After graduating from our program, you will have completed the first step toward becoming a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) with the State of Indiana’s Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board. To complete the licensure process you will need to apply for an associate’s license (LMHCA), earn passing scores on the National Counselor Exam (NCE), complete 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised counseling with a licensed professional, and pass the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE) in addition to other board requirements. More detailed information on licensure policies and process can be obtained from the licensing board, which is the final authority on licensing matters.
Our alumni report growth in earnings as they progress through the licensure process. Surveys of alumni conducted in Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 found that recent graduates without a license earned between $30,000—$35,000 annually. Those holding a license (either LMHCA or LMHC) earned on average $40,000—$45,000 within their first two to three years after graduation. Fully licensed alumni have reported earning $50,000—$55,000 within three years of graduation. Overall, salaries of our alumni are consistent with the $46,230 annual median salary of substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors reported by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development in May 2021. Our alumni also report obtaining positions offering a wide range of valuable benefits including clinical supervision for licensure, health care insurance, retirement plans, malpractice insurance, and continuing education among others. One’s earnings as a counselor will depend on many factors such as the practice setting, nature of services provided, number of billable hours accrued, and level of supervisory responsibility. Each graduate’s career course will be unique.
You can find career and professional development information on the Indiana Counseling Association (ICA) website. ICA is the largest organization in the state representing those who work in the field of mental health. For national career information on counseling—in addition to the latest in education and research trends—explore the American Counseling Association (ACA) site.