How to Become a School Counselor in Hawaii

Nationwide and in the Aloha State, school counselors are in demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of school counselor positions should grow by 13% nationwide by the year 2026. This 13% projected growth rate far outstrips the national average. According to a separate data set from the BLS, approximately 1,600 school counselors practiced in Hawaii in May 2018. These professionals earned a healthy mean annual wage of nearly $60,000.

Counseling License and Career Requirements in Hawaii

Explore more pathways to becoming a counselor in Hawaii here

Education and Experience Requirements

The following section provides more information about how to become a school counselor in Hawaii, including details about education requirements, prerequisite coursework, and professional experience requirements. Read on to learn more about how to become a guidance counselor in Hawaii.

Education and Coursework

To qualify for school counselor licensure in Hawaii, each candidate must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university. While the degree field does not necessarily matter, students who hold a degree in psychology or counseling have an advantage in master's coursework.

To qualify for school counselor licensure in Hawaii, each candidate must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university

All candidates for school counselor licensure in Hawaii must also hold a master's degree in school counseling from a regionally accredited university. Their chosen school counseling program must also meet either Hawaii's state standards or the standards laid out by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification. These standards establish the competencies and coursework topics that students must master and complete in their programs, such as building relationships and human development.

In many cases, regionally accredited and state-approved master's programs in the school counseling field require students to complete around 48 credits.

For more information about counseling education and careers, please consult the counseling degree page on this website.

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

Practicum and Internship

Each aspiring school counselor in Hawaii must also complete a practicum or an internship as required field experience to qualify for licensure. In many cases, an internship or practicum lasts for a full school year while counselors complete their master's programs.

Application and Exam Requirements for Hawaii School Counselors

The Hawaii State Department of Education deals with all matters related to Hawaii counseling, including application and examination requirements.

As mentioned in a previous section, each student must earn a regionally accredited and state standards-approved master's degree in school counseling before applying for school counselor licensure in Hawaii. An applicant must receive a recommendation for certification from their individual program. All applicants must also pass a series of standardized tests to earn licensure, including the following:

  • Praxis II: School Counseling and Guidance

    Minimum score: 580

  • Praxis I

    Reading minimum score: 172

    Writing minimum score: 171

    Math minimum score: 173

  • Praxis II: Principles of Learning and Teaching (K-6 or 7-12)

    K-6 minimum score: 163

    7-12 minimum score: 157

Students can schedule and register for each of these tests through the Educational Testing Service website. The ETS administers PRAXIS exams for many different educational fields, including teaching. All school counselor applicants must also pass a criminal background check before becoming certified.

Out-of-State School Counselor Candidates

School counselors who hold certification in some other states can earn licensure in Hawaii by submitting evidence of the following:

  • School counselor board certification from the national board
  • Passing PRAXIS I and II scores (see previous section)

Reciprocity Agreements

Hawaii maintains reciprocity for school counseling licensure with every state but Alaksa, Iowa, and Minnesota through the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement.

School Counselor Licence Maintenance and Renewal Requirements

In Hawaii, all school counselors must renew their licenses every five years, regardless of how long they have practiced. During each five-year renewal period, each school counselor must earn 60 continuing education points to qualify to renew their licenses.

Read on to find more information explaining how the point system works.

Hawaii School Counselor Continuing Education Point System

  • One college credit or semester hour = 5 points
  • NBPTS certification process = 60 points
  • Curriculum development
    • Individual course = 15 points
    • Schoolwide program = 25 points
    • Statewide curriculum = 35 points
  • Professional Programs
    • Class impact = 5 points
    • Schoolwide impact = 10 points
    • Statewide impact = 15 points

Resources and Organizations for School Counselors in Hawaii

Below, you can find a list of helpful professional organizations and resources to help you learn more about requirements in Hawaii.

  • American Counseling Association The American Counseling Association is one of the preeminent professional organizations for the field. The ACA aims to further the counseling profession through advocacy efforts, professional development, and continuing education.
  • American School Counselor Association The American School Counselor Association advances the profession by helping individuals develop their students academically and socially. Services include networking opportunities such as conferences and professional development.
  • Hawaii School Counselor Association As the main professional organization for guidance counselors in Hawaii, this association allows local professionals to connect with like-minded peers at conferences and meetings.
  • Hawaii School Counselor Performance Standards This page on the Hawaii Teacher Standards Boards website allows school counselors to check in on evaluation standards each year.
  • Hawaii State Department of Education The Hawaii State Department of Education oversees all matters related to publication in the Aloha State, including Hawaii counseling in public schools.
  • National Association for College Admission Counseling With over 9,000 members, the National Association for College Admission Counseling focuses specifically on counselors who serve high schoolers, providing professional support and networking opportunities.
  • National Board for Certified Counselors The National Board for Certified Counselors focuses mainly on certification, allowing counselors to earn credentials that help them advance both their individual careers and the profession as a whole.
  • "School Counselors Care" by Sylvia Koch School counselors who want to rediscover why they entered the profession should read this article on the Hawaii Department of Education website.
  • ZipRecruiter Hawaii School Counselor Job Search ZipRecruiter is one of the nation's top job boards and job search websites. This particular page focuses exclusively on school counselor positions in Hawaii.

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