Counseling Degrees & Licenses in Maine

Pursuing a counseling career in the state of Maine can be a rewarding professional choice given the state’s current need to enhance its workforce. The state of Maine currently features three accredited master’s-level counseling degree programs. At this time, no program offered in Maine is fully online. Due to pressing system challenges, there is a substantial need for newly trained mental health care professionals to serve a variety of populations, including youth and adults.

A recent Mental Health Summit (2021) described Maine as lacking a “functional behavioral health care system” and noted many challenges for the state. These include a shortage of mental health crisis workers, ultimately contributing to a huge burden on the state’s criminal justice system; thousands of people waiting for openings for outpatient mental health treatment; and the closure of multiple mental health residential programs due to a lack of both financial and human resources. 

According to Mental Health America, (2022) Maine recently ranked 37th out of the 50 states and Washington, DC. This ranking quantifies seven different metrics for providing care to adults; a poor ranking (high number) indicates a relatively high prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care. The number of drug overdose deaths, opioid overdose deaths, and suicides per unit population within Maine have all persisted above the national average since the mid-2010s.

Outcomes for youth are also mixed. Mental Health America ranks the state as doing extraordinarily well in terms of its youth population; Maine ranks second, according to its youth ranking. And yet in 2018-2019, prior to the Covid-pandemic, the percentage of Maine adolescents who had reported a major depressive episode in that period of time was nearly double that of adults.

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

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Accredited Counseling Degree Programs in Maine

Husson University

The Husson University Graduate Counseling and Human Relations program offers two master’s degree programs in counseling: clinical mental health counseling and school counseling.

The master of science degree in clinical mental health counseling features a 63-credit curriculum, including a 100-hour practicum (six credits) and a 900-hour internship for which students receive nine credits. The internship placement must be approved by the counseling program. 

The curriculum features many topics necessary for the success of future counseling graduates, such as ethical, professional, and legal issues in counseling, human development, career development theories, and the application of research skills for careers in various settings. The curriculum has been designed for professional counselors to develop the skills to seek national certification and state licensure as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC in Maine) or as a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor.

The master of science in school counseling program is a 60-credit program designed to prepare graduates to work as professional guidance counselors within a K-12 school setting. The curriculum features a 100-hour practicum and a 600-hour internship designed to prepare graduates for roles in counseling, leadership, and private consulting. Certified school counselors may hold a variety of responsibilities, including individualized counseling, consultation with parents and teachers, classroom instruction, and the development of effective programming.

  • Location: Bangor, ME
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $682 per credit, regardless of residency status

University of Southern Maine

The University of Southern Maine offers a master of science degree in counseling with three available concentrations: clinical mental health, clinical and vocational rehabilitation, and school counseling.

The clinical mental health concentration is a 63-credit program in which students can choose elective credits as part of their study area to ultimately specialize in a particular focus area. Graduates of this program possess the training necessary to seek licensure as a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC), while those who focus on substance abuse may seek licensure as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor (LADC).

The rehabilitation counseling concentration offers a 63-credit clinical track and a 54-credit vocational track. The rehabilitation concentration is a low-residency program; most courses are offered in a hybrid or online format. Those pursuing the clinical track can pursue specializations, including becoming certified as a mental health rehabilitation technician/community (MHRT/C) or a certified alcohol and drug counselor (CADC).

The school counseling concentration is a 60-credit program consisting of 36 credits of core coursework, 21 credits of concentration courses, and three credits of electives. Successful graduates hold the skills to effectively work with students in a variety of settings to meet students’ social, emotional, and career development needs during both primary and secondary education. Graduates are eligible to seek certification from the Maine Department of Education in school counseling for grades K-12. They are also eligible to sit for the National Counselor Examination (NCE).

  • Location: Portland, ME
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Tuition: $432 per credit (in-state) and $1,186 per credit (out-of-state) 

University of Maine Farmington

The University of Maine Farmington was ranked 4th by the U.S. News & World Report in its 2022 “Best Value School” listing. The University’s Division of Psychology and Human Development offers a 64-credit master in counseling psychology degree program with a creative arts focus. The program offers a hybrid learning format with most classwork offered online (70 percent) and in-person coursework offered on Fridays (30 percent).

This program provides graduates the foundation necessary to successfully pass the Maine State Licensing Exam to become licensed clinical professional counselors (LCPCs) within the state of Maine. Exposure to various forms of creativity, including writing, music, and painting, provides students with additional skills to work with client populations for whom talk therapy may be ineffective or even considered clinically inappropriate. Graduates may work in a range of settings including, but not limited to, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home health agencies, and community mental health agencies.

  • Location: Farmington, ME
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE); Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Tuition: $427 per credit, regardless of residency status

How Much Do Counselors Earn in Maine?

These numbers represent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2021.

Clinical and Counseling Psychologist Salaries

United StatesMaine
Number employed58,100120
Average annual salary (mean)$99,640$91,630
10th percentile$47,010$57,010
50th percentile (median)$82,510$75,670
90th percentile$167,460$159,120

Marriage and Family Therapist Salaries

United StatesMaine
Number employed54,800Not available
Average annual salary (mean)54,800Not available
10th percentile$37,050Not available
50th percentile (median)$49,880Not available
90th percentile$96,520Not available

Rehabilitation Counselor Salaries

United StatesMaine
Number employed90,310270
Average annual salary (mean)$44,740$80,550
10th percentile$28,890$36,590
50th percentile (median)$38,560$48,700
90th percentile$65,880At least $208,000

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselor Salaries

United StatesMaine
Number employed284,540690
Average annual salary (mean)$49,950$57,940
10th percentile$29,520$30,840
50th percentile (median)$46,240$48,960
90th percentile$76,080$100,400

Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselor and Advisor Salaries

United StatesMaine
Number employed57,1101250
Average annual salary (mean)$82,770$58,620
10th percentile$49,260$38,430
50th percentile (median)$78,780$50,250
90th percentile$124,950$78,360

Counseling Professional Associations & Resources in Maine

  • State of Maine Board of Counseling Professionals Licensure
  • State of Maine Board of Alcohol and Drug Counselors
  • Maine Psychological Association
  • Maine Counseling Association
  • Maine Bureau of Rehabilitation Services
  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy – Maine Network

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

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Maine Board of Counseling Professionals Licensure

There are four types of licenses in Maine for mental health counselors:

  • Conditional LPC
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Conditional LCPC
  • Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)

For a Conditional LPC credential, applicants must:

  • Provide an official transcript which shows graduation from a CACREP, CORE or regionally accredited master’s program in counseling with at least 48 semester hours
  • Submit a completed application
  • A 600-hour practicum or internship
  • Pay $200 license fee
  • Pay $25 application fee
  • Pass the NCE exam prior to submitting an application
  • Submit a background check
  • Complete a Proposed Supervision Plan Form
  • Send a copy of a Proposed Disclosure Statement

To become a full LPC, candidates must meet the above requirements as well as:

  • Complete 2,000 hours of post-graduate supervised work experience in no less than two years, of which 1,000 hours must be direct counseling and 67 hours must be in supervision
  • Pay a $250 license fee

Conditional LCPC candidates must:

  • Provide an official transcript which shows graduation from a CACREP, CORE or regionally accredited master’s program in counseling with at least 60 semester hours
  • Submit a completed application
  • A 900-hour practicum or internship
  • Pay $200 license fee
  • Pay $25 application fee
  • Pass the NCE exam prior to submitting an application
  • Submit a background check
  • Complete a Proposed Supervision Plan Form
  • Send a copy of a Proposed Disclosure Statement

To become a full LCPC, must meet the above requirements as well as:

  • Complete 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised work experience in no less than two years, of which 1,500 hours must be direct counseling. There must be one hour of supervision for every 30 hours of direct client contact.
  • Pay a $250 license fee
  • Pass the NCMHCE exam

Renewals for mental health counselors in Maine are due every two years. Renewals cost $200 for conditional licenses and $250 for full licenses.

Additionally, counselors are required to complete 55 hours of continuing education hours every renewal cycle.

School Counseling Licenses in Maine

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Maine Department of Education

The Maine Department of Education issues a School Counselor Certificate.

The requirements for a conditional certificate are:

  • Complete a bachelor’s degree
  • Complete 24 graduate semester credits of education for school counselors
  • Have proof of current enrollment in a school counselor master’s program
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $100 application fee

Applicants for a professional certificate must meet the requirements for a conditional certificate, as well as:

  • Complete a master’s program in school counseling from an accredited institution
  • Have a formal recommendation from the program
  • Complete a “Teaching Exceptional Students in the Regular Classroom” training
  • Pass the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (Level K-6 or 7-12) and School Guidance and Counseling exams
  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $100 application fee

A conditional school counselor certificate issued in Maine is non-renewable.

Professional certificates are valid for five years and cost $100 to renew. To renew, school counselors must complete six semester credit hours or 90 contact hours of continuing education.

Substance Abuse Counseling Licenses in Maine

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Maine Board of Alcohol & Drug Counselors

The Maine Board of Alcohol & Drug Counselors licenses Alcohol and Drug Counseling Aides (ADCA), Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CADC), and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors (LADC)

ADCA certificate candidates must:

  • Be 18 years old
  • Hold a high school diploma
  • Pay $40 license fee and $21 background check fee
  • Complete an online application
  • Provide the name of supervisor for supervised work experience

The applicant must be employed at an agency providing substance abuse counseling.

CADC licensure candidartes must:

  • Be 18 years old
  • Graduate from high school and have 4,000 hours of documented supervised clinical work experience as an ADCA or have an associate’s degree in clinically based behavioral sciences or addiction counseling or related field or have 30 semester credit hours of education in substance abuse or mental health approved courses
  • Pay $40 license fee and $21 background check fee
  • Complete an online application
  • Pass the IC&RC ADC exam

LADC licensure requirements include:

  • Be 18 years old
  • Complete 2,000 hours of work experience as a CADC or have a bachelor’s degree in clinically based behavioral sciences, addiction counseling, or a related field and complete 4,000 hours of supervised practice (or 2,000 hours if the applicant has completed 18 semester credits in addiction counseling) or have a master’s in clinically based behavioral sciences, addiction counseling, or a related field and complete 2,000 hours of supervised practice (or 1,500 hours if the applicant has completed 12 semester credits in addiction counseling)
  • Pay $40 license fee and $21 background check fee
  • Complete an online application
  • Pass the IC&RC ADC and AADC exams

Renewals for ADCA, CADC, and LADC licenses are due every year. They expire on November 30th and cost $35 to renew.

ADCAs must complete 12 hours of continuing education; CADCs must complete 18 hours; and LACDs must complete 25 hours.

Rehabilitation Counseling Licenses in Maine

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Maine Board of Counseling Professionals Licensure

There are four types of licenses in Maine for rehabilitation counselors:

  • Conditional LPC
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Conditional LCPC
  • Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)

For a Conditional LPC credential, applicants must:

  • Provide an official transcript which shows graduation from a CACREP, CORE or regionally accredited master’s program in counseling with at least 48 semester hours
  • Submit a completed application
  • A 600-hour practicum or internship
  • Pay $200 license fee
  • Pay $25 application fee
  • Pass the NCE exam prior to submitting an application
  • Submit a background check
  • Complete a Proposed Supervision Plan Form
  • Send a copy of a Proposed Disclosure Statement

To become a full LPC, candidates must meet the above requirements as well as:

  • Complete 2,000 hours of post-graduate supervised work experience in no less than two years, of which 1,000 hours must be direct counseling and 67 hours must be in supervision
  • Pay a $250 license fee

Conditional LCPC candidates must:

