Becoming a Counselor in Nevada
Considering becoming a counselor? It can be a good idea to familiarize yourself with licensing regulations early on in the process. In Nevada, there are several agencies that license master’s level counselors. The Nevada State Board of Examiners for Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors licenses Clinical Professional Counselors (or LCPCs). The Department of Education licenses school counselors.
The Nevada Board of Examiners for Alcohol, Drug & Gambling Counselors licenses and certifies addictions counselors at several levels.
If you are a High School Student, hold a High School Diploma or a GED in Nevada:
Choose an undergraduate major. You can select any field, but focus on earning good grades. The University of Nevada-Las Vegas notes that applicants are favored if they have GPAs of at least 2.75 with a minimum of 3.0 in the final two years.
There are reasons why you might select a social science field as an undergraduate: for example, if you want to work your way through college or you wish to gain substantial experience before beginning graduate school. You can become a counseling intern through the Nevada Board of Examiners for Alcohol, Drug & Gambling Counselors if you are at least 21 and are enrolled as a student in an acceptable program. (You will also need some training in gambling-related counseling if that is your focus.) Learn about undergraduate counseling program options here.
A bachelor's degree in Psychology is common preparation for graduate school in the field of counseling.
If you don’t have the opportunity for paid employment in the behavioral sciences, look for volunteer opportunities.
If you currently hold a Bachelor’s Degree:
Counseling school application is typically a separate process from graduate school admission. You will be asked to write an essay about your professional goals and the experiences that shaped them.
If you are interested in becoming as school counselor, enroll in a program at the master’s level or higher. If your degree is in school guidance counseling (and not a related field) you will not need to demonstrate coursework in particular content areas – just pick a program that meets your professional needs.
To become a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counselor, you’ll need to enroll in a board-approved master's program in a social science field. If you know this is your calling, you will probably opt for a substance abuse counseling program or a professional counseling program with additional coursework in addictions. If your program includes 12 semester hours of addictions coursework, you will have less supervised work experience required later to get your license. Find master's in counseling program options here.
Complete coursework and field work. While you are in school, you may have the opportunity to join a professional organization or counseling honor society.
Complete examination and experience requirements. When you are ready to begin your supervised experience in professional counseling, you will apply to the Nevada Board for permission to take the licensing exam. You will send in an application along with references and transcripts. Before you can begin providing counseling services, you will need to have your supervision registered with the Board. You will accrue at least 3,000 hours of counseling experience.
If you are going for the LADC license, you will take both a written and oral exam. The MAC is a written exam administered by the NBCC. Once you have registered for the MAC, you may apply for a provisional license. Your supervised experience requirement will depend on the coursework you have completed. If you have 12 semester hours in addictions, your requirement is just 1,500 hours.
If you are a school counselor, you will need to take the Praxis plus a law exam.
If you already have a Master’s Degree:
If you have a master's in a social science field (for example, psychology or social work) you can pursue licensure in substance abuse counseling.