How to Become a Rehabilitation Counselor in Oregon

Rehabilitation counselors assist clients with mental, physical, and developmental disabilities. They create treatment plans to promote independence, connect clients with resources, and provide counseling support. Oregon requires rehabilitation counselors to hold a professional license. Over 1,600 rehabilitation counselors work in Oregon, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Oregon counseling requirements include a master's degree in counseling, supervised clinical experience, and passing test scores.

The Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists grants professional counselor licenses in Oregon. Candidates for a counseling license must complete the licensure process and renew their license by meeting continuing education requirements. This guide covers how to become a rehabilitation counselor in Oregon.

Counseling License and Career Requirements in Oregon

Explore more pathways to becoming a counselor in Oregon here

Education and Experience Requirements

In Oregon, the Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists issues counseling licenses. This section covers the experience and education requirements for licensure.

Education and Coursework

All licensed professional counselors must hold a master's degree or higher from a counseling program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. The curriculum must include at least two semester credits (or three quarter credits) in the diagnosis of mental disorders.

All licensed professional counselors must hold a master's degree or higher

The board also accepts counseling graduate degrees from institutions accredited by a regional accrediting agency that meet programmatic requirements. Coursework requirements include classes in counseling theory, helping relationships, career development, and diagnosis of individuals. Candidates can meet deficiencies in coursework requirements by completing additional classes at a regionally accredited institution.

In addition, the graduate program must include a supervised clinical practicum or internship that includes at least 700 hours, with a minimum of 280 direct client contact hours. The practicum must take place under a qualified supervisor, include records of student-client contact hours with a summary of student progress, and provide a mechanism for program evaluation. Applicants can complete additional supervised experience hours after graduating or by demonstrating a minimum of five years of full-time, post-degree clinical experience.

Prospective counselors must also pass a national examination approved by the state. You can learn more about counseling degrees and career paths by visiting this site.

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

Practicum and Internship

In addition to the 700-hour practicum requirement, counselors must complete 2,400 supervised direct client contact hours for licensure; at least 2,000 of these hours must occur after an individual has earned their counseling degree. All licensure applicants must complete at least three years of supervised clinical counseling experience.

Application and Exam Requirements for Oregon Rehabilitation Counselors

Licensure candidates must submit an application to the Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists. On the application, candidates provide information about their qualifying degree and any state licenses or national certifications they hold.

Rehabilitation counselors in Oregon also need to earn passing scores on a board-approved competency exam. Before taking the exam, applicants must submit a licensure application and meet the education requirements. Oregon accepts scores from the following exams:

  • National Counselor Examination
  • National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination
  • Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Examination

Candidates must request an official exam score verification from the exam service. After candidates meet the testing requirement, they must take the Oregon Law and Rules examination, which consists of 33 questions. All candidates must pay a $216.25 application fee.

Out-of-state Rehabilitation Counselor Candidates

Oregon offers reciprocity for counselors licensed in other states. The reciprocity method requires an application (including a $216.25 application fee), verification of a license from another state, verification of passing scores on one of the required national examinations, a professional disclosure statement, and official college transcripts. Candidates must also undergo a criminal background check and provide graduate degree information.

The board reviews applications for out-of-state licensed counselors to determine whether they meet Oregon counseling license standards. Candidates can substitute five or more years of licensure for some of Oregon's education and experience requirements.

Rehabilitation Counselor License Maintenance and Renewal Requirements

Licensed professional counselors in Oregon must renew their license annually. Renewal deadlines fall in a counselor's birth month. To renew their license, counselors must submit a renewal form, which includes character and fitness questions. Candidates for renewal must also complete 40 hours of continuing education, including at least six hours of professional ethics training and four hours of training in cultural competency. Renewal applications must also include a professional disclosure statement and a completed healthcare workforce data questionnaire. Counselors also pay a $167 renewal fee.

Licensed professional counselors in Oregon must renew their license annually

Resources and Organizations for Rehabilitation Counselors in Oregon

Oregon rehabilitation counseling students and professionals can benefit from joining professional organizations. These organizations offer networking opportunities, professional development resources, and research tools. Additional resources, such as Oregon's government programs and services for rehabilitation, help counselors support their clients.

  • American Rehabilitation Counseling Association ARCA — a national organization for rehabilitation counselors — hosts chapters for counseling students and offers professional development tools. The association also hosts conferences and events.
  • Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification An independent, nonprofit organization, CRCC develops standards for rehabilitation counselors. The commission also grants the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor credential.
  • National Rehabilitation Association Founded in 1923, NRA is a national member organization for rehabilitation counselors, researchers, and educators. The association publishes a journal; hosts regional chapters; and runs divisional organizations dedicated to independent living, disability specialists, and multicultural rehabilitation concerns.
  • Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists This board licenses counselors in Oregon and provides information on the licensure process, continuing education requirements, and renewal.
  • Oregon Counseling Association ORCA hosts professional development and educational events, advocates for Oregon counselors, and hosts an annual conference with networking opportunities. The association also posts job openings for Oregon counselor positions.
  • Oregon Department of Human Services Oregon's DHS runs programs for people with physical and developmental disabilities, including long-term and in-home care. DHS also provides information on licensing for facilities and resources for providers.
  • Oregon State Rehabilitation Council In Oregon, the SRC develops, implements, and assesses the state's rehabilitation services. SRC also provides reports, data, and resources on rehabilitation services in Oregon.
  • Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Within DHS, the Vocational Rehabilitation office helps Oregonians with disabilities secure employment. For example, the office helps people access services to improve their employment success.
  • Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Resources These resources include information for certified rehabilitation counselors, such as specialized rehabilitation training programs, certification opportunities, and rehabilitation training materials.
  • Oregon Work Incentives Counseling Services A department within DHS, Work Incentives Counseling Services supports people with disabilities by providing assistance, counseling, and other resources.

Explore More Pathways to Becoming a Counselor in Oregon

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