Counseling Degrees & Licenses in Idaho

Pursuing a counseling career in Idaho is likely to prove worthwhile given the current demand for a larger workforce within the state. Issues of both workforce supply and population demand contribute to the pressing need for a highly skilled mental health professional workforce.

In terms of population demand, Idaho has several concerning indicators of mental health that exceed the national average. According to Mental Health America, Idaho recently ranked 48 out of the 50 states and Washington, DC in terms of its access to mental health services.

The severity of the mental health workforce shortage in Idaho cannot be overstated. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare recently declared that 100 percent of Idaho is designated as a “Health Professional Shortage area.” A number of factors contribute to Idaho’s current mental health workforce challenges. These include low wages and a lack of culturally-responsive services, quality training supervision, and targeted recruitment efforts. Other significant factors include inadequate health policy response, limited stakeholder collaboration, and poor state-level data management practices.

Given the circumstances and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, prospective counselors in Idaho will likely find significant opportunities. Read on to discover how to join various counseling careers in Idaho, including detailed information about academic programs and licensing. 

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Accredited Counseling Degree Programs in Idaho

Boise State University

The Boise State University Department of Counselor Education offers a 60-semester-hour master of arts degree in counseling. Students can choose one of two cognates: addiction counseling or school counseling. In both, students must also complete a 100-hour practicum and a 700-hour internship in a clinical setting.

Those seeking to pursue licensure as addiction counselors within Idaho must  complete three requirements: the 60-semester-hour academic program, 1,000 hours of supervised experience, and the National Counselor Examination (NCE).

Those seeking to become certified as a school counselor within Idaho complete 700 hours of field experience; 600 of those must be in a K-12 setting. Completion of the school counseling cognate meets Idaho school counseling certification requirements.

BSU also offers a fully online, full-time, 56-credit master of science degree in genetic counseling (MSGC). The curriculum is designed to train students to develop the practice-based competencies necessary to fulfill the standards espoused by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC). Students seeking to become a Certified Genetic Counselor (CGC) should consult the ABGC website CGC subpage for more information on this process.

  • Location: Boise, ID
  • Duration: MA in counseling (60 credits, three years; MSGC (56 credits, 21 months)
  • Accreditation: The master’s degree in counseling program is accredited through the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP); the MSGC program is accredited through the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC)
  • Tuition: Idaho resident full-time students (11 to 16 credits) pay $8,060 for tuition and fees (2021-22); $24,980 for non-Idaho residents

Idaho State University

Idaho State University offers a masters of arts counseling degree (MCoun) with five specialties: clinical mental health counseling, clinical rehabilitation counseling, marriage, couple and family counseling, school counseling, and student affairs counseling. 

Program specialties do not differ in the total academic credits required for graduation but rather in the focus of academic coursework and the settings students will be proficient to work in upon graduation.

  • Location: Pocatello and Meridian, ID 
  • Duration: 60 credits (two years)
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $4,190, residents (nine credits or more); $12,917 (non-residents)

Northwest Nazarene University

The Northwest Nazarene University Counselor Education Department offers a 60-credit master of science degree in counseling with three specializations: clinical mental health counseling; marriage, couple and family counselin; and school counseling. 

Beyond completion of academic work, graduation from this program requires the completion of 1,000 hours of practicum/internship experience and a satisfactory score on both the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) and the National Counselor Exam (NCE). Students are further required to participate, as clients, in a personal growth experience such as individual or group counseling.

  • Location: Nampa or Twin Falls, ID
  • Duration: 60 credits; 33 months
  • Accreditation: Accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $550 per credit 

University of Idaho

The University of Idaho Rehabilitation Counseling and Human Services Program offers a 60-credit master’s of science degree in rehabilitation counseling. Students may complete this program on a full- or part-time basis. However, admission priority is given to full-time student applications. Classes are offered using a variety of delivery methods.

Successful graduates become eligible to take both the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and National Certified Counselor (NCC) examinations. They may also be allowed to sit for the National Counselor Exam (NCE). Those seeking to ultimately become licensed professional counselors are required to successfully complete the NCE.

  • Location: Moscow, ID
  • Duration: Two years (full-time); four years (part-time)
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $4,956 per semester for residents (nine to 20 credits); $549 per credit for residents (one to eight credits); $14,574 per semester for out-of-state students  (nine to 20 credits); $1,618 per credit for out-of-state students (one to eight credits)

How Much Do Counselors Earn in Idaho?

These numbers represent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2021—the latest data available as of June 2022.

