Counseling Degrees & Licenses in California

Pursuing a counseling degree or license for work in California makes sense, both as a stable career and as a way to help people in need of quality care for mental health disorders. California is the nation’s most populous state, and according to 2018 data by the California Health Care Foundation, nearly one in six California adults experience a mental illness of some kind. One in 24 people there has an issue serious enough to affect their daily life.

California organization Resource To Recover says that less than 40 percent of adults in California with mental illness actually receive treatment. With a population of nearly 39 million people, that number represents a gap in services for a large percentage of people in need. According to 2018 data by Healthforce Center at the University of California – San Francisco, there are a few reasons for this disparity.

While access to insurance coverage for healthcare has continued to increase, mental health providers are not dispersed evenly over the state. In 2016, California had more than 80,000 licensed behavioral health professionals, but the data shows a lack of diversity within these professionals that doesn’t correlate to the state’s population diversity.

In addition, it is estimated that a large portion of these professionals will be retiring over the next few years. It is believed that the number of mental health professionals who can dispense medication will decrease by 34 percent between 2016 and 2028, making an already-obvious shortage of providers even more acute. Also, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2019), careers in mental health, behavioral disorders, and substance abuse are expected to grow 22 percent nationally between 2018 and 2028, more than four times faster than the average for all occupations during the same decade (5 percent).

In California, psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses are the only mental health providers able to offer both therapy and medication prescriptions. Clinical psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs) licensed professional clinical counselors (LPCCs), and licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs) provide therapy only. Psychiatric nurses and clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) provide direct care to patients.

Read on to discover how to join various counseling careers in California, including detailed information about academic programs and licensing.

Accredited Counseling Degree Programs in California

University of Southern California – Rossier School of Education (Online)

Rossier offers an online master of education in school counseling, designed to prepare graduates for a career as a counselor in a K–12 school setting. Although the school is located in Los Angeles, anyone from around the country can enroll in the online counseling program. In addition to online courses, students will complete fieldwork in a K–12 school in or near their own community.

Requirements for this master’s degree are a 100-hour practicum and a 600-hour internship. A full- or part-time option is available, leading to a degree in two to three years. A full-time student could achieve a master’s degree in as few as five terms. This online program allows start dates three times throughout the year (January, May, and September). Rossier is top-ranked, having been named No. 11 on the list of best education schools by U.S. News and World Report (2020).

  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Duration: 49 units, two years, full- or part-time option
  • Accreditation: Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation(CAEP)
  • Tuition: $1,928 per unit

Northcentral University (Online)

NCU offers weekly start dates for their 100 percent online master of arts in marriage and family therapy program. No GRE, GMAT or other graduate school entrance examination is required, but a previous bachelor’s degree from an approved institution is. NCU’s program is the first fully remote program to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). It’s also accredited by the International Accreditation Commission for Systemic Therapy Education (IACSTE), ensuring that students receive the high-quality training necessary to be an effective marriage and family therapist.

For students eager to begin working directly with clients, NCU students can begin practicing as soon as they’ve completed the first six fundamental courses. Most students will start seeing clients as part of their practicum experience between the sixth and ninth course. It is also possible to complete all the content courses first and then start the practicum experience.

The basic content comprises 12 three-unit courses, or 36 unit hours, which can be completed in one year. It generally takes another year to complete the practicum and internship courses and finish the required hours of direct client contact and supervision. Master’s students can find a practicum experience in their local area, while also conducting online sessions via video conferencing.

  • Location: San Diego, California
  • Duration: 45 units of coursework and clinical experience (some states may have more unit requirements which can be added to their course program)
  • Accreditation: International Accreditation Commission for Systemic Therapy Education (IACSTE), Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)
  • Tuition: $2,700 per course, plus fees

University of San Diego – School of Leadership and Education Science

The University of San Diego offers a traditional master of arts in three programs—clinical mental health counseling (CMHC), school counseling (SC), and marital and family therapy (MFT)—plus a certificate in international school counseling. All MA programs are two years. Prior to 2019, the CMHC program was a three-year program. In order to complete the program within two years, students are expected to take four classes all year-round.

The school counseling option offers three tracks:

  • Pupil Personnel Services (PPS), 48 units – Authorizes specializations in school counseling, school social work, school psychology, and school child welfare and attendance services.
  • PPS credential with Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC), 60 units – Requires one additional course per semester to graduate within two years.
  • School-Based Clinical Counseling, 60 units – Where students have met the requirements to receive a PPS credential and are eligible for licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).

There are some differences between the CMHC and the MFT program. The CMHC does not require a graduate school entrance exam, while the MFT program does. Both graduates are eligible for licensure following 3,000 supervised hours; the MFT graduate requires 1,000 supervised hours to be completed within the 3,000 hours of the program.

  • Location: San Diego, California
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: CMHC is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP); MFT is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE); SC is accredited by Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: These MA programs are $1,465 (2019-20) and $1,509 (2020-21) per unit plus fees

Sonoma State University

Sonoma State University is one of the smallest California public university systems, but it has two options for its master of arts in counseling students. After completing 60 units, two professional training options are available:

  • Option I prepares students for Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) and eventual licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) and/or as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). Fulfilling the MA requirements for CMHC requires passing the CMHC Exit Exam, along with 600 hours of supervised field experience.
  • Option II prepares students for the School Counseling and the Pupil Personnel Services credential. This track requires careful planning to achieve completion within two years along with the PPS credential, because PPS courses may not be available more than once per year. For the PPS credential, at least 450 of 600 supervised hours should be completed in an elementary school, junior high, or high school.

Traditional, in-person classes are available to those students who have either a BA or BS degree. School Counseling students should have a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than education.

  • Location: Rohnert Park, California
  • Duration: 24-month, 30-month, or 36-month programs are available
  • Accreditation: Both programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The SC program is also accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).
  • Tuition: Graduate mandatory registration charge of $9,314 per academic year, plus fees and additional $11,880 non-resident charge (assuming enrollment in 15 units per semester); non-resident Western University Exchange participants add $2,872 to the mandatory charges. WUE participants receive a discount of $9,008 (assuming enrollment in 15 units per semester)

San Francisco State University – College of Science and Engineering

The SFSU Department of Counseling offers three master’s degrees:

  • A master of science in counseling with four specializations: career, college, gerontological, and school counseling. School counseling students are eligible for the PPS credential.
  • A master of science in counseling with a concentration in marriage, family, and child counseling
  • A master of science with a concentration in clinical mental health counseling.

These credentials would provide a solid foundation for working in any field related to mental health. The gerontology specialization, in particular, holds promise as the United Nations reports that the number of people around the world aged 80 years or over is projected to triple, from 143 million in 2019 to 426 million in 2050.

  • Location: San Francisco, California
  • Duration: Two or three years
  • Accreditation: The counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); the SC PPS credential is also accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).
  • Tuition: Six units or less ($2,846); six units or more ($4,352); plus fees

California State University – Los Angeles

Many California State University campuses across the state offer counseling programs, but not all campuses offer the same programs. The Los Angeles campus offers a master of science in counseling, with an option to specialize in school-based family counseling. The Northridge campus just to the north offers a counseling master of science with four tracks—K–12, college, career and marriage, and family counseling—whereas the Fullerton campus just south offers a master of science in clinical mental health counseling.

A degree from USC-Los Angeles Counseling will qualify recipients for both LPCC and MFT licensure and comes with a PPS credential as well.

  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Duration: Three years, full time. Part-time options are not available.
  • Accreditation: National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC)
  • Tuition: Spring and fall 2020 non-resident $396.00 per credit; summer 2020 $320 (resident and non-resident)

California State University – San Bernardino

The master of arts in rehabilitation counseling prepares graduates to work with individuals with disabilities in public and private rehabilitation agencies, hospitals, industry and related fields.

