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Becoming a Counselor
November 29, 1999
5:47 pm
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TommySalsa
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September 24, 2010
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Can any professionals out there give me some information on how I can become a counselor.
What is the criteria? Do I need a graduate degree? Is there any certification involved?

I am interested in changing careers and I don't know where to begin. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

November 30, 1999
10:15 am
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site coordinator
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September 27, 2010
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TommySalsa,

Licensing varies a good deal from State to State...the best thing to do
is to call your State Counselor & Social Worker Board. Other places to
contact on-line might be:

http://www.nbcc.org/ (National Board of Certified Counselors).
http://www.counseling.org/ (American Counseling Association)
http://www.apa.org/ (American Psychological Association)

Therapy/counseling can be a rewarding, but also a complex and
challenging field. I would suggest first working for a hotline (crisis,
rape, etc), and if you live near a Free Clinic, they may offer training
to be an intake worker (requires training, but not always a degree
or working towards a degree). These two kinds of work (hotline and
intake) are great at helping people understand what kinds of clients
come into counseling, and they provide a good atmosphere for learning
what the field is like from other professionals.

Different kinds of therapists (social workers, counselors,
psychologists, psychiatrists) have different earning potentials, and
require different amounts of education. I would write down your earning
potential goals, and the amount of education you want to have in
college, then make some phone calls to your local University to see the programs they have available, and licenses they offer college credits for. THEN, cross reference all the info (salary, amount of college you’re willing to withstand, what you want to do) with what your University and State Counselor Board has to say....it’s all different depending on the State, what you want to do, what’s offered, etc...it’s necessary to make lots of phone calls, and get information before you begin the journey.

Salary varies so much and is dependent upon some of these factors:

1. Degrees & licenses held by professional

2. Experience or specialty

3. Whether they work for themselves or an agency; agencies are more
fixed in price

4. Area of the country (business expense)

Many times, people who wish to enter this field do so because they
want to learn more about growth, and want to help others grow...many
times, working in such a capacity as hotlines, or intake for a couple
years proves to satisfy this desire, without actually becoming a
full fledged professional.

- Good Luck!

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