Requirements to Become a Counselor

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If you are interested in a career as a counselor, there are several requirements to become a counselor that you must meet before you can work with patients. These requirements can include specific education needs, a number of hard and soft skills, and several years of work experience. Some companies may require certifications for more specialized counseling jobs, such as addiction and family counseling. 

Behavioral Health Jobs provides an expansive list of jobs in the healthcare industry for men and women who want a career helping others. Our database includes the latest behavioral health jobs in a wide range of departments, from administration and management to technical and clinical positions for all experience levels. You can filter your job search by a number of options, including remote and hybrid job types, which are still popular for many workers. To find new counselor jobs in a city near you, check out all of the available jobs on the Behavioral Health Jobs website today.  

Should You Become a Counselor? 

Becoming a counselor is a very rewarding position. You will meet a wide range of people and have a chance to help them deal with personal issues, relationship struggles, or mental health disorders like substance abuse.  

If thinking about helping people live their best lives makes you excited, then you should consider becoming a counselor. As a counselor, you will perform a number of duties that are specific to the organization. As a counselor, some of your job duties can include: 

  • Assess and treat individuals with emotional and mental health disorders 
  • Help individuals, couples, and families who are struggling with their relationships 
  • Develop coping strategies for people with depression, PTSD, and substance use disorders 
  • Help people manage emotional and behavioral changes 
  • Maintain accurate patient records 
  • Work in a team environment and support others as necessary 

Counseling jobs are in high demand across the country. Some of the top counseling jobs in demand today include: 

  • Mental health counselor 
  • Grief counselor 
  • Substance abuse counselor 
  • Rehabilitation counselor 
  • Marriage and family counselor 

The Behavioral Health Jobs website provides the answers to how to become a counselor and other vital tips and information to support your career search. Our career advice section includes tips on building your resume, how to nail your first phone interview, and other tips for improving your career search.  

Requirements to Become a Counselor 

There are several requirements to become a counselor that you should be aware of if you are interested in this career path.  

How do you become a counselor? Here are the top counselor job requirements you will need: 


Most counseling jobs will require a Bachelor’s degree at a minimum. The top bachelor’s degree for counselors are in: 

  • Psychology 
  • Biopsychology 
  • Sociology 
  • Social work 
  • Homan growth and development 
  • Human services 
  • Substance abuse 

To become a licensed counselor, you will need to obtain a Master’s or Doctorate in psychology or related field, complete a residency, and apply for licensure. 

Hard and Soft Skills 

A counselor needs a number of hard and soft skills to excel. Hard skills include specific knowledge of psychology and medical techniques that you learn in school. Soft skills are those essential skills you pick up through personal and past work experiences. As a counselor, you will need the following skills: 

  • Excellent communication and active listening skills 
  • Able to express compassion and empathy 
  • Have impressive problem-solving skills 
  • Able to give unbiased feedback and advice 
  • Resilience and strong ethics 
  • Emotional compartmentalization 


The National Board for Certified Counselors provides a number of certifications that allow you to specialize in specific areas. Top certifications for counselors include: 

  • National certified counselor (NCC) 
  • National certified school counselor (NCCSC) 
  • Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) 
  • Master addiction counselor (MAC) 

Each state may require counselors to be certified by the individual state. Be sure to check the job details for any local and national certification requirements.  

This list includes the more common counselor job requirements that you will come across in your career search. Other requirements that are good for counselors include the ability to travel to patients’ homes, time management skills, excellent record-keeping skills, and basic computer skills.   

Find New Counselor Jobs in a City Near You at Behavioral Health Jobs  

Counselor jobs are in high demand across the country, with an expected 18% job growth between now and 2032. You can find a number of counseling jobs on the Behavioral Health Jobs website. You can apply for jobs at hospitals, treatment facilities, private practices, government facilities, and other organizations in and around your city. If you are passionate about helping others, choosing a career as a counselor is the smart choice to make. Begin a new career search today at the Behavioral Health Jobs website.  

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