How to Become a Rehabilitation Counselor in Maryland

Today's rehabilitation counselors need strong people skills to be able to work with a diverse set of clients. If you fit this description, a career as a rehabilitation counselor in Maryland may be an excellent fit for you.

In this role, you will work to help clients with physical and mental ailments in clinics, nursing and residential care facilities, private practices, and other locations that provide community and vocational rehabilitation services. Additionally, the career outlook for Maryland chemical dependency counselors is good. CareerOneStop projects that the number of available positions in this area will grow 11% between 2016 and 2026.

Rehabilitation counselors in Maryland can practice at two levels: graduate professional counselors (LGPC) and licensed clinical professional counselors (LCPC). If you meet the educational and testing requirements, you can apply for licensure as an LGPC. After you gain experience, you can take additional steps toward licensure as an LGPC, which is the highest level of counseling license in the state.

Counseling License and Career Requirements in Maryland

Explore more pathways to becoming a counselor in Maryland here

Education and Experience Requirements

Most states require candidates to meet specific academic training requirements and acquire significant practical training. In the sections below, you'll learn how to become a rehabilitation counselor in Maryland, including the education requirements, coursework, practicums, and internships that you'll need.

Education and Coursework

In Maryland, each prospective rehabilitation counselor must possess either a master's degree with 60 or more graduate credits or a doctoral degree with at least 90 graduate credits. Additionally, prospective counselors need at least three graduate credits of coursework in several subject areas, including human growth and development, social and cultural foundations of counseling, counseling theory, counseling techniques, lifestyle career and development, research and evaluation, legal and ethical responsibilities, and diagnosis and psychopathology.

In Maryland, each prospective rehabilitation counselor must possess either a master's degree with 60 or more graduate credits or a doctoral degree with at least 90 graduate credits

An applicant with a master's degree needs 3,000 hours of field experience. Each doctoral applicant needs 2,000 hours of supervised clinical experience and must earn at least 1,000 of those hours after earning the doctorate.

The Maryland counselor board acknowledges that courses may have varying titles between schools. To ensure that applicants receive credit for their previous work, each student should submit a pre-application credential evaluation to the Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists.

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

Practicum and Internship

In most states, a student pursuing licensure as a rehabilitation counselor needs to complete education beyond graduate coursework and a master's degree. In addition to the required number of supervised clinical experience hours listed above, applicants for licensure in Maryland need a practicum with 125 hours of direct patient care. Most master's programs in counseling include practicum experiences in their required curricula. Aside from master's degree course requirements, learners often need several months to complete a practicum.

Application and Exam Requirements for Maryland Rehabilitation Counselors

After earning a master's degree or higher from an accredited college or university approved by the Maryland counselor board, licensure seekers need to follow several steps to complete the process:

  • Fill out an application packet
  • Submit contact information for three professional references and college transcripts that reflect the 60-credit requirement
  • Submit a recent 2x2 photograph and a notarized affidavit
  • Pay a $200 application fee and $25 credential evaluation fee
  • Complete the National Counselor Exam (NCE) and the Maryland State Law Test
  • Complete a criminal history records check
  • Contact the Maryland Board of Professional Counseling to apply for the LGPC title

After this process, those who wish to continue toward the LCPC credential can apply for conditional LCPC licensure. Each candidate must possess the required number of supervised hours for the LCPC and submit three professional letters of recommendation to the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors.

Out-of-State Rehabilitation Counselor Candidates

Licensed rehabilitation counselors from other states may apply for licensure to practice in Maryland. These individuals must verify their out-of-state licenses by submitting copies of them. Additionally, out-of-state applicants must submit official transcripts confirming their master's or doctoral degrees in a professional counseling field are from an accredited institution.

Out-of-state applicants need at least three credits each in professional and ethical responsibilities, diagnosis and psychopathology, and psychotherapy and treatment of mental and emotional disorders. An out-of-state master's degree holder needs three years of experience with at least 3,000 hours of clinical professional counseling experience, and doctoral degree holders need 2,000 hours.

Rehabilitation Counselor Licence Maintenance and Renewal Requirements

Maryland chemical dependency counselors must renew their licenses every two years. As part of this process, they need to complete continuing education credits. Maryland law requires counselors to complete 40 credits of continuing education every two years. To meet this requirement, professionals can participate in various workshops, symposiums, and seminars, or create materials for juried publications.

Maryland chemical dependency counselors must renew their licenses every two years

Most seminars, workshops, and related training offerings from the American Counseling Association, National Board for Certified Counselors, National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors, and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene count toward these continuing education credits.

Resources and Organizations for Rehabilitation Counselors in Maryland

Professional rehabilitation counselors and students in Maryland can benefit greatly from participating in professional organizations or taking advantage of online resources from credible institutions. Academic membership-based organizations, nonprofit institutions, and mentorship programs offer valuable networking opportunities, annual conferences, online discussion boards, and unique opportunities for collaboration with colleagues.

  • American Counseling Association Founded in 1952, ACA is the world's largest nonprofit association representing professional counselors. Students can receive a reduced membership fee and access to liability insurance, career advancement resources, continuing education opportunities, journal publications, internship opportunities, and scholarship information.
  • American Mental Health Counselors Association AMHCA students can obtain free liability insurance and gain access to research, active student discussion boards, continuing education opportunities, online and hardcopy journal publications, and clinical practice briefs. Its annual conference is the premier gathering of clinical mental health counselors in the U.S. and provides students with excellent networking opportunities.
  • American Rehabilitation Counseling Association ARCA features an online network that allows members to collaborate, access exclusive research materials, and take advantage of tutorials and statistical guides. Students and professionals can enjoy career coaching workshops, reduced conference fees, an online newsletter, and access to liability insurance.
  • Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification CRC offers a high level of certification for master's students in rehabilitation counseling. Through its online portal, users gain access to certification information, online job postings from CRC-recommended employers, and access to affordable continuing education classes.
  • Intercultural Counseling Connection The connection hosts a network of Baltimore-area graduate students in clinical mental health fields, including rehabilitation counseling, to serve as volunteers. Professionals and students who wish to improve the quality of service and access to counseling in the area can find many opportunities to get involved with refugees, asylum seekers, and displaced people in Maryland.
  • Maryland Counseling Association MCA strives to promote public confidence and trust in counseling professionals. It also aims to positively impact policies that affect professionals in the field. Members can take advantage of several professional development opportunities and support services. The site features information on its annual conference, an active job board, volunteer opportunities, and an online newsletter.
  • Maryland Career Development Association MCDA is a state organization that helps students and young professionals network and share resources. The association serves as a hub for creative collaboration and provides information for professional opportunities and current news. Members can also find opportunities for leadership development, advertising, and sponsorship along with discounts for conferences networking events.
  • National Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training NARRTC works to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities by offering technical assistance, training, development activities, and knowledge translation. The association hosts annual conferences for professionals and students to share research and collaborate. Members can also receive opportunities to work on grant-funded research projects with others in the association.
  • Society of Counseling Psychology SCP is the 17th division of the American Psychological Association (APA). Founded in 1946, the group brings together professionals with various areas of expertise, including psychologists, students, professional affiliates, and counselors. Learners can take advantage of SCP's student chapter, awards, and training workshops. SCP also publishes a peer-reviewed academic journal.

Explore More Pathways to Becoming a Counselor in Maryland

Learn How to Become a School Counselor in Maryland Learn How to Become a Substance Abuse Counselor in Maryland
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