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.

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: Lunch break

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 LPC Job Listings

PositionCompanyLocationPosted
Mental Health ProfessionalVitalCore Health Strategies Gardner, Massachusetts US07/16/2024
Join the VitalCore Team in Massachusetts! We’re people who are fueled by passion, not by profit.VitalCore Health Strategies (VCHS), an industry leader in Correctional Health Care has openings for Master’s Level Mental Health Professional (MSW, masters in counseling/psychology or equivalent, LCSW, … More
Mental Health CounselorThe Putney School Putney, Vermont US07/15/2024
The Putney School is seeking a full-time Mental Health Counselor to begin work as soon as possible. The Mental Health Counselor supports the mental health of Putney School students by providing high-quality direct clinical care, psychoeducational offerings, and working collaboratively with all members of the school to create a developmentally appropriate, clinically-informed educational environment for students. This position … More
Join a Well-Established Women’s Behavioral Health Practice in South Central PennsylvaniaWomens Behavioral Health Specialists – 39345 Camp Hill, Pennsylvania US07/15/2024
Masters Psychotherapist – UPMC Women’s Behavioral Health Specialists UPMC Central Pa. – a growing multi-site health system is seeking a Masters Psychotherapist to join our growing team at Women’s Behavioral Health Specialists (WBHS). This provider will play an integral role in helping to provide high-quality, compassionate care to patients. The WBHS office specifically treats women experiencing anxiety and/or depression related to pregnancy and postpartum. About the Position: … More
Behavioral Health Advocate, Utilization Management – Remote in LAUnitedHealth Group New Orleans, Louisiana US07/14/2024
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
Licensed Mental Health Professional – EMDR Therapist – Onsite and Hybrid OpportunitiesUnitedHealth Group Plymouth, Minnesota US07/14/2024
For those who want to invent the future of health care, here’s your opportunity. We’re going beyond basic care to health programs integrated across the entire continuum of care. Join us to start Caring. Connecting. Growing together. This position provides an array of services using evidence-based practices that support client treatment, and facilitate safe, secure and therapeutic interventions. Responsibilities include developing therapeutic alliance, clinical skills … More
Behavioral Health Care Coordinator/SPMI – Galveston, TXUnitedHealth Group Galveston, Texas US07/13/2024
At UnitedHealthcare, we’re simplifying the health care experience, creating healthier communities and removing barriers to quality care. The work you do here impacts the lives of millions of people for the better. Come build the health care system of tomorrow, making it more responsive, affordable, and equitable. Ready to make a difference? Join us to start Caring. Connecting. Growing together. You push yourself to reach higher and go further. Because for you, it’s all about … More
Behavioral Health CounselorUndisclosed Eunice, Louisiana US07/12/2024
Behavioral Health Counselor- Eunice, LA Job Purpose: The Behavioral Health Counselor will conduct patient assessments, implement therapeutic interventions, complete individualized treatment plans, provide patient education, and complete referrals as necessary. FTCA Scope of Employment : Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) coverage is restricted to acts or omissions of a covered entity within the scope of employment of … More
PsychologistMoorestown Integrative Wellness Moorestown, New Jersey US07/12/2024
Moorestown Integrative Wellness is a nonprofit organization that provides psychotherapy for adults with general psychological needs. Our mission is to provide services, educate, and empower the community to implement integrative approaches to healthcare and … More
Position
Join the VitalCore Team in Massachusetts! We’re people who are fueled by passion, not by profit.VitalCore Health Strategies (VCHS), an industry leader in Correctional Health Care has openings for Master’s Level Mental Health Professional (MSW, masters in counseling/psychology or equivalent, LCSW, … More
Company
VitalCore Health Strategies
Location
Gardner, Massachusetts US
Posted
07/16/2024
Position
The Putney School is seeking a full-time Mental Health Counselor to begin work as soon as possible. The Mental Health Counselor supports the mental health of Putney School students by providing high-quality direct clinical care, psychoeducational offerings, and working collaboratively with all members of the school to create a developmentally appropriate, clinically-informed educational environment for students. This position … More
Company
The Putney School
Location
Putney, Vermont US
Posted
07/15/2024
Position
Masters Psychotherapist – UPMC Women’s Behavioral Health Specialists UPMC Central Pa. – a growing multi-site health system is seeking a Masters Psychotherapist to join our growing team at Women’s Behavioral Health Specialists (WBHS). This provider will play an integral role in helping to provide high-quality, compassionate care to patients. The WBHS office specifically treats women experiencing anxiety and/or depression related to pregnancy and postpartum. About the Position: … More
Company
Womens Behavioral Health Specialists – 39345
Location
Camp Hill, Pennsylvania US
Posted
07/15/2024
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
New Orleans, Louisiana US
Posted
07/14/2024
Position
For those who want to invent the future of health care, here’s your opportunity. We’re going beyond basic care to health programs integrated across the entire continuum of care. Join us to start Caring. Connecting. Growing together. This position provides an array of services using evidence-based practices that support client treatment, and facilitate safe, secure and therapeutic interventions. Responsibilities include developing therapeutic alliance, clinical skills … More
Company
UnitedHealth Group
Location
Plymouth, Minnesota US
Posted
07/14/2024
Position
At UnitedHealthcare, we’re simplifying the health care experience, creating healthier communities and removing barriers to quality care. The work you do here impacts the lives of millions of people for the better. Come build the health care system of tomorrow, making it more responsive, affordable, and equitable. Ready to make a difference? Join us to start Caring. Connecting. Growing together. You push yourself to reach higher and go further. Because for you, it’s all about … More
Company
UnitedHealth Group
Location
Galveston, Texas US
Posted
07/13/2024
Position
Behavioral Health Counselor- Eunice, LA Job Purpose: The Behavioral Health Counselor will conduct patient assessments, implement therapeutic interventions, complete individualized treatment plans, provide patient education, and complete referrals as necessary. FTCA Scope of Employment : Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) coverage is restricted to acts or omissions of a covered entity within the scope of employment of … More
Company
Undisclosed
Location
Eunice, Louisiana US
Posted
07/12/2024
Position
Moorestown Integrative Wellness is a nonprofit organization that provides psychotherapy for adults with general psychological needs. Our mission is to provide services, educate, and empower the community to implement integrative approaches to healthcare and … More
Company
Moorestown Integrative Wellness
Location
Moorestown, New Jersey US
Posted
07/12/2024