Counseling Degrees & Licenses in Alabama

There’s a strong need for all types of counselors in every state, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that this career field will grow 15 percent nationally from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. The need for counselors, in general, will grow as a growing population seeks mental health counseling. The BLS predicts the job outlook for substance abuse counselors to grow at an even higher rate during that same decade (25 percent). Demand for rehabilitation counselors is expected to grow at a rate of 10 percent. On the other hand, the job outlook for marriage and family therapists is expected to grow at a rate of 22 percent.

Counseling degrees and licenses in Alabama will also be in high demand in the coming years. According to the Alabama Department of Mental Health, there are more than 200,000 Alabama citizens with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, and substance use disorders.

In order to earn a counseling license in Alabama, the Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling requires that licensees have a master’s degree in counseling from a program consisting of a minimum of 48 graduate semester-hours (or 72 quarter-hours) at a regionally accredited college or university that is also accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or Commission on Rehabilitation and Education (CORE) accredited program. The main regional accrediting authority in the state is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Read on for a few of the many accredited schools offering programs for counseling degrees and licenses in Alabama.

Accredited Counseling Degree Programs in Alabama

Alabama A&M University

Alabama A&M University, or Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, is a historically Black public university founded in 1875. The school’s master of science in counseling psychology degree program provides a concentration in rehabilitation counseling, which prepares its graduates to work with people with physical and mental needs.

After completing this program, students are eligible to sit for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor exam without additional coursework. Students who wish to pursue the LPC credential must complete additional coursework.

  • Location: Huntsville, Alabama
  • Duration: 45 credits
  • Accreditation: CACREP
  • Tuition: $422 per hour plus fees, Alabama resident; $840 per hour plus fees, non-resident

Alabama State University

Alabama State University is a historically Black public university founded in 1867.

The school’s College of Education offers a master of education in school counseling program which is a 48-semester-hour program that includes a 100-hour practicum and two 600-hour internships. The master of science in clinical mental health counseling program is a 60-semester-hour program that also includes a practicum and two internships. The educational specialist in school counseling program is 33 to 36 semester-hours and includes one to two internships (300-600 clinical hours). The educational specialist degree in clinical mental health counseling is a 33- to 36-semester-hour program which also includes one to two internships.

Programs are offered in-person, online, hybrid. The school’s College of Health Sciences offers a master of science in rehabilitation counseling. To complete the master’s degree program in rehabilitation counseling, students must complete a minimum of 51 semester-hours and take the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor’s exam. Effective fall 2022, students will be required to complete 60 semester-hours.

Graduates of the school’s occupational therapy program are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR).

  • Location: Montgomery, Alabama
  • Duration: School counseling program, 48 semester-hours; clinical mental health counseling, 60; educational specialist degree in clinical mental health counseling, 33-36; rehabilitation counseling, 51 or 60; occupational therapy, 91
  • Accreditation: The school counseling and clinical mental health counseling, and rehabilitation counseling programs are accredited through CACREP; the occupational therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
  • Tuition: $412 per hour plus fees, Alabama resident; $824 per hour plus fees, non-resident

Auburn University

Auburn University is a public university and the second-largest university in Alabama. Auburn offers four counseling specializations: clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, clinical rehabilitation counseling, and school counseling.

The master of education in clinical mental health counseling is available in-person or online. The master of science in marriage and family therapy meets all educational and pre-graduation clinical hour/supervision requirements for licensure in Alabama as well as most other states. The master of education in clinical rehabilitation counseling is available online or on campus.

The online program requires students to be on campus one week each semester, which generally occurs the first or second week of the semester. The master of education degree in school counseling is also available online or in person.

  • Location: Auburn, Alabama
  • Duration: The master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling is 60 credits and can be completed in five semesters for full-time students taking 12 credits per semester, with part-time options available; the marriage and family therapy program is 50 credits; the clinical rehabilitation and school counseling programs are 60 credits
  • Accreditation: The clinical mental health counseling, school counseling, and clinical rehabilitation counseling programs are accredited by CACREP; the marriage and family therapy program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE); the school counseling program is also accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • Tuition: On-campus cost starts at $546 per credit plus fees; online cost starts at $630 per credit plus fees

Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville State University is a public university founded in 1883. The Counseling & Instructional Support Department of the School of Education offers either a master of science or an educational specialist degree in

clinical mental health counseling. It also offers a master of science in education or educational specialist degree in school counseling.

The clinical mental health counseling program prepares students for LPC licensure in Alabama, Georgia, and other states. The school counseling program prepares students to address the needs of elementary and secondary students’ academic, career, and personal/social development. Completion of this program leads to eligibility for Class A teacher certification in school counseling. Successful completion of the Praxis II exam is required prior to beginning any internships.

The school counseling program has two options: traditional certification or non-certification. Individuals pursuing the traditional approach to school counseling certification must hold a bachelor’s- or master’s-level professional educator certificate in a teaching field or master’s level professional educator certificate in another area of instructional support. The CACREP-accredited non-certified option does require a bachelor’s degree but does not require an educator certificate.

  • Location: Jacksonville, Alabama
  • Duration: The clinical mental health counseling program is 60 credits; the school counseling program is 45 to 48 credits
  • Accreditation: CACREP
  • Tuition: $400 per credit plus fees, Alabama resident; $800 per credit plus fees, non-resident; $400 per credit plus fees, per online credit

Troy University

Troy University is a public university founded in 1887. The school has a wealth of counseling educational programs to choose from. Their life-changing counseling programs include master of science (MS) degrees in addictions counseling, rehabilitation counseling, clinical mental health counseling, and student affairs counseling.

They offer a non-licensure, non-certification general counseling master of science as well as master of science and educational specialist degrees in school counseling and education specialist counseling. This EdS degree provides a post-master’s training and experience program to help mental health counselors to prepare for supervision and leadership roles.

Many of the school’s programs are offered at a variety of Alabama and Florida campuses and are offered as blended programs, which combine both online and face-to-face courses. They also offer post-master’s certificates focusing on addictions, clinical counseling, counseling military populations, counseling deaf and hard of hearing populations, and counseling infants and young children.

  • Location: Troy, Alabama
  • Duration: Full-time students typically complete all degree requirements in 2.5 to three years
  • Accreditation: CACREP
  • Tuition: $425 per credit plus fees, Alabama resident; $850 per credit plus fees, non-resident

The University of Alabama – ONLINE OPTIONS

The University of Alabama is a public research university established in 1820 and opened to students in 1831. It is the oldest and largest of the public universities in Alabama.

The school’s Department of Educational Studies in Psychology, Research Methodology, and Counseling in the College of Education offers master’s of arts (MA) degrees in clinical mental health counseling, rehabilitation counseling (online), school counseling, educational psychology, and educational psychology-school psychometry. They also offer education specialist (EdS) degrees in counselor education, educational psychology, educational psychology-school psychometry, and educational psychology-school psychology.

  • Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Duration: The clinical mental health counseling and rehabilitation programs are 60 credits; the school counseling program is 48 to 51; the EdS degrees require 30 to 33 hours beyond the master of arts
  • Accreditation: All counselor education programs are accredited by CACREP); the school counseling program is also accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP)
  • Tuition: $5,390 for nine to 15 hours, Alabama resident; $15,125 for nine to 15 hours, non-resident; please note that enrolled hours over 15 are assessed an overload tuition charge of $470 per hour for graduate residents and $1,550 for graduate non-residents

University of Alabama – Birmingham

The counseling program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham offers a master of arts degree with three possible concentrations: clinical mental health; marriage, couples, and family; and school counseling.

Admission requirements are the same for all three concentrations. The clinical mental health and school counseling concentrations meet the academic and field experience requirements established by the Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling (ABEC) for licensure as a professional counselor (LPC).

