“Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling” In Alabama, there were over 7,700 professional counselors employed as of May 2021, with the majority specializing in educational, guidance, school, and vocational counseling. In order to provide counseling services in Alabama, you must hold a license issued by a body like the Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling.
The typical requirements for the admission procedure includes an exam, a master’s degree in a counseling program, and supervised experience. The Alabama Board of Counseling Examiners issues licenses to counselors. All LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) satisfies the requirements, such as those for education, supervision, examination, and renewal.
Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling: Different Alabama Counselor License Types
Alabama offers two different types of counseling licenses. The Associate Licensed Counselor (ALC) is the first step towards becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), which is the ultimate goal of licensure.
A master’s degree in counseling or a closely related subject and at least two years of supervised clinical practice are prerequisites for the state-recognized license known as Associate Licensed Counselor (ALC). The ALC license is temporary and enables counselors to work. However, it does not give them all of an LPC’s power. ALCs must also abide by the state’s counseling legislation and the code of ethics set by the Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling.
Having completed a master’s degree in counseling or a closely related field, having accrued at least two years of supervised clinical experience, and passing the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE), an independent practitioner is qualified to call themselves a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
An LPC is qualified to make independent counseling and mental health condition diagnoses. They must also maintain continuing education requirements and abide by all state regulations governing the practice of professional counseling.
Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling: Different Counselor Specialties in Alabama
In addition to ALCs and LPCs, Alabama also has the following kind of counselors:
- Marriage and family therapists (MFTs) are certified professionals that specialize in treating couples and families. Furthermore, They use a variety of therapeutic strategies to help clients learn how to communicate more effectively, resolve disputes, and develop healthier relationships.
- Rehabilitation counselors specialize in assisting people with impairments or chronic health issues to manage their circumstances and live meaningful lives.
- School counselors work with students in grades K-12 to enhance academic performance and social-emotional development.
- Drug misuse Counselors specialize in giving therapeutic support to those who have drug misuse difficulties or addictions.
Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling: Acceptable Degree Programs
Most levels of counseling licensing in Alabama require a master’s degree in counseling. However, the degree program should receive approval from the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), which certifies counseling programs. It ought to contain coursework in a range of subjects, such as:
- Human development and growth
- Procedure and guidance
- Psychotherapy theory
- Social pillars
- Social dynamics
- Analysis and research
While certification is not currently necessary in Alabama for substance misuse counselors practicing independently, many hold LPC or LSW licenses, which normally ask for a master’s degree in a relevant discipline.
Specific State Requirements
In addition to the above-listed criteria, becoming an LPC in Alabama requires you to complete other state-specific standards. Completing a supervised internship of at least 600 hours, submitting fingerprints for a background check, and passing the Jurisprudence Exam are all requirements.
The Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling administers the Jurisprudence Exam, which covers the state rules and regulations governing the practice of professional counseling.
In addition, all LPCs in Alabama must maintain continuing education credits in order to maintain their licensure.
Hours of Supervision
You can start accruing the 3,000 hours of supervised experience necessary to become a fully qualified LPC once you have been accepted as an ALC. Direct counseling services for individuals, families, couples, or groups should receive 2,250 of these hours. In contrast, the remaining 750 hours can be spent on indirect counseling services such as paperwork and administration.
If you have completed 15 graduate hours in counseling beyond your master’s degree, you can subtract 1,000 hours from the needed experience.
When seeking an ALC license, fill out the Proposed Plan of Supervision (PPS) form and submit it to the Alabama Board of Examiners. The PPS must include the applicant’s name, contact information, educational history, supervised experience hours, and proposed plan of supervision. The supervision must be carried out by the LPC designated in the Proposed Plan of Supervision.
A passing score on the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) is required to receive a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) license. The National Board of Certified Counselors is responsible for delivering this test. It comprises 200 multiple-choice questions designed to assess an individual’s ability, expertise, and competencies in providing effective counseling services.
You must first apply to the National Board for Certified Counselors to be considered for the NCE. Your educational background, supervisory experience, and any practical counseling experience should be included in your application.
You must submit your NCE exam results to the Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling. You can submit this online or by sending the board a copy of your official score. Once they obtain your test results, they will begin processing your application.
Conditions for Continuing Education
Every two years, licensed professional counselors (LPCs) must renew their licensure. Throughout the renewal year, the LPCs’ original license will expire on July 31. As a courtesy, LPCs will receive renewal letters and must renew their licenses within the allotted time.
You must submit your application far in advance of the license’s expiration date in order for the board to consider and approve it. You must also complete at least 40 hours of formal professional and continuing education during each renewal cycle, including at least six hours on ethical issues.
Continuing education (CE) is any type of learning that serves to maintain and enhance one’s professional knowledge, skills, and abilities. Conferences, workshops, seminars, online courses, and individual study are all examples of CE activities. Examples of CE activities include:
- Attending a mental health or addiction counseling conference
- Attending a workshop on family therapy strategies.
- Enrolling in an online professional ethics course
- Independently researching current counseling trends
To renew your ALC license, you must complete 10 hours of continuing professional education, at least two of which must be ethics-related. To obtain credit, you must present proof of completion of these hours.
When you have completed all of the renewal criteria, you must submit the proper application form and payment to the Board of Examiners in Counseling. When your application is submitted and approved, you will be awarded a new two-year license.
Alabama Counselor Salary
The typical annual compensation for educational, guidance, and vocational counselors in Alabama is $50,410, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is slightly more than the national average of $47,460.
Substance addiction and mental health counselors, on the other hand, earn significantly less, at about $44,000 per year. Everyone else in the private sector makes roughly $51,000 each year.
These figures are simply approximations, and they are greatly dependent on the county in which you choose to work. Counselors typically earn more money in bigger cities than in smaller places.