  • Provide an official transcript which shows graduation from a CACREP, CORE or regionally accredited master’s program in counseling with at least 60 semester hours
  • Submit a completed application
  • A 900-hour practicum or internship
  • Pay $200 license fee
  • Pay $25 application fee
  • Pass the NCE exam prior to submitting an application
  • Submit a background check
  • Complete a Proposed Supervision Plan Form
  • Send a copy of a Proposed Disclosure Statement

To become a full LCPC, must meet the above requirements as well as:

  • Complete 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised work experience in no less than two years, of which 1,500 hours must be direct counseling. There must be one hour of supervision for every 30 hours of direct client contact.
  • Pay a $250 license fee
  • Pass the NCMHCE exam

Renewals for mental health counselors in Maine are due every two years. Renewals cost $200 for conditional licenses and $250 for full licenses.

Additionally, counselors are required to complete 55 hours of continuing education hours every renewal cycle.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Licenses in Maine

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 Maine.

However, holding a BCBA certification and maintaining membership with the Association for Maine Behavior Analysis can help with employment opportunities or job advancement.

Marriage and Family Therapy Licenses in Maine

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Maine Board of Counseling Professionals Licensure

The Maine Board of Counseling Professionals Licensure licenses full and conditional Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT).

For a conditional MFT license, applicants must:

  • Provide an official transcript which shows graduation from a CACREP, COAMFTE, or regionally accredited master’s program in marriage and family with at least 60 semester hours
  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay $200 license fee
  • Pay $25 application fee
  • Pay $21 background check fee
  • Pass the AMFTRB exam
  • Complete background check
  • Submit a completed Proposed Supervision Plan Form
  • Provide a copy of a proposed Disclosure Statement

To become a full MFT, candidates must meet the above requirements as well as:

  • Complete 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised work experience in no less than two years, of which 1,000 hours must be direct counseling and 200 hours must be in supervision
  • Pay a $250 license fee

Renewals for marriage and family therapists in Maine are due every two years. Renewals cost $200 for conditional licenses and $250 for full licenses.

Additionally, counselors are required to complete 55 hours of continuing education hours every renewal cycle.

Child (Pediatric) Behavioral Therapy Licenses in Maine

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Maine Board of Counseling Professionals Licensure

There are four types of licenses in Maine for child therapists:

  • Conditional LPC
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Conditional LCPC
  • Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)

For a Conditional LPC credential, applicants must:

  • Provide an official transcript which shows graduation from a CACREP, CORE or regionally accredited master’s program in counseling with at least 48 semester-hours
  • Submit a completed application
  • A 600-hour practicum or internship
  • Pay $200 license fee
  • Pay $25 application fee
  • Pass the NCE exam prior to submitting an application
  • Submit a background check
  • Complete a Proposed Supervision Plan Form
  • Send a copy of a Proposed Disclosure Statement

To become a full LPC, candidates must meet the above requirements as well as:

  • Complete 2,000 hours of post-graduate supervised work experience in no less than two years, of which 1,000 hours must be direct counseling and 67 hours must be in supervision
  • Pay a $200 license fee

Conditional LCPC candidates must:

  • Provide an official transcript which shows graduation from a CACREP, CORE or regionally accredited master’s program in counseling with at least 60 semester-hours
  • Submit a completed application
  • A 900-hour practicum or internship
  • Pay $200 license fee
  • Pay $25 application fee
  • Pass the NCE exam prior to submitting an application
  • Submit a background check
  • Complete a Proposed Supervision Plan Form
  • Send a copy of a Proposed Disclosure Statement

To become a full LCPC, must meet the above requirements as well as:

  • Complete 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised work experience in no less than two years, of which 1,500 hours must be direct counseling. There must be one hour of supervision for every 30 hours of direct client contact.
  • Pay a $200 license fee
  • Pass the NCMHCE exam

Renewals for mental health counselors in Maine are due every two years. Renewals cost $200.

Additionally, counselors are required to complete 55 hours of continuing education hours every renewal cycle.

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.