Counseling Degrees & Licenses in Alaska

Alaska mental health counselors are licensed by the Alaska Board of Professional Counselors. The board licenses marital and family therapists and associate marital and family therapists, physical and occupational therapists (and associates in each), and professional counselors. School counselors in Alaska are licensed by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development

For licensure by credentials, professional counselors in Alaska are required to have successfully completed 60 acceptable graduate units in counseling or a related field, defined as psychology, marital and family therapy, social work, and applied behavioral science. The board only licenses applicants from other states whose standards meet or exceed Alaska’s. 

For licensure by examination, professional counselors in Alaska are required to have successfully completed a 60-hour master’s degree or doctorate degree in counseling or a related field as well as having successfully passed the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) within the last three years. Applicants should also verify having completed at least 3,000 hours of supervised experience in the practice of professional counseling after having received the degree that includes at least 1,000 hours of direct counseling with individuals, couples, families, or groups, and at least 100 hours of face-to-face supervision. Forty hours of continuing education are required per two-year licensing period for licensed professional counselor license renewals in Alaska. 

In order to work as a school counselor in Alaska, applicants must have a Type C certificate. Fields covered by these endorsements include school counseling, audiology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, school nursing, school psychology, school psychometry, school social work, speech pathology, and library science media. 

To qualify for a regular Type C Special Services certificate, an applicant must have completed a bachelor’s or higher degree that includes approved Alaska studies courses and multicultural education/cross-cultural communications. For an endorsement in school psychology, applicants must also hold a master’s or higher degree in school psychology; be recommended by an institution whose school psychology program has been approved by NCATE (National Association of School Psychologists) or the American Psychological Association; and have completed a 1,200-hour internship (with 600 of the hours in a school setting) or be certified under the certification system of the National Association of School Psychologists.

According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Alaska requires that all marriage and family counseling license applicants have a master’s or doctoral degree in marital and family therapy or an allied mental health field from a regionally accredited institution along with passing an exam approved by the board, as well as the completion of 1,700 hours of post-degree direct clinical contact with individuals, families, and couples. Domestic violence training is also a requirement. 

There is an increased demand everywhere for licensed counselors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021), forecasts that job openings in counseling fields will grow 23 percent nationally from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. The need for counselors, in general, will grow as a growing population seeks mental health counseling. Demand for rehabilitation counselors is expected to grow at a rate of 10 percent in the same decade. On the other hand, the job outlook for marriage and family therapists is expected to grow at a rate of 16 percent. 

Overall, students who pursue counseling degrees and licenses in Alaska can find rewarding and stable careers. Read on for accredited schools offering programs for counseling degrees and licenses in Alaska.

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Accredited Counseling Degree Programs in Alaska

University of Alaska Fairbanks – School of Education

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is a public research university that is the flagship school of the University of Alaska system. UAF was established in 1917 and opened for classes in 1922. 

The School of Education offers programs in elementary education, secondary education, counseling, curriculum and instruction, and reading at both the post-baccalaureate and graduate levels, resulting in a master of education degree. Students who complete the school counseling track are eligible to be certified as school counselors in Alaska. Students who complete the clinical mental health counseling track are eligible for licensure as professional counselors with additional post-degree requirements. 

The UAF School of Education meets requirements set forth by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development for licensure as school counselors. Courses are available on-site and by distance delivery through the Kuskokwim, Bristol Bay, Interior Alaska, Chukchi, and Northwest campuses, as well as on the Fairbanks campus. 

  • Location: College, Alaska
  • Duration: School counseling is 48 credits; clinical mental health counseling is 60 credits
  • Accreditation: CACREP
  • Tuition: $539 per credit, Alaska resident; $1,105 per credit, non-resident

Alaska Pacific University – Institute of Health & Wellness 

Alaska Pacific University is a private university established as Alaska Methodist University in 1957. Its name changed to Alaska Pacific University in 1978, but the school is still affiliated with the United Methodist Church. 

The school offers a master’s degree in counseling psychology. This master of science in counseling psychology (MSCP) degree provides the education needed to apply for the Licensed Professional Counselor credential in Alaska. MSCP coursework is delivered through synchronous online, evening classes and on-campus intensives every six weeks during the semester. 

  • Location: Anchorage, Alaska
  • Duration: 63 credits
  • Accreditation: Alaska Pacific University is accredited by the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities
  • Tuition: $7,800 for 12 credits, plus fees

How Much Do Counselors Make in Alaska?

These numbers represent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2020—the latest data available as of January 2022.

Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors

United StatesAlaska
Number employed292,230680
Average annual salary (mean)$61,000$68,270
10th percentile$34,380$42,800
50th percentile (median)$57,040$64,040
90th percentile$96,090$102,970

Rehabilitation Counselors

United StatesAlaska
Number employed100,260280
Average annual salary (mean)$40,160$48,360
10th percentile$23,820$33,220
50th percentile (median)$39,950$43,840
90th percentile$63,790$76,150

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

United StatesAlaska
Number employed293,620990
Average annual salary (mean)$49,950$61,980
10th percentile$29,520$36,700
50th percentile (median)$46,240$58,040
90th percentile$76,080$96,150

Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists

United StatesAlaska
Number employed27,310230
Average annual salary (mean)$48,800$81,490
10th percentile$27,030$41,950
50th percentile (median)$42,930$80,990
90th percentile$77,590$124,340

Counseling Professional Associations & Resources in Alaska

  • Alaska Marriage & Family Therapy Associates (AKMFT)
  • Alaska Board of Marital and Family Therapy
  • Alaska School Counselor Association
  • Alaska Behavioral Health Association
  • Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority
  • Faces and Voices of Recovery Alaska
  • Front Line Leadership-Trust Training Cooperative
  • Governor’s Advisory Board on Alcohol and Drug Abuse
  • Rural Human Service (RHS) Program
  • State of Alaska – Division of Behavioral Health
  • The Alaska Addiction Professionals Association (AAPA)
  • The Regional Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor Training (RADACT) Program
  • Trust Training Cooperative
  • Alaska Association of Collaborative Professionals
  • Alaska Psychological Association
  • Alaska Counseling Association 
  • NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals – Alaska Chapter
  • Alaska Association for Play Therapy 
  • Alaska Careline for Suicide Prevention
  • Southcentral Foundation Behavioral Health Services for Alaska Native and American Indian People
  • Gay and Lesbian Help-line Alaska
  • Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis
  • STAR Advocates – Standing Together Against Rape
  • Volunteers of America Alaska

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

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Board of Professional Counselors

Alaska credentials Professional Counselors through the Board of Professional Counselors. Candidates may be licensed through credentials or examination.

To be licensed through credentials, candidates must:

  • Submit a completed and notarized application.
  • Pay the $200 application fee.
  • Pay the $250 initial licensure fee.
  • Submit a background check.
  • Supply verification that they hold a valid counseling license in another state.
  • Have at least 60 graduate semester hours in counseling.
  • Submit proof of 40 continuing education credits, including three in ethics, completed in the past two years.

Candidates applying for licensure through examination must:

  • Submit a completed and notarized application
  • Pay the $200 application fee
  • Pay the $250 initial licensure fee
  • Submit a background check
  • Provide official transcripts of a master’s or doctorate degree in counseling or related field from a regionally accredited institution. The program must be at least 60 semester hours.
  • Provide a passing NCE score from within the past three years
  • Complete (and supply proof of) 3,000 hours of supervised work experience, 1,000 of those hours must be direct counseling and 100 hours be face-to-face supervision.

Licensed counselors in Alaska are required to renew their licenses biennially. In order to renew they must:

  • Pay a $250 renewal fee. If it is the first renewal, and licensure was held for 12 months or less, the fee is $125
  • Submit 40 continuing education credits from approved providers, three of those hours must be in ethics. If it is the first renewal and licensure was held for 12 months or less only 20 hours are required, if licensure was held for between 12 to 18 months 30 hours are required.

School Counseling Licenses in Alaska

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Alaska Department of Education & Early Development

School counselors in Alaska must earn a Type C Special Services Certificate. For initial certification, candidates must:

  • Hold at least a bachelor’s degree
  • Complete a program in a special services area such as counseling that includes a supervised clinical practice (the program must meet National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, National Association of School Psychologists, American Psychological Association, Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, or National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education standards)
  • Have a recommendation from the institution submitting the State-Approved Program Verification Form
  • Submit a completed and notarized application
  • Pay $200 application fee and $60 background check fee
  • Pass a background check

The initial Type C certification issued in Alaska is valid for three years. During that time, school counselors must complete three semester hours of approved Alaska studies and three semester hours of multicultural education/cross-cultural communications.

Counselors may then apply for a regular Type C certification, which is valid for five years. To renew a regular certificate, counselors must:

  • Submit an application
  • Complete mandatory trainings in sexual abuse awareness and prevention, suicide awareness and prevention, alcohol or drug-related disabilities, dating violence awareness and prevention
  • Complete six semester hours of renewal credits
  • Pass a new background check
  • Pay $200 application fee and $60 background check fee

Substance Abuse Counseling Licenses in Alaska

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Alaska Commission for Behavioral Health Certification (ACBHC)

Alaska certifies Counselor Technicians, Chemical Dependency Counselors I, Chemical Dependency Counselors II, and Clinical Supervisors.

