Updated: Sep 28
LPC is a basic, entry-level counselor license attainable by those graduating with a master’s in counseling. If you plan on becoming a licensed professional counselor(LPC) in the state of Illinois, navigating the process can be mind-boggling.
The following graph illustrates the steps you can take from a Bachelor's degree to obtaining your Illinois LPC. Please note that Illinois LPC license is different from other states license in that the Illinois LPC DOES NOT allow independent clinical practice. To practice independently as a counselor in Illinois, you must have an LCPC. Check out this post to learn more about how to become an independently licensed counselor-- LCPC.
Illinois LPC, while not required, helps you land a job as a mental health professional and obtain supervision, which means having a boss and/or being employed in an agency or clinic.
While having an LPC is not a requirement to get a job after graduation, many people find it helpful. Graduates in Illinois with a CACREP approved Master's in counseling degree can first seek the LPC to up their chance in obtaining their first post-graduate employment. When you start your job search after your master’s, you will find that you have a wider range of choices for employment with an LPC.
It is not required to get an LPC before you get your LCPC. Some people choose to first work in mental health, accumulate required hours for their LCPC application, then apply to pass BOTH NCE and NCMHCE at the same time. It can be pretty demanding for people who are working in mental health to prepare for both exams, but it is doable.
For more information, go to the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations website.
To see the application, check out this form. Look over all the requirements in the application form and start compiling your LPC to-do list.
Start studying by getting this book: Encyclopedia of Counseling: Master Review and Tutorial for the National Counselor Examination, State Counseling Exams, and the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination.