What is Counseling?
Students who are interested in becoming counselors have many options when it comes time to choose a college or degree program in Utah. Some counseling colleges focus on a specific type of counseling, such as marriage and family counseling, while others offer a more general counseling education.
A counseling professional is someone who helps people work through their problems. Counseling professionals can be found in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, and private practices. They typically must have a master’s degree in counseling or a related field, though you can work as an addiction counselor in Utah with an associate degree and 2000-4000 hours of real-world experience under the supervision of a licensed counselor.
Counseling professionals help people manage their emotions and work through their problems. They may provide individual, group, or family counseling or may offer crisis intervention services. Counseling professionals often work with people who have mental health disorders, but they can also help people who are dealing with life changes or difficult situations.
If you’re considering becoming a counseling professional, it’s important to make sure you have the right skills and personality for the job. You should be good at communication and problem-solving, and you should be able to empathize with people.
Online Counseling Education in Utah
Most counseling degree programs require students to complete a certain number of clinical hours in order to graduate. Clinical hours give students the opportunity to gain real-world experience working with clients under the supervision of a licensed counselor, which is required if you aim to earn full state licensure.
Some common courses that are required for a counseling degree include human growth and development, abnormal psychology, and theories of counseling. These courses provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful counselors. If you are interested in becoming a counselor, you should start by researching various counseling colleges and degree programs to find one that is right for you.
Online Associate Degree in Counseling (AS)
An online associate degree in counseling is a two-year undergraduate degree that provides students with the basic knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a career in counseling. With this degree, graduates can work as counselors who can work with individuals and groups to help them cope with substance addiction issues and improve their overall mental health. However, you’ll need to earn more than an associate degree to work in any other counseling position.
An online associate degree in counseling can be beneficial for those who may want to enter the field of counseling but aren’t fully decided on counseling or what type of counseling they might be interested in. An associate degree provides students with the basic knowledge and skills necessary to move into a bachelor’s degree, and it can lower the overall cost of your college education. Earning an associate degree of any kind can also lead to better job prospects and higher salaries, even if you choose not to continue in psychology or counseling. An online associate degree usually only takes two years to complete and can provide students with valuable educational experiences that can last them a lifetime.
Online Bachelors Degree in Counseling (BS)
In Utah, the minimum educational requirement to gain counseling licensure is a master’s degree (except in the case of addictions counselors). However, before you enter a master’s degree program, you must complete a bachelor’s degree in counseling or psychology. So, this is an important step in your academic career that is required to move on to future steps. Luckily, there are many accredited colleges and universities that offer counseling degree programs at the undergraduate level. Counseling programs typically include coursework in psychology, human development, psychopathology, and counseling theories and techniques. Bachelor’s degrees often allow students to begin gaining supervised clinical counseling hours, which are required before you can be licensed to practice independently.
A bachelor’s degree generally takes four years to complete, though there are some accelerated programs and students can find many options to earn this degree through online learning. Counselors with a bachelor's degree typically work in entry-level positions in settings such as community mental health centers, schools, or substance abuse treatment facilities. With experience and additional training, counselors can advance to supervisory or managerial positions. However, this might also require you to pursue further education by obtaining a master's or doctoral degree in counseling or a related field.
Online Masters Degree in Counseling (MA)
Earning a master’s degree in counseling can prepare you for a rewarding career in a variety of settings, from schools and hospitals to private practices. Counselors help people manage challenges such as addiction, grief, relationships, and stress. After completing a degree at this level and gaining real-world experience, you will be ready to work in private practice or for a variety of employers.
Most master’s counseling programs require two years of full-time study and include coursework in human development, psychology, psychopathology, research methods, and professional ethics. Many programs also offer field placements or internships where students can gain hands-on experience working with clients. Upon graduation, counselors must complete a period of supervised clinical experience before they can be licensed to practice independently. With a master’s degree in counseling, you will be prepared to make a difference in the lives of others.