The marriage, couples, and family concentration prepares students for a path to licensure as marriage and family therapists (LMFTs). The school also offers a 15-credit post-master’s certificate in clinical mental health or marriage, couples, and family counseling.

  • Location: Birmingham, Alabama
  • Duration: Both the clinical mental health and marriage, couples, and family degrees are 61 credits; the school counseling program is 64 to 67 credits
  • Accreditation: CACREP
  • Tuition: $450 per credit plus fees, Alabama resident; $1,066 per credit plus fees, non-resident

University of Montevallo

The University of Montevallo is a public university founded in 1896. It is Alabama’s only public liberal arts college.

The school offers a master’s degree in counseling in three areas: clinical mental health counseling, school counseling, or couples and family counseling.

  • Location: Montevallo, Alabama
  • Duration: 39 hours for all tracks, plus 24 hours for the clinical mental health track, nine hours for the school counseling track, and 21 hours for the couple and family track
  • Accreditation: CACREP
  • Tuition: $438 per credit plus fees, Alabama resident; $1,047 per credit plus fees, non-resident

The University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is the state’s oldest public university. The school’s Department of Counselor Education offers master’s degrees in clinical mental health counseling (master of arts) and school counseling (master of education).

The clinical mental health coursework prepares students for National Counselor Certification, National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Certification, and state counselor licensure. After graduating from the school counselor program, students are eligible for certification as a school counselor in Alabama.

  • Location: Florence, Alabama
  • Duration: The clinical mental health counseling degree is 60 credits; school counseling is 48 to 51 credits
  • Accreditation: CACREP
  • Tuition: $370 per hour plus fees, Alabama resident; $740 per hour plus fees, non-resident

University of South Alabama

The University of South Alabama is a public research university that was created in 1963. The school’s Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions offers a master of science in occupational therapy. The College of Education and Professional Studies offers a master of science in clinical mental health counseling and a master of education in school counseling. Please note that the Department of Occupational Therapy’s master of science in occupational therapy is a non-licensure track.

Students in the clinical mental health counseling program take the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam offered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). They are also eligible to become members of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and/or the American Mental Health Counselors Association.

  • Location: Mobile, Alabama
  • Duration: The occupational therapy degree is 30 credits; school counseling and clinical mental health counseling are 60 credits
  • Accreditation: CACREP
  • Tuition: Graduate courses in the College of Education and Professional Studies ($442 per credit plus fees, Alabama resident; $884 per credit plus fees, non-resident); non-clinical graduate courses in the Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health ($465 per credit plus fees, Alabama resident; $930 per credit plus fees, non-resident)

How Much Do Counselors Make in Alabama?

These numbers represent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2020.

Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors

United StatesAlabama
Number employed292,2304,380
Average annual salary (mean)$61,000$53,660
10th percentile$34,380$34,710
50th percentile (median)$57,040$54,780
90th percentile$96,090$73,900

Marriage and Family Therapists

United StatesAlabama
Number employed60,850250
Average annual salary (mean)$54,590$42,830
10th percentile$32,070$26,110
50th percentile (median)$49,610$40,180
90th percentile$87,700$65,040

Rehabilitation Counselors

United StatesAlabama
Number employed100,260830
Average annual salary (mean)$40,160$46,320
10th percentile$23,820$22,990
50th percentile (median)$39,950$46,470
90th percentile$63,790$67,960

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

United StatesAlabama
Number employed293,6202,310
Average annual salary (mean)$49,950$43,100
10th percentile$29,520$28,230
50th percentile (median)$46,240$40,000
90th percentile$76,080$62,520

All Other Counselors

United StatesAlabama
Number employed27,310110
Average annual salary (mean)$48,800$42,050
10th percentile$27,030$18,340
50th percentile (median)$42,930$44,830
90th percentile$77,590$58,350

