Counseling Degrees & Licenses in Iowa

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

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Iowa Department of Public Health Board of Behavioral Science

Iowa issues temporary Mental Health Counselor (MHC) licenses to candidates who still need to complete supervised work experience. Candidates must:

  • Pay a $120 application fee
  • Complete part one of the Supervised Clinical Experience Approval and Attestation form
  • Pass the NCE exam
  • Graduate from a CACREP accredited master’s or doctoral program or obtain an equivalency evaluation if a graduate degree is earned at a non-CACREP accredited school
  • Complete an application

To apply for a full MHC license, candidates must:

  • Complete 1,000 hours of supervised clinical experience of which 200 hours must be supervision hours. In lieu of this applicants can provide proof of Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor status with the National Board for Certified Counselors
  • Pass the NCE exam
  • Graduate from a CACREP accredited master’s or doctoral program or obtain an equivalency evaluation if a graduate degree is earned at a non-CACREP accredited school
  • Complete an application

Iowa requires licenses to be renewed every two years on even-numbered years. The period to renew a license runs from October 1st of an even-numbered year till September 30th of the next even-numbered year. During that period, counselors must submit their renewal application, pay the $120 fee, and complete 40 hours of continuing education.

School Counseling Licenses in Iowa

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Iowa Board of Education Examiners

Iowa Board of Education Examiners issues a Professional Services license for school counselors.

For an initial license, applicants must:

  • Complete a master’s degree in school counseling from an accredited institution
  • Pay $85.00 processing fee, $60.00 evaluation fee, $3.00 convenience fee, and $75.00 background check fee
  • Pass a background check
  • Complete a 500-hour practicum or internship
  • Submit a completed application

A Class G license may be issued to applicants who have not met the internship or practicum requirements.

After two years of full-time work, school counselors can convert their license from an initial one to a standard one.

The initial Professional Services license must be renewed every two years. Applications can be submitted online and no continuing education is required.

Standard licenses are valid for five years and must be renewed online. Counselors renewing standard licenses will need to complete four renewal credits per cycle. These credits can be earned through education, testing, certification, or mentoring.

Substance Abuse Counseling Licenses in Iowa

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Iowa Board of Certification (IBC)

The Iowa Board of Certification (IBC) issues Temporary Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor (tCADC), Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC), International Alcohol and Drug Counselor (IADC), and International Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (IAADC) certifications.

To earn a tCADC certification, applicants must:

  • Pass the ADC IC&RC exam
  • Have a high school diploma and 150 clock hours of relevant education with at least 45 hours in counseling theories and techniques, 45 hours in alcohol and drug abuse, six hours in special populations, six hours in counseling ethics, and three hours in racial/ethnic courses
  • Pay the $380 application fee
  • Submit a completed application

CADC certificate applicants must choose to either apply through the education or experience track. The requirements include:

  • Pass the ADC IC&RC exam
  • Education track: Have a high school diploma, 24 semester hours (or 33 quarter hours) of college-level coursework in substance abuse, 150 clock hours of relevant education with at least 45 hours in counseling theories and techniques, 45 hours in alcohol and drug-specific classes, six hours in special populations, six hours in counseling ethics, and three hours in racial/ethnic and six months (or 1,000 hours) of full-time supervised work experience in substance abuse counseling, of which 500 hours must in the Four Domains of the Alcohol and Drug Counselor, with a minimum of 20 hours in each domain, and 36 of the hours in direct supervision with a qualified supervisor
  • Experience track: Have a high school diploma and 150 clock hours of relevant education with at least 45 hours in counseling theories and techniques, 45 hours in alcohol and drug-specific classes, six hours in special populations, six hours in counseling ethics, and three hours in racial/ethnic courses and a year-and-a-half (or 3,000 hours) of full-time supervised work experience in substance abuse counseling, of which 500 hours must in the Four Domains of the Alcohol and Drug Counselor, with a minimum of 20 hours in each domain, and 36 of the hours in direct supervision with a qualified supervisor
  • Pay the $380 application fee
  • Submit a completed application

IADC certificates are reciprocal with other states that use IC&RC certification. The requirements include:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • 300 hours of alcohol and drug knowledge and skill competencies; at least 30 hours must have been earned in the past 24 months and must include 90 hours in counseling theories and techniques, 90 hours in alcohol and drug-specific training, six hours in counseling ethics, and three hours in racial/ethnic courses
  • Work experience in the Four Domains of Drug and Alcohol Counselors
  • A passing score on the Supervisor’s Counselor Evaluation
  • $380 application fee
  • A completed application
  • Passing score on the ADC IC&RC exam

Those with a master’s degree or higher in a related field must complete 2,000 hours, with 100 hours of supervision; bachelor’s degree holders in a related field must complete 4,000 hours, with 200 hours of supervision; associate degree holders in a related field must complete 5,000 hours, with 250 hours of supervision; and those without a college degree in a related field must document 6,000 hours of experience, with 300 hours of supervision.

