Counseling Degrees & Licenses in Arizona

Earning a counseling degree or license for work in Arizona could lead to both a stable career and a satisfying endeavor as you help people in need of quality care for mental health disorders. Arizona is the 14th largest state in terms of population, and according to Nations Online, about 32 percent of Arizona’s population are Hispanic (or of Latinx origin). This makes access to culturally sensitive licensed counselors an even bigger priority there.

According to 2020 data from Mental Health America, Arizona is ranked 18th out of the 50 states on criteria of lower prevalence of mental illness and higher rates of access to care for adults, making it a state of higher prevalence but only moderate access. Arizona is ranked 30th for prevalence and access among its youth. States with rankings 39 to 51 indicate that youth have a higher prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care. Studies show 19 percent of adults in Arizona experience a mental illness, and 4.55 percent are experiencing a severe mental illness. The Resources to Recover organization says only 40.3 percent of adults with mental illness in Arizona receive any form of treatment.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that careers in mental health, behavioral disorders, and substance abuse are expected to grow 25 percent nationally between 2019 and 2029, more than four times faster than the average for all occupations during the same decade (5 percent).

In Arizona, the Board of Health Examiners oversees professional counselors, substance abuse counselors, social workers, and marriage and family therapists. There are three levels of counseling licenses in Arizona: Associate Counselor (LAC), Professional Counselor for an existing LAC (LPC), and Professional Counselor.

Arizona requires that master’s degrees be obtained from programs accredited by CACREP, the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE), the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), or the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC).

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs accredits master’s and doctoral degree programs in counseling and its specialties. A CACREP-approved program must consist of 60 semester-credits (or 90 quarter-credits), with a major emphasis in counseling, including 700 hours of practicum with 240 hours of direct client contact.

Read on to explore the schools offering accredited programs for counseling degrees and licenses in Arizona.

54.36.148.170--HDF<-->=Any---->Any--T1==couns--Select `wp_cs_sb_school_data`.*, `wp_cs_sb_program_details`.* FROM `wp_cs_sb_school_data` JOIN `wp_cs_sb_program_details` ON `wp_cs_sb_school_data`.s_id = `wp_cs_sb_program_details`.s_id WHERE ( `wp_cs_sb_program_details`.p_concentration_name = 'couns' OR `wp_cs_sb_program_details`.p_concentration_name like '%,couns,%' OR `wp_cs_sb_program_details`.p_concentration_name like 'couns,%' OR `wp_cs_sb_program_details`.p_concentration_name like '%,couns' ) AND ( `wp_cs_sb_program_details`.p_restricted_states <> 'HDF' AND `wp_cs_sb_program_details`.p_restricted_states NOT LIKE '%,HDF,%' AND `wp_cs_sb_program_details`.p_restricted_states NOT LIKE 'HDF,%' AND `wp_cs_sb_program_details`.p_restricted_states NOT LIKE '%,HDF' ) AND `wp_cs_sb_school_data`.s_active = 'Yes'AND `wp_cs_sb_program_details`.p_active = 'yes' ORDER BY CASE `wp_cs_sb_school_data`.s_green_state WHEN `wp_cs_sb_school_data`.s_green_state LIKE '%HDF%' THEN 1 END, CASE WHEN `wp_cs_sb_program_details`.p_concentration_name LIKE '%couns%' THEN 1 END, CASE `wp_cs_sb_school_data`.s_id WHEN 8 THEN 1 WHEN 31 THEN 2 WHEN 19 THEN 3 WHEN 34 THEN 4 WHEN 2 THEN 5 WHEN 37 THEN 6 WHEN 32 THEN 7 WHEN 33 THEN 8 WHEN 30 THEN 9 WHEN 29 THEN 10 WHEN 39 THEN 11 WHEN 9 THEN 12 WHEN 40 THEN 13 WHEN 20 THEN 14 WHEN 38 THEN 15 WHEN 14 THEN 16 WHEN 5 THEN 17 WHEN 3 THEN 18 WHEN 4 THEN 19 WHEN 6 THEN 20 WHEN 7 THEN 21 WHEN 10 THEN 22 WHEN 11 THEN 23 WHEN 12 THEN 24 WHEN 13 THEN 25 WHEN 15 THEN 26 WHEN 16 THEN 27 WHEN 17 THEN 28 WHEN 18 THEN 29 WHEN 21 THEN 30 WHEN 35 THEN 31 WHEN 36 THEN 32 WHEN 1 THEN 33 WHEN 28 THEN 34 ELSE 99 END ASC, `wp_cs_sb_program_details`.p_name
Featured Counseling Programs
Northwestern University Online MA - Counseling
Northwestern University Online MA - Counseling: Child and Adolescent Emphasis
Pepperdine University Online MA - Clinical Psychology (LMFT or LPC prep)
Wake Forest University Online MA - Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Wake Forest University Online MA - School Counseling
Capella University BS - Psychology Pre-Counseling
Capella University MS - Addiction Studies
Sponsored
×

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN Southern New Hampshire University Online MS - Construction Management

Accredited Counseling Degree Programs in Arizona

Grand Canyon University – College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Grand Canyon University offers online master of science (MS) degrees in clinical mental health counseling with options for specialization in childhood and adolescent disorders, Christian counseling, marriage and family therapy, and trauma recovery.

GCU is a private Christian university and in 2018 was the Christian school with the largest student enrollment in the world. There is also a separate degree program for a master of science in addiction counseling and an MS in Christian counseling for addiction recovery. The courses for the master’s in clinical mental health counseling meet the requirements of the Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) credential, the National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential, and the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners.

  • Location: Phoenix, Arizona
  • Duration: 48 credits (Christian substance abuse) to 74 credits (all others)
  • Accreditation: The addiction counseling program is accredited by the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC)
  • Tuition: $550 per credit plus fees (online programs)

Northern Arizona University – College of Education

Students in the College of Education at Northern Arizona State can choose from three degree programs: a master of arts in clinical mental health counseling, a master of education in school counseling, and a master of education in student affairs.

The counseling program prepares students to work as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). This program is offered at three campuses and meets the Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) coursework requirements of the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners and for national counselor certification of the National Board for Certified Counselors. LACs in Arizona can continue their work experience to become Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs), who are eligible to work independently.

Successful completion of this degree gives a graduate the potential to transfer licensure to other states. The school counseling program is designed to lead to certification as a Standard School Counselor, PreK-12, and licensure as a professional counselor in the state of Arizona.

  • Location: Flagstaff, Phoenix, or Tucson, Arizona
  • Duration: 60 credits; the student affairs program is 48 credits
  • Accreditation: The clinical mental health counseling program is CACREP accredited; the school psychology program is accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
  • Tuition: Total estimated cost of attendance for Arizona residents living off-campus is $28,522; non-residents living off-campus would pay approximately $44,130

Prescott College

Prescott College offers a master of science in counseling degree in an online format. Students can pursue areas of emphasis in addictions counseling; marriage, couple, and family counseling; social justice in counseling; and somatic counseling (mind-body centered or holistic therapy). Students also can earn graduate certificates in adventure-based counseling, nature-based counseling, or expressive art therapy.

While the degree program is online, the program also requires an in-person residency. The residency includes a minimum of four colloquia in the course of their degree program or three colloquia and one of the counseling program’s concentration (or graduate certificate) experiential training events.

The master of arts in education in school counseling program allows students to create a self-directed course of study that encompasses broad themes in education.

  • Location: Prescott, Arizona
  • Duration: 60 credits for counseling, 36 credits for school counseling
  • Accreditation: CACREP
  • Tuition: $598 per credit plus fees for the master of education; $830 for the master of science in counseling

The University of Arizona

The University of Arizona offers two master of arts in counseling programs: one in rehabilitation counseling and general mental health and one in school counseling. The rehabilitation and mental health emphasis prepares students to become certified rehabilitation counselors and licensed associate counselors. The school counseling program prepares students to become school counselors and licensed associate counselors.

  • Location: Tucson, Arizona
  • Duration: 60 credits
  • Accreditation: CACREP
  • Tuition: $853 per credit plus fees, Arizona resident; $1,781 per credit plus fees, non-resident

University of Phoenix – College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

The University of Phoenix is a college founded in 1976 that offers a variety of online degrees. The master of science in counseling has an emphasis in general clinical mental health counseling or marriage, family, and child therapy.

  • Location: Phoenix, Arizona
  • Duration: 60 credits, 37 months
  • Accreditation: CACREP
  • Tuition: $698 per credit

Arizona State University – College of Integrative Sciences and Arts

Arizona State University offers an MC degree—a master of counseling—that is approved by the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners. The master of counseling program requires students to choose from either a written thesis or a comprehensive final exam for completion. The school also offers an online master of science in psychology, in both full-time and part-time formats.

  • Location: Tempe, Arizona campus
  • Duration: 60 credits
  • Accreditation: Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners
  • Tuition: Approximately $6,304 per term for Arizona residents; $12,216 per term, non-resident

How Much Do Counselors Make in Arizona?

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

Marriage and Family Therapists

United StatesArizona
Number employed59,050720
Average annual salary (mean)$54,590$50,260
10th percentile$32,070$35,930
50th percentile (median)$49,610$48,020
90th percentile$87,700$65,140

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

United StatesArizona
Number employed284,5406,210
Average annual salary (mean)$49,950$49,330
10th percentile$29,520$30,690
50th percentile (median)$46,240$46,500
90th percentile$76,080$70,380

Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors

United StatesArizona
Number employed296,4608,460
Average annual salary (mean)$61,000$52,190
10th percentile$34,380$33,960
50th percentile (median)$57,040$50,850
90th percentile$96,090$73,440

Rehabilitation Counselors

United StatesArizona
Number employed109,0402,370
Average annual salary (mean)$40,160$35,410
10th percentile$23,820$25,170
50th percentile (median)$39,950$34,940
90th percentile$63,790$46,670

All Other Counselors

United StatesArizona
Number employed25,420310
Average annual salary (mean)$48,800$44,480
10th percentile$27,030$32,590
50th percentile (median)$42,930$41,120
90th percentile$77,590$62,310

Counseling Professional Associations & Resources in Arizona

  • Arizona School Counselors Association
  • Arizona Counseling Association
  • The Arizona Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Arizona Association of Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Counselors
  • Arizona Psychological Association
  • Arizona Occupational Therapy Association
  • The Arizona State Therapeutic Recreation Association
  • American Counseling Association – Western Region
  • Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners
  • Arizona Association for Play Therapy
  • Arizona Council on Compulsive Gambling
  • Arizona Psychiatric Society
  • Arizona Psychological Association
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness – Southern Arizona
  • The NARBHA Institute (formerly Northern Arizona Regional Behavioral Health Authority)
  • National Association of Social Workers – Arizona Chapter
  • Arizona Center for Disability Law
  • Mental Health America of Arizona

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

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners (AZBBHE)

Arizona credentials Licensed Associate Counselors (LACs) and Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs).

The steps to earn the LAC credential are:

  • Submit a completed application, including a social security number and employment history for the past seven years
  • Pay the $250 application fee
  • Provide proof of eligibility to reside and work in the US
  • Submit official transcripts from a CACREP or CORE accredited master’s degree of at least 60 semester or 90 quarter credit hours. This degree must include a practicum of 700 hours including 240 hours of direct client contact
  • Provide a complete set of fingerprints on a standard FD-258 card with a $40.00 payment or proof of online payment, or a copy of a current DPS fingerprint clearance card
  • Pass the NCE, NCMHCE, or CRC exam. If candidates have not previously taken the exam, the board can issue an authorization to take the exam when the LAC application is submitted.

In order to progress from a LAC to an LPC, candidates must:

  • Pay the $250 application fee (a waiver may be requested if a candidate’s LAC license is currently active)
  • Submit a complete application including an updated employment history
  • Provide proof of 3,200 hours of work experience overseen by a clinical supervisor in no less than 24 months—of those hours, 1,600 must be direct client contact involving the use of psychotherapy. No more than 400 of those 1,600 hours can be from psychoeducation. There must be at least 100 total hours of clinical supervision, and at least one hour in every month that the work experience was completed.
  • Submit proof of legal status to work and live in the US.

