Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in New Jersey
Since regulations governing licensure as a counselor in the State of New Jersey may change each year, individuals who plan on applying for licensure should carefully consult the Professional Counselor Laws and Professional Counselor Regulations prior to applying for licensure (http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/proc/). The information below is based on our understanding of the current regulations governing counselor licensure but cannot legally represent the current laws and regulations of the licensing board.
In order to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in New Jersey, an applicant must meet both educational and experience requirements. As of October 5, 2009, The Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) must be obtained prior to accruing qualifying postmaster’s counseling experience. Therefore, we urge our graduating students to pursue the LAC as quickly as possible in order to begin accruing qualifying supervised counseling experience.
1. Educational Requirements:
60 graduate semester hours which includes a master’s degree or doctorate in counseling (beginning October 5, 2012, this degree must be from a CACREP-approved program in counseling); 45 of the 60 hours must be distributed in 8 out of 9 core areas:
Counseling Theory and Practice
The Helping Relationship
Human Growth and Development and Maladaptive Behavior
Lifestyle and Career Development
Group Dynamics, Processes, Counseling and Consulting
Appraisal of Individuals
Social and Cultural Foundations
Research and Evaluations
The Counseling Profession
TCNJ offers courses for each these core areas.
2. Experience Requirements:
The LAC does not require prior supervised counseling experience. However, once an applicant becomes an LAC, the following experience requirements must be met in order to apply for the LPC:
(a).Three years (4500 hours) of supervised professional counseling experience acceptable to the Professional Counselor Examiners Committee (1 year of which may be accumulated prior to the granting of the master’s degree).
N.J.A.C. 13:34-11.3 (a) 1 – “Three calendar years of supervised professional counseling experience in a professional counseling setting, only one calendar year of which may be obtained prior to the granting of the master’s degree. Hours of supervised professional counseling experience obtained during college or university graduate level practicums or internships may be counted toward satisfying a portion of the supervised counseling experience requirement provided the courses labeled practicums or internships are not also used to satisfy the educational requirements for licensure as set forth in N.J.A.C.13:34-11.2”
Since the LPC Board may accept up to 1 year of supervised counseling experience prior to receiving the master’s degree, we recommend that you save a copy of your practicum/internship logs and submit them as part of your documented counseling experience.
Note: Two years of supervised professional counseling experience is required for an applicant who has completed an additional 30 graduate semester hours acceptable to the Professional Counselor Examiners Committee beyond the master’s degree (See N.J.A.C. 13:34-11.3 (a) 2).
(b). Post-master’s supervised clinical experience must be done under the supervision of a qualified supervisor who meets the following requirements:
- Must hold a clinical license to provide mental health counseling services for a minimum of 2 years in the state provided
- Beginning October 5, 2011 must hold an approved clinical supervisor credential from the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE) of the NBCC, or American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy or an equivalent credential recognized by the individual’s licensing board or 3 graduate credits in supervision.
(c) Supervisors must submit a written supervision plan (form available on the LPC web site) before the LAC begins counseling that outlines the work setting, job description, duties, and supervisor’s responsibilities and qualifications.
(d) LACs must have at least 50 hours of face-to-face supervision one (1) hour each week whether they are full or part-time. LACs may accrue a maximum of 30 hours per week and 125 hours per month and have up to six years to complete their supervised counseling hours.
(e). LACs licensed for 2 or more biennial renewal periods must complete 40 CEUS for the biennial period beginning December 1, 2009.
3. Examination Requirements: Pass the National Counselor Examination (NCE)
New Jersey LPC Contact Information
New Jersey Office of the Attorney General
Division of Consumer Affairs
State Board of Marriage and Family Therapy Examiner
Professional Counselor Examiners Committee
P.O. Box 45044 (124 Halsey Street, 6th Floor)
Newark, NJ 07101
Phone Number: (973) 504-6582
Complaints and inquiries may be forwarded to:
Executive Director, State Board of Marriage and Family Therapy Examiners, P.O. Box 45007, Newark, NJ 07101
Phone number(s): (973) 504-6415 or (973) 504-6582
Website for “Professional Counselor Examiners Committee”:
Counseling Licensure in New Jersey
There are several steps that will be required of you in order to become a fully licensed Counselor in New Jersey. New Jersey has two levels of licensure, Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) which is the title you will need to begin to accumulate supervised experience. The full-fledged title is the Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). Each level will require that you have completed a Graduate degree level of education; however the LCPC level will require that you have accumulated experience.
You will need to complete a number of steps in order to gain your title as a Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) and eventually the title of Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in New Jersey:
- Meet the educational requirement of having your Master of Counseling degree from a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited university.
- Apply to take your National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
- Apply to the state board to receive your Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) title.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Complete the supervised experience component for the LPC level of licensure.
- Apply to the state board to receive your Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) title in the state of New Jersey.
New Jersey requires prospective Counselors to complete the following educational steps.
- The first step is to earn your Bachelor’s degree in Counseling as the best option, or a highly related Social or Behavioral Science field such as Psychology, Social Work or Human Services.
- The next step is to apply to and get accepted into a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited Master of Counseling program.
Apply for and Take Your NCE Exam
The next step is to take your exam for the LPC title.
- Apply with the New Jersey Professional Counselor Examiners Committee to sit for your National Counselor Examination (NCE) as administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).
- You can find the form here: http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/proc/ncexam.pdf
- Pass the NCE with a score acceptable to the Board.
Apply for Your Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) Title
You are now ready to apply for your license.
- Apply with the New Jersey Professional Counselor Examiners Committee for your Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) title.
- You can find the form here: http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/proc/pcappl.pdf
- You must pass a criminal background check before you can begin accumulating supervised experience and be granted your LAC title.
If you want to earn your LPC title you will now need to accrue a sufficient amount of supervised experience as follows:
- If you hold a Master’s degree you will need to complete 4500 hours of supervised experience.
- If you have 30 semester hours of post-graduate coursework this can be reduced to 3000 hours.
- Up to one year of experience can be reduced if you have sufficient post-graduate experience, or supervised experience from a practicum or internship that was beyond the required amount for you to earn your Masters of Counseling.
- You can complete this within six years.
- Your supervisor must be board approved.
Apply for Your LPC Title
You are now eligible to apply to the board to receive your LPC license.
- Apply with the New Jersey Professional Counselor Examiners Committee for your LPC title.
- You can find the form here:
- You can find the form here:
New Jersey regulations will require you to renew your license every two years. You must also complete continuing education credits during this time.
- New Jersey requires that you complete 40 hours of CE every two years to maintain your license.
You will want to keep up to date on any changes to New Jersey law by periodically visiting the New JerseyProfessional Counselor Examiners Committee website which you can find here: