At some point in their lives, many people will have an interaction with a professional counselor to help them move past a difficult transitional period. A professional counselor, usually known as a licensed professional counselor (LPC) or licensed mental health counselor (LMHC), can practice their skills in many different settings and junctures. Their work environment ranges from schools and colleges to mental health clinics and private counseling offices.
These professionals offer a listening ear, a mind that can diagnose and assess, an empathic heart, and keen insight to their clients in crisis. If you have a deep interest in helping facilitate the development and growth of others, an online master’s degree in counseling is a choice that can train you to assist clients in their psychological needs through life.
There is a broad range of career applications for those who complete the requirements to become a licensed counselor. The master's degree in counseling (usually an M.A. or M.S) is a graduate program that encompasses coursework and field internships related to counseling. A counseling master’s degree can lead to possible specializations in many diverse areas, including the following:
- Career counseling
- Rehabilitation counseling
- School counseling
- Mental health counseling
- Hospice counseling
With an M.A. or M.S. in counseling from an accredited program, you are eligible for licensure (LPC or LMHC) at the state level, which is a requirement to practice in many settings and be reimbursed by insurance companies.
Whether you want to help people through the process of grief following a loss, assist a high school student in picking out a college, work in a mental health center, