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Experience requirements

Applicants for licensure are required to obtain a minimum amount of supervised experience prior to being licensed. Typically, states require individuals to accumulate between 2,000 and 3,000 hours of supervised experience within a certain time period, including a specific number of face-to-face supervision hours. Several states have established more than one level of licensure for counselors in order to establish formal criteria both for full independent practice and for counseling graduates in the process of accumulating supervision hours.

Supervision Requirements

You will also need to practice under the supervision of a licensed mental health provider who has been approved by the state to practice independently and supervise unlicensed applicants. You will need to ensure that your clinical supervisor meets the requirements to provide licensure supervision for your professional counselor license and has the designated approval from the state board if required. Some states require that a portion or all your supervision hours are completed with licensed counselors. There may be specific limitations to how many hours can be obtained through group supervision. You may also be required to submit a completed and signed supervision contract before starting supervision. The requirements to provide supervision, the number of supervision hours required, and limitations to how those hours can be acquired either through group or individual, a licensed counselor or licensed provider from a different type of mental health license will vary from state to state and territory.