Wyoming uses two levels of licensure for counseling professionals. While fulfilling supervised practice requirements, aspiring counselors hold a provisional professional counselor (PPC) credential. Once an individual completes all practice requirements, including those related to their education, supervised work experience, and examinations, they can become a licensed professional counselor (LPC).
The information below serves as a guide to counselor licensure in Wyoming. If at any point on your pathway to licensure you have questions, feel free to contact the Wyoming Mental Health Professions Licensing Board directly.
Counseling Careers in Wyoming
Before worrying about how to become a licensed counselor in Wyoming, you should figure out what type of counseling career you want to pursue. Licensed counselors can choose from a variety of exciting and fulfilling careers. Although different types of counselors work with different populations or in varying environments, they all help people overcome mental, emotional, and/or behavioral problems to live happier and healthier lives. The following list describes some of the careers available to counselors. Counseling requirements in Wyoming remain the same, regardless of the type of counseling career you choose to pursue.
- Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors: Professionals in this position provide counseling services related to education and vocational guidance to individuals and groups. A typical day includes one-on-one career or academic counseling in a school environment, often with children and young adults.
- Marriage and Family Therapists: These therapists diagnose and treat emotional and mental problems in the context of marriages or family systems. They use psychotherapy to provide services to couples, families, and individuals.
- Rehabilitation Counselors: People who work as rehabilitation counselors help individuals dealing with a variety of disabilities. They help people better manage their daily lives and often provide services to individuals living at care or treatment facilities.
- Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors: Professionals who specialize in this area counsel individuals and families dealing with substance abuse, behavioral problems, and/or a variety of mental health disorders.
|Occupation||Average Salary in Wyoming|
|Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors||$54,580|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||$63,250|
|Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors||$56,850|
Other Professionals Who Can Be Licensed as Counselors
In Wyoming, mental health and rehabilitation counselors hold the same type of license. Art therapists can also apply for a counseling license, provided they meet the same counselor requirements.
Education Requirements for Counselors
A graduate-level education is the foundation for earning a license as a professional counselor. Generally, you should enroll in a program that holds accreditation from either CACREP or the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE).
Other programs may be acceptable if they meet similar standards. For example, a program should be housed in a school that holds institutional-level accreditation through an agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Transcripts and other course materials should indicate that your coursework was designed to prepare you for a career in professional counseling. Instructors should possess qualifications on a par with those who teach at CACREP-accredited institutions.
You need to complete at least 48 semester hours (or 72 quarter hours) of coursework by taking classes that develop each of the following competency areas:
- Human growth and development
- Social and cultural diversity
- Helping relationships
- Group work
- Career development
- Research and program evaluation
- Ethical practice and professional orientation
You also need to complete practicum, internship, and/or other supervised experiences as part of your educational program.
If your program was not accredited by CACREP or CORE, you need to fill out a transcript evaluation worksheet when you apply for licensure. Visit this site to find the transcript evaluation form and application forms. You may complete post-degree coursework if your graduate program did not meet all of these requirements. To learn more about selecting the right master's in counseling program, feel free to visit this website.
Online Counseling Programs in Wyoming
Students interested in becoming a counselor or therapist in Wyoming can pursue multiple academic opportunities online that fulfill the state's counseling licensure requirements. The University of Wyoming offers two master's degrees in counseling through its distance education program in mental health counseling and school counseling. Both degree tracks take three years of online study to complete.
Additionally, Casper College offers an online associate degree in addictionology, which represents a good starting place for students interested in working as substance abuse counselors. Wyoming residents can also pursue online counseling programs in other states. Many distance programs charge the same tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students.
Earning a counseling degree online can provide numerous benefits to students, including increased convenience, flexibility, comfort, and affordability. Distance education offers students the ability to study, attend class, and do coursework at their convenience. Because learners need not spend time regularly commuting to campus, they can more easily maintain work and/or family commitments while attending school. Online learners also avoid paying costs related to parking, commuting, and on-campus housing.
How Do You Become a Counselor in Wyoming?
Depending on the requirements you have met and your level of experience, you need to download and fill out a different application packet. There is one packet used to apply for provisional status and one for converting from provisional to professional status. An application packet is also available for counselors seeking licensure by reciprocity. Click here to find all the application forms you need, as well as any additional material.
You need to obtain a professional disclosure statement at all stages of practice. You also need to document that you reside in the U.S. lawfully. Supplemental materials should be sent directly to the state board. To apply for provisional status, you also need to submit three professional references.
The fees you need to pay depend on your type of license and your application method. Make checks out to "State of Wyoming." Additionally, when converting from provisional status to full LPC status, you need to revise your disclosure statement and return your provisional ID.
To receive Wyoming counseling licensure, you must pay certain licensing fees. For example, to become a licensed professional counselor, Wyoming requires that aspiring professionals submit a $350 application fee. However, the fee to become a provisional professional counselor in the state is lower. Counselors in Wyoming must also pay regular renewal fees. If you lose your license and need to order a replacement, you must submit a nominal fee. Don't forget to include payment when you submit your application.
|Licensed Professional Counselor||$350|
|Provisional Professional Counselor||$150|
|Licensed Professional Counselor Renewal||$125|
|Duplicate or Replacement License||$10 (pocket card) or $20 (wall certificate)|
The Licensing Exam
When fulfilling requirements for counseling licensure in Wyoming, you must sit for one of three licensing exams: the National Counselor Examination (NCE), the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE), or the national certification examination administered by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC).
