Professional counselors in a variety of practice settings help to make a positive impact on people’s lives every day. The most effective counselors will learn what kind of specialty work they want to do and will obtain the training and experience necessary to best help the client population in that specialty area. Planning ahead can be very helpful, even as you first enter graduate school, and keeping an eye on what kind of training you’ll need for the kind of work you want to do will save you a lot of hassle and help you reach your goals more quickly.

In addition to seeking licensure and/or certifications post-graduation, you will also want to make sure you get involved in the counseling profession itself, beyond your everyday practice. The next chapter will introduce you to this idea and will discuss various ways to become engaged in the profession.


  • 1. At this point in your thinking, how do licensure and/or certification seem to fit in with your long-term career goals?
  • 2. Which of the specialty certifications discussed in the chapter seem like something you might be interested in?
  • 3. With future goals in mind, consider reasons for pursuing specific certifications. What would be involved in earning the specialty certification that you are interested in?
  • 4. If you know where you want to practice after earning your master’s degree, what do the requirements for that state’s licensure look like? Remember to look at your specialty area of practice (e.g., school, clinical mental health) for specific requirements.


American Counseling Association. (2012). 2011 statistics on mental health professions. American Counseling Association. Retrieved from: docs/public-policy-resources-reports/mental_health_professions-_statistics_2011- %281%29.pdf?sfvrsn=2

Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. (2015). The importance of the CRC credential for employers. Retrieved from: employers/ 16.php

NBCC. (No Date). The National Certified School Counselor (NCSC). Retrieved from: http:// Certification/NationalCertifiedSchoolCounselor

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