Counseling Degrees & Licenses in Vermont

Compared with other U.S. states, Vermont has a relatively high prevalence of mental illness and low rate of treatment. According to a 2015 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), only 57.7 percent of adults with mental illness in Vermont receive any form of treatment from either the public system or private providers. The remaining 42.3 percent receive no mental health treatment. 

Despite its poor treatment rate, Mental Health America, a community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness, notes that Vermont ranks highly in terms of mental health care accessibility within the state. 

Vermont also ranks very highly in terms of insurance coverage. In 2018, the Vermont Household Health Insurance Survey noted that 97 percent of Vermonters reported having a primary source of health insurance. Three percent of the population, representing approximately 20,000 people, were uninsured.

Regardless of its high marks for mental health care accessibility and insurance coverage, the state of Vermont will continue to need to train and utilize a highly trained workforce of mental health professionals in the coming years. 

Certain factors support this conclusion. For example, in recent years, the suicide rate in Vermont has notably increased. In addition, a report issued by the UVM Vermont Legislative Research Service written before the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic noted that “geographic and demographic factors have contributed to a current and projected shortage in healthcare workers.” 

The collective mental health impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the population of Vermont and its mental health care workforce suggests an accelerated loss of skilled workers and thus greater pressure to replenish the workforce with newly trained counseling professionals.

Three schools within Vermont offer academic training in counseling: the University of Vermont, Goddard College, and Northern Vermont University.

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Accredited Counseling Degree Programs in Vermont

University of Vermont

The University of Vermont (UVM) offers a master’s degree program in counseling with two different concentration options. These concentrations are clinical mental health counseling and school counseling. Students can also elect to pursue a dual option in which they complete the educational requirements necessary for licensure in both school counseling and clinical mental health counseling. Students pursuing either concentration or the dual option will be able to apply their skills in numerous settings.

The clinical mental health counseling program prepares graduates to become licensed as clinical mental health counselors. A supervised employment experience and successful completion of a state board exam are requirements for licensure. The examination is known as the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE). Licensure provides both professional and financial advantages compared to those who opt not to pursue licensure. Students should contact the State of Vermont Board of Allied Mental Health Practitioners to learn more details regarding licensure.

Students may attend full or part-time and typically complete a degree within two to three years. This academic program is offered in a conventional on-campus setting featuring personalized interactions with other students pursuing the same training. 

  • Location: Burlington, VT
  • Duration: Two to three years
  • Accreditation: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
  • Tuition: $678 per credit (Vermont resident); $927 per credit (out-of-state resident)

Goddard College

Goddard College offers two master’s degree programs that provide the training necessary to become a counselor. These are the master of arts degree in clinical mental health counseling and the master of arts degree in psychology.

Students pursuing the master of arts degree in clinical mental health counseling can elect to pursue one of four concentrations. Regardless of their selected concentration, all students must complete core course requirements constituting 33 credits. The four concentrations offered are sexual orientation, expressive arts therapy, human-animal interaction studies, and spiritual care and counseling.

This program features a capstone project or a thesis, a 100-hour supervised practicum, and a 600-hour internship. 

Goddard College also offers a master of arts in psychology degree in the same four concentrations: sexual orientation, expressive arts therapy, human-animal interaction studies, and spiritual care and counseling. 

Students pursuing this degree complete a minimum of 48 credits. Successful graduates of this program complete eight required courses, an internship for credit, elective courses, and either a capstone or thesis. 

  • Location: Plainfield, VT
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Tuition: $8,713, full-time, 15 units; $6,535, part-time, nine units

Northern Vermont University

Northern Vermont University offers two degree programs for those interested in the counseling profession: a master of arts degree in counseling and a master of science degree in clinical mental health counseling. 

Students who pursue a master of arts degree in counseling may choose one of three tracks: addictions counseling, clinical mental health counseling, or school counseling.

The master of science degree in clinical mental health counseling is designed to be accessible to working adults and thereby enhance the development of a diverse student body. The program offers a variety of learning modalities, including face-to-face instruction and distance-learning. 