Counselor Technician certification requirements include:

  • 20 training hours, which must include three hours of NAADAC ethics, three hours of NAADAC confidentiality, six hours of infection disease or HIV/AIDS, and eight hours of intro to addictive behaviors.
  • Three references
  • $180 fee
  • Submit a completed application

If the candidate doesn’t have a degree, they must have a total of 84 hours of education, including the following: eight hours of documentation, eight hours of crisis intervention, 12 hours of client-centered counseling, eight hours of group counseling, twelve hours of working with diverse populations, eight hours of community resources use and case management, and eight hours of recovery, health, wellness and balance.

To earn a Chemical Dependency Counselor I certification, candidates must have:

  • One year and 2,000 hours of work experience
  • 100 supervised practicum hours, including 35 hours of client evaluation using DSM/ASM criteria, 35 hours of community readiness evaluation and prevention, and 30 hours of treatment planning and case management
  • 20 training hours, including three hours of NAADAC ethics, three hours of NAADAC confidentiality, six hours of infection disease or HIV/AIDS, and eight hours of addictive behaviors
  • Three references, one must be from a supervisor
  • $195 fee
  • A completed application

If the candidate doesn’t have a degree, they must have a total of 148 hours fo education, including the courses required for the technician certification, as well as 12 hours psycho-physiology, 16 hours motivational interviewing, 12 hours DSM practice, 12 hours ASAM practice, and 12 hours co-occurring disorders.

To earn a Chemical Dependency Counselor II certification, candidates must have:

  • Three years and 6,000 hours of work experience
  • 200 supervised practicum hours (100 must be the same hours as required for the level I counselor certification; the other 100 must comprise 60 hours of evaluation, treatment and case management, 20 hours of quality assurance, and 20 hours of clinical leadership)
  • 48 training hours, including three hours of NAADAC ethics, three hours of NAADAC confidentiality, six hours of infection disease or HIV/AIDS, and eight hours in addictive behaviors, 16 hours in special issues in behavioral health services, and 12 hours in documentation quality assurance
  • Pass the NAADAC exam level I, II, or MAC.
  • Three references, one must be from a supervisor
  • $210 fee
  • Submit a completed application

If the candidate doesn’t have a degree, they must have a total of 176 hours of education. It must include courses required for the technician certification and level I, as well as 16 hours of special issues in behavioral health services and 12 hours of documentation and quality assurance.

To earn the Clinical Supervisors certification, candidates must have:

  • Five years and 10,000 hours of work experience
  • 300 supervised practicum hours (200 must be the same hours as required for the level I and II counselor certification; the last 100 must be 60 hours clinical team leadership, 20 hours of role modeling, and 20 hours of consulting)
  • 78 training hours, including three hours of NAADAC ethics, three hours of NAADAC confidentiality, six hours of infection disease or HIV/AIDS, eight hours in addictive behaviors, 16 hours in special issues in behavioral health services, 12 hours in documentation quality assurance, and 30 hours of principles and practices in supervision
  • Passing score on the NAADAC exam level I, II, or MAC
  • Three references, one must be from a supervisor
  • $230 fee
  • A completed application

If the candidate doesn’t have a degree, they must have a total of 206 hours of education, including the courses required for the technician, level I, and level II certifications, as well as 30 hours of principles and practices of supervision.

Certifications in Alaska must be renewed every two years. Fees are the following: Counselor Technicians $165, Chemical Dependency Counselor I $180, Chemical Dependency Counselor II $195, and Clinical Supervisors $215.

No continuing education hours are required.

Rehabilitation Counseling Licenses in Alaska

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Board of Professional Counselors

Rehabilitation counselors in Alaska must be Licensed Professional Counselors through the Board of Professional Counselors. Candidates may be licensed through credentials or examination.

To be licensed through credentials, candidates must:

  • Submit a completed and notarized application.
  • Pay the $200 application fee.
  • Pay the $250 initial licensure fee.
  • Submit a background check.
  • Supply verification that they hold a valid counseling license in another state.
  • Have at least 60 graduate semester hours in counseling.
  • Submit proof of 40 continuing education credits, including three in ethics, completed in the past two years.

Candidates applying for licensure through examination must:

  • Submit a completed and notarized application
  • Pay the $200 application fee
  • Pay the $250 initial licensure fee
  • Submit a background check
  • Provide official transcripts of a master’s or doctorate degree in counseling or related field from a regionally accredited institution. The program must be at least 60 semester hours.
  • Provide a passing NCE score from within the past three years
  • Complete (and supply proof of) 3,000 hours of supervised work experience, 1,000 of those hours must be direct counseling and 100 hours be face-to-face supervision.

Rehabilitation counselors (licensed counselors) in Alaska are required to renew their licenses biennially. In order to renew they must:

  • Pay a $250 renewal fee. If it is the first renewal, and licensure was held for 12 months or less, the fee is $125
  • Submit 40 continuing education credits from approved providers, three of those hours must be in ethics. If it is the first renewal and licensure was held for 12 months or less only 20 hours are required, if licensure was held for between 12 to 18 months 30 hours are required.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Licenses in Alaska

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, Division of Corporations, Business & Professional Licensing

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

Candidates for an Assistant Behavior Analyst license must:

  • Submit a completed and notarized application
  • Pay $200 application fee, $60 fingerprint processing fee, and $150 licensure fee
  • Complete a background check
  • Hold BCaBA (Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst) certification
  • Provide verification of supervision

Requirements for a Licensed Behavior Analyst credential are:

  • Submit a completed and notarized application
  • Pay $200 application fee, $60 fingerprint processing fee, and $150 licensure fee
  • Complete a background check
  • Hold BCBA certification

Both the Behavior Analyst and Assistant Behavior Analyst licenses in Alaska must be renewed biennially. The cost for an analyst to renew is $250 while the cost for an assistant is $150.

There are no continuing education requirements for Alaska; however, there are continuing education requirements to maintain a BCBA national certification.

Marriage and Family Therapy Licenses in Alaska

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing Board of Marital and Family Therapy

The Alaska Board of Marital and Family Therapy licenses Marital and Family Therapy Associates and Marital and Family Therapists.

Marital and Family Therapy Associate license requirements are:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $350 application fee and $600 initial license fee
  • Have a master’s or doctorate in marital and family therapy (or allied mental health field) from a regionally accredited institution
  • Complete a plan of supervision

The requirements for a Marital and Family Therapist license are:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $350 application fee and $1,250 initial license fee
  • Have a master’s or doctorate in marital and family therapy or allied mental health field from a regionally accredited institution
  • Complete 1,700 hours of supervised clinical work experience; at least 1,500 hours must be direct client contact and 200 hours must be supervision
  • Complete six hours of continuing education in domestic violence
  • Pass the AMFTRB exam

Marital and Family Therapy Associate licenses in Alaska are valid for four years and may not be renewed.

Marital and Family Therapist licenses issued in Alaska expire on December 31st of odd-numbered years. The fee to renew is $1,250.

To renew, therapists must complete 45 hours of continuing education. The hours must include two hours in ethics, two hours in addictions, two hours in cross-cultural education, and two hours in domestic violence.

Child (Pediatric) Behavioral Therapy Licenses in Alaska

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Board of Professional Counselors

Child therapists in Alaska must be Licensed Professional Counselors through the Board of Professional Counselors. Candidates may be licensed through credentials or examination.

To be licensed through credentials, candidates must:

  • Submit a completed and notarized application.
  • Pay the $200 application fee.
  • Pay the $250 initial licensure fee.
  • Submit a background check.
  • Supply verification that they hold a valid counseling license in another state.
  • Have at least 60 graduate semester hours in counseling.
  • Submit proof of 40 continuing education credits, including three in ethics, completed in the past two years.

Candidates applying for licensure through examination must:

  • Submit a completed and notarized application
  • Pay the $200 application fee
  • Pay the $250 initial licensure fee
  • Submit a background check
  • Provide official transcripts of a master’s or doctorate degree in counseling or related field from a regionally accredited institution. The program must be at least 60 semester hours.
  • Provide a passing NCE score from within the past three years
  • Complete (and supply proof of) 3,000 hours of supervised work experience, 1,000 of those hours must be direct counseling and 100 hours be face-to-face supervision.

Child therapists (licensed counselors) in Alaska are required to renew their licenses biennially. In order to renew they must:

  • Pay a $250 renewal fee. If it is the first renewal, and licensure was held for 12 months or less, the fee is $125
  • Submit 40 continuing education credits from approved providers, three of those hours must be in ethics. If it is the first renewal and licensure was held for 12 months or less only 20 hours are required, if licensure was held for between 12 to 18 months 30 hours are required.
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.

Counseling Schools & Licensure in Nearby States