Counseling Professional Associations & Resources in Alabama

  • Alabama Counseling Association
  • Alabama School Counselor Association
  • American Mental Health Counselors Association
  • Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling
  • Alabama Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)
  • Alabama Association for Play Therapy (AAPT)
  • Alabama Association of School Psychologists (AASP)
  • Alabama Board of Examiners in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Alabama Board of Examiners in Psychology
  • Alabama Council of Community Mental Health Boards (ACCMHB)
  • Alabama Counseling Association (ALCA)
  • Alabama Department of Mental Health
  • Alabama Division of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services
  • Alabama Mental Health Counselor Association (ALMHCA)
  • Alabama Psychological Association
  • Alabama State Board of Social Worker Examiners
  • Drug Education Council – Alabama
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Alabama
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Baldwin County
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Birmingham
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Huntsville
  • Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board
  • Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH)
  • Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS)
  • Alabama Hospital Association (AlaHA)
  • Medical Association of the State of Alabama (MASA)

Mental Health Counseling (LMHC) Licenses in Alabama: Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling (ABEC)

Alabama credentials Associate Licensed Counselors (ALCs) and Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC).

To be licensed as an ALC, candidates must:

  • Have completed a master’s degree from a CACREP or CORE accredited school of at least 48 semester hours or 72 quarter hours. The program must include a 100-hour practicum, 40 of those hours must be direct client contact as well as one hour of direct supervision and 1.5 hours of group supervision per week, and a 600-hour internship with 240 hours of direct client contact along with 2.5 hours of supervision a week and at least one hour of individual supervision per week.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation, two of which must be from supervisors.
  • Provide official school transcripts to the ABEC board.
  • Submit a proposed plan of supervision for work experience including names of supervising counselors, goals for the supervision, and strategies to meet those goals.
  • Complete an application for an ALC license.
  • Pay the $200 application fee.

In order to progress from an ALC to LPC, candidates must:

  • Complete 3,000 hours of supervised work experience, Of those 3,000 hours, 2,250 hours must be direct service hours and 750 of indirect service hours. All hours must be under the supervision of a supervising counselor.
  • Pass a national counselor exam such as the NCE.
  • Submit three recommendations, two from supervisors from the work experience.
  • Complete and submit an application to the ABEC board.
  • Pay $200 application fee

If graduate coursework beyond the master’s is completed, candidates may subtract 1,000 hours of supervised work experience for every 15 graduate semester hours or 22.5 quarter hours of coursework directly related to counseling. (A minimum of 1,000 hours of work experience is required, regardless of the number of credits earned.)

In Alabama, ALC or LPC licenses expire every two years. In order to renew a license, counselors must:

  • Complete continuing education units through approved providers such as the NBCC or CRCC. ALCs must complete 10 hours, two of which must be in ethics, and LPCs must complete 40, six of which must be in ethics.
  • Pay a $300 renewal fee

School Counseling Licenses in Alabama

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Alabama State Department of Education

There are three primary methods of obtaining certification as a school counselor in Alabama.

The first is through an Interim Employment Certificate (IEC). Prospective counselors who hold an Alabama Professional Educator or Professional Leadership Certificate may apply through this route. The IEC eligibility requirements of this pathway include:

  • An FBI background check
  • Unconditional enrollment in a CACREP-accredited program
  • A work assignment and a mentor
  • A completed application
  • $30 application fee
  • Passing score on relevant Praxis exams

Once the degree program has been completed while holding an IEC and the candidate has passed the NEC exam, they will be issued a certification as a school counselor.

The second path is for those who already hold a degree from a CACREP-accredited program. These candidates must:

  • Submit a complete application
  • Pay $30 application fee
  • Provide official transcripts demonstrating a master’s degree or higher in school counseling from a CACREP-accredited program
  • Pass an FBI background check
  • Pass the NCE exam
  • Pass the relevant Praxis exams

The third path is for candidates who hold a School Counseling National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certificate. These applicants must:

  • Hold the Early Childhood through Young Adulthood School Counseling certificate and provide verification
  • Submit a complete application
  • Pay $30 application fee
  • Provide official transcripts demonstrating a master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution
  • Pass an FBI background check
  • Two years of full-time work experience as a school counselor
  • Pass the relevant Praxis exams

IECs are valid for one year. To renew candidates must provide proof of working towards degree completion, submit an application, and pay a $30 renewal fee.

