Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) Jobs & Career Guide 2023

What Is a Licensed Professional Counselor?

A licensed professional counselor (LPC) is a mental health professional who is licensed by their state to provide counseling services to individuals, families, and groups. LPCs typically have a master’s degree in counseling psychologycounseling or a related field, and have completed a certain number of hours of supervised clinical experience.

LPCs assess clients’ mental health needs, develop treatment plans, and provide counseling services, such as individual and group therapy, family therapy, and couples therapy. They monitor clients’ progress and adjust treatment plans as needed, collaborate with other mental health professionals to ensure coordinated care, and maintain accurate records of clients’ treatment and progress.

LPCs adhere to ethical and legal standards for the practice of counseling and play an important role in helping clients to improve their mental health and overall well-being.

What Does a Licensed Professional Counselor Do?

The core responsibilities of an LPC include conducting assessments of clients’ mental health needs and developing treatment plans based on their specific needs and goals. They provide counseling services, such as individual and group therapy, family therapy, and couples therapy, to help clients work through emotional and behavioral challenges. They monitor clients’ progress and adjust treatment plans as needed to ensure that clients are making meaningful progress toward their goals.

In addition to providing counseling services, LPCs collaborate with other mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists, social workers, and psychologists, to ensure that clients receive coordinated and comprehensive care. They also maintain accurate and complete records of clients’ treatment and progress, adhere to ethical and legal standards for the practice of counseling, and engage in ongoing learning and professional development to stay up-to-date with the latest research and best practices in the field.

As an LPC, I have the privilege of helping others work through some of life’s toughest challenges. It’s an incredibly rewarding career that requires dedication, empathy, and a commitment to ongoing learning and professional development. Each day brings a new opportunity to connect with clients, listen to their stories, and work together to find solutions that promote healing and growth. It can be a challenging job, but the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others makes it all worthwhile.
Dr. Russell Fulmer, a licensed professional counselor and professor of counseling

Here is an example of a typical daily schedule for an LPC who works in a community mental health center:

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Check email and voicemail messages, review client charts and prepare for the day’s appointments.

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Conduct individual therapy sessions with clients, providing support and guidance for their mental health needs.

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Attend a team meeting with other mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists, social workers, and psychologists, to discuss clients’ progress and coordinate care.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Take a lunch break and recharge for the afternoon.

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Conduct more individual therapy sessions with clients, addressing a range of mental health concerns.

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Meet with a client’s family or partner for a family therapy or couples therapy session.

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Complete progress notes and other documentation for the day’s appointments, ensuring that records are accurate and up-to-date.

Where Do Licensed Professional Counselors Work?

LPCs have a range of employment options:

  1. Community mental health centers: LPCs may work in community mental health centers that provide counseling services to individuals and families who may not have access to other mental health resources.
  2. Private practice: Some LPCs may choose to open their own private practice and provide counseling services to clients on a fee-for-service basis.
  3. Online therapy: increasing numbers of LPCs work via the various online therapy platforms conducting video calls with their clients.
  4. Schools and universities: LPCs may work in schools and universities providing counseling services to students, faculty, and staff.
  5. Hospitals and healthcare organizations: LPCs may work in hospitals and other healthcare organizations as part of a multidisciplinary team providing mental health services to patients.
  6. Government agencies: LPCs may work for government agencies, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, providing counseling services to veterans, military personnel, and their families.
  7. Non-profit organizations: LPCs may work for non-profit organizations that provide counseling services to underserved populations, such as survivors of domestic violence or refugees.
  8. Employee assistance programs: LPCs may work for employee assistance programs that provide counseling services to employees and their families.

How to become a Licensed Professional Counselor

Obtain a bachelor’s degree

bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field is typically required as a prerequisite for admission to a master’s degree program in counseling. Some programs may also require specific undergraduate coursework in psychology or related fields.

Obtain a master’s degree

Most states require LPCs to have a master’s degree in counseling psychologycounseling or a related field from an accredited program. The program should include coursework in counseling theory, techniques, and ethics, as well as supervised clinical experience.

Supervised clinical hours

Most states require LPC candidates to complete a certain number of supervised clinical hours, typically ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 hours. The exact number of hours required varies by state.

Pass the National Counselor Examination (NCE)

The National Counselor Examination (NCE) is a standardized exam that assesses the knowledge and skills of individuals seeking to become licensed professional counselors in the US. The exam is developed and administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).

The NCE consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that cover a range of topics related to counseling theory and practice, including human growth and development, social and cultural foundations, helping relationships, group work, career and lifestyle development, assessment and testing, research and program evaluation, and professional ethics and practice.

The exam is administered in a computer-based format at testing centers throughout the US. Test-takers have four hours to complete the exam, and are provided with a tutorial on how to use the computer-based testing software before beginning the exam.

The passing score for the NCE varies by state, but is typically set at around 96-98 correct answers out of the 200 questions. Test-takers who do not pass the exam on their first attempt are typically allowed to retake the exam after a waiting period of a few months.

Obtain state licensure

Once all educational and clinical requirements have been met, LPC candidates must apply for state licensure.

Licensure is the process by which a state grants permission to an individual to practice as a licensed professional counselor within that state.

The state licensing board may also require candidates to pass a state-specific exam, undergo a criminal background check, and provide references from colleagues or supervisors. The process of obtaining licensure can take several months to a year or more, depending on the state’s specific requirements and the candidate’s readiness to complete the process.

How Much Money Do Licensed Professional Counselors Earn?

The average salary for an LPC in the US is around $47,000 per year. However, salaries can range from around $32,000 to over $70,000 per year, depending on a few different factors such as the location of the job, experience in the field, and type of organization. Get more insights in our LPC salary guide.

Latest Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) Jobs & Career Guide 2024 Listings

PositionCompanyLocationPosted
Behavioral Health ConsultantColumbia Gorge Family Medicine Hood River, Oregon US03/27/2024
Exciting opportunity to join an established and supportive integrated behavioral health program in the beautiful Columbia Gorge region of Oregon Columbia Gorge Family Medicine is looking for an exceptional Behavioral Health Clinician (BHC) to join our established and supportive BHC team. We are a thriving physician-owned patient-centered medical home that cares for approximately 15,000 patients. We provide full-scope primary care services including care … More
Embedded Counselor in the Virginia Tech Corps of CadetsVirginia Tech Blacksburg, Virginia US03/27/2024
Job DescriptionWhen was the last time you changed the world?In Virginia Tech’s Division of Student Affairs, that’s exactly what we’re doing every day-guiding, nurturing, and supporting students as they learn and grow into the leaders and world-changers of today and tomorrow.We’re currently searching for an Embedded Counselor to join our Thomas E. Cook Counseling Center team in Blacksburg, VA to help us in our mission. Located in the Corps, the embedded … More
Mental Health–Adolescent ClinicianNexus Teen Academy, LLC Cave Creek, Arizona US03/26/2024
Nexus Teen Academy is a small residential treatment center in Cave Creek, AZ. Nexus’ goal is to build confidence through developing self-worth, processing and mending personal and relational unfinished business, and supporting our residents in creating a clear vision for their lives. Roles and Responsibilities: Nexus’ Therapists are responsible for facilitating biopsychosocial assessments, developing treatment plans, and conducting group and individual therapy … More
Assistant ProfessorMississippi State University Starkville, Mississippi US03/26/2024
Position Function: The CACREP accredited Rehabilitation Counseling Program at Mississippi State University seeks applicants to join our full-time faculty for one vacant tenure-track assistant professor position, beginning fall 2024. The Rehabilitation Counseling program has been nationally accredited since 1975. The program is based on the scientist-practitioner model with an emphasis on training in the utilization of empirically based assessment, intervention, and … More
Clinical TherapistResonance Center for Women Tulsa, Oklahoma US03/25/2024
RESPONSIBILITIES: Facilitate groups, provide individual counseling sessions, and perform other contract services as needed for Resonance therapeutic programs. Provide ASI and ASAM evaluations to clients. Interface with DHS and ODMHSAS to provide comprehensive client services. Maintain program files, completing written documentation in conformance with agency policies. Attend staffing’s and training’s, … More
Remote Licensed Therapist – Full Time – CAUnitedHealth Group San Diego, California US03/25/2024
Opportunities with AbleTo, part of the Optum family of businesses, are focused on improving millions of lives through technology-enabled behavioral health care. Start a rewarding career where your work will bridge the gap between need and treatment. Join us in making care more accessible and affordable through convenient telehealth available in all 50 states. Be part of a team that’s driven by the passion we share for helping people get better and stay better. Help us make a meaningful and … More
Behavioral Health Advocate, Dual licensed LADC in MN – RemoteUnitedHealth Group Eden Prairie, Minnesota US03/23/2024
Optum is a global organization that delivers care, aided by technology to help millions of people live healthier lives. The work you do with our team will directly improve health outcomes by connecting people with the care, pharmacy benefits, data and resources they need to feel their best. Here, you will find a culture guided by diversity and inclusion, talented peers, comprehensive benefits and career development opportunities. Come make an impact on the communities we serve as you help us … More
Behavioral Health Consultant $10k hiring bonusUndisclosed Woodburn, Oregon US03/23/2024
Join our team as a Behavioral Health Consultant in Woodburn, OR, and be part of a healthcare organization that believes in making a difference beyond medical care! At Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, we value inclusivity, and we are more than just a job – we are a community committed to the well-being of our migrant farmworkers. We’ve transformed into a leading community health center. With 40+ clinics across Washington and Oregon, we offer a wide range of services … More
Position
Exciting opportunity to join an established and supportive integrated behavioral health program in the beautiful Columbia Gorge region of Oregon Columbia Gorge Family Medicine is looking for an exceptional Behavioral Health Clinician (BHC) to join our established and supportive BHC team. We are a thriving physician-owned patient-centered medical home that cares for approximately 15,000 patients. We provide full-scope primary care services including care … More
Company
Columbia Gorge Family Medicine
Location
Hood River, Oregon US
Posted
03/27/2024
Position
Job DescriptionWhen was the last time you changed the world?In Virginia Tech’s Division of Student Affairs, that’s exactly what we’re doing every day-guiding, nurturing, and supporting students as they learn and grow into the leaders and world-changers of today and tomorrow.We’re currently searching for an Embedded Counselor to join our Thomas E. Cook Counseling Center team in Blacksburg, VA to help us in our mission. Located in the Corps, the embedded … More
Company
Virginia Tech
Location
Blacksburg, Virginia US
Posted
03/27/2024
Position
Nexus Teen Academy is a small residential treatment center in Cave Creek, AZ. Nexus’ goal is to build confidence through developing self-worth, processing and mending personal and relational unfinished business, and supporting our residents in creating a clear vision for their lives. Roles and Responsibilities: Nexus’ Therapists are responsible for facilitating biopsychosocial assessments, developing treatment plans, and conducting group and individual therapy … More
Company
Nexus Teen Academy, LLC
Location
Cave Creek, Arizona US
Posted
03/26/2024
Position
Position Function: The CACREP accredited Rehabilitation Counseling Program at Mississippi State University seeks applicants to join our full-time faculty for one vacant tenure-track assistant professor position, beginning fall 2024. The Rehabilitation Counseling program has been nationally accredited since 1975. The program is based on the scientist-practitioner model with an emphasis on training in the utilization of empirically based assessment, intervention, and … More
Company
Mississippi State University
Location
Starkville, Mississippi US
Posted
03/26/2024
Position
RESPONSIBILITIES: Facilitate groups, provide individual counseling sessions, and perform other contract services as needed for Resonance therapeutic programs. Provide ASI and ASAM evaluations to clients. Interface with DHS and ODMHSAS to provide comprehensive client services. Maintain program files, completing written documentation in conformance with agency policies. Attend staffing’s and training’s, … More
Company
Resonance Center for Women
Location
Tulsa, Oklahoma US
Posted
03/25/2024
Position
Opportunities with AbleTo, part of the Optum family of businesses, are focused on improving millions of lives through technology-enabled behavioral health care. Start a rewarding career where your work will bridge the gap between need and treatment. Join us in making care more accessible and affordable through convenient telehealth available in all 50 states. Be part of a team that’s driven by the passion we share for helping people get better and stay better. Help us make a meaningful and … More
Company
UnitedHealth Group
Location
San Diego, California US
Posted
03/25/2024
Position
Optum is a global organization that delivers care, aided by technology to help millions of people live healthier lives. The work you do with our team will directly improve health outcomes by connecting people with the care, pharmacy benefits, data and resources they need to feel their best. Here, you will find a culture guided by diversity and inclusion, talented peers, comprehensive benefits and career development opportunities. Come make an impact on the communities we serve as you help us … More
Company
UnitedHealth Group
Location
Eden Prairie, Minnesota US
Posted
03/23/2024
Position
Join our team as a Behavioral Health Consultant in Woodburn, OR, and be part of a healthcare organization that believes in making a difference beyond medical care! At Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, we value inclusivity, and we are more than just a job – we are a community committed to the well-being of our migrant farmworkers. We’ve transformed into a leading community health center. With 40+ clinics across Washington and Oregon, we offer a wide range of services … More
Company
Undisclosed
Location
Woodburn, Oregon US
Posted
03/23/2024