The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) offers both the NCE and NCMHCE. The NCE is a general licensing and certification exam for professional counselors. You may take the NCE as a student before graduation if you attend a CACREP-accredited school and plan to pursue national certification. Otherwise, you can apply after receiving your master's degree.
NCMHCE Exam for Mental Health Counselors
The NCMHCE is designed especially for mental health counselors. The candidate handbook for state credential can be found here. Feel free to contact the state board for specific registration information; NBCC contact information for the state of Wyoming is available here.
CRCC Exam for Rehabilitation Counselors
The CRCC exam is designed for rehabilitation counselors, although multiple eligibility categories exist. The exam is currently offered in March, July, and October, and application deadlines fall approximately five months before the testing dates. The exam is administered at more than 300 centers across the U.S. and Canada.
Scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to the state board. Individuals can attempt to pass this examination up to three times, although a fourth attempt is sometimes allowed if a candidate has a remediation plan.
Supervised Experience Requirements
To earn an LPC credential, you need to obtain at least 3,000 hours of supervised work experience. At least 100 of these hours must be fulfilled through individual or triadic supervision. Supervision is to be uniformly distributed over an 18-36-month period.
Normally, supervised experience is accrued after graduating from a master's program. However, if you earned your provisional license before January 2, 2011, you may receive credit for supervised experience you did as part of your educational program.
As an aspiring counselor, you work under a supervision agreement while completing practice requirements. Your license may be issued without this agreement, but it must be in place before you can provide clinical services.
At the end of your supervision period, your supervisor needs to fill out a verification and evaluation form. They rate your performance in several areas and make a recommendation to the board. The board sends this form directly to your supervisor. You continue to work under supervision until you receive your full professional license.
Out-of-State Counselor Candidates
You can apply for Wyoming licensure by reciprocity if you hold a license in another state that uses substantially similar requirements. As part of the application process, you need to submit a license verification to any board or agency where you previously held a license. The fee for reciprocal licensing is $300.
License Maintenance and Renewal
As a professional counselor in Wyoming, you need to renew your counseling license every two years; the expiration date is your birthday. Additionally, you must complete at least 45 hours of continuing education (CE) during each renewal period. At least three of these CE hours must relate to professional ethics.
You should provide information about your CE experiences on your renewal form; also, make sure to retain CE-related documentation in case the state board decides to audit you.
Continuing Education Opportunities for Counselors in Wyoming
- Wyoming Counseling Association: Counselors in Wyoming can find an extensive array of classes, workshops, and other educational experiences that meet licensing requirements through this NBCC-approved CE provider. One of the best CE opportunities each year happens at WCA's annual conference in Casper. Counselors earn CE credits for learning about topics like EMDR, supporting bereaved patients, and helping clients after unexpected career transitions.
- At Health: Professional counselors in Wyoming can choose from more than 20 online CE courses related to ethics through At Health's website. Counselors complete CE credits on their own time and at their own pace. Available courses include ethical and legal issues in psychotherapy; privacy, confidentiality, and privileged communication; and ethics: receiving gifts from clients.
- Aspira Continuing Education: Professional counselors in Wyoming can earn online CE credits through Aspira. These CE courses cover a variety of topics, including childhood traumatic grief, anger management: cognitive behavioral therapy, national strategy for suicide prevention, and understanding the impact of trauma and urban poverty in family systems.
Resources for Counselors
- Wyoming Mental Health Professions Licensing Board: Counselors can use the board's website to find information about licensing requirements, fees, forms, renewals, supervision, and license verification. Individuals also apply for Wyoming counseling licensure through the board's website.
- Psychology Today - Therapists in Wyoming: Psychology Today maintains a directory of therapists in Wyoming. Counseling students and counselors can consult this list to find potential supervisors or professionals to network with.
- Wyoming Counseling Services: Counselors, therapists, and students can find employment or internship opportunities through WCS. This group also offers family, group, individual, and marital counseling services. Its specialties include play therapy, addiction, panic disorder, parenting, and depression.
- University of Wyoming - University Counseling Center: UW's counseling center provides group and individual counseling, outreach programs, and graduate training. Students can find internship and training opportunities, and professionals can access CE classes and look for employment offers.
- Central Wyoming Counseling Center: CWCC focuses on behavioral healthcare, offering intensive treatment, recovery support services, and residential programs. Students can find internships at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels, as well as volunteer opportunities.
Professional Organizations for Counselors
- Wyoming Counseling Association: WCA -- a branch of the American Counseling Association -- promotes the counseling profession throughout Wyoming. Some of its offerings include job postings, a mentorship program, CE classes, an annual conference, and networking opportunities. WCA also helps professional counselors in Wyoming stay up to date on current issues in the profession.
- American Counseling Association: The world's biggest professional counseling organization, ACA advocates for the profession, promotes professional development, and works to protect individuals who use counseling services. ACA also offers professional counselors CE opportunities, a career portal, an annual conference, and listservs for professional networking.
- American Mental Health Counselors Association: AMHCA represents professional licensed clinical mental health counselors nationwide. The group advocates for the profession and promotes education related to mental health counseling. The organization also offers a career center, CE opportunities, and online publications and research.