How to Become a Rehabilitation Counselor in Idaho

Rehabilitation counselors can find fulfilling and well-paying occupations in Idaho's growing health services industry. In Idaho, rehabilitation counselors made an annual mean wage of $41,310 as of May 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The industry's outlook appears to be bright: from December 2018 to April 2019, jobs in Idaho's education and health services industry increased from 105,000 to more than 108,000, according to the BLS. Nationwide, the BLS projects a 13% increase of rehabilitation counseling careers through 2026.

Professional counselors need a license to practice in Idaho. Rehabilitation counselors can either seek the licensed professional counselor (LPC) or licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) credential through the Idaho Licensing Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists. Continue reading to find counseling resources, learn how to become a rehabilitation counselor in Idaho, and find free resources to help you succeed in your career.

Counseling License and Career Requirements in Idaho

Explore more pathways to becoming a counselor in Idaho here

Education and Experience Requirements

Licensed professional counselors must complete master's-level coursework in counseling. However, specific educational and work experience requirements vary, depending on each counselor's career goals and the license they want to pursue. Read on for more information about supervised work experience and education requirements needed for employment as a professional rehabilitation counselor in Idaho.

Education and Coursework

To become a professional counselor, you must meet the standards set by the licensing board. Rehabilitation counselors who want to qualify for either an ALC or LPC license in Idaho need to obtain at least a master's degree in counseling from an accredited college. In some circumstances, a degree in a related field such as dance/movement therapy and counseling may suffice if the degree primarily focused on counseling coursework and met the core competencies (listed below).

Prospective licensees must complete 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of master's coursework. Additionally, six semester hours of graduate coursework must cover advanced counseling practicum requirements.

Counseling programs must be approved by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP). Otherwise, a student's counseling program can meet the board's standards if coursework includes these eight competencies:

  • Human growth and development
  • Social and cultural foundations
  • The helping relationship
  • Group counseling
  • Lifestyle and career development
  • Appraisal of the individual
  • Research and evaluation
  • Professional orientation

You can find out more information about accredited counseling programs by visiting this page.

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

Practicum and Internship

The state licensing board requires all rehabilitation counselors to complete a total of 1,000 supervised hours in counseling, including 400 hours of direct work experience with clients. This includes graduate-level practicums or internships. Eligible supervisors include professional counselors, counselor faculty members at an accredited college, and clinical professional counselors.

Application and Exam Requirements for Idaho Rehabilitation Counselors

The Idaho Licensing Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists oversees the licensure process for professional counselors. In addition to the education and supervised work experience requirements, all counselors must pass the national counselor examination (NCE). The exam, which consists of 200 multiple choice questions, covers eight content areas recognized by the CACREP.

In addition to the education and supervised work experience requirements, all counselors must pass the national counselor examination (NCE)

Subjects include career counseling, assessment and testing, professional counseling orientation and ethical practice, and social and cultural diversity. Applicants can register for the exam through the Center for Credentialing and Education website. It takes up to six weeks for the NBCC to send test scores to the board.

The licensure application process includes filling out an application, paying a fee, submitting official transcripts from an accredited college, and submitting proof of supervised work experience. Applicants must submit all materials to the board no fewer than seven days before a board meeting. The board meets at least four times every year. Candidates can receive notification about their applications in 2-4 weeks. The board's website posts approved applicants on its website.

To become a clinical counselor, the next highest licensure, each aspiring professional must pass another test: the national clinical mental health counselor examination.

Out-of-State Rehabilitation Counselor Candidates

Out-of-state rehabilitation counselors can take advantage of Idaho's endorsement rule. To obtain a license under Idaho's endorsement rule, you must hold a current and equivalent license from an authorized out-of-state agency. The agency that issued the license must submit verification to the Idaho Licensing Board of Professional Counselors.

All applicants must have excellent disciplinary records. Candidates who hold an out-of-state license also needs to submit a minimum of five years of licensed work experience that can date back at least seven years before the application date. Employers and former colleagues can provide statements verifying your work experience.

Rehabilitation Counselor License Maintenance and Renewal Requirements

Professional counselors must renew their licenses every year at least six weeks before the expiration date. Counselors seeking renewal can mail or submit an online renewal application along with the renewal fee. They first must meet all continuing education requirements.

Professional counselors in Idaho must renew their licenses every year at least six weeks before the expiration date

Each licensee must complete 20 hours of continuing education every year within 12 months before the application renewal date. The board conducts audits on an annual basis, so licensees should keep records of their completed hours. Continuing education requirements include three in-person contact hours in ethics, law, or legal issues. Counselors who miss the renewal date must pay a reinstatement fee.

Resources and Organizations for Rehabilitation Counselors in Idaho

There are many resources to help rehabilitation counselors continue to grow in their occupations and connect with fellow professionals. Read on for 10 resources to help counselors find jobs, networking opportunities, and access continuing education classes.

  • 211 The 211 Idaho CareLine offers health and human services to support Idaho Department of Health and Welfare agencies. Resources found on the website can help persons with disabilities and seniors, children and families, and caregivers.
  • American Counseling Association This nonprofit, which began in 1952, represents professional counselors. The association offers members ethics and career consultations, subscriptions to Journal of Counseling and Development and Counseling Today, and 12 free annual online training courses.
  • American Mental Health Counselors Association Founded in 1976, AMHCA offers education and training for mental health counselors. The association provides members with discounts to the annual conference and webinars, discounted liability insurance, and free continuing education credits.
  • Idaho Counseling Association ICA supports counseling and human development professionals and promotes counseling through its advocacy work. Members, including working professionals, students, and retirees, can connect at local meetings and its annual conference.
  • Idaho Mental Health Counselors Association IMHCA, a chapter of the American Mental Health Counselors Association, supports clinical mental health counselors. Members can receive person-centered tech support discounts, access to a listserv with job postings, and discounts to professional development training courses.
  • Idaho School Counselor Association ISCA represents and advocates for school counselors in Idaho. The association holds counseling guidance lessons and an annual fall conference. The association also provides summer events for students and scholarships to graduating high school seniors.
  • Mental Health America Founded in 1909, MHA promotes mental health through prevention services, advocacy, research, and education. Aspiring professionals can find jobs on the website and volunteer opportunities for community outreach or event planning.
  • This site provides education and information to help policymakers, the public, and health professionals. To increase mental health awareness, the organization aggregates information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MedlinePlus, and the National Institute of Mental Health.
  • O*NET Academy The O*NET Academy offers free online courses and webinars for professionals. The academy is part of the Occupational Information Network, which provides a free database with detailed information about a variety of different occupations.
  • Quora Counselors can find answers to their questions on Quora, an information exchange website open to the public.

Explore More Pathways to Becoming a Counselor in Idaho

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