How to Become a Rehabilitation Counselor in Minnesota

Rehabilitation counseling is an ideal career choice for students who want to help physically, mentally, and developmentally disabled people achieve independence. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects nationwide employment for rehabilitation counselors to increase 13% from 2016-2026, making now a great time to become a rehabilitation counselor in Minnesota.

Aspiring rehabilitation counseling professionals can pursue several career paths. You can earn a national rehabilitation counseling or disability management certification to be eligible to apply for state registration as a qualified rehabilitation consultant (QRC). These counselors specialize in workman's compensation and vocational rehabilitation. Students interested in rehabilitation counseling can become a licensed professional counselor (LPC) or licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC).

This guide provides information on how to become a rehabilitation counselor in Minnesota. The sections below detail the major educational, testing, and internship requirements for the QRC, LPC, and LPCC credentials.

Counseling License and Career Requirements in Minnesota

Explore more pathways to becoming a counselor in Minnesota here

Education and Experience Requirements

To practice as a rehabilitation counselor in Minnesota, professionals must satisfy educational and experience requirements. The following sections explore the degrees, coursework, and professional experience required to become an LPC, LPCC, or QRC in Minnesota.

Education and Coursework

To become licensed as an LPC or LPCC, students must hold a master's or doctoral degree in a counseling-related field. The program must hold accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs or another accrediting body recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. The program must comprise at least 48 semester hours (72 quarter hours) and must include a 700-hour supervised field experience.

To become licensed as an LPC or LPCC, students must hold a master's or doctoral degree in a counseling-related field

Aspiring LPCs and LPCCs must complete coursework in 10 core content areas: the helping relationship; human growth and development; lifestyle and career development; group dynamics, processes, counseling, and consulting; assessment and appraisal; social and cultural foundations; principles of etiology, treatment planning, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders; family counseling and therapy; research and evaluation; and professional ethics.

In addition, LPCC candidates must earn credits in clinical fields such as clinical treatment planning and clinical intervention methods.

To work as a qualified rehabilitation consultant, professionals must hold certification from either the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification or the Certification of Disability Management Specialists Commission. The former certification requires a graduate degree in counseling or current enrollment in a graduate program, while the latter requires a bachelor's degree in any discipline.

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

Practicum and Internship

LPCs must complete at least 2,000 hours of supervised professional practice. They may do so before licensure or after licensure, as long as they submit a supervision plan. LPCCs must have at least 4,000 hours of post-master's supervised practice in diagnosing and treating mental issues, including at least 1,800 hours of clinical contact. QRCs participate in an internship lasting 1-3 years.

Application and Exam Requirements for Minnesota Rehabilitation Counselors

The Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy handles licensure for LPCs and LPCCs, while the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry registers QRCs. The following sections explore the application and exam requirements for these credentials. Some specializations, such as licensed alcohol and drug counselor, require a different licensure process and unique qualifications.

Licensed Professional Counselor Candidates

LPC candidates must pass a recognized national examination, such as the certified rehabilitation counselor examination. The exam comprises 175 multiple-choice questions, and test takers must complete the exam within 3.5 hours. LPC candidates must agree to a fingerprint-based background check and must pay a $150 application fee, a $250 licensure fee, and a $33.25 background check fee.

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Candidates

LPCC candidates must be at least 18 years old and of good moral character. LPCC candidates must undergo a fingerprint-based background check, which costs $33.25. They also pay a $150 application fee and a $250 initial licensure fee. LPCC candidates must pass the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination.

Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant Candidates

QRC candidates must pass the certified rehabilitation counselor examination or the certified disability management specialist certification exam.

Out-of-State Rehabilitation Counselor Candidates

Candidates who hold a counselor licensure from a different state can transfer their license to Minnesota, provided their current license is similar to Minnesota's LPC or LPCC license. If a counselor licensed in another state did not need to complete 2,000 hours of supervised practice, they must do so to earn a Minnesota LPC license.

Likewise, LPCCs from other states must complete 4,000 clinical hours prior to receiving Minnesota licensure. The Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy provides information about approved out-of-state licenses at the LPC and LPCC levels.

Rehabilitation Counselor License Maintenance and Renewal Requirements

LPCs and LPCCs receive mailed renewal notices no less than 45 days before they need to renew their license. As long as counselors send their renewal application before the deadline, they can practice after their license has expired. Counselors must submit a signed renewal application and a fee.

LPCs and LPCCs receive mailed renewal notices no less than 45 days before they need to renew their license

Counselors must complete at least 12 additional postgraduate credits within their first four years of licensure. During the same time frame, counselors must log 40 hours of approved continuing education activities. After the first four years of licensure, LPCs and LPCCs must complete 40 continuing education hours every two years.

Resources and Organizations for Rehabilitation Counselors in Minnesota

Rehabilitation counselors and students can take advantage of online and in-person resources to help them find jobs, learn about licensure, and connect with professionals in the field. The list below includes useful websites and organizations for counselors in Minnesota and across the United States.

  • American Counseling Association This organization serves professional counselors working in a variety of specializations and settings. ACA helps members stay apprised of ethical standards, legislative news, and counseling industry developments. The organization also offers career tips and continuing education.
  • American Rehabilitation Counseling Association ARCA is a professional organization that connects rehabilitation counseling students, educators, and practitioners. Members can learn about research in the field, access professional development resources, and attend conferences.
  • Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification This website helps aspiring rehabilitation counselors learn about the certified rehabilitation counselor credential. Site visitors can also find continuing education opportunities, ethics resources, industry research, and information on advocacy efforts.
  • The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development operates this website. Future rehabilitation counselors can upload a resume and browse job openings from organizations in the state.
  • Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy The Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy oversees the licensure process for LPCs and LPCCs. Through the Minnesota counselor board, aspiring professional counselors can learn about continuing education and application requirements, temporary permits, and renewal.
  • Minnesota Counseling Association This local chapter of the American Counseling Association supports Minnesota's professional counselors through networking and education resources. Members receive access to newsletters with information about events and job openings.
  • Minnesota ELicensing This government-operated website provides information about the nearly 700 licenses, permits, certifications, and registrations that the state government issues through 47 agencies. Professionals can explore requirements for various counseling credentials.
  • Minnesota Psychological Association This professional organization serves the state's mental health professionals and students. The association provides continuing education, events, and mentorship opportunities. Members also benefit from resources on legal and ethical issues.
  • Minnesota Rehabilitation Counselors and Educators Association MRCEA is the Minnesota chapter of the National Rehabilitation Counselors and Educators Association. The organization helps counselors learn about training options and professional standards in the field.
  • Minnesota State CAREERwise The Workforce Development Department of Minnesota State publishes this website, which offers information about career paths, education requirements, and professional licenses. Website visitors can learn about how to enter the rehabilitation counseling field in Minnesota.

Explore More Pathways to Becoming a Counselor in Minnesota

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