Additionally, CSUSB offers a master of science in counseling, which includes two concentrations: one in professional counseling and one in school counseling; each of those is a stand-alone degree of 60 units. Students with a concentration can apply to become Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC), or achieve a PPS credential allowing them to work as a school counselor in grades K-12.

  • Location: San Bernardino, California
  • Duration: Three years
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: Six units or less $1,665, six units or more $2,871

How Much Do Counselors Make in California?

These numbers represent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2019.

Marriage and Family Therapist Salaries

United StatesCalifornia
Number employed59,05031,710
Average annual salary (mean)$54,590$51,950
10th percentile$32,070$31,540
50th percentile (median)$49,610$46,450
90th percentile$87,700$82,820

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselor Salaries

United StatesCalifornia
Number employed284,54032,380
Average annual salary (mean)$49,950$54,580
10th percentile$29,520$31,210
50th percentile (median)$46,240$48,420
90th percentile$76,080$93,090

Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselor and Advisor Salaries

United StatesCalifornia
Number employed296,46032,650
Average annual salary (mean)$61,000$78,250
10th percentile$34,380$41,580
50th percentile (median)$57,040$73,690
90th percentile$96,090$124,730

Rehabilitation Counselor Salaries

United StatesCalifornia
Number employed109,04015,210
Average annual salary (mean)$40,160$37,320
10th percentile$23,820$24,690
50th percentile (median)$39,950$31,040
90th percentile$63,790$60,190

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

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Board of Behavioral Science

Counselors in California must first earn the Associate Professional Clinical Counselor (APCC) certification. Once the supervised work experience is complete, they may apply to be a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).

Requirements to be an APCC include:

  • Completing an approved master’s degree in counseling of at least 60 semester or 90 quarter credits. The program must include a practicum of at least 280 supervised hours of direct client contact.
  • Registering with the BBS as an APCC
  • Completing a Live Scan Department of Justice background check
  • Passing an additional state background check
  • Taking and passing the California Law and Ethics Exam annually

Once registered as an APCC, professionals can begin accruing the necessary 3,000 hours of supervised work experience. Of those hours 1,750 must be in direct counseling and the remaining 1,250 in non-clinical experiences such as supervision, writing reports, or administering tests. These hours must be accrued in a minimum of two years.

Upon completion of the hours, counselors may apply for LPCC licensure. The BBS will then provide the approval to take the NCMHCE exam through the NBCC. Once candidates have passed the exam they may request LPCC licensure from the BBS.

California requires LPCCs to renew their license every two years. Renewals are due during the counselors birth month.

In order to renew, counselors must:

  • Submit an online renewal
  • Complete 36 continuing education hours. Only 18 hours are required for the initial license. Six of those hours must be in law and ethics
  • Pay the $195 fee

School Counseling Licenses in California

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing

The State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing issues a Pupil Personnel Services Credential with a specialization in school counseling.

Applicants for this credential must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Complete 30 semester hours of post-baccalaureate education in school counseling, including a supervised field experience with school-age children (CACREP accreditation meets all curriculum requirements, otherwise students must provide proof of field experience)
  • Meet the Basic Skill requirement
  • Submit a completed application
  • Complete a Live Scan background check
  • Pay $100 application fee

Candidates who hold the ”National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in the area of Early Childhood to Young Adulthood – School Counseling” certification may apply directly to the board for Pupil Personnel Services Credential by supplying proof of National Board Certification, submitting an application, and paying the $100 application fee.

The Pupil Personnel Services Credential with a specialization in school counseling must be renewed every five years. There are no continuing education requirements and the fee to renew is $100.

Substance Abuse Counseling Licenses in California

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators (CAADE)

American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders

Breining Institute

California Association of DUI Treatment Programs (CADTP)

California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP)

There are five main certifying agencies for California. They are California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators (CAADE), American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders, Breining Institute, California Association of DUI Treatment Programs (CADTP), and California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP).