Clinical and Counseling Psychologist Salaries

United StatesIdaho
Number employed58,100330
Average annual salary (mean)$99,640$77,070
10th percentile$47,010$39,630
50th percentile (median)$82,510$62,410
90th percentile$167,460$130,030

Marriage and Family Therapist Salaries

United StatesIdaho
Number employed54,800Data not available
Average annual salary (mean)$59,660$53,870
10th percentile$37,050$38,480
50th percentile (median)$49,880$49,440
90th percentile$96,520$63,040

Rehabilitation Counselor Salaries

United StatesIdaho
Number employed90,3101,170
Average annual salary (mean)$44,740$42,820
10th percentile$28,890$23,780
50th percentile (median)$38,560$39,740
90th percentile$65,880$59,360

Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselor and Advisor Salaries

United StatesIdaho
Number employed57,1102,130
Average annual salary (mean)$82,770$52,990
10th percentile$49,260$37,340
50th percentile (median)$78,780$48,560
90th percentile$124,950$76,490

Counseling Professional Associations & Resources in Idaho

  • Idaho Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses
  • Idaho Mental Health Counselors Association
  • Idaho Counseling Association
  • Idaho Genetic Counselors Licensing Board
  • Idaho Association of Marriage and Family Counselors
  • The Idaho Association of Community Providers, Inc.

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

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Idaho Licensing Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists

Idaho credentials Counselors (LPC) and Clinical Practice Counselors (LCPC).

The requirement for an LPC license are:

  • A master’s or higher program from a CACREP accredited program or another regionally accredited program with at least 60 semester or 90 quarter hours and coursework in required fields
  • A 280-hour practicum while obtaining a master’s with at least one hour of supervision for every 10 hours of client contact
  • 1,000 hours of supervised work experience (at least 400 of the hours must be direct client contact)
  • Passing score on the NCE exam
  • $200 application and licensure fee
  • A completed application
  • Proof of age

Requirements for an LCPC license are:

  • An LPC license
  • 2,000 hours of supervised work experience with a rate of one hour of supervision for every 30 hours of practice
  • Supervisor recommendation

Licenses are renewed annually in Idaho. The fee is $120. Counselors are expected to complete 40 continuing education credits every two years, of which no less than six must be in ethics.

While counselors are not required to submit continuing education proof, audits are performed to ensure counselors are complying.

School Counseling Licenses in Idaho

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Idaho State Department of Education (SDE)

The Idaho State Department of Education (SDE) issues Certificate for Pupil Service Staff with a School Counselor endorsement. The requirements for this certificate and endorsement are:

  • Complete a master’s degree that includes a 700-hour practicum with at least 75 percent of the house in a K-12 setting across all grade levels
  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay a $75 application fee
  • Complete a background check
  • Have institutional recommendation

Certificates for Pupil Service Staff issued in Idaho are valid for five years.

To renew, school counselors must submit a completed application and pay a $75 free. Counselors must also complete six semester hours of continuing education from accredited institutions. Three of those semesters may be earned through approved professional activities.

Substance Abuse Counseling Licenses in Idaho

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Idaho Board of Alcohol/Drug Counselor Certification (IBADCC)

There are a total of seven certifications issued by the Idaho Board of Alcohol/Drug Counselor Certification (IBADCC).

The two main certifications for substance abuse counselors are Advanced Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor (ACADC), Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC), and Substance Use Disorder Associate (SUDA).

To earn the SUDA certification, which is a trainee designation, applicants must:

  • Have 21 semester hours (or 315 clock hours) of substance abuse-related coursework
  • Complete 300 hours of supervised practicum, with a minimum of ten hours in each of the 12 core functions
  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $65 application fee
  • Pay $160 testing fee
  • Pass a computer-based exam

To earn a CADC certification, applicants must:

  • Complete 6,000 hours of work experience with alcohol and other drug clients (a bachelor’s in behavioral science can substitute for 2,000 hours and a master’s in behavioral science can substitute for 4,000; the hours must include 300 hours of supervision, with a minimum of ten hours in12 core functions)
  • Earn 270 hours of education, with at least 30 hours in each area related to the IC&RC Performance Domains and Tasks
  • Complete six hours of training in professional ethics specific to substance abuse counselors
  • Submit three letters of recommendation
  • Complete a criminal background check
  • Pay the $235 exam fee and pass the ADC Exam for the IC&RC
  • Pay $80 application fee

ACADC applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete 2,000 hours of work experience with alcohol and other drug clients in 12 core function areas
  • Earn a master’s degree in behavioral science
  • Complete 180 hours of education, with at least 30 hours in each area related to the IC&RC Performance Domains and Tasks
  • Complete six hours of training in professional ethics specific to substance abuse counselors
  • Submit three letters of recommendation
  • Complete a criminal background check
  • Pay the $235 exam fee and pass the AADC Exam for the IC&RC
  • Pay $80 application fee

Renewals for IBADCC certifications are due every two years. The fees are $207 for ACADC and CADC and $135 SUDA.