LPCs are required to renew their licenses in Arizona every two years. Requirements include:

  • Complete an online authorized tutorial every renewal cycle. Two tutorials are available and counselors can complete one or both. Each costs $25 and counts for three units of continuing education
  • Pay the $350 renewal fee
  • Submit a total of 30 hours of continuing education, including the three-hour tutorial, three hours in ethics or law, and three hours in cultural competency and diversity

School Counseling Licenses in Arizona

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Arizona Department of Education

The Arizona Department of Education issues a Standard School Counselor, PreK-12 Certificate. Candidates for this certification must:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $60 application fee
  • Provide a copy of a valid Arizona Department of Public Safety Identity Verified Prints (IVP) fingerprint clearance card
  • Hold a master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution
  • Have completed a master’s program in guidance and counseling (or hold one of the following: a master’s program counseling, social work, or psychology; a valid license from the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners; a graduate credential in academic advising; or a valid and comparable out-of-state certificate)
  • Complete a practicum in school counseling at an accredited institution or have two years of full-time experience as a school counselor or have three years of full-time teaching experience

If all requirements are met (except for the practicum or work experience), a temporary three-year license may be issued to correct this deficiency.

The Standard School Counselor, PreK-12 Certificate issued in Arizona is valid for 12 years.

To renew, applicants must submit a completed application, pay a $30 application fee, and demonstrate 15 hours of continuing education completed for each year the certificate was held.

Substance Abuse Counseling Licenses in Arizona

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners

Arizona has three levels of licensure for substance abuse counselors. They are Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC), Licensed Associate Substance Abuse (LSAC) Counselor, and Licensed Substance Abuse Technician (LSAT).

Requirements for LSAT licensure include:

  • Passing score on the ADC or AADC exams from the IC&RC, or level I or higher exams from NAADAC
  • An associate or bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in a program accredited by NASAC or board-approved school with required coursework
  • Proof of eligibility to work in the US
  • A Federal Data Bank self query
  • A criminal background check including fingerprints
  • Completed application
  • $250 application fee

To earn the LSAC license, candidates must have:

  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in a program accredited by NASAC or board approved with required coursework, including a 300-hour supervised practicum
  • Passing score on the AADC exam from the IC&RC, or level II or higher or MAC exams from NAADAC
  • Seven years of employment history
  • 3,200 hours of supervised work experience in substance abuse counseling in no less than 24 months (1,600 hours must be direct client contact and 100 hours must be supervision)
  • Proof of eligibility to work in the US
  • A Federal Data Bank self query
  • A criminal background check including fingerprints
  • Completed application
  • $250 application fee

To earn the LISAC license, candidates must meet the above requirements, in addition to having a master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in a program accredited by NASAC or board approved with required coursework. The program must include a 300-hour supervised practicum.

Renewals of substance abuse counselor licenses in Arizona are required every two years.

Requirements to renew include:

  • A complete application
  • A renewal fee of $325
  • 30 hours of continuing education

Rehabilitation Counseling Licenses in Arizona

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners (AZBBHE)

Rehabilitation counselors in Arizona must have credentials as either Licensed Associate Counselors (LACs) and Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs).

The steps to earn the LAC credential are:

  • Submit a completed application, including a social security number and employment history for the past seven years
  • Pay the $250 application fee
  • Provide proof of eligibility to reside and work in the US
  • Submit official transcripts from a CACREP or CORE accredited master’s degree of at least 60 semester or 90 quarter credit hours. This degree must include a practicum of 700 hours including 240 hours of direct client contact
  • Provide a complete set of fingerprints on a standard FD-258 card with a $40.00 payment or proof of online payment, or a copy of a current DPS fingerprint clearance card
  • Pass the NCE, NCMHCE, or CRC exam. If candidates have not previously taken the exam, the board can issue an authorization to take the exam when the LAC application is submitted.

In order to progress from a LAC to an LPC, candidates must:

  • Pay the $250 application fee (a waiver may be requested if a candidate’s LAC license is currently active)
  • Submit a complete application including an updated employment history
  • Provide proof of 3,200 hours of work experience overseen by a clinical supervisor in no less than 24 months—of those hours, 1,600 must be direct client contact involving the use of psychotherapy. No more than 400 of those 1,600 hours can be from psychoeducation. There must be at least 100 total hours of clinical supervision, and at least one hour in every month that the work experience was completed.
  • Submit proof of legal status to work and live in the US.

