How to Become a Counselor in Tennessee

Counseling Education Guide for Tennessee

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What is Counseling?


A counseling professional is someone who helps people with personal or psychological problems. Counseling is a process in which a counselor and client work together to identify the client’s goals and find ways to achieve them. Counseling professionals use their training in psychology and human development to help people understand themselves and make changes in their lives. They may work with individuals, couples, families, or larger groups. Counseling professionals may also work in schools, hospitals, or other settings.

Counseling professionals in Tennessee use different techniques to help their clients. They may use talk therapy, art therapy, play therapy, and other options. They can also use assessment tools, such as tests or questionnaires. Counseling professionals often work with other professionals such as psychiatrists, social workers, or teachers to best help their clients.

An education in counseling can prepare you for a career in many different fields. Counseling students learn how to listen to people and help them deal with their problems. They also learn how to communicate effectively and work with people from all walks of life. Counseling students learn about the different theories of counseling and how to apply them in real-world settings. They also gain practical experience through internships and field placements.


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Online Counseling Education in Tennessee


Tennessee is home to a number of colleges and universities that offer online counseling degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students who are interested in becoming counselors can choose from many different types of colleges and degree programs. Some counseling programs are housed within schools of education, while others may be found in departments of psychology or human services. There are also a number of specialized counseling programs, such as those that focus on addiction counseling or marriage and family counseling.

The field of counseling is growing rapidly. And, with the expansion of mental health services and the increasing awareness of the importance of mental health, there is a growing demand for counselors. Counseling colleges and degree programs prepare students to work in a variety of settings including private practices, hospitals, schools, and community mental health centers.

Online counseling programs typically offer a combination of academic coursework and clinical training. Coursework covers topics such as human development, psychopathology, and counseling theories and techniques. Clinical training provides students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with clients. Some counseling programs also require students to complete a supervised internship prior to graduation.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in counseling, there are many great colleges and universities in Tennessee that offer excellent programs.

Online Associate Degree in Counseling (AS)

If you're interested in becoming a counselor, you may find yourself wondering about the various associate degree in counseling colleges and degree programs available. This field is very diverse and each program offers different training. Associate degree programs typically focus on a broad range of topics, but you may also have the options to have a focus , such as child development, depending on the school and program that you choose. As a prospective counselor, you'll need to determine which area of specialization you'd like to focus on at some point during your schooling, and an associate degree is a great way to obtain an overview of the field without committing to four full years of school. If you choose to continue with your counseling degree, and you chose an accredited school or one with a transfer program, then you may be able to start your bachelor’s as a sophomore or junior. However, it’s important to note that an associate degree is not enough education to become a fully licensed counselor.

The curriculum for an associate degree in counseling is typically two years long and requires students to complete a specific curriculum including general education courses and core courses in counseling-related topics. Students who earn more liberal arts coursework typically earn an Associate of Arts degree, while students who focus more on math and science courses usually receive an Associate of Science degree. Regardless of your goal, an associate degree in counseling will ensure that you have skills and knowledge that can help you get started in a career in the field, and that you are really dedicated to a counseling degree. There is a high education requirement for licensure, so ensuring that this is where you want to spend your education is an important step in becoming a counselor.

Online Bachelors Degree in Counseling (BS)

A bachelor's degree in counseling can lead to a career as a counselor in a variety of settings including rehab facilities and mental health clinics, though you won’t be able to work as a counselor in private practice until you earn a master’s degree. Counselors help people with issues such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. They can also provide guidance on topics such as career choices and decision-making.

Most counseling programs require four years of full-time study and include coursework in history and theories of psychology, abnormal and social psychology, human development, psychopathology, and more. Students also complete practicum or internship experiences in order to gain hands-on experience working with clients. After completing a bachelor's degree in counseling, many students choose to pursue advanced degrees in order to specialize in a particular area of counseling and to increase their job prospects and gain full licensure in their chosen field.

Online Masters Degree in Counseling (MA or MC)

If you are passionate about helping people overcome challenges and bettering their lives, then a career in counseling may be for you. A master’s degree in counseling can open the door to many different job opportunities, from private practice to working in schools or hospitals. Counseling is a unique field that combines elements of psychology, social work, and human development. Counselors help people dealing with a variety of issues, from substance abuse and mental health issues to relationship problems and grief.

An online master’s degree in counseling typically takes two to three years to complete and includes coursework in psychology, human development, research methods, and ethics. Full licensure will require real world experience under a supervised counselor.

Online PhD Degree in Counseling (PhD)

A PhD is the highest degree that you can get in the field of counseling. This degree will prepare you for a continued career in counseling, research, or teaching at the college level.

A PhD in Counseling will give you the skills and knowledge to help people through difficult times in their lives. It will expand on your knowledge of counselling people who are dealing with issues such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and relationship problems. You will also learn even more about teaching and research. If you want to pursue a career as a psychologist, you will need a PhD in Counseling, and if you want to pursue a career as an educator, this is the best way to get you on a tenure track.

Online Counseling Certifications

There are many different types of counseling certifications available from a variety of different organizations. The most common counseling certification is the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). Other popular counseling certifications include the American Counseling Association (ACA), the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC), and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).

To become certified as a counselor, you must first complete an accredited counseling program and pass an exam. Once you have passed the exam, you will be required to complete continuing education credits every few years to maintain your certification.

Counseling certifications are usually required for those who wish to gain full licensure, and they can give you an edge when applying for jobs and can show potential employers that you are committed to your profession.

Become a Counseling Professional in Tennessee


The field of counseling is an increasingly popular one, and for good reason. Counselors help people to overcome challenges and improve their lives. If you’re interested in becoming a counseling professional, here are a few steps to get you started.

  • Step 1: Obtain a bachelor's degree in counseling or a related field:

    A master’s degree in counseling or a related field such as psychology is typically required for licensure; though substance abuse counseling in Tennessee has much lower qualification requirements, it still needs students to have completed around 270 hours of education in pertinent areas. Even so, a bachelor's degree in counseling can provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to work as entry-level workers in a variety of settings, such as psychiatric technicians or in careers outside of psychology. Counseling programs at the bachelor's level typically include coursework in human development, psychopathology, crisis intervention, and professional ethics. And these programs are necessary for those who wish to go on and earn a master’s degree.

  • Step 2: Complete a master's degree in counseling or a related field

    A master's degree in counseling or a related field can be a great way to begin or advance your career in this helping profession. There are many different types of counseling programs available, so you can find one that fits your interests and goals. Counselors work with people of all ages and backgrounds, so you'll have the opportunity to help a wide variety of clients. Completing a master's degree in counseling can open up many doors in your career. You'll be able to work in private practice, schools, hospitals, and other settings. You'll also be able to specialize in areas such as substance abuse counseling, marriage and family counseling, or grief counseling. With a master's degree in counseling, you'll be prepared to make a difference in the lives of others.

  • Step 3: Complete a supervised clinical experience

    Most counselor licensure requires a supervised clinical experience, often called an internship, practicum, or fieldwork. These can be available from degree programs and the experience gives you the opportunity to work with clients under the supervision of a licensed counselor. Clinical experiences are an important part of your training. If you're considering a career in counseling, it's important to make sure that your program includes a supervised clinical experience. Some programs require up to 500 hours of clinical experience, so be sure to check with your program requirements before you apply.

  • Step 4: Get licensed or certified in your state

    If you want to become a counselor, you will need to get licensed or certified in your state. Each state has different requirements, but most require you to have a master's degree in counseling from an accredited institution. You will also need to pass a national counseling examination. Once you have met all of the requirements, you will be able to apply for a license or certification.

What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Counseling?


There are many different things that someone with a bachelor’s degree in counseling can do. For example, they could work in mental health facilities to help people with mental disorders or work in administration for a private practice, or they could choose to start earning money by working in a field outside of psychology, which can help them to gain experience and earn money while they finish their degrees.

Those who want to become counselors usually have a desire to help others. They want to be there for people who are struggling and be a support system for them. Counselors need to be able to listen well and be sympathetic towards their clients. They also need to have excellent communication skills so that they can effectively communicate with their clients and understand what they are going through.

There are many different things that someone with a bachelor’s degree in counseling can do. For example, they could work in mental health facilities to help people with mental disorders or work in administration for a private practice, or they could choose to start earning money by working in a field outside of psychology, which can help them to gain experience and earn money while they finish their degrees. Those who want to become counselors usually have a desire to help others. They want to be there for people who are struggling and be a support system for them.

Counselors need to be able to listen well and be sympathetic towards their clients. They also need to have excellent communication skills so that they can effectively communicate with their clients and understand what they are going through. However, these skills can also be useful in human resources departments, in mediation, in social media marketing, and more. If you earn a bachelor’s in psychology or counseling, whether or not you continue on to earn a master’s, you will have skills that are pertinent to a wide range of careers.

Potential Careers for Counseling Graduates


  • Substance Abuse/Addiction Counselor:

    A substance abuse or addiction counselor is responsible for providing counseling and support to individuals struggling with addiction. This may include individual and group counseling, as well as developing treatment plans and communicating with other counseling professionals. These counselors will also work to educate patients and their families about addiction and recovery.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • A bachelor's degree in psychology, social work, or a related field
    • Experience working with individuals with addiction
    • Knowledge of substance abuse and addiction

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in the US in 2021 was $48,520
    • The mean annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in Tennessee is $42,210
  • Community Health Worker:

    A community health worker (CHW) will provide direct services to individuals and families in the community to promote health and wellness. Services may be provided in multiple languages, making those who speak two languages more employable in the field. The CHW will collaborate with other healthcare providers to ensure that clients receive the best possible care.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • High school diploma or equivalent
    • Bilingual in English and Spanish
    • Valid driver's license

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for community health workers in the US in 2021 was $46,590
    • The mean annual wage for community health workers in Tennessee is $49,020
  • Clinical Therapist:

    A clinical therapist provides individual and group therapy to patients with mental illness and/or substance abuse problems.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Master’s degree in psychology, social work, or a related field
    • Licensed as a Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), or a Professional Counselor (LPC)
    • 3 years of experience providing therapy to individuals with mental illness and/or substance abuse problems

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for clinical and counseling psychologists in the US in 2021 was $82,510
    • The mean annual wage for clinical and counseling psychologists in Tennessee is $108,560
  • College Counselor:

    A college counselor is responsible for providing guidance and support to students as they navigate their way through the college admissions process. This includes helping students choose the right school, filling out applications, and writing essays. They may also provide guidance on financial aid and scholarships.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in counseling, psychology, or a related field
    • Experience working with high school students

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for school and career counselors and advisors in the US in 2021 was $60,510
    • The mean annual wage for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors in Tennessee is $54,010
  • Group Counselor:

    A group counselor will be responsible for facilitating group counseling sessions with clients. Group counseling sessions focus on helping clients work through personal issues with the support of others in the group. They will guide clients through discussions and exercises designed to promote personal growth and healing.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Master’s degree in counseling or related field
    • 2+ years of experience leading group counseling sessions
    • Certification in group counseling (preferred)

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in the US in 2021 was $48,520 and rehabilitation counselors earned $38,560
    • The mean annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in Tennessee is $42,210 and rehabilitation counselors earn $40,590
  • Psychiatrist :

    A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Must be a licensed medical doctor
    • Completion of a psychiatric residency
    • Board certification in psychiatry

    Estimated Salary

    • The mean annual wage for psychiatrists in the US in 2021 was $249,760
    • The mean annual wage for psychiatrists in Tennessee is $195,990
  • Marriage and Family Counselor:

    As a marriage and family counselor, you will provide support and guidance to couples and families who are experiencing difficulties in their relationships. You will help them to identify and address the issues that are causing problems in their relationship, and you will provide them with tools and resources to help improve communication and resolve conflict. In addition to counseling services, you will also provide education and support to families on topics such as parenting, divorce, and domestic violence.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Masters or Doctoral degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology, or a related field
    • Licensed by the state in which you practice

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for marriage and family therapists in the US in 2021 was $49,880
    • The mean annual wage for marriage and family therapists in Tennessee is $43,560
  • School Counselor:

    A school counselor is responsible for providing guidance and support to students in areas such as academic achievement, social development, and career planning. Counselors also work with parents and teachers to identify and address students' needs.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • A master's degree in counseling or a related field
    • A state-issued counseling license or certification
    • Experience working with students in a school setting

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for school and career counselors and advisors in the US in 2021 was $60,510
    • The mean annual wage for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors in Tennessee is $54,010
  • Career Counselor:

    A career counselor is responsible for providing guidance and support to individuals as they navigate their career journey. This may include exploring different career options, preparing for job interviews, writing resumes, and more. They will help equip individuals with the tools and knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their career.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in counseling, human resources, or a related field
    • 2+ years of experience in counseling or a related field
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors in the US in 2021 was $60,510
    • The mean annual wage for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors in Tennessee is $54,010
    • Read More About All Counseling Careers

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