opportunities, regular events and conferences, helpful publications, and mentorship opportunities for young professionals, this organization benefits rehabilitation counselors at all levels.