Rehabilitation counselors who are LPCs are required to renew their licenses in Arizona every two years. Requirements include:

  • Complete an online authorized tutorial every renewal cycle. Two tutorials are available and counselors can complete one or both. Each costs $25 and counts for three units of continuing education
  • Pay the $350 renewal fee
  • Submit a total of 30 hours of continuing education, including the three-hour tutorial, three hours in ethics or law, and three hours in cultural competency and diversity

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Licenses in Arizona

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners

The Board of Psychologist Examiners is responsible for issuing Behavior Analyst licenses in Arizona. To qualify, candidates must:

  • Pay $350 application fee
  • Submit a completed application
  • Provide proof of right to work in the US through the Arizona Statement of Citizenship and Alien Status form
  • Pay the prorated initial license fee
  • Hold BCBA certification
  • Provide verification of 1,500 hours of supervised experience
  • Supply official transcripts verifying education

Behavior Analyst licenses issued in Arizona expire on May 1st of odd-numbered years. Renewal fees are $500 per biennium.

Analysts are required to complete 30 hours of continuing education per renewal cycle. Four of those 30 hours must be in ethics.

Marriage and Family Therapy Licenses in Arizona

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners (AZBHE)

The Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners issues Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (LAMFT) and Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) licenses.

The requirements for an LAMFT license are:

  • Submit a completed application, including a social security number and employment history for the past seven years
  • Pay the $250 application fee
  • Provide proof of eligibility to reside and work in the US
  • Submit official transcripts demonstrating a master’s degree or higher from a program that is COAMFTE-accredited, previously approved by the Board, or includes the requisite number of credit hours in six core content areas
  • Provide a complete set of fingerprints on a standard FD-258 card with a $40.00 payment or proof of online payment, or a copy of a current DPS fingerprint clearance card
  • A passing score on the AMFTRB exam

If candidates have not previously taken the exam, the board can issue an authorization to take the exam when the LAMFT application is submitted.

In order to progress from an LAMFT to an LMFT, candidates must:

  • Pay the $250 application fee (a waiver may be requested if a candidate’s LAMFT license is currently active)
  • Submit a complete application including an updated employment history
  • Provide proof of 3,200 hours of work experience overseen by a clinical supervisor in no less than 24 months; of those hours, 1,600 must be direct client contact involving the use of psychotherapy, and no more than 400 of those 1,600 can be from psychoeducation; also there must be at least 100 total hours of clinical supervision, and at least one hour in every month that the work experience was completed
  • Submit proof of legal status to work and live in the US

LAMFTs and LMFTs are required to renew their licenses in Arizona every two years.

Requirements include:

  • Pay $350 renewal fee
  • Complete 30 hours of continuing education (three hours must be in ethics and three hours must be in diversity)
  • Complete a three-hour board-approved statutes and rules tutorial (please note that this counts for three hours of continuing education)

Child (Pediatric) Behavioral Therapy Licenses in Arizona

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners (AZBBHE)

Child therapists in Arizona must have credentials as either Licensed Associate Counselors (LACs) and Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs).

The steps to earn the LAC credential are:

  • Submit a completed application, including a social security number and employment history for the past seven years
  • Pay the $250 application fee
  • Provide proof of eligibility to reside and work in the US
  • Submit official transcripts from a CACREP or CORE accredited master’s degree of at least 60 semester or 90 quarter credit hours. This degree must include a practicum of 700 hours including 240 hours of direct client contact
  • Provide a complete set of fingerprints on a standard FD-258 card with a $40.00 payment or proof of online payment, or a copy of a current DPS fingerprint clearance card
  • Pass the NCE, NCMHCE, or CRC exam. If candidates have not previously taken the exam, the board can issue an authorization to take the exam when the LAC application is submitted.

In order to progress from a LAC to an LPC, candidates must:

  • Pay the $250 application fee (a waiver may be requested if a candidate’s LAC license is currently active)
  • Submit a complete application including an updated employment history
  • Provide proof of 3,200 hours of work experience overseen by a clinical supervisor in no less than 24 months—of those hours, 1,600 must be direct client contact involving the use of psychotherapy. No more than 400 of those 1,600 hours can be from psychoeducation. There must be at least 100 total hours of clinical supervision, and at least one hour in every month that the work experience was completed.
  • Submit proof of legal status to work and live in the US.

Child therapists who are LPCs are required to renew their licenses in Arizona every two years. Requirements include:

  • Complete an online authorized tutorial every renewal cycle. Two tutorials are available and counselors can complete one or both. Each costs $25 and counts for three units of continuing education
  • Pay the $350 renewal fee
  • Submit a total of 30 hours of continuing education, including the three-hour tutorial, three hours in ethics or law, and three hours in cultural competency and diversity
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