Rehabilitation counselors perform rewarding yet challenging work. If you enjoy empowering others to overcome obstacles, this career field might be right for you. Rehabilitation counselors help individuals function in society after a traumatic event or injury. They also help people overcome addiction or learn to live with a mental illness or disability. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects this career to grow 13% from 2016-2026, making this an ideal time to pursue a career as a rehabilitation counselor.
Before you can start changing lives for the better, you need to earn a master's degree, participate in a fellowship or internship, and obtain a state license. To learn how to become a rehabilitation counselor in Louisiana, keep reading.
Counseling License and Career Requirements in LouisianaExplore more pathways to becoming a counselor in Louisiana here
Education and Experience Requirements
Every rehabilitation counselor's education journey begins with formal education. The field requires an extensive and specific education. Every state sets unique standards pertaining to course topics, number of units, and degree fields. See below for an overview of Louisiana's requirements surrounding rehabilitation counseling education.
Education and Coursework
To become a licensed rehabilitation counselor, the Louisiana State Board of Licensed Professional Counselors requires a master's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution in a field pertaining to professional mental health counseling. This degree must comprise at least 60 semester hours and coursework in eight content areas, such as research and human growth and development.
the Louisiana State Board of Licensed Professional Counselors requires a master's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution
To qualify for the licensing exam, applicants need a minimum of a "C" in counseling courses. Students must complete all field experience courses with a grade of an "A" or "B", or a pass if the class is pass or fail. Students must complete a 100-hour supervised practicum and a 300-hour supervised internship in counseling.
Applicants must be age 21 or older and possess good moral character. These individuals should demonstrate their competencies by passing a written examination and may need to complete an oral examination, as well. After passing the written exam, these newly licensed counselors must clock at least 3,000 hours of post-master's experience in professional mental health counseling under the clinical supervision of a board-approved supervisor within 2-6 years. The board accepts 500 hours of indirect supervised experience for every 30 graduate semester hours earned beyond the required master's degree.
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 provide excellent learning opportunities for aspiring rehabilitation counselors, allowing learners to apply their knowledge in field situations. Applicants must complete a 100-hour supervised practicum and a 300-hour supervised internship in counseling.
Application and Exam Requirements for Louisiana Rehabilitation Counselors
Once you fulfill the academic requirements for state licensure in Louisiana, you must complete 3,000 hours of supervised professional experience after graduation. Of these hours, 1,900 should include direct client counseling. Applicants must also pass a criminal background check. After you earn your degree and complete your supervised hours, you must apply to the Louisiana Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners to take your National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors.
After you earn your degree, you must apply to the Louisiana Licensed Professional Counselors Board of Examiners to take your National Counselor Examination (NCE)
The NCE includes 200 multiple-choice questions that assess knowledge and skills pertaining to counseling. Questions cover topics in fundamental counseling issues, professional practice issues, and career goals and development. Students can prepare for the exam with helpful study guides.
After you pass this exam, you must apply for your license by completing an application and submitting your official school transcripts. In-state applicants do not need to complete any endorsement forms. However, all applicants must email a letter from their graduate program verifying the hours completed in their graduate practicum or internship.
Out-of-State Rehabilitation Counselor Candidates
If you hold a license from another state, you can still earn your Louisiana counseling license. Individuals who already hold a license to practice counseling in another state can often get licensure by endorsement in Louisiana. These individuals must hold a license in a state with similar licensing requirements or have been practicing counseling for five years prior. They won't need to take the NCE in Louisiana, but they must verify that their license is in good standing and that they received passing scores on the exam.
Rehabilitation Counselor License Maintenance and Renewal Requirements
Once you obtain your rehabilitation counseling license in Louisiana, you must renew your license every other year. Part of the renewal process includes completing 40 hours of continuing education (CE) credits every two years. Joining professional organizations provides an easy way to connect through conferences, trainings, and workshops that fulfill the CE requirement.
rehabilitation counseling license in Louisiana renew their licenses every other year
With ever-changing laws, you should frequently refer to theLouisiana State Board of Licensed Professional Counselors website every few months. On the website, you can also watch a helpful video tutorial that explains the renewal process.
Resources and Organizations for Rehabilitation Counselors in Louisiana
Once you earn your degree and license, continue your educational journey by joining informative networking organizations. Current students can also benefit from seeking additional education outside the classroom. You can join organizations and benefit from helpful tools, such as resource libraries, weekly industry newsletters, and webinars. Take advantage of the following resources to learn about the latest counseling discoveries.
- Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification By receiving certification from this organization, counselors also benefit from helpful resources that move their career forward. Whether members use the online job board or study the available ethics resources, professionals can access many resources through this organization.
- Louisiana Association for Addiction Professionals The National Association for Addiction Professionals' Louisiana branch provides an opportunity for rehabilitation counselors to connect with others in their field. Offering regular workshops and events, members receive many benefits.
- Louisiana Association of Substance Abuse Counselors & Trainers By offering additional education opportunities, informative workshops, and advocacy at the state and national level, LASACT provides several helpful resources to professionals.
- Louisiana Counseling Association This organization advocates on the state and national level, providing a voice for counseling professionals. The association hosts an annual conference with networking and professional development opportunities and offers special deals and mentorship programs for young members.
- Louisiana Licensed Professional Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors This group provides CE and useful links and information for rehabilitation counselors. Members benefit from this group's news and information on the latest in rehabilitation counseling.
- Louisiana State Board of Licensed Professional Counselors This organization provides licensure for different branches of counseling in Louisiana, making it an important resource for emerging professionals. In addition to licensure, this group also provides CE opportunities and advocates for members' rights.
- Louisiana Workforce Commission This group offers information and resources for different job fields in the state. Individuals can access information about counseling providers and useful links for employers and professionals.
- National Board of Certified Counselors This organization offers specialty certifications and workshops for CE, allowing committed professionals to grow and develop their skills.
- The National Rehabilitation Association This association provides networking and professional development opportunities for members across the nation. Members can join regional divisions within the organization, allowing them to easily connect with nearby professionals.