How to Become a Rehabilitation Counselor in Iowa

Rehabilitation counselors in Iowa must complete education and work experience requirements before applying for licensure. Prospective counselors obtain licensure through the Iowa Board of Behavioral Service. To start the process, these individuals can apply for their temporary license after earning a master's degree in order to complete the necessary work experience requirements.

In this guide, students can review requirements relevant to the licensing process before formulating a plan to pursue licensure. Read on for information about degree types, coursework subject matter, the number of credits needed, accreditation, and supervised experiences to fulfill before submitting an application and taking licensing exams. Students considering a career as a rehabilitation counselor can use this page as a resource to advance toward their career goals seamlessly.

Counseling License and Career Requirements in Iowa

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Education and Experience Requirements

Aspiring rehabilitation counselors can review the following section to learn about the education, coursework, and supervised work experience needed for licensure. Read on to review the specifics regarding coursework and the number of credits required.

Education and Coursework

Individuals interested in pursuing a career in rehabilitation counseling in Iowa must first earn a degree at the master's or doctoral level. Candidates must earn a minimum of 60 credit hours from an accredited rehabilitation counseling program. Students should ensure they hold a degree from a regionally accredited program for easy entry into a licensing program.

Students must complete coursework in the following required areas to be considered for licensure:

  • Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
  • Psychopathology
  • Group Work
  • Research and Program Evaluation
  • Career Development
  • Professional and Ethical Practice
  • Assessment
  • Social and Cultural Diversity
  • Helping Relationships
  • Human Growth and Development

Some counseling programs focus on both rehabilitation counseling and mental health counseling, often leading students to cross-disciplinary internship experiences. The required practicum experience includes a minimum of 100 total hours, and the internship component includes a minimum of 600 hours of supervised work experience. Content varies depending on the institution or program so students should ensure they meet all relevant coursework requirements by reviewing the guidelines online before enrolling.


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


Practicum and Internship

To obtain rehabilitation counselor licensure in Iowa, candidates must complete practicum and internship components. The state requires two years of supervised work experience comprising a minimum of 3,000 hours -- at least 1,500 of which must be in direct contact with clients. In certain situations, individuals can obtain a temporary license to complete their work experience requirements.

Application and Exam Requirements for Iowa Rehabilitation Counselors

Individuals interested in earning a rehabilitation counselor license can download their application materials from the Iowa Board of Behavioral Science and remit payment for the $120 application fee. Those who need to undergo review from the Center for Credentialing and Education must also submit an education review application and a $150 fee. Before gaining state licensure in Iowa, individuals must pass the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Examination through the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.

After successfully completing the exam and all outstanding requirements, candidates can obtain certification as a rehabilitation counselor (CRC)

After successfully completing the exam and all outstanding requirements, candidates can obtain certification as a rehabilitation counselor (CRC). The CRC offers three testing dates, allowing professionals to earn their certification at a time most convenient to them. Candidates must first complete the student status form before taking the exam. If a candidate has already graduated, they must verify their internship completion and work experience and pay a $385 fee. If a candidate is found to be ineligible to sit for the exam, the CRC provides a $200 refund.

Out-of-State Rehabilitation Counselor Candidates

Rehabilitation counselors must get a license verification from any state they have been licensed in before they can practice in Iowa. All verifications should be sent straight to the Iowa board. If web verification includes the individual's name, disciplinary history, date of first licensure, and status of their current license, they can often use that in place of their standard license verification.

In addition, out-of-state candidates must satisfy Iowa's educational standards, hold certification from a state with comparable standards, and present good evaluations from their supervisors. They can also provide documentation from the National Credentials Registry of the American Association of State Counseling Boards.

Rehabilitation Counselor License Maintenance and Renewal Requirements

Rehabilitation counselors in Iowa must renew their license during even-numbered years. In order to meet renewal requirements, individuals must complete 40 hours of approved continuing education credits. Individuals who receive their license within six months of a renewal deadline do not have to renew that year, but may renew two years later instead. Counselors who work with children must complete a course in child abuse identification every five years. If they work with adults, counselors must also complete a course in the abuse of dependent adults every five years.

Rehabilitation counselors in Iowa must renew their license during even-numbered years

Resources and Organizations for Rehabilitation Counselors in Iowa

Students and professionals in rehabilitation counseling enjoy access to many opportunities for networking and expanding their skills and knowledge in the field. These individuals can take advantage of online resources and pursue membership at professional organizations offering a host of benefits.

Explore More Pathways to Becoming a Counselor in Iowa

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