Online PhD Degree in Counseling (PhD)
Earning a PhD in counseling can take between four and seven years, depending on the program. Students who want to become counseling professors or research psychologists are usually going to need a doctorate. Requirements for a PhD in counseling typically include completing a dissertation based on original research and defending that dissertation in front of a panel of professors.
Most states require counselors to be licensed, which generally requires completing a master’s degree in counseling from an accredited institution, passing a state-recognized exam, and completing a certain number of hours of supervised clinical experience. Earning a PhD is above and beyond these requirements, but it can allow you to earn more, work at a higher supervisory level for hospitals and other facilities, and more.
Online Counseling Certifications
There are a number of different counseling certifications that may be obtained through colleges and universities. The type of certification that is most appropriate for a given individual may depend on a number of factors, including the type of counseling they wish to pursue and the state in which they live. Just a couple counseling certifications include the following.
Counseling Certification in Clinical Mental Health Counseling: This certification is designed for individuals who wish to work as counselors in clinical settings, such as hospitals or outpatient mental health clinics. To be eligible for this certification, individuals must have completed a master’s degree in counseling from an accredited institution.
Counseling Certification in School Counseling: This certification is designed for individuals who wish to work as counselors in schools. To be eligible for this certification, individuals must have completed a master’s degree in counseling from an accredited institution.
Become a Counselor in Utah
If you want to become a counseling professional in Utah, there are some steps you need to follow. Here are the basic steps.
Step 1: Get a degree in counseling or a related field
If you want to become a counselor, you'll need to get a degree in counseling or a related field. Counseling programs are offered at many colleges and universities, and there are several different types of degrees you can earn. A bachelor's degree in counseling is the minimum requirement for substance abuse counseling, but you’ll need a master’s for any other type of counseling position. If you want to pursue a career as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), you'll need to earn a master's degree or higher in counseling. There are many different types of counseling degrees available, so you'll be able to find a program that's right for you. Some popular majors include clinical mental health counseling, school counseling, and marriage and family therapy. No matter what type of counselor you want to be, getting a degree from an accredited program is essential.
Step 2: Complete an internship or practicum
Completing an internship or practicum is an important step in becoming a counselor. These experiences provide you with the opportunity to work with clients and learn first-hand the day-to-day realities of the counseling profession. Most counseling programs require that students complete at least one internship or practicum before graduation, but whether you get this experience before you’re done with school or not, you will have to gain experience in order to gain full licensure. This experience gives you the chance to put into practice what you've learned in the classroom and to develop your counseling skills under the supervision of a licensed counselor. Internships and practicum can be completed in a variety of settings such as mental health clinics, hospitals, schools, community centers, or private practices. You'll have the opportunity to work with clients of all ages and from all walks of life, providing you with a well-rounded experience.
Step 3: Pass the National Counselor Exam (NCE)
The National Counselor Exam (NCE) is a test that all prospective counselors must take in order to become certified. The exam covers a wide range of topics including counseling theory, ethics, and techniques. Prospective counselors can take the NCE online or at a testing center. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions, and test-takers have four hours to complete it. There is no one-size-fits-all study guide for the NCE, but there are many resources available to help prospective counselors prepare for the exam. The best way to prepare for the NCE is to familiarize yourself with the content areas that will be covered on the exam and to practice taking sample questions.
Step 4: Get experience working with clients
In order to become a counselor, it’s important to have experience working with clients. This can be done in a number of ways, such as volunteering at a local counseling center or working as an intern at a mental health clinic. Getting experience working with clients will not only help you learn more about the counseling process, but it will also give you the opportunity to develop your own counseling style.
What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Counseling?
Counseling is a diverse field with many different career options. With a bachelor's degree in counseling, you can work as a counselor in a variety of settings including schools, mental health clinics, and substance abuse treatment centers. However, you will not be able to gain licensure as a counselor in most counseling fields until you earn a master’s degree. Instead, you may choose to pursue a career in social work, human resources, or another related field. Counselors help people with personal, social, and emotional problems, but these other fields can make good use of your knowledge of human behavior and allow you to begin earning money without going on to graduate school.
Potential Careers for Counseling Graduates
- Career Counselor:
A career counselor is responsible for providing guidance and support to individuals who are seeking employment. They will assist with job search strategies, resume writing, and interview preparation. Career counselors also provide information about different career paths and job opportunities.
- Master's degree in Counseling or related field
- Experience working in career counseling or related field
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills
- The median annual wage for school and career counselors and advisors in the US in 2021 was $60,510
- The median annual wage for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors in Utah is $55,890
- Residential Counselor:
A residential counselor will provide support to residents in a group home setting. This will include providing guidance and assistance with daily living skills, as well as helping to create a positive and supportive environment.
- A minimum of a high school diploma is required
- Previous experience working with individuals with disabilities is preferred
- Must be able to pass a background check
- The median annual wage for rehabilitation counselors in the US in 2021 was $38,560
- The median annual wage for rehabilitation counselors in Utah is $31,350
- Social Worker:
A social worker is responsible for providing direct services to individuals, families, and groups in order to assist them in solving problems and overcoming obstacles that are preventing them from leading successful and fulfilling lives. They will also collaborate with other professionals in order to coordinate services and ensure that the client is receiving the best possible care.
- Master’s degree in social work
- Licensed by state social work board
- 2+ years of experience working as a social worker
- The median annual wage for social workers in the US in 2021 was $50,390
- The median annual wage for healthcare social workers in Utah is $66,040 and mental health and substance abuse social workers earn $50,700
- Family Therapist:
The role of a family therapist is to provide counseling and therapy services to families. They work with families to identify and address various issues they may be facing, such as divorce, communication problems, parenting issues, and more. Family therapists work to help families improve communication and resolve conflict in a healthy way.
- A master's degree in counseling or a related field
- A state license to practice counseling
- Experience working with families
- The median annual wage for marriage and family therapists in the US in 2021 was $49,880
- The median annual wage for marriage and family therapists in Utah is $80,110
A psychologist studies human behavior and mental processes. They use their findings to help people overcome problems and live happier, healthier lives.
- A bachelor's degree in psychology
- A master's degree or doctorate in psychology
- A license to practice psychology
- The median annual wage for psychologists in the US in 2021 was $81,040
- The median annual wage for psychologists, all other in Utah is $93,280 and clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earn $79,780
- Child Counselor:
A child counselor provides support and guidance to children who are experiencing emotional or behavioral difficulties. They work with children individually and in groups to help them develop coping and problem-solving skills. Children’s counselors also collaborate with parents and other professionals to develop treatment plans and ensure that the child is receiving the best possible care.
- Master's degree in psychology, counseling, or social work
- 2+ years of experience working with children
- Knowledge of child development, psychopathology, and family dynamics
- Excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills
- The median annual wage for school and career counselors and advisors in the US in 2021 was $60,510 and substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors earn $47,660
- The median annual wage for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors in Utah is $55,890 and substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors earn $62,250
- Mental Health Counselor:
A mental health counselor will provide counseling and therapy to patients with mental health disorders. They will work with patients to help them cope with their disorders and improve their overall mental health.
- Master's degree in counseling, psychology, or social work
- Licensed as a counselor or therapist in the state of practice
- At least 2 years of experience working with mental health patients
- The median annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in the US in 2021 was $48,520
- The median annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in Utah is $62,250
- Educational Counselor:
An educational counselor is responsible for providing guidance and counseling services to students in order to help them achieve their academic and career goals. They will work with students to develop educational plans, provide information about colleges and universities, financial aid, and scholarships. They also provide counseling services to students who are struggling academically or who are experiencing personal issues that are impacting their ability to succeed in school.
- Bachelor's degree in counseling, psychology, social work, or a related field
- Experience working with students in an educational setting
- Knowledge of college and university admissions process
- The median annual wage for school and career counselors and advisors in the US in 2021 was $60,510
- The median annual wage for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors in Utah is $55,890 Read More Details on Counseling Careers and Requirements