All other teaching licenses issued in Alabama are valid for five years. To renew, counselors must complete a renewal application, pay a $30 application fee, and meet one of the following requirements:

  • Three years of full-time professional educational work experience and 50 hours of allowable professional development
  • Three years of full-time professional educational work experience and three semester hours of allowable credit
  • Three semester hours of allowable credit and 50 hours of allowable professional development
  • Six semester hours of allowable credit
  • 100 hours of allowable professional development
  • Earn a Certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)

Substance Abuse Counseling Licenses in Alabama

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Alabama Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association (AADAA)


Alabama Association of Addiction Counselor Certification Board (AAAC)

There are two certification bodies for substance abuse counselors in Alabama: the Alabama Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association (AADAA) and the Alabama Association of Addiction Counselor Certification Board (AAACCB).

Credentials issued by the AADAA include: Associate Addiction Professional (AAP), Certified Adolescent Alcohol & Drug Abuse Professional (CAADP), Alcohol Drug Counselor (ADC), Advanced Alcohol Drug Counselor (AADC). Additional certification in criminal justice, prevention, and supervision can be earned through IC&RC examinations and relevant work experience.

Eligibility requirements for an AAP certification include:

  • 2,000 hours of work experience, including 150 supervision hours
  • 140 hours of education related to the four domains of substance abuse counseling, including four hours of HIV/AIDS and six hours of ethics
  • Passing score on state written exam
  • Signed code of ethics
  • Completed supervision form and three colleague forms
  • A completed application
  • $175 exam fee, $95 Counselor Certification Kit, and $250 application fee

CAADP certification candidates must:

  • Submit a portfolio of work experience
  • Have 6,000 hours of work experience (a bachelor’s can substitute for 2,000 hours of experience and a master’s can substitute for 4,000)
  • Complete 300 hours of supervision in four different domains
  • Complete 300 hours of education and training (six hours must be in ethics and four in HIV/AIDS)
  • Send three colleague evaluations
  • Complete supervisor evaluation
  • Pass state-level written exam
  • Pay $350 exam fee, $95 Counselor Certification Kit, and $250 application fee
  • Submit a completed application

ADC certification candidates must:

  • Submit a portfolio of work experience
  • Have 6,000 hours of work experience (a bachelor’s can substitute for 2,000 hours of experience and a master’s can substitute for 4,000)
  • Complete 300 hours of supervision in four different domains
  • Complete 300 hours of education and training (six hours must be in ethics and four in HIV/AIDS)
  • Send three colleague evaluations
  • Complete supervisor evaluation
  • Pass IC&RC written exam
  • Pay $350 exam fee, $95 Counselor Certification Kit, and $250 application fee
  • Submit a completed application

AADC certification candidates must:

  • Have 2,000 hours of AADC related supervised work experience
  • Have a master’s degree in a related field and 180 hours of education specific to AADC (six hours must be in ethics)
  • Pass the IC&RC AADC exam
  • Pay $350 exam fee, $95 Counselor Certification Kit, and $250 application fee
  • Submit a completed application

The AAAC certifies both Alcohol and Drug Counselors (ADC) and Senior Alcohol and Drug Counselors (SADC).

Certification for ADC requires:

  • Current NAADAC membership
  • Two years of work experience in the Substance Use Disorder field
  • 60 hours of continuing education units in Substance Use Disorder field
  • Four qualifying application points through education or work experience
  • Six hours of continuing education units in ethics and HIV/AIDS in the past five years
  • A completed application
  • Three competency evaluation forms from supervisors or references
  • Passing score on the NCAC Level I exam
  • A$150 fee

For SADC certification requirements, contact the AAAC board.

