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How to become a certified counselor in Missouri, MO

Learn how to become a certified counselor in Missouri, MO using our guide on skills, requirements and salary in this career.?

To become a certified counselor in Missouri, MO, there are several steps that need to be followed. The first step is to obtain a bachelor's degree in a related field such as psychology, social work, or counseling. After completing the bachelor's degree, the next step is to enroll in a master's degree program in counseling or a related field. The master's degree program should be accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).

After completing the master's degree program, the next step is to gain supervised clinical experience. The Missouri Committee for Professional Counselors requires a minimum of 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience, with at least 1,500 hours of direct client contact. The supervised clinical experience should be completed under the supervision of a licensed professional counselor.

Once the supervised clinical experience is completed, the next step is to pass the National Counselor Examination (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE). Passing the exam is a requirement for licensure in Missouri.

After passing the exam, the final step is to apply for licensure with the Missouri Committee for Professional Counselors. The application process includes submitting transcripts, proof of supervised clinical experience, and passing the background check. Once the application is approved, the candidate will be issued a license to practice as a professional counselor in Missouri.

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Key skills and competencies

To become a certified counselor in Missouri, there are certain key skills and competencies that are required. These include strong communication skills, empathy, active listening, critical thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to build trust and rapport with clients. Additionally, counselors must have a thorough understanding of ethical and legal guidelines, as well as knowledge of various counseling techniques and theories. It is also important for counselors to have a non-judgmental attitude and cultural competence, as they will work with clients from diverse backgrounds and experiences. By developing these skills and competencies, aspiring counselors can successfully navigate the certification process and provide effective counseling services to those in need.

Local salary expectations or estimates

As a certified counselor in Missouri, you can expect to earn a competitive salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for counselors in Missouri is $47,840. However, this can vary depending on your level of experience, education, and the specific field of counseling you choose to pursue. For example, school counselors in Missouri earn an average of $54,040 per year, while substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors earn an average of $41,840 per year. It's important to research the specific field you're interested in and the average salaries in your area to get a better idea of what you can expect to earn as a certified counselor in Missouri.

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