A counseling license allows a counseling professional with the proper education, experience, and supervision to offer counseling services to children, adolescents and adults in Illinois. A counseling license is required to work in a community agency setting and K-12 schools. Licensure is not always required, but is highly recommended, for individuals working higher education settings. There are two types of general counseling license in Illinois. The first level license is called The Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The second level license is called the Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). Illinois School Counselors are Licensed with a Professional Educators License (PEL) through the Illinois Board of Education.
A LPC is a protected title license. As a LPC, you can work as a counselor offering professional counseling services to children, adolescents, and adults. You may work in a community agency, school or higher education setting. You must work under the supervision of a licensed clinical counselor, clinical social worker, psychologist, or psychiatrist. However, as a LPC, you cannot work in independent practice. This means that you must always receive counseling supervision when you work with clients.
In order to obtain an LPC license, you must:
To work as a professional school counselor in most K-12 school settings, students must be licensed with an Educator License through the Illinois State Board of Education. The licensure program provided by Northern Illinois University is certified by the Illinois State Board of Education and is designed to assure candidates meet all state laws and regulations.
Upon completion of the 60-semester hour program in school counseling, students are eligible to apply for Educator Licensure with endorsement in School Counseling. This Educator License allows graduates to work as a K-12 Professional School Counselor in Illinois.
Complete a department-level entitlement request form during your first academic term of program matriculation.
The Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) is a clinical-level independent practitioner license in the state of Illinois, with both title and service protections. As an LCPC, you can work as a clinical counselor offering professional clinical counseling services to children, adolescents and adults, in individual, paired, or group formats you have been prepared for. You may work in a community agency, school, higher education, or in a private practice setting; billing for services to insurance providers when applicable.
In order to obtain an LCPC license, you must:
Visit the National Board of Certified Counselors for current and complete information regarding national certification.
Students can apply to become National Certified Counselors (NCC) prior to graduation from our program. Alumni can also apply after graduation by creating an account within the NBCC Credentialing Gateway.
In order to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC), you must obtain a passing score on the National Counselor Examination (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examinations (NCMHCE) while also holding a master's or doctorate degree in counseling from either a CACREP-accredited degree program or a counseling program administered by an institutionally accredited educational institution: The program must include at least 48 semester hours or 72 quarter hours of graduate-level coursework and at least six semester or 10 quarter hours of graduate degree–related supervised field experience in counseling.
The Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) program credential identifies those professionals who have met approved national professional supervision standards; promotes the professional identity, visibility and accountability of approved clinical supervisors; and encourages the professional growth of approved clinical supervisors.
Visit the Center for Credentialing and Education for complete information regarding Approved Clinical Supervisor certification and to apply.