Licensed counselors in Vermont work in schools, healthcare facilities, private practice, and agencies. Vermont counselors need a master's degree along with supervised practice experience. They also must pass two examinations.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 23% increase in therapist and counselor jobs nationwide through 2026 and lists the mean salary for Vermont mental health counselors as $41,160 per year. The state boasts the country's fourth-highest job concentration.
Read on for more information about counseling licensure and how to become a counselor in Vermont, including potential careers, salaries, and education and licensing requirements.
Counseling Careers in Vermont
Vermont counselors help students and job seekers; couples and families; and people with disabilities, mental health disorders, and addictions. Continue reading for more details about potential counseling positions and their duties, along with links to additional resources about these careers and the certification procedures.
School, Guidance, Vocational, and Educational Counselors
Marriage and Family Therapists
Marriage and family therapists provide counseling for couples and families experiencing challenges. They treat disorders through therapy sessions with individuals, couples, and families.Explore Career Information
Rehabilitation counselors help clients with physical, mental, and developmental disabilities live and work independently. Rehabilitation counselors often work in senior centers, rehabilitation centers, and veterans hospitals.Explore Career Information Explore Vermont Rehabilitation Counselor Certification
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorders Counselor
Professionals in this field prevent and treat many different types of mental disorders, including substance abuse, depression, and anxiety. These counselors often work with families or groups.Explore Career Information Explore Vermont Substance Abuse Counselor Certification
Mental Health Counselors
Mental health counselors work in private practice, inpatient or outpatient facilities, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and schools. They help their patients overcome mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, and chronic stress, often via a long-term treatment plan. These professionals may specialize in addiction, trauma, or youth services.Explore Career Information
How Much Do Counselors Make in Vermont?
The chart below details the salaries Vermont counselors earn compared with those in the United States as a whole. School, guidance, vocational, and educational counselors earn the most money, and rehabilitation counselors in Vermont make a higher median salary than the median U.S. pay.
The BLS combines wage data for substance abuse, behavioral, and mental health counselors, but variation may occur among those practice areas.
Education Requirements for Counselors in Vermont
Education and Coursework
All Vermont counselors need a master's in counseling or a related degree to become licensed. Students graduating from programs boasting accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) automatically receive licensing approval. Two MS degree programs at the University of Vermont — clinical mental health counseling and school counseling — hold CACREP accreditation.
All Vermont counselors need a master's in counseling or a related degree to become licensed
Students must earn at least 60 graduate credits and complete 700 hours of supervised counseling experience. Those with degrees for non-CACREP programs must meet Vermont licensure board requirements that include three credits in diagnosis, assessment, and treatment, along with three credits in at least five of the following subjects: counseling skills, counseling theories, groups, human growth and development, measurement, professional orientation and ethics, and treatment modalities.
In addition, non-CACREP graduates must earn three credits in research and evaluation, multicultural studies, and career development and lifestyle appraisal, plus three credits in two of the following: addictive disorders; crisis intervention; human sexuality; marriage, couple, and family counseling; and psychopharmacology.
The state requires licensing candidates to pass two exams offered by the National Board for Certified Counselors: the National Counselor Examination, which students attending CACREP-accredited programs may take prior to graduation, and the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination, which everyone takes after degree completion.
Practicum and Internship
The Vermont licensing board requires a minimum of two years and 3,000 hours of supervised counseling experience. At least 100 hours must consist of in-person supervision from a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, or similarly trained professional, outside of the licensing candidate's workplace. Individual mentorship comprises at least 50 hours.
Online Counseling Programs in Vermont
CACREP-accredited online programs do not exist in Vermont, but out-of-state CACREP-accredited online program graduates receive automatic approval to apply for a license from the Vermont licensure board.
The Vermont board also entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with qualified mental health counseling online/hybrid programs, in which the board automatically approves the curricula. These schools include Southern New Hampshire University, Springfield College, and Antioch University. Southern New Hampshire and Antioch also hold CACREP accreditation.
These out-of-state programs offer online coursework, but candidates complete their required internship and clinical hours in person.
Counselor License Maintenance and Renewal in Vermont
The Secretary of State's Office of Professional Regulation emails renewal notices six weeks before the expiration date. Counselors can access their accounts and apply for renewal online.
Counselor licenses expire every two years. Renewal requires individuals to complete 40 approved continuing education hours during each two-year cycle, including four professional ethics hours.
The next section lists organizations that offer courses, conferences, and workshops where Vermont counselors can fulfill their continuing education requirements, with some courses offered via a distance learning platform.
Continuing Education Opportunities for Counselors in Vermont
- Healthcare Training Institute The Healthcare Training Institute provides continuing education units approved by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). The institute offers online courses in various mental health fields, including counseling and marriage and family therapy. Counselors can opt for video and audio courses in topics such as couples' therapy, anger management, and ethical boundaries.
- Brattleboro Retreat Founded in 1834, Brattleboro Retreat is a mental health center that treats a variety of conditions, including addiction, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. The center hosts continuing education conferences for mental health professionals in the area. These workshops inform counselors about recent research findings in addiction and mental health care.
- University of Vermont Graduate Counseling Program Counselors may choose to complete their continuing education requirements through graduate-level counseling courses. The University of Vermont's MS in counseling prepares students for work in a variety of healthcare settings, including schools and mental health facilities. Students may opt for either the school counseling or the mental health counseling track.
Resources and Professional Organizations for Counselors in Vermont
- Vermont Board of Allied Mental Health Vermont's Board of Allied Mental Health oversees counselor licensure in the state. Through its website, counselors and counseling students can learn about requirements, review renewal laws, and access forms.
- NBCC Examinations Through this website, counseling students can locate important information about the two counseling exams necessary for licensure in Vermont. Students can also access study guides and order their scores.
- NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Providers This page serves as a directory for continuing education opportunities and providers approved by the NBCC. Counselors can browse opportunities or search for providers by name, location, or education format.
- American Association of State Counseling Boards This organization offers information on laws, regulations, and ethical matters relevant to counselors and state counseling boards. Counselors can view newsletters and a directory of state counseling boards.
- Vermont Department of Mental Health This department seeks to improve the mental health and well-being of Vermonters. Through this site, counselors and counseling students can learn about events, healthcare providers, and the overall state of mental health in Vermont.
- Vermont Mental Health Counselors Association The Vermont Mental Health Counselors Association is the state's chapter of the American Mental Health Counselors Association. The group advocates on behalf of Vermont's licensed counselors, hosts continuing education and professional development workshops, and publishes newsletters about field developments. The organization also provides free ethics advice to members.
- American Counseling Association Founded in 1932, the American Counseling Association supports mental health professionals in the U.S. through advocacy and professional development opportunities. The association also promotes ethical standards and culturally inclusive practices within the counseling field. Members gain access to a job center, an annual conference, and free online courses.
- Vermont Psychological Association The Vermont affiliate of the American Psychological Association serves as one of the main professional organizations for psychologists and other mental health professionals in the state. Founded in 1950, the association strives to support the advancement of psychology in Vermont and to improve the mental health and well-being of Vermonters.