|Requirements to Become...
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What are the Requirements to Become a Counselor?
The word counselor has several meanings. Usually, it is used to describe someone who provides guidance or therapy. Counselors are called upon to help clients manage a wide array of personal and social difficulties. There are many different specialties within the field, including college student affairs, elementary or secondary school counseling, gerontology counseling, marriage and family therapy, substance abuse counseling, rehabilitation counseling, community counseling, clinical mental health counseling, and career counseling.
Educational and licensing requirements vary based upon the state which you want to work and the specialized area of the field in which you choose to practice. In most circumstances, a master's degree in counseling, psychology or social work is required to become qualified to practice as a counselor. The type of degree one ultimately decides to pursue will depend on the nature of counseling you want to enter.
In order to achieve licensure, most states require at least a master's degree. For some positions, including school counselors, states may require further specialty training before licensure. For marriage and family counselors and social workers, many states require an additional couple of years of supervised medical experience prior to full licensure. Certain positions, such as career counselors, may not require licensure.
If you're interested in becoming a counselor, researching your state's educational and licensing requirements for different specializations can be a good place to start.
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