LMHC Frequently Asked Questions

Are Mental Health Counselors required to have a license to practice?

A license is required in order to practice counseling independently. You may practice without a license under the supervision of a licensed mental health provider.

What are the advantages of becoming a licensed mental health counselor?

Salaries are generally higher for licensed mental health counselors than for people holding a master’s degree without a license. A license is especially helpful if you would like to supervise or hold a leadership position, and a license is required if you want to practice independently and bill insurance companies.

What is the difference between an LMHC, LPC, LCPC, etc.

License names for professional counselors vary by state. Here is a list of the counseling licensure boards and the names of licenses conferred for all 50 states in the US.

How does one become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Massachusetts?

Learn more about the 4 steps to getting your LMHC in Massachusetts.

How do I find out the licensure requirements in other US states?

View links to counseling licensure boards in each state for the most accurate information about requirements.

How does the master's program at William James College prepare for licensure?

Our MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling fulfills all the educational and field placement requirements for LMHC in Massachusetts.

How long does it take to become an LMHC?

It depends on how long it takes you to complete a master’s degree (usually 2 or 3 years) and how long it takes you to complete the post-master’s supervised hours and pass the board examination. Most states, including Massachusetts, require you to have a specific number of hours (3,360 in MA) in no less than 2 years, and not longer than 8 years. This means that in Massachusetts you may become a LMHC as fast as 4 years from the beginning of your training as long as you pass the board examination during that time.