In addition, intensive weekend instruction is offered once a month to cohorts both inside and outside the state of Vermont. The program emphasizes leadership, systemic change, and advocacy.

  • Location: Johnson, VT; Lyndonville, VT 
  • Duration: 2.5 to 3.5 years
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
  • Tuition: $629 per credit (MA degree, Vermont residents); $916 per credit (MA degree, out-of-state residents); $629 per credit (MS degree)

How Much Do Counselors Earn in Vermont?

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

Marriage and Family Therapist Salaries

United StatesVermont
Number employed54,800No data available
Average annual salary (mean)$59,660No data available
10th percentile$37,050No data available
50th percentile (median)$49,880No data available
90th percentile$96,520No data available

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselor Salaries

United StatesVermont
Number employed310,8801,210
Average annual salary (mean)$53,490$48,890
10th percentile$30,870$38,360
50th percentile (median)$48,520$47,320
90th percentile$77,980$63,340

Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselor and Advisor Salaries

United StatesVermont
Number employed296,370970
Average annual salary (mean)$63,090$57,470
10th percentile$37,550$38,860
50th percentile (median)$60,510$59,360
90th percentile$98,190$78,850

Rehabilitation Counselor Salaries

United StatesVermont
Number employed90,310550
Average annual salary (mean)$44,740$46,190
10th percentile$28,890$30,440
50th percentile (median)$38,560$38,500
90th percentile$65,880$75,280

Counselors, All Other Salaries

United StatesVermont
Number employed29,480No data available
Average annual salary (mean)$49,730$41,080
10th percentile$29,490$30,010
50th percentile (median)$45,160$38,520
90th percentile$76,780$61,700

Counseling Professional Associations & Resources in Vermont

  • Vermont Mental Health Counselors Association
  • Vermont Board of Allied Mental Health
  • Vermont Agency of Human Services-Department of Mental Health
  • Vermont Department of Education Educator Licensing
  • Vermont Psychological Association
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness – Vermont

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

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Board of Allied Mental Health

Vermont licenses Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors (LCMHC).

Requirements for licensure include:

  • A completed application
  • A master’s or doctorate in counseling of at least 60 semester hours (or 90 quarter hours) from a CACREP accredited program, or a program has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the board. The program must include a 700-hour internship. Non-CACREP programs (or those without an MOU) must complete the Education and Coursework Requirements Worksheet
  • Pass the NCE and NCMHCE
  • Complete 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised work experience in a minimum of two years. Of those, 2,000 hours must be direct work with clients, 100 hours must be supervision (one hour of supervision for 30 hours of client work), and 50 hours must be individual supervision.
  • Pay the $150 application fee

Renewals for LCMHCs in Vermont are due every two years.

In addition to the $200 fee renewals must include a completed application and 40 hours of continuing education from approved providers.

School Counseling Licenses in Vermont

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
State of Vermont Agency of Education

The State of Vermont Agency of Education issues a school counselor endorsement for Initial Vermont Educator’s Licenses

The requirements for a Level 1 endorsement and license are:

  • Complete a master’s degree, with a concentration in school counseling or the equivalent
  • Complete a supervised internship experience of at least 600 hours in counseling with a minimum of 60 hours of experience in school counseling at both the elementary and the middle/secondary level
  • Submit an online application
  • Complete a Transcript Review Application
  • Pay a $50 application fee, $150 three-year license fee, and $13.25 fingerprinting fee
  • Pass a background check
  • Pass the Praxis Core exams

Once school counselors have completed three years of work experience, they may apply to transition to a Level 2 license.

Level 1 educator licenses issued in Vermont are valid for three years, cost $50 to apply for renewal and $200 for the license, and must include three professional development credits. One credit must be in school counseling.

Level 2 educator licenses issued in Vermont are valid for five years, cost $50 to apply for renewal and $300 for the license, and must include six professional development credits. Two credits must be in school counseling.

Substance Abuse Counseling Licenses in Vermont

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Secretary of State Office of Professional Regulation

Apprentice Addiction Profession (AAP), Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (ADC), and Licensed Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselor (LADC) are the three licenses issued by the Vermont Secretary of State’s Office of Professional Regulation for substance abuse counselors.

AAP license candidates must:

  • Complete an online application
  • Pay $100 application fee
  • Be employed by a preferred provider
  • Complete an associates degree
  • Complete 40 hours of substance abuse education
  • Pass the required exam

ADC license candidates must:

  • Complete an online application
  • Pay $100 application fee
  • Be employed by preferred provider
  • Complete 4,000 hours of supervised work experience verified on the Supervision Report form
  • Complete a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Complete 270 hours of substance abuse education
  • Pass the ADC from the IC&RC

LADC license candidates must:

  • Complete an online application
  • Pay $100 application fee
  • Be employed by an ADAP preferred provider
  • Complete a master’s degree or higher
  • Complete 270 hours of substance abuse education
  • Pass the AADC from the IC&RC
  • Complete 2,000 hours of supervised work experience verified on the Supervision Report form

Renewals for AAPs, ADCs, and LADCs in Vermont are required every two years. Renewals cost $225.

Counselors must complete 40 hours of continuing education per renewal cycle.

Rehabilitation Counseling Licenses in Vermont

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Board of Allied Mental Health

Rehabilitation counselors in Vermont are Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors (LCMHC).

Requirements for licensure include:

  • A completed application
  • A master’s or doctorate in counseling of at least 60 semester hours (or 90 quarter hours) from a CACREP accredited program, or a program has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the board. The program must include a 700-hour internship. Non-CACREP programs (or those without an MOU) must complete the Education and Coursework Requirements Worksheet
  • Pass the NCE and NCMHCE
  • Complete 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised work experience in a minimum of two years. Of those, 2,000 hours must be direct work with clients, 100 hours must be supervision (one hour of supervision for 30 hours of client work), and 50 hours must be individual supervision.
  • Pay the $150 application fee

Renewals for LCMHCs in Vermont are due every two years.

In addition to the $200 fee renewals must include a completed application and 40 hours of continuing education from approved providers.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Licenses in Vermont

Licesing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Vermont Office of Professional Regulation

The Vermont Office of Professional Regulation licenses Applied Behavior Analysts and Applied Behavior Analysts Assistants.

Requirements for licensure are:

  • Submit a completed application
  • Hold either a BCBA or BCaBA certification
  • Pay $100 application fee

Behavior analyst licenses in Vermont must be renewed biennially. The cost to renew is $240.

Currently, there are no continuing education requirements.

Marriage and Family Therapy Licenses in Vermont

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements
Board of Allied Mental Health

The Vermont Board of Allied Mental Health licenses Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).

Requirements for licensure include:

  • A completed application
  • A master’s or doctorate in marriage and family therapy from a COAMFTE or regionally accredited program, including a 500-hour internship
  • Pass a board approved marriage and family therapy exam
  • Complete 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised work experience in a minimum of two years (2,000 hours must be direct work with clients, 100 hours must be supervision, and 50 hours must be individual supervision; also, 50 percent of the direct client hours must be with couples or families)
  • Pay the $150 application fee

Renewals for LMFTs in Vermont are due every two years.

In addition to the $250 fee, renewals must include a completed application and 20 hours of continuing education from approved providers.

Child (Pediatric) Behavioral Therapy Licenses in Vermont

Licensing AuthorityEligibility & DetailsRenewal Requirements

Board of Allied Mental Health

Child therapists in Vermont are Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors (LCMHC).

Requirements for licensure include:

  • A completed application
  • A master’s or doctorate in counseling of at least 60 semester hours (or 90 quarter hours) from a CACREP accredited program, or a program has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the board. The program must include a 700-hour internship. Non-CACREP programs (or those without an MOU) must complete the Education and Coursework Requirements Worksheet
  • Pass the NCE and NCMHCE
  • Complete 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised work experience in a minimum of two years. Of those, 2,000 hours must be direct work with clients, 100 hours must be supervision (one hour of supervision for 30 hours of client work), and 50 hours must be individual supervision.
  • Pay the $150 application fee

Renewals for LCMHCs in Vermont are due every two years.

In addition to the $200 fee renewals must include a completed application and 40 hours of continuing education from approved providers.

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.