IAADC certification requirements include:

  • A master’s or doctorate in behavioral science
  • 180 hours in alcohol and drug knowledge and skill competencies with six hours in counseling ethics and three hours in racial/ethnic courses
  • 2,000 hours of work experience in the Four Domains of Drug and Alcohol Counselors, including 300 hours of on the job supervision.
  • A passing score on the Supervisor’s Counselor Evaluation
  • $380 application fee
  • A completed application
  • Passing score on the AADC IC&RC exam

The IBC requires certificate holders to renew every two years.

To renew, counselors must:

  • Submit a completed application either online or on a paper application
  • Pay $200 fee
  • Complete 40 hours of continuing education; 25 hours must be from formal training or classes

Rehabilitation Counseling Licenses in Iowa

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Iowa Department of Public Health Board of Behavioral Science

Iowa issues temporary Mental Health Counselor (MHC) licenses to rehabilitation counselors who still need to complete supervised work experience. Candidates must:

  • Pay a $120 application fee
  • Complete part one of the Supervised Clinical Experience Approval and Attestation form
  • Pass the NCE exam
  • Graduate from a CACREP accredited master’s or doctoral program or obtain an equivalency evaluation if a graduate degree is earned at a non-CACREP accredited school
  • Complete an application

To apply for a full MHC license, candidates must:

  • Complete 1,000 hours of supervised clinical experience of which 200 hours must be supervision hours. In lieu of this applicants can provide proof of Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor status with the National Board for Certified Counselors
  • Pass the NCE exam
  • Graduate from a CACREP accredited master’s or doctoral program or obtain an equivalency evaluation if a graduate degree is earned at a non-CACREP accredited school
  • Complete an application

Iowa requires licenses to be renewed every two years on even-numbered years. The period to renew a license runs from October 1st of an even-numbered year till September 30th of the next even-numbered year. During that period, counselors must submit their renewal application, pay the $120 fee, and complete 40 hours of continuing education.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Licenses in Iowa

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Iowa Board of Behavioral Science

The Iowa Board of Behavioral Science issues licenses for Behavior Analysts and Assistant Behavior Analysts. The requirements are:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $300 application fee
  • Hold either BCBA or BCaBA certification

Behavior analyst licenses in Iowa run concurrently with the BCBA certification. Both the certification and license must be renewed before the certification expires.

To renew, the applicant must meet the renewal requirements set forth by the BACB. The fee to renew is $120.

Marriage and Family Therapy Licenses in Iowa

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Iowa Department of Public Health Board of Behavioral Science

Iowa issues temporary Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) licenses to candidates who still need to complete supervised work experience. Candidates must:

  • Pay a $120 application fee
  • Complete part one of the Supervised Clinical Experience Approval and Attestation form
  • Pass the AMFTRB exam
  • Graduate from a COAMFTE-accredited master’s or doctoral program (or obtain an equivalency evaluation if a graduate degree is earned at a non-COAMFTE accredited school)
  • Complete an application

To apply for a full MFT license, candidates must:

  • Complete 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience, of which 200 hours must be supervision hours; in lieu of this, applicants can provide proof of clinical membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Pass the AMFTRB exam
  • Graduate from a COAMFTE-accredited master’s or doctoral program (or obtain an equivalency evaluation if a graduate degree is earned at a non-COAMFTE accredited school)
  • Complete an application

Iowa requires licenses to be renewed each even-numbered year. The period to renew a license runs from October 1st of an even-numbered year till September 30th of the next even-numbered year.

During that period, counselors must submit their renewal application, pay the $120 fee, and complete 40 hours of continuing education requirements.

Child (Pediatric) Behavioral Therapy Licenses in Iowa

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Iowa Department of Public Health Board of Behavioral Science

Iowa issues temporary Mental Health Counselor (MHC) licenses to child therapists who still need to complete supervised work experience. Candidates must:

  • Pay a $120 application fee
  • Complete part one of the Supervised Clinical Experience Approval and Attestation form
  • Pass the NCE exam
  • Graduate from a CACREP accredited master’s or doctoral program or obtain an equivalency evaluation if a graduate degree is earned at a non-CACREP accredited school
  • Complete an application

To apply for a full MHC license, candidates must:

  • Complete 1,000 hours of supervised clinical experience of which 200 hours must be supervision hours. In lieu of this applicants can provide proof of Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor status with the National Board for Certified Counselors
  • Pass the NCE exam
  • Graduate from a CACREP accredited master’s or doctoral program or obtain an equivalency evaluation if a graduate degree is earned at a non-CACREP accredited school
  • Complete an application

Iowa requires licenses to be renewed every two years on even-numbered years. The period to renew a license runs from October 1st of an even-numbered year till September 30th of the next even-numbered year. During that period, counselors must submit their renewal application, pay the $120 fee, and complete 40 hours of continuing education.