Becoming a rehabilitation counselor in New Hampshire opens the door to a rewarding career helping people with disabilities find employment, access housing, and live independently. This field requires counseling professionals with compassion, patience, and excellent communication skills. In addition to making a difference, rehabilitation counselors in New Hampshire receive competitive compensation. In fact, the central New Hampshire nonmetropolitan area ranks among the top-paying nonmetropolitan areas for rehabilitation counselors in the United States.
This guide explores how to become a rehabilitation counselor in New Hampshire. It explains the different pathways to qualifying for rehabilitation counselor jobs in the state, including state licensure as a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) or certification as a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC) from independent groups. Out-of-state rehabilitation counselors can also find useful information about how to become counselors in New Hampshire.
Continue reading to learn more about rehabilitation counseling in the Granite State.
Counseling License and Career Requirements in New HampshireExplore more pathways to becoming a counselor in New Hampshire here
Education and Experience Requirements
Rehabilitation counselors in New Hampshire must fulfill education and experience requirements to practice. Specific requirements vary depending on credential type. Rehabilitation counselors working for the state of New Hampshire do not need a certification or license, but they must demonstrate that they meet the state's education and experience requirements.
Education and Coursework
All rehabilitation counselors in New Hampshire need at least a bachelor's degree, with many positions requiring a master's. The education requirements for rehabilitation counseling professionals in the state vary by credential.
New Hampshire hires rehabilitation counselors without requiring them to hold a specific license or certification. State hires may need to meet education and experience requirements specific to their position type and level.
All rehabilitation counselors in New Hampshire need at least a bachelor's degree, with many positions requiring a master's
Rehabilitation counselors in New Hampshire can pursue the CRC credential from the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. CRC eligibility requires a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling or a related field. New Hampshire rehabilitation counselors can pursue an LMHC license. LMHC requirements go beyond those for rehabilitation counselors, but they also open the door to additional opportunities.
LMHCs need a clinical mental health master's degree from a program holding accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). This degree comprises 60 semester hours of graduate coursework. Applicants with degrees in other fields or from non-accredited programs must meet additional requirements. LMHCs must demonstrate completion of coursework in board-required areas.
Interested in pursuing an education in school counseling? Check out the following pages to explore available academic programs by level:
Practicum and Internship
LMHCs must complete 3,000 hours of supervised post-master's practice over the course of two years. Supervisors must be LMHCs. As part of their master's programs, aspiring CRCs must complete a 600-hour internship under the supervision of an on-site CRC.
Application and Exam Requirements for New Hampshire Rehabilitation Counselors
In addition to education and experience requirements, rehabilitation counselors in New Hampshire seeking licensure or certification must meet additional requirements. This includes successfully completing an exam and providing all required application materials. State hires who do not need specific credentials may need to meet additional requirements to qualify for employment.
LMHCs in New Hampshire must pass the National Board for Certified Counselors' national clinical mental health counseling examination. The test includes 10 clinical simulations covering multiple competencies in mental health counseling. Prospective LMHCs must submit the following application materials:
- Completed application, photograph, and resume
- Supervised clinical experience form
- Supervisor's confirmation of clinical experience form
- Professional reference form from supervisor
- Three professional references
- Documentation of passing the NCMHCE
- Criminal offender record report
- Application fee
CRCs must successfully complete the CRC exam. This four-hour exam tests applicants in 12 content areas, including professional orientation and ethical practice; counseling theories, techniques, and evidence-based practice; and group and family counseling. Depending on their education and experience backgrounds, applicants may need to meet additional requirements. Required application materials include:
- Official transcripts
- Internship documentation
- Coursework documentation
- Certification fee
Out-of-State Rehabilitation Counselor Candidates
Out-of-state rehabilitation counselors who want to work in New Hampshire with an LMHC license must submit verification forms from other jurisdictions where they hold or have held licenses. The forms must be signed and sealed by the states in question. New Hampshire does not participate in reciprocity agreements with other states, but it approves licensure for out-of-state applicants if they hold what the board considers an equivalent license.
Rehabilitation Counselor License Maintenance and Renewal Requirements
LMHCs in New Hampshire must renew their licenses with the State of New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice every two years. The state's renewal application asks applicants to answer eight questions about anything that may have changed since their last renewal. Applicants must also pay a $270 renewal fee.
LMHCs in New Hampshire must renew their licenses with the State of New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice every two years
The board requires renewal candidates to mail in their applications and fees. The renewal process takes up to two weeks. LMHCs must complete 40 continuing education credits every two years to qualify for re-licensure. The board accepts continuing education credits approved by board-specified national organizations.
Resources and Organizations for Rehabilitation Counselors in New Hampshire
Students, recent graduates, and experienced professionals can find helpful information about the rehabilitation counseling profession in the following list of resources and organizations. The list includes links to websites with job postings, career advice, licensure and credentialing information, and professional publications and news.
- American Rehabilitation Counseling Association ARCA comprises counseling professionals, students, and educators who work with people with disabilities. The association offers a newsletter, conferences, public policy efforts, and a student task force.
- Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification Students can apply for a voluntary CRC certification demonstrating education and experience with rehabilitation counseling. They also must pass the CRC exam. This website provides certification information and resources.
- International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals-New England IARP's New England chapter serves rehabilitation professionals throughout the region. The group offers professional development and networking opportunities to its members.
- National Rehabilitation Association Dating back to 1923, NRA supports people with disabilities and the professionals who work with them through advocacy, education, and research efforts.
- New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice NHBMHP establishes licensing standards for mental health professionals in New Hampshire. The board's website includes information about licensure rules, deadlines, and applications.
- New Hampshire Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation The state Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation provides rehabilitation services to residents with disabilities. The website offers information about New Hampshire's services and programs. Students can also find information and resources about vocational rehabilitation counselor training.
- New Hampshire Mental Health Counselors Association NHMHCA advocates for professional mental health counselors in New Hampshire. The association offers licensing help, local events, networking opportunities, and reduced rate continuing education courses.
- Rehabilitation Counselors, Occupational Outlook Handbook The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers job outlook information for rehabilitation counselors here. They can find median pay information, state and area data, and typical work environment descriptions.
- Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Training and Resources The New Hampshire Department of Education offers vocational rehabilitation counselor training and resources. This includes counselor competencies, the Rehabilitation Act, and state rules.
- Vocational Rehabilitation Information from the New Hampshire Department of Labor This website describes the vocational rehabilitation services available to New Hampshire residents. It includes laws and rules, frequently asked questions, and links to related resources.