The AADAA requires annual membership renewals.

In addition to an application and fee, certificate holders must submit 20 hours of continuing education units.

The AAACCB requires it’s certification-holders to renew every two years.

Renewals must include 50 hours of continuing education, a $100 recertification fee, and current NAADAC membership.

Rehabilitation Counseling Licenses in Alabama

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling (ABEC)

Rehabilitation counselors in Alabama must fulfill the requirements to become Associate Licensed Counselors (ALCs) or Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC).

To be licensed as an ALC, candidates must:

  • Have completed a master’s degree from a CACREP or CORE accredited school of at least 48 semester hours or 72 quarter hours. The program must include a 100-hour practicum, 40 of those hours must be direct client contact as well as one hour of direct supervision and 1.5 hours of group supervision per week, and a 600-hour internship with 240 hours of direct client contact along with 2.5 hours of supervision a week and at least one hour of individual supervision per week.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation, two of which must be from supervisors.
  • Provide official school transcripts to the ABEC board.
  • Submit a proposed plan of supervision for work experience including names of supervising counselors, goals for the supervision, and strategies to meet those goals.
  • Complete an application for an ALC license.
  • Pay the $200 application fee.

In order to progress from an ALC to LPC, candidates must:

  • Complete 3,000 hours of supervised work experience, Of those 3,000 hours, 2,250 hours must be direct service hours and 750 of indirect service hours. All hours must be under the supervision of a supervising counselor.
  • Pass a national counselor exam such as the NCE.
  • Submit three recommendations, two from supervisors from the work experience.
  • Complete and submit an application to the ABEC board.
  • Pay $200 application fee

If graduate coursework beyond the master’s is completed, candidates may subtract 1,000 hours of supervised work experience for every 15 graduate semester hours or 22.5 quarter hours of coursework directly related to counseling. (A minimum of 1,000 hours of work experience is required, regardless of the number of credits earned.)

In Alabama, ALC or LPC licenses expire every two years. In order to renew a license, counselors must:

  • Complete continuing education units through approved providers such as the NBCC or CRCC. ALCs must complete 10 hours, two of which must be in ethics, and LPCs must complete 40, six of which must be in ethics.
  • Pay a $300 renewal fee

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Licenses in Alabama

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Alabama Behavior Analyst Licensure Board (ABALB)

ABA therapists in Alabama must obtain either a Licensed Behavior Analyst or Licensed Assistant Behavior Analyst license.

The requirements to earn a Licensed Assistant Behavior Analyst license include:

  • Submitting a completed and notarized application
  • Completing proof of supervision form
  • Paying $25 application fee, $43.50 background check fee, and $100 licensure fee
  • Completing a background check
  • Holding BCaBA (Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst) certification

Candidates for a Licensed Behavior Analyst license must:

  • Submit a completed and notarized application
  • Pay $25 application fee, $43.50 background check fee, and $150 licensure fee
  • Complete a background check
  • Hold BCBA certification

Renewals for ABA therapists in Alabama are required every two years. Licenses expire during the second year on December 31st.

To renew, therapists must:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Provide proof of current BACB certification
  • Pay $150 renewal fee for Licensed Behavior Analysts and $100 fee for Assistants

Marriage and Family Therapy Licenses in Alabama

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Alabama Board of Examiners in Marriage and Family Therapy (ABEMFT)

The Alabama Board of Examiners in Marriage and Family Therapy issues Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), Marriage and Family Therapy Intern (MFT Intern), and Marriage and Family Therapy Associate (MFTA) licenses.

MFT Intern licenses are for students who have yet to graduate or graduates who have not completed their internship or practicum. These candidates must:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $150 application fee
  • Be a current student of a marriage and family therapy graduate program or graduate of a marriage and family therapy graduate program
  • Provide proof of student status or official transcripts (if already graduated)
  • Submit a Supervision Agreement Form for the supervised clinical practicum or internship
  • Provide two references from most recent MFT supervisors

MFTAs must meet the requirements for MFT intern licenses, as well as do the following:

  • Complete a master’s or doctorate in marriage and family therapy that included at least a 12-month internship (graduates of a COAMFTE or CACREP-MCFC accredited programs do not have to supply coursework verification)
  • Pay $150 application fee and $200 license fee
  • Submit a completed application
  • Complete the Supervision Agreement Form and attach a supervisory contract

LMFTs must meet all the requirements for MFTAs, as well as:

  • Pay $150 application fee and $325 license fee
  • Submit a completed application
  • Complete the Professional Employment form
  • Pass the AMFTRB Exam
  • Complete two years of supervised work experience, including 1,000 hours of direct client contact and 200 hours of supervision, of which 100 hours must be individual supervision

All marriage and family therapist licenses issued in Alabama must be renewed every two years. Intern licenses cost $150 to renew; associate licenses cost $200; and full LMFT licenses cost $325.

Continuing education hours are required for all licenses, as well. Interns must complete ten hours per renewal cycle with three hours being in clinical workshops, three hours in diagnosis and treatment, and three hours in ethics. Current enrollment in a COAMFTE or CACREP-MCFC accredited program meets continuing education requirements for interns.

Associates must complete 20 hours of continuing education with five hours being in clinical workshops, three hours in diagnosis and treatment, and three hours in ethics.

LMFTs must complete 40 hours of continuing education with ten hours being in clinical workshops, six hours in diagnosis and treatment, and six hours in ethics.

Child (Pediatric) Behavioral Therapy Licenses in Alabama

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling (ABEC)

Child therapists in Alabama must fulfill the requirements to become Associate Licensed Counselors (ALCs) or Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC).

To be licensed as an ALC, candidates must:

  • Have completed a master’s degree from a CACREP or CORE accredited school of at least 48 semester hours or 72 quarter hours. The program must include a 100-hour practicum, 40 of those hours must be direct client contact as well as one hour of direct supervision and 1.5 hours of group supervision per week, and a 600-hour internship with 240 hours of direct client contact along with 2.5 hours of supervision a week and at least one hour of individual supervision per week.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation, two of which must be from supervisors.
  • Provide official school transcripts to the ABEC board.
  • Submit a proposed plan of supervision for work experience including names of supervising counselors, goals for the supervision, and strategies to meet those goals.
  • Complete an application for an ALC license.
  • Pay the $200 application fee.

In order to progress from an ALC to LPC, candidates must:

  • Complete 3,000 hours of supervised work experience, Of those 3,000 hours, 2,250 hours must be direct service hours and 750 of indirect service hours. All hours must be under the supervision of a supervising counselor.
  • Pass a national counselor exam such as the NCE.
  • Submit three recommendations, two from supervisors from the work experience.
  • Complete and submit an application to the ABEC board.
  • Pay $200 application fee

If graduate coursework beyond the master’s is completed, candidates may subtract 1,000 hours of supervised work experience for every 15 graduate semester hours or 22.5 quarter hours of coursework directly related to counseling. (A minimum of 1,000 hours of work experience is required, regardless of the number of credits earned.)

In Alabama, ALC or LPC licenses expire every two years. In order to renew a license, counselors must:

  • Complete continuing education units through approved providers such as the NBCC or CRCC. ALCs must complete 10 hours, two of which must be in ethics, and LPCs must complete 40, six of which must be in ethics.
  • Pay a $300 renewal fee
Vanessa Salvia

Vanessa Salvia

Writer

Vanessa Salvia is an Oregon-based freelance writer and editor with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. As fun as rigorous studies in math and science were, Vanessa took an independent path and developed a prolific career covering lifestyle and healthcare topics for magazines and newspapers, important industries such as concrete construction and building waterproofing, and even hard science. You can get in touch at Sage Media and Marketing.