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How to become a Counselor in Tennessee

Learn how to earn your counseling licensure in TN

Click on the link that best describes your current situation...

Below are basic guidelines for those wishing to earn their counseling certification in Tennessee. Most requirements such as earning your Master's degree, completing 3000 hours of supervised experience and passing the Clinical Mental Health Counseling examination have been and will continue to be mandatory in the Tennessee counseling licensure process. However, it is wise to contact the Tennessee Board for Professional Counselors and Marital and Family Therapists at (615) 532-3202, ext. 25138 to make sure you are on the right track.

I'm a High School Graduate...

As a high school graduate researching Tennessee counselor certification requirements, you're displaying a great amount of discipline and motivation, both of which will serve you well in a professional counseling career.

However, now you will need to begin advancing your current level of education. Tennessee counseling certification requires that all candidates possess a Master's degree in counseling or in an area associated with your desired counseling field.

You can either begin by enrolling in an associate's degree program or enroll immediately in a four year bachelor's degree program.

Click on the links below to browse schools offering psychology and counseling degree programs!

Once you have enrolled in a program, take advantage of your school's career services department and learn how you can find employment or volunteer opportunities that are related to the counseling career path.

I've already received my Bachelor's degree...

Congratulations, you're almost there! Tennessee counseling certification requirements state that all professional counselors must possess a minimum of a masters level of education.

Step One:

Click on the links below to contact schools offering Master's or PhD programs in counseling or related field.

Or request information from additional schools offering counseling programs in Tennessee.

Make sure the schools you contact provide the appropriate experience requirements for Tennessee counseling licensure. Information regarding supervision requirements can be found on the following Tennessee Board of Professional Counselors Rules document.

Step Two:

After receiving your masters degree, you will need to acquire 2 years of supervised work experience that includes a minimum of 1000 direct client contact hours. Your supervisor needs to have one of a list of designations indicating their experience and expertise in the field.

You can find more information on the requirements of supervisors and the particulars of supervised experience requirements for Tennessee counseling certification on the following Tennessee Board for Professional Counselors document.

Step Three:

Next, you will need to pass the National Counselor Examination which is administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). You will need to register directly with the NBCC for the exam. Contact information and details about the exam can be found here.

Step Four:

Once you have passed the National Counselor Examination, the NBCC will need to send your scores directly to the Tennessee Board for Professional Counselors and Marital and Family Therapists. You will also need to submit an application including all supporting documents, a passport photo, a copy of your birth certificate, 2 letters of recommendation and fees to the Board. You will also need to have your transcripts sent directly to the Tennessee Board from your educational institutions.

More information about all necessary materials necessary for the Tennessee counseling licensure application can be found on the actual application. You can download the application here. After reviewing your application packet, the Board will notify you of your licensure status.

Good Luck!


Tennessee Counseling Certificate Programs
Note: This list also contains online schools that accept students from Tennessee.

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