How to Become a Rehabilitation Counselor in Michigan

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment opportunities for rehabilitation counselors in Michigan to grow 13.4% from 2016-2026. This increase translates to approximately 400 new openings for rehabilitation counselors in the state.

To take advantage of this rapid growth in the counseling profession, you can become a licensed professional counselor (LPC) through the Michigan counselor board. The LPC credential qualifies holders to counsel individuals struggling with disability and related issues. Before applying for LPC licensure, candidates must obtain a limited professional counselor license. Unlicensed professionals with sufficient experience and education may qualify for some vocational rehabilitation counseling positions.

This guide includes information about how to become a rehabilitation counselor in Michigan. The sections below detail key requirements for aspiring rehabilitation professionals and lists resources for students.

Counseling License and Career Requirements in Michigan

Explore more pathways to becoming a counselor in Michigan here

Education and Experience Requirements

To become a licensed rehabilitation counselor in Michigan, candidates must satisfy the state's education and experience requirements. This section covers the degrees, courses, and work experience candidates must complete to earn a professional counselor license.

Education and Coursework

To earn a professional counselor license in Michigan, candidates must submit official transcripts proving they hold a master's or doctoral degree in counseling or a related field. Candidates must complete at least 48 semester hours in the following core areas: career development, consulting, counseling techniques, counseling theories, counseling philosophy, group techniques, professional ethics, research methodology, multicultural counseling, and testing procedures. The master's or doctoral program must also include an internship with at least 600 hours of supervised counseling experience.

To earn a professional counselor license in Michigan, candidates must submit official transcripts proving they hold a master's or doctoral degree in counseling or a related field

The Michigan counselor board requires each candidate's university to submit a document certifying that the candidate has completed a recognized counselor training program. The candidate's master's or doctoral program should hold accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) or the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE).

Students who earn a counseling degree not accredited by CACREP or CORE can still apply for licensure so long as their programs cover all the core subject areas and include a 600-hour clinical experience.

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

Practicum and Internship

After obtaining a limited license, candidates for counseling licensure must complete substantial counseling experience. Master's degree holders must log 3,000 hours of experience within a two-year period, including at least 100 hours under direct supervision. Candidates who have completed at least 30 semester hours of post-master's work must complete 1,500 hours in one year.

Application and Exam Requirements for Michigan Rehabilitation Counselors

LPCs apply for licensure through the Michigan Board of Counseling. LPCs must first obtain a limited professional counselor license, which enables them to complete supervised work experience requirements. The certification process may vary for professionals specializing in a field, such as rehabilitation counseling.

Applying for the Limited Professional Counselor License

On the application for the limited professional counselor license, candidates must list the schools they attended, along with licenses held in other states. Additionally, applicants must reveal whether they have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. Applicants must submit official transcripts, a certification of counseling education form, and a professional disclosure statement. Candidates must include the name and license number of the LPC who will oversee their supervised counseling experiences.

After reviewing each candidate's application, the Michigan Board of Counseling requests a fingerprint report and a criminal background check.

Applying to Be a Licensed Professional Counselor

Candidates for the LPC license submit the same form and documents as those applying for the limited professional counselor license. LPC candidates must also provide scores from the national counselor examination or the certified rehabilitation counselor exam. The candidate's supervisor must submit a form verifying that the applicant has completed the necessary amount of supervised experience.

Out-of-State Rehabilitation Counselor Candidates

Professional counselors who hold licensure in another state and have practiced for at least five years can apply for a professional counselor license by endorsement. Candidates for a license by endorsement must complete an application and pay a $121.90 fee. Additionally, the Michigan Board of Counseling requires a verification of licensure from each state board that has previously issued the candidate a license.

Like applicants for initial licensure, candidates licensed in another state must submit to a fingerprint report and a criminal background check.

Rehabilitation Counselor License Maintenance and Renewal Requirements

Both limited professional counselor licenses and LPC licenses expire and must be renewed at regular intervals. The limited professional counselor license expires after one year, and renewal costs $26.50. Counselors can continue renewing their limited licenses for up to 10 years. LPC licenses lapse after three years, and renewal costs $190.80. Both licenses expire on May 31 of each year.

limited professional counselor license expires after one year and LPC licenses after three

Rehabilitation counselors can renew their licenses online through Michigan's MyLicense. Professionals must register on the website and log in using their 10-digit license/permanent ID numbers.

Resources and Organizations for Rehabilitation Counselors in Michigan

Students and practicing rehabilitation counselors can benefit from accessing field-specific resources and joining professional organizations. Professional associations in the field offer resources to help counselors network, find jobs, and explore career options. Government agencies provide information about licensing requirements and regulations. The resources below can benefit rehabilitation counseling workers and students in Michigan.

  • American Counseling Association Through ACA, rehabilitation counselors can learn about conferences, access industry publications, find continuing education programs, and search for jobs and internships. The site also offers resources related to legislative issues in counseling.
  • American Rehabilitation Counseling Association ARCA works to advance the rehabilitation counseling profession and to support counselors, students, and educators. The organization hosts workshops, training seminars, and networking events. Members can also access newsletters.
  • Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification Through this website, aspiring rehabilitation counselors can explore requirements for the certified rehabilitation counselor credential. The organization also provides information on professional ethics, continuing education, and industry research.
  • Michigan Association of Rehabilitation Professionals The state chapter of the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals serves Michigan counselors by providing education, networking opportunities, and a discussion board.
  • Michigan Board of Counseling The Michigan Board of Counseling's website offers information on license renewal, initial licensure, and counseling examinations. Website visitors can access all the forms and applications necessary to become an LPC.
  • Michigan Counseling Association Founded in 1965, MCA is the largest organization representing professional counselors in Michigan. The association offers in-person and online training and an annual conference.
  • Michigan Rehabilitation Association This organization supports Michigan's rehabilitation workers through professional development opportunities and advocacy efforts. The association hosts workshops, seminars, and training events on various rehabilitation topics.
  • National Board for Certified Counselors NBCC administers the national counselor examination. The NBCC website provides information about the exam, continuing education opportunities, state licensure requirements, and developments in the field.
  • University of Michigan School of Social Work Career Services This page features a job board, which allows students and early-career professionals to search for rehabilitation-related jobs in Michigan. Additionally, the website connects students with job search resources and strategies.

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