What Degree Do You Need to Be a Counselor in New York?

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What Degree Do You Need to Be a Counselor in New York?

New York is the third most populous state and home to the most populous city in the United States. For almost two centuries, New York has been a melting pot of unimaginable diversity. Both in terms of people, via Ellis Island, and commodities and the cultures they represent, via the Erie Canal. A diverse range of cultures and values are represented among New York’s millions of residents. Future certified professional counselors can rest assured that the specific challenges represented by the people of New York will never be exhausted. A Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) is guaranteed a stimulating career after meeting the educational, exam, and experience standards specified by New York’s Mental Health Practitioners Unit.

Counselors assist people in coping with problems such as loss, interpersonal difficulties, and trauma, as well as behaviors that might come from mental illnesses. If you want to be a counselor, studying how to become a counselor will help you get started on your career path. We present a career description, tasks, income, and abilities for a counselor in this post, as well as actions you can take to become a counselor.

So, What Exactly Is a Counselor?

A counselor is a mental health practitioner who assists people in dealing with mental health concerns and problems that may emerge in daily life. They can specialize in a variety of areas to better support clients who are dealing with specific challenges or life events. Counselors can specialize in the following areas:

Career guidance: Career counselors can assist their clients in resolving workplace issues or in finding a career that matches their personality and goals.

Addiction counseling: A counselor who specializes in addiction counseling can assist clients in dealing with their addictive tendencies.

Marriage and family counseling: A marriage and family counselor can assist people in improving their relationships.

School counselors: In addition to fulfilling other administrative functions, they can help children deal with pressures at school.

Mental health therapy: A counselor who specializes in mental health counseling can assist clients suffering from mental illnesses in addressing their habits, behaviors, and symptoms.

What Exactly Does a Counselor Do?

A counselor’s responsibilities are as follows:
-Make counseling appointments for your clients.
-Observations and interactions are used to evaluate clients.
-During counseling sessions, pay attention to the patients.
-Facilitate discussions among multiple clients.
-Diagnose and treat mental illnesses such as depression and hyperactivity.
-Collaborate with patients to set goals for counseling.
-Clients should be educated on coping methods.
-Provide clients with mental health and wellness resources.
-Make plans to assist clients in achieving their counseling objectives.
-Keep track of your patient’s mental health and progress toward their goals.
-Coordination with other health care providers is required to guarantee that clients’ requirements are satisfied.
-Handle the insurance and payments for the clients.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Counselor?

The plethora of possible practices that await New York state’s future counselors is just astounding. They could find themselves practicing in the quiet streets of Green port, Long Island, or in the buzz and bustle of Manhattan. There are few areas on the planet that are as diverse as New York State. Regardless of where an CALM certified counselor chooses to assist the people of New York, they will have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to live up to the AC’s code of empowering “diverse individuals, families, and groups to achieve mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.”

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

Earning a bachelor’s degree is the first step in becoming a counselor. This procedure could take up to four years to complete. The majority of universities do not provide bachelor’s degrees in counseling. The following are some popular bachelor’s degrees for aspiring counselors:

Psychology: A bachelor’s degree in psychology can provide you with a solid understanding of human behavior that you can apply to a counseling job.

Education: As a counselor, you can get a bachelor’s degree in education to understand how to teach people new abilities.

Sociology: A bachelor’s degree in sociology can teach you about typical social problems, which you can then apply to a counseling vocation.

Social work: A bachelor’s degree in social work will provide you with the interpersonal skills required for a counseling vocation.

Human services: An undergraduate degree in human services can teach you how to advise aged individuals, persons with substance use disorders, and youngsters.

Study for a Master’s Degree

After earning a bachelor’s degree, you can sit for the GRE to apply to master’s degree programs counseling. A master’s degree program can be completed in about two years of full-time study. You should check for recognized schools to assure that you will receive a quality counseling education.

Doctoral Degree

The Ph.D. in counseling is the highest level of education for prospective counseling researchers, clinical supervisors, and counseling educators. Pursuing a Ph.D. in counseling allows individuals to gain in-depth knowledge of a specific area of counseling through independent study and research. Clinical internships or field experiences are also common in doctoral programs in counseling. Applicants to counseling Ph.D. programs will almost certainly be licensed or practicing in one of the major counseling areas identified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): mental health counseling, marriage, and family therapy, school counseling, rehabilitation counseling, or substance abuse counseling.

To obtain a New York LMHC license, future counselors must complete graduate education, pass the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE), and complete the needed supervised experience. A qualified degree from a program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), examination, and supervised experience provide a prospective counselor with the skills and expertise needed to best serve the people of New York. Future New York counselors will also need to be trained in the detection and reporting of child abuse. A list of Approved Training Providers is now available on the website of New York’s Office of the Professions.

Acquire Experience

The majority of recognized counseling master’s degree programs require students to receive counseling experience through an internship or practicum. In a counseling practicum, you can observe a professional counselor at work. An internship can allow you to counsel clients more independently while being observed by a certified counselor.

Aside from allowing you to complete your master’s degree, an internship or practicum can provide you with counseling experience that you can include on your resume. It may also allow you to network with other mental health experts.


Earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree in counseling might provide you with the opportunity to expand your professional network. Networking can help you learn about job openings as well as other possibilities, such as internships, that can help you advance your counseling career.

Obtain the Necessary Licenses and Certificates

Most states require that you obtain a license or certification to practice as a counselor before you can apply for counseling positions. A license is usually a legal necessity for having a job as a counselor, whereas certification is a voluntary distinction that you can achieve to demonstrate your talents to employers. You can obtain these distinctions by taking an exam. Licenses might differ from one state to the next. Here are some examples of counseling licenses you could obtain to start your counseling career:

Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC): This is a typical title for counselors. This title is available in 24 states across the United States.

Licensed Mental Health Counselor: After completing a master’s degree and a test, seven states in the United States can issue you the designation of LMHC.

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor: This title is used by licensed counselors in six states in the United States.

The Following Are Some Examples of Counseling Certificates That Can Help You Specialize in a Specific Area

Certification in school counseling: Earning a school counselor certification helps demonstrate to employers your expertise and abilities in this counseling field.

Addiction counseling certification: If you want to specialize in addiction therapy, you can obtain a certification that demonstrates your expertise in this field.

Make a Resume

You can build a resume that shows your counseling skills once you’ve got a master’s degree and certification. Here are some resume recommendations for counselors:

List licenses and certificates: To distinguish yourself from other candidates, list any licenses or certifications you’ve acquired.

Emphasize experience: Describe the effects of your counseling internship or practicum experience to demonstrate to companies why they should hire you.

Check spelling and grammar: You may make your resume look more professional by making sure it contains accurate spelling and grammar throughout.

Job Applications

You can use your resume to apply for counseling employment if you have the necessary licenses or certifications in your state. You can communicate with other professionals in your network to uncover career prospects. Checking internet job boards specializing in counselor job ads is another approach you can use to discover open employment.

Maintain Your Education

You have the option of continuing your counseling studies beyond the master’s degree level. This will allow you to advance in your work and earn greater pay. You have various possibilities for furthering your education:

Extra counseling licenses: You can take classes to gain additional counseling licenses, which will provide you with additional counseling skills.

What Are the Supervised Experience Requirements in New York to Become a Counselor?

Before getting their license, future counselors must labor under supervision for a total of 3,000 hours. Direct contact with clients necessitates a minimum of 1,500 hours. Future counselors will work on a limited permit until they have completed all of their hours. Applicants must complete two forms: a general application for licensure and a limited permission application. Both of these apps are available on the website of New York’s mental health practitioners. Future counselors should not begin practicing until they have obtained their license.

Regardless, the supervisor’s and licensee’s commitment to keeping solid records will ensure accuracy and a well-documented application for a complete license.

What Exams Do You Need to Take to Become a Counselor in New York?

For full licensure in New York, the Mental Health Practitioners Unit needs a passing score on the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE), which is conducted by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).

The NCMHCE is made up of ten simulated clinical mental health counseling scenarios that are meant to cover a wide range of competencies. You will receive your result within six weeks of taking the exam. The NBCC also has study guides available.

Please contact the Mental Health Practitioners Unit for more information on how to become a counselor in the state of New York.

Prospects for Counseling Careers in New York

Once a counselor has obtained their LMHC license and begun practicing in New York, it is worthwhile for them to become a member of a professional organization, such as the American Counseling Association of New York. A professional community will help new counselors find work in New York, no matter where they choose to work. According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics statistics, LMHC certified counselors may expect to earn between $35,000 and $63,000 depending on their degree of schooling, specialization, region, licensing, and the type of counseling delivered.

Counselor Skills

You can use the following talents in a counseling career:

Ethical knowledge: Because counselors must adhere to strong ethical norms in order to preserve their clients’ sensitive information, ethical knowledge is a valuable competence in this field.

Active listening: In a counseling career, you can utilize active listening to help clients confront life problems while they are speaking.

Communication skills: Being able to interact with customers and read their nonverbal and verbal clues requires strong communication skills. As a counselor, you can also use written communication skills when sending emails to clients.

Questioning: Counselors can utilize questioning abilities to assist clients in working through challenges by asking the correct questions at the right time.

Patience: Because some clients may take longer to benefit from counseling than others, patience is an important ability to have in a counseling career.

Empathy: Counselors benefit greatly from the ability to understand the experiences of others while not having faced the same problems.

Critical thinking: When developing treatment plans for their clients, counselors might employ critical thinking abilities.


This is all you need to know to become a Counselor. Through this post, we tried to help you clear your thoughts and provide you with a better idea and understanding of how you should go about this field. So, choose your career wisely.

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Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.