How to Become a School Counselor in Idaho

A school counselor's primary duties center around working with students, teachers, parents, and district administrators to address student behavioral or learning issues. Counselors develop educational plans, help students reach milestones, and provide advice for college and career planning.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that school counselors in Idaho earn an average annual salary of $41,660, though earning potential may vary based on a candidate's work experience and location in Idaho. To meet Idaho counseling requirements, prospective guidance counselors must meet certain educational and licensure requirements.

Counseling License and Career Requirements in Idaho

Explore more pathways to becoming a counselor in Idaho here

Education and Experience Requirements

To become a school counselor in Idaho, individuals must meet the Idaho counselor board's educational and experience requirements. The details of programs may vary by school, but many programs include similar core curricula to meet Idaho's standards. The following section explores a few common components that meet Idaho's specific requirements.

Education and Coursework

To practice as a school counselor in Idaho, licensure candidates must meet the requirements set by the Idaho counselor board. The first step is earning a bachelor's degree in counseling or a related field such as psychology or sociology. However, Idaho also requires individuals to possess a master's degree in counseling to apply for licensure. Candidates must earn that master's degree through a program approved by the Idaho State Board of Education. Out-of-state programs must earn approval from that state's educational agency.

The specific components of approved programs can vary, but Idaho requires individuals to complete a minimum of 60 credits. A typical program's curriculum consists of coursework in counseling techniques, human development theory in school counseling, learning and individual differences, and career and lifestyle development. The average master's program takes two years to complete.

Other requirements include completing an approved technology assessment and supervised clinical hours. Below, you can find more information about the clinical hours requirement. You can also learn more about bachelor's and master's degrees in counseling and find tips for selecting a program at this link.

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

Practicum and Internship

Idaho requires prospective school counselors to complete 700 hours of supervised field experience. At least 75% of the required hours must take place in a school setting. Idaho prefers for candidates to spend time working with every age group among K-12 students. Many master's programs meet this requirement through internships.

Application and Exam Requirements for Idaho School Counselors

Once individuals earn their master's degrees, they may apply for state licensure. The Idaho State Board of Education oversees the licensure process and approves applications. To qualify for counseling licensure, individuals must first meet the minimum education and field experience requirements. Next, they must register with the Idaho Licensing Board of Professional Counselors to take the National Counselor Examination. Idaho also requires that all prospective counselors pass a state-approved technology assessment.

To qualify for counseling licensure, individuals must first meet the minimum education and field experience requirements

To start the application process, individuals must submit an institutional recommendation for licensure from their university to the Idaho counselor board. Applicants must also provide official transcripts from their university and documentation of supervised field experience hours. All prospective school counselor candidates must get fingerprinted and undergo a criminal background check through the Idaho Bureau of Criminal Identification. The background check costs $40.

The application fee costs $75, but individuals may write one check for both the application and the criminal background check. Applicants must send all application materials in one envelope to the State Department of Education. Once candidates meet all requirements and receive approval, the counselor board grants them a pupil personnel services certificate.

Out-of-State School Counselor Candidates

Out-of-state school counselor candidates must also meet Idaho's licensing requirements. To apply, they must complete an application and submit official university transcripts and a copy of their current license to the Idaho school counselor board. The board reviews their degree and field experience to determine if they meet Idaho's requirements for licensure. Depending on the board's review, out-of-state candidates may need to complete a technology assessment before earning licensure.

Idaho may grant out-of-state candidates a temporary counseling license through a reciprocity agreement in certain circumstances. This license allows counselors to practice while completing the certification process.

School Counselor License Maintenance and Renewal Requirements

The pupil personnel services certificate in Idaho expires each year. The Idaho State Board of Education mails renewal applications to active licensees six weeks prior to a license's expiration date. To qualify for renewal, school counselors must complete 20 hours of continuing education coursework. They must submit a continuing education approval form documenting their hours along with a complete renewal application to the board for approval. Counselors can complete this process through Idaho's online portal system.

The pupil personnel services certificate in Idaho expires each year

If counselors fail to renew prior to their expiration dates, they must pay a reinstatement fee. To avoid a lapse in licensure, professionals should ensure their contact information remains up-to-date with the Idaho State Board of Education to receive notifications and renew on time.

Resources and Organizations for School Counselors in Idaho

The theories and methods used in the field of counseling evolve, making it important for school counselors to stay informed. Professional organizations and resources serve as excellent tools, allowing counselors to take continuing education courses and connect with peers.

Below, you can find a list of 10 valuable resources and organizations for school counselors in Idaho.

  • American Counseling Association ACA offers continuing education opportunities, an online chat forum, and industry publications. It also provides networking opportunities for industry professionals through conferences that focus on trends in leadership and educational practices.
  • American School Counselor Association ASCA offers free online resources, including lesson plans and discounted subscriptions to top educational publications. Its website also provides an online community forum, giving industry professionals a platform to collaborate.
  • Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses Counseling professionals should use this site to stay informed about Idaho's licensing requirements. The IBOL website includes a code of ethics, training guides, academic studies, and a place where professionals can update contact information or report issues.
  • Idaho Career Development Association ICDA aims to promote ethical practice and help counselors help their clients with career development. It also hosts conferences and other events throughout the year, giving professionals an opportunity to network with their peers and stay up-to-date on current trends.
  • Idaho Council for Exceptional Children CEC focuses on promoting educational excellence for students with special needs. It publishes quarterly newsletters and hosts an annual conference. This gives professionals an opportunity to learn about new theories in education and collaborate with peers.
  • Idaho School Counselor Association ISCA is a professional organization offering Idaho counselors industry resources, including newsletters. It also hosts conferences, helping professionals learn about industry trends and network with peers.
  • Idaho State Department of Education School counselors should use this website as a resource for the latest information pertaining to district policy, research, and licensing requirements in Idaho. Counselors can also find professional development opportunities through the ISDE website.
  • The National Board for Certified Counselors The NBCC is a nonprofit organization responsible for setting credentialing standards. Their website offers multiple counseling resources and allows individuals to research licensing requirements for each state.
  • The National Education Association NEA is the nation's largest professional employee organization. It offers educational professionals several resources like industry publications, sample lesson plans, classroom strategies, and networking opportunities.
  • The Professional Counselor The NBCC publishes this academic journal. TPC reports the latest research on theories and techniques in the field of counseling. The site also offers continuing education opportunities and resources, including digests and video tutorials.
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