Wyoming Counseling License Requirements
From the Tetons to the great plains, Wyoming has a lot to offer residents in both natural beauty and in job opportunities in counseling. Though it is the least populated state in the country, in many fields, the mean wages for counselors in Wyoming are in a higher range compared to other states.1-5 There are an estimated 1,310 people working in counseling occupations in Wyoming.1-5 If you are pursuing a career in counseling in Wyoming, you will need to be familiar with the laws and rules for receiving a license. Below on this page, you will learn what is required to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Wyoming, as well as information about other counseling licenses in the state.
Table of Contents
- How to Become a Counselor in Wyoming
- Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) Licensing Process
- Additional Counseling Careers and Licenses in Wyoming
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
- School Counselor
- Licensed Addictions Therapist (LAT)
- Other Professional Counseling Careers
- Wyoming Counseling Career and Salary Information
- Counseling Associations in Wyoming
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Become a Counselor in Wyoming
To become a professional counselor in one of the major fields in Wyoming, you will need to meet minimum education requirements and be licensed by the state. The path to counseling licensure may also include exam and clinical work experience requirements.
1. Decide on the area of counseling to pursue.
The requirements for a Wyoming counseling license will vary depending on the type of counseling you’d like to practice. You can save time and money by researching the various fields of counseling ahead of time and choosing one area to pursue.
2. Complete the degree required for your counseling practice area.
Most of the major types of counseling licensure described in this guide require a master’s degree in a related field to the type of licensure sought. Professional counselors require a master’s degree in mental health counseling, marriage and family therapists must have a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, and school counselors must have a master’s degree in school counseling or a related field. Substance abuse counselors can become certified with a bachelor’s degree, although a master’s degree in a related field is needed for licensure.
3. Become licensed to practice counseling in Wyoming.
The final step in becoming a professional counselor is to earn a license through the appropriate licensure body. The Wyoming Mental Health Professions Licensing Board is responsible for licensing professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, and substance abuse counselors, while the Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board licenses school counselors. Continue reading to learn more about the major types of counseling licensure in Wyoming.
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) Licensing Process
In Wyoming, Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) help clients develop mentally, emotionally, and socially through the use of mental health, psychotherapy and human development theories and counseling techniques, including diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. If you would like to learn more about a career as a professional counselor, read our mental health counselor career guide. The Wyoming Mental Health Professions Licensing Board oversees the licensing process in the state of Wyoming. Applicants must have a 60-credit master’s degree in counseling that is either accredited by CACREP or meets specific coursework standards.
1. Register as a Provisional Professional Counselor (PPC).
To gain supervised experience, you must first apply for a Provisional Professional Counselor (PPC) license through the Board. The application package is available online and the application fee is $150 (as of September 2019). You must submit a supervision agreement and a transcript evaluation if your degree is not accredited by CACREP; you cannot provide counseling services until you receive your PPC. The PPC license is valid for three years.
2. Pass one of the required exams.
The Board requires all licensure candidates to pass the National Counselors Exam (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE) administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors or the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) examination administered by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). The NCMHCE uses 10 simulation questions to test for clinical mental health counseling knowledge, while the CRC exam and the NCE exam both have a multiple choice format. The CRC exam tests disability and rehabilitation counseling knowledge, while the NCE tests general counseling assessment and treatment knowledge. The NBCC provides online handbooks for the NCE and NCMHCE to help applicants prepare and the CRCC provides an interactive practice test. The Board allows four attempts at the exams, but a remediation plan must be submitted and approved after three failed attempts.
3. Complete supervised clinical work experience.
PPCs must complete 3,000 hours of supervised work experience with at least 1,200 hours of direct client contact. In addition, documentation of at least 100 hours of face-to-face supervision provided individually or with a maximum of one other trainee is mandatory. Supervisors must be approved by the Board and have the Designated Qualified Clinical Supervisor (DQCS) credential. To become a DQCS, prospective supervisors must have at least four years of post-graduate experience, including two years of independent, licensed practice, no disciplinary action, and at least three hours of supervision training. More information about supervision requirements can be found in the Board’s rules and regulations.
4. Apply for and receive your LPC license.
The application fee for the LPC license is $200 (as of September 2019). To apply, send verification of the completed supervised experience and a revised disclosure statement with the application package. It can take three weeks for the Board to process your completed application. You must continue to work under clinical supervision until you receive your license. The Board emails wallet-sized cards and wall certificates that can be printed and displayed.
Professional Counselor Licensure by Reciprocity in Wyoming
Wyoming does not have any official reciprocity agreements for the LPC credential, but individuals who have a license from another state with substantially similar requirements may be eligible for licensure by reciprocity. Applicants must have a graduate degree in counseling and meet the exam requirement. If the Board decides the applicant’s background is not substantially similar, the Board may issue a provisional license allowing the applicant to practice with approved supervision while completing any outstanding licensure requirements. The application packet is available online and the fee is $350 as of September 2019.
Counselor Licensing Renewal and Continuing Education Information
Licenses expire on the licensee’s birthday and must be renewed biennially. Renewal notices and forms are sent 60 days prior; the renewal fee is $125 as of September 2019. The Board requires all licensees to complete 45 hours of continuing education (CE) during each renewal period, including three hours in each of ethics training and suicide prevention. More information about CE activities and requirements can be found in the Board’s rules and regulations.
Additional Counseling Careers and Licenses in Wyoming
The process of becoming a licensed professional counselor in Wyoming will vary depending on your chosen area of specialty. Below you will find brief details about some of the other popular licensure paths in counseling, such as marriage and family therapy, school counseling, and substance abuse counseling.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
The LMFT licensure process is overseen by the Wyoming Mental Health Professions Licensing Board. Prospective LMFTs must have a master’s degree in marital and family therapy accredited by CACREP (if enrolled prior to January 1, 2020) or COAMFTE. Other programs may be accepted if they are evaluated as substantially similar by the Board. In Wyoming, LMFTs diagnose and treat emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and mental health disorders in the context of marital and family systems. This can involve working with individuals, couples, and families in individual or group settings. To become an LMFT, follow these steps:
- Register as a Provisional Marriage and Family Therapist (PMFT).
- Earn supervised experience.
- Pass the AMFTRB national examination.
- Request and receive your LMFT license.
Additional information about careers in marriage and family therapy can be found on our LMFT career guide.
Wyoming school counselors are overseen and licensed by the Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board. School counselors in the state must have a Wyoming educator’s license with an endorsement in school counseling. There are two options for adding the school counseling endorsement: institutional recommendation or demonstration of competency. For endorsement by institutional recommendation (the preferred method), you will need to complete an approved educator preparation program in school counseling that leads to a recommendation by the institution for certification. For endorsement by demonstration of competency, you can use previous coursework towards your endorsement. Read more on the PTSB website. After you have your graduate degree, you will:
- For demonstration of competency candidates only, pass the Praxis II exam in counseling.
- Submit the application packet.
- Receive your school counselor endorsement.
For more on a career in school counseling, see our school counselor career guide.
Licensed Addictions Therapist (LAT)
In Wyoming, substance abuse counselors are licensed or certified by the Wyoming Mental Health Professions Licensing Board. Licensed Addictions Therapists (LATs) use counseling, psychotherapy, and addictions theories to provide counseling services, such as addictions prevention, crisis intervention, and diagnosis, to help individuals, families, groups, and communities affected by addictions, chemical dependency, or related disorders. The minimum educational requirement is a master’s degree in addictions or a related field from an institution accredited by CHEA. The Board also offers the Certified Addictions Practitioner (CAP) credential to applicants with a bachelor’s degree in a human service field. The steps to becoming a LAT are as follows:
- Register as a Provisional Addictions Therapist (PAT).
- Pass one of the required exams and earn supervised experience.
- Request and receive your LAT license.
Other Substance Abuse Counseling Credentials Offered in Wyoming
- Certified Peer Specialist (CPS)
- Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS)
To discover more about what substance abuse counselors do, read our substance abuse counseling career guide.
Other Professional Counseling Careers
Professional counseling is a field that allows you to work with many different types of people and in different settings. In addition to the most common types of counseling described above, some other counseling career paths include:
- Rehabilitation Counselor
- Gambling Counselor
- Genetic Counselor
- Youth Counselor
- Guidance Counselor
- Pastoral Counselor
- Recreational Therapist
Wyoming Counseling Career and Salary Information
There are currently an estimated 1,310 licensed counselors employed in Wyoming, with the greatest number (640) working in the field of educational, guidance, school, and vocational counseling.3,5 Wyoming marriage and family therapists and substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors earn substantially higher average salaries than those in most states: $63,690 versus $54,150 nationally and $56,690 versus $47,920 nationally, respectively.2
Many areas of counseling are seeing growth in Wyoming, with an average expected jobs growth rate of 11% through 2026.6 Long-term predictions suggest that the highest rate of growth in Wyoming will be seen in the field of mental health counseling, with a projected jobs growth rate of 22.9% between 2016 and 2026.6 Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counseling positions are expected to grow by 19% and educational, guidance, and school counseling jobs are also projected to increase by 6.9% during this time period.6 This equates to about 160 added counseling positions across all types in the next few years.6
|Occupation||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Counselors, All Other||—||—|
|Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors||630||$56,080|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||50||$63,690|
|Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors||510||$56,690|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.1-5
Counseling Associations in Wyoming
- Wyoming Counseling Association (WCA): Advocates for the counseling profession and supports counselors through research collaboration, policy updates, and continuing education.
- California Wyoming School Counselor Association (WySCA): A professional organization that promotes the school counseling profession within Wyoming and holds an annual conference.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many annual counselor openings are there in Wyoming?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 170 reported annual openings for counselors each year in Wyoming through 2026.6 The greatest number of reported annual openings will be for educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors (70) and mental health counselors (50).6 This is followed by substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors (30) and rehabilitation counselors (20).6
What are the continuing education (CE) requirements for LPCs, LMFTs, and LATs?
The Board requires LPCs, LMFTs, and LATs to complete 45 hours of CE during each two-year renewal period. Of these hours, three hours must be in each of professional ethics and suicide prevention. Additionally, LATs must ensure at least 15 hours are completed in addiction-specific topics. CE activities must be provided by a presenter with at least a master’s degree; credit can also be earned for presenting to a professional audience, teaching a related course, or attending a meeting of the Board. More information is available in the Board’s rules.
Does my degree need to be CACREP-accredited for LPC licensure?
While the Board preapproves master’s and doctoral degrees accredited by CACREP, it is not a mandatory requirement for licensure. The Board also accepts counseling degrees completed at accredited institutions with a minimum of 60 credits, including coursework in eight core areas. Some of the core areas are human growth and development, helping relationships, and group work. The program must also include a 100-hour practicum and a 600-hour internship.
Are there counseling careers without a graduate degree in Wyoming?
Of the major counseling fields, substance abuse counseling is the only area in which a graduate degree is not required in Wyoming. Prospective counselors can apply for the Certified Addictions Practitioner Assistant (CAPA) credential with an associate’s degree in a related field, including 270 hours of training in alcoholism and drug abuse, a National Certified Addictions Counselor (NCAC) Level I certification, or an Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor (AODA) credential from IC&RC. The Board also offers the Certified Addictions Practitioner (CAP) credential to applicants with a bachelor’s degree with coursework in addictions or NCAC II certification.
How many supervised hours of clinical experience are required by the Board?
For LPC, LMFT, and LAT licenses, you must complete 3,000 hours of post-degree, supervised clinical experience while holding a valid associate license. You must receive at least 100 hours of face-to-face clinical supervision, which must be provided either individually or in a triad. Group supervision will not be counted towards the 100-hour supervision requirement. These hours must be accrued in no less than 18 months, but not more than 36 months unless an extension is granted by the Board.
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211018.htm
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Marriage and Family Therapists: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211013.htm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211012.htm
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Rehabilitation Counselors: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211015.htm
5. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Counselors, All Other: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211019.htm
6. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections 2016-2026: https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm