How to become a Counselor in Iowa

Below are basic guidelines for those wishing to earn their counseling certification in Iowa. Most of these requirements, such as earning your Master’s degree, completing 3200 hours of supervised experience and passing the NCE examination, are likely to continue to be mandatory in the Iowa counseling licensure process. However, it is wise to contact the Iowa Department of Public Health at (515) 281-7689 to make sure you are on the right track.

I’m a High School Graduate

Iowa counseling licensure requires the applicant to have completed the minimum of a master’s degree program. Earning such a degree is probably a long way off if you’re fresh out of high school. However, if you’re on this page doing your research as a high school graduate in Iowa, you’re ahead of the curve! Don’t feel stressed; there is ample time to learn more about the career of counseling while also advancing your education.

The most likely step to start off with as a high school graduate is earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology, counseling or a related field. Click on the links below to browse schools offering such 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.

Already Received Bachelor’s Degree

Once you have your bachelor’s degree, look for schools that are offering a master’s or doctoral degree program in counseling. Request information from additional schools offering counseling programs in Iowa.

Step One:

After earning your degree, complete at least 2 years of supervised full-time experience. The supervisor needs to be Iowa Board of Counseling Licensure approved and provide 200 hours of supervision for each 1000 hours of experience logged.

More details are available regarding supervision requirements for Iowa counseling licensure under the “Licensure Rules” link on the following webpage.

Step Three:

Once these requirements have been met, you can download the Iowa Counseling Certification application and submit the application and any other necessary forms and fees to the Iowa Board of Behavioral Sciences.

You can download the Iowa Counseling Licensure application from the following Iowa Board webpage.

Step Four:

The Iowa Board is responsible for reviewing your application. Once approved, the Iowa Board of Behavioral Sciences may contact you about taking the National Counselor Examination of NBCC, the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination, or the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Examination of the CRCC.

You can access more information on the required examination contents, dates, locations and registration and the following NBCC website.

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