SUDAs are required to complete 60 hours of continuing education every renewal period, while ACADCs and CADCs only need to complete 40.

For all three certification renewals there must be four hours of face-to-face continuing education in ethics.

Rehabilitation Counseling Licenses in Idaho

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Idaho Licensing Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists

Idaho requires rehabilitation counselors to earn either a Professional Counselor (LPC) or Clinical Practice Counselor (LCPC) license.

The requirement for an LPC license are:

  • A master’s or higher program from a CACREP accredited program or another regionally accredited program with at least 60 semester or 90 quarter hours and coursework in required fields
  • A 280-hour practicum while obtaining a master’s with at least one hour of supervision for every 10 hours of client contact
  • 1,000 hours of supervised work experience (at least 400 of the hours must be direct client contact)
  • Passing score on the NCE exam
  • $200 application and licensure fee
  • A completed application
  • Proof of age

Requirements for an LCPC license are:

  • An LPC license
  • 2,000 hours of supervised work experience with a rate of one hour of supervision for every 30 hours of practice
  • Supervisor recommendation

Licenses are renewed annually in Idaho. The fee is $120. Counselors are expected to complete 40 continuing education credits every two years, of which no less than six must be in ethics.

While counselors are not required to submit continuing education proof, audits are performed to ensure counselors are complying.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Licenses in Idaho

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 Idaho.

However, holding a BCBA certification can help with employment opportunities or job advancement.

Marriage and Family Therapy Licenses in Idaho

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Idaho Licensing Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists

The Idaho Licensing Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists licenses Marriage and Family Therapists and Associate Marriage and Family Therapists.

The requirement for an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist license are:

  • Hold a master’s or higher program from a CACREP-MCFC- or COAMFTE-accredited program (or another regionally accredited program with the requisite coursework)
  • Complete a 200-hour practicum while obtaining a master’s with at least 105 hours of direct marriage and family therapy client contact
  • Pay $200 application and licensure fee
  • Submit a completed application with proof of age
  • Pass the AMFTRB exam

Marriage and Family Therapists must meet the same requirements for an associate license, as well as:

  • Complete 3,000 hours of supervised work experience; at least 2,000 of the hours must be direct client contact
  • Pay $200 application and licensure fee
  • Complete an application and show proof of age

Marriage and family therapist licenses are renewed annually in Idaho. The fee is $120.

Counselors are expected to complete 40 continuing education credits every two years, of which no less than six must be in ethics.

While counselors are not required to submit continuing education proof, audits are performed to ensure counselors are complying.

Child (Pediatric) Behavioral Therapy Licenses in Idaho

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Idaho Licensing Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists

Idaho requires child therapists to earn either a Professional Counselor (LPC) or Clinical Practice Counselor (LCPC) license.

The requirement for an LPC license are:

  • A master’s or higher program from a CACREP accredited program or another regionally accredited program with at least 60 semester- or 90 quarter-hours and coursework in required fields
  • A 280-hour practicum while obtaining a master’s with at least one hour of supervision for every 10 hours of client contact
  • 1,000 hours of supervised work experience (at least 400 of the hours must be direct client contact)
  • Passing score on the NCE exam
  • $200 application and licensure fee
  • A completed application
  • Proof of age

Requirements for an LCPC license are:

  • An LPC license
  • 2,000 hours of supervised work experience with a rate of one hour of supervision for every 30 hours of practice
  • Passing score on the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE) exam
  • Supervisor recommendation
  • Pay $120 fee

Licenses are renewed annually in Idaho. The fee is $120. Counselors are expected to complete 40 continuing education credits every two years, of which no less than six must be in ethics.

While counselors are not required to submit continuing education proof, audits are performed to ensure counselors are complying.

Bernd Geels

Bernd Geels

Writer

Bernd Geels is a Berlin, Germany-based freelance writer and artist. He holds an undergraduate degree in atmospheric science and two graduate degrees. He completed his most recent graduate degree in international environmental studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in 2011. He is interested in healthcare, climate change, marine conservation, indigenous science and refugee issues. You can reach him directly at berndgeels@gmail.com.

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