CAADE’s Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California (ACCBC) offers six levels of Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor (CATC) certification. Initial CATC certification requires:

  • A completed substance abuse counselor certificate or degree program in alcohol and drug studies or addiction from an accredited institution (at least 30 semester credits)
  • 2,240 hours of supervised clinical work experience in substance abuse counseling
  • Passing score on the CATC Exam
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A completed application
  • $185 application fee

Increased education allows candidates to earn higher levels of certification. There is a $50 fee to upgrade a certification. Education requirements are:

  • CATC I-30 Unit Community College Alcohol and Other Drug Certificate
  • CATC II – Associate Degree
  • CATC III – Bachelor’s Degree
  • CATC IV – Master’s Degree
  • CATC V – Doctoral Degree
  • CATC N – Nursing Degree

The American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders issues Certified Addiction Specialist (CAS) certification.

Professionals who hold a master’s or doctorate in a mental health-related field need three years and 6,000 hours of supervised work experience in addictive disorder health care services.

Professionals who do not have a degree or hold a degree in a different field need five years and 10,000 hours of supervised work experience in addictive disorder healthcare services.

Additionally, candidates must have:

  • Proof of 270 hours of formal education in addiction, including 60 hours in alcohol addiction, other drugs, sex addiction, eating disorders, and gambling disorders (30 hours should include education in one or more of the following: services to special populations, disabilities, ethics, communicable diseases, and sexual harassment)
  • Three professional recommendations
  • $140 application fee
  • $275 testing fee
  • Passing score on the American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders exam
  • A completed application

The Brenning institute issues four certifications. They are Registered Addiction Specialist (RAS), Advanced RAS – Level II (RAS II), Advanced RAS – Level III (RAS III), and Masters Level – RAS (M-RAS).

Requirements for a RAS certification include:

  • 155 hours of formal substance abuse education
  • 2,240 hours supervised clinical experience
  • Passing score on the Addiction Counselor Exam (ACE)
  • A completed application
  • $175 exam fee

Advanced RAS – Level II (RAS II) requirements are:

  • Associate in healing arts and three years of experience or 450 hours of substance abuse education and five years of clinical experience, or seven years of clinical experience and a minimum of 155 hours formal substance abuse education
  • Passing score on the Addiction Counselor Exam (ACE)
  • 6,000 hours and three years of supervised work experience with AA or AS degree, or 10,000 hours and five years without a degree
  • A completed application
  • $175 exam fee

Advanced RAS – Level III (RAS III) requirements are:

  • Bachelor’s in healing arts and three years of experience or 450 hours of substance abuse education and five years of clinical experience, or seven years of clinical experience and a minimum of 155 hours formal substance abuse education
  • Passing score on the Addiction Counselor Exam (ACE)
  • 6,000 hours and three years of supervised work experience (with BA or BS degree) or 10,000 hours and five years with AA or AS degree
  • A completed application
  • $175 exam fee

Masters Level – RAS (M-RAS) requirements are:

  • Master’s or doctorate in healing arts and three years of experience or bachelor’s in healing arts and five years of clinical experience, or ten years of clinical experience and a minimum of 155 hours formal AOD education
  • Passing score on the Addiction Counselor Exam
  • 6,000 hours and three years of supervised work experience with MA, MS, or doctorate degree, or 10,000 hours and five years with BA or BS degree
  • A completed application
  • $175 exam fee

CADTP issues a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Counselor certification. The requirements are:

  • A $75 registration fee
  • Signed code of conduct/ethics
  • Copy of a driver’s license
  • 2×2-inch photo
  • A completed nine-hour orientation course

Within five years, SUD counselors must complete:

  • 315 hours of formal SUD related education
  • 2,080 hours of related work experience, of which 160 hours of supervised practicum
  • The IC&RC ADC exam with a passing score

Increasing work experience and education can allow counselors to pursue more advanced SUD certification and even supervisor credentials.

CCAPP certifies Registered Alcohol Drug Technicians (RADT), Certified Alcohol Drug Counselors at three levels (CADT), and Licensed Advanced Alcohol Drug Counselors (LAADC).

To earn RADT certification, candidates must:

  • Complete a nine-and-a-half-hour orientation course in ethics
  • Submit a RADT application
  • Sign the California SUD Counselor Code Of Conduct
  • Sign a RADT Scope of Practice
  • Pay $290 portfolio processing fee

CADT certificate applicants must meet RADT requirements, as well as:

  • Complete 315 of hours approved, AOD specific education
  • Complete 255 of hours supervised practicum work experience
  • Pass the IC&RC ADC Written Exam
  • Complete 3,000 hours of supervised work experience work experience
  • Pay $290 portfolio processing fee as well as $438 testing fee

CADT-II requires 6,000 hours of work experience or a bachelor’s in behavioral science or allied mental health profession and 4,000 hours of work experience.

CADT-III requires a bachelor’s in behavioral science or allied mental health profession and 4,000 hours of work experience.

LAADC certificate candidates must meet the RADT and CADT requirements, in addition to having:

  • A master’s degree in behavioral science or allied mental health profession with 300 hours of substance use disorder specific education including six hours of ethics
  • 4,000 hours of work experience
  • A passing score on the IC&RC AADC Written Examination

CAADE requires its counselors to renew their certificates every two years. Renewals cost between $35 to $200 and must be accompanied by 40 continuing education hours. Nine hours must be in addiction-specific laws and ethics.

The American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders requires renewals of CAD certification annually. Renewal fees are $85 and must be accompanied by 20 continuing education hours. Eight hours must be in addiction-related coursework, eight hours must be in the TAP 21 curriculum, and the remaining four hours can be in special populations, ethics, communicable diseases, and sexual harassment.

Certification renewals from Brenning are required every two years. RASs are required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education in substance abuse topics every two years. Renewals cost $150.

CADPT renewals are due annually for SUDs who are completing their education requirements. They are required to submit:

  • Registration Renewal Form Completed
  • A $25 renewal fee
  • Three hours of Ethics Training and three hours of confidentiality training
  • Signed Code of Conduct and Ethics
  • Proof of progress towards certification within the last 12 months

CADPT SUD counselors who have full certification are required to recertify bi-annually by submitting the following:

  • Certification Renewal Form
  • Uniform Code of Conduct
  • CADTP Code of Ethics
  • 40 hours of continuing education, including three hours of ethics and confidentiality
  • Renewal fee of $125 for SUDCC; $150 for SUDCC II or SUDCC III; $175 for SUDCC III-CS, SUDCC IV, or SUDCC IV-CS

CCAPP renewals are due every two years. Requirements to renew include the following:

  • Renewal application
  • 50 hours of continuing education units, including six hours in ethics and confidentiality (Not required for RADTs)
  • Signed CCAPP Code of Conduct for Credentialed Alcohol and Drug Professionals
  • Signed State of California AOD Counselor Code of Conduct
  • Signed Scope of Practice form
  • $100 fee

Rehabilitation Counseling Licenses in California

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Board of Behavioral Science

Rehabilitation counselors in California must first earn an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor (APCC) certification. Once the supervised work experience is complete, they may apply to be a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).

Requirements to be an APCC include:

  • Completing an approved master’s degree in counseling of at least 60 semester or 90 quarter credits. The program must include a practicum of at least 280 supervised hours of direct client contact.
  • Registering with the BBS as an APCC
  • Completing a Live Scan Department of Justice background check
  • Passing an additional state background check
  • Taking and passing the California Law and Ethics Exam annually

Once registered as an APCC, professionals can begin accruing the necessary 3,000 hours of supervised work experience. Of those hours 1,750 must be in direct counseling and the remaining 1,250 in non-clinical experiences such as supervision, writing reports, or administering tests. These hours must be accrued in a minimum of two years.

Upon completion of the hours, counselors may apply for LPCC licensure. The BBS will then provide the approval to take the NCMHCE exam through the NBCC. Once candidates have passed the exam they may request LPCC licensure from the BBS.

California requires LPCCs to renew their license every two years. Renewals are due during the counselors birth month.

In order to renew, counselors must:

  • Submit an online renewal
  • Complete 36 continuing education hours. Only 18 hours are required for the initial license. Six of those hours must be in law and ethics
  • Pay the $195 fee

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Licenses in California

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) for national certification

Currently, there are no state certification or licensing requirements for applied behavior analysts in California.

However, BCBA certification and membership with the California Association for Behavior Analysis (CalABA) can help with employment opportunities and career advancement.

Marriage and Family Therapy Licenses in California

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Board of Behavioral Science

The California Board of Behavioral Science issues Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Associate Marriage Family Therapist (AMFT) licenses.

AMFT license requirements are:

  • Complete a master’s degree or higher in marriage and family systems; the program must meet specific coursework requirements and be a minimum of 48 semester hours or 72 quarter hours
  • Complete a supervised practicum, which included at least 225 hours of face-to-face experience counseling individuals, couples, families or groups
  • Submit a completed application
  • Provide a recent 2 x 2-inch photo
  • Pay $75 application fee
  • Register with the BBS as an AMFT
  • Complete a Live Scan Department of Justice background check
  • Pass an additional state background check
  • Complete a California Law and Ethics course

To earn an LMFT license, applicants must meet the AMFT requirements as well as:

  • Complete 3,000 hours and two years of supervised work experience (up to 1,300 hours may be accrued prior to completing the master’s degree)
  • Submit a complete application
  • Pay $200 application fee
  • Pass the LMFT California Clinical Exam and the LMFT California Law and Ethics Exam

California requires LMFTs to renew their license every two years. Renewals are due during the counselor’s birth month.

In order to renew, counselors must:

  • Submit an online renewal application
  • Complete 36 continuing education hours; only 18 hours are required for the initial license, and six of those hours must be in law and ethics
  • Pay the $150 fee

Child (Pediatric) Behavioral Therapy Licenses in California

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Board of Behavioral Science

Child therapists in California must first earn an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor (APCC) certification. Once the supervised work experience is complete, they may apply to be a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).

Requirements to be an APCC include:

  • Completing an approved master’s degree in counseling of at least 60 semester or 90 quarter credits. The program must include a practicum of at least 280 supervised hours of direct client contact.
  • Registering with the BBS as an APCC
  • Completing a Live Scan Department of Justice background check
  • Passing an additional state background check
  • Taking and passing the California Law and Ethics Exam annually

Once registered as an APCC, professionals can begin accruing the necessary 3,000 hours of supervised work experience. Of those hours 1,750 must be in direct counseling and the remaining 1,250 in non-clinical experiences such as supervision, writing reports, or administering tests. These hours must be accrued in a minimum of two years.

Upon completion of the hours, counselors may apply for LPCC licensure. The BBS will then provide the approval to take the NCMHCE exam through the NBCC. Once candidates have passed the exam they may request LPCC licensure from the BBS.

California requires LPCCs to renew their license every two years. Renewals are due during the counselors birth month.

In order to renew, counselors must:

  • Submit an online renewal
  • Complete 36 continuing education hours. Only 18 hours are required for the initial license. Six of those hours must be in law and ethics
  • Pay the $195 fee

Counseling Professional Associations & Resources in California

  • California Counseling Association
  • California Association for Counselor Education and Supervision
  • California Association of School Counselors
  • California Mental Health Counselors Association
  • California Rehabilitation Counseling Association
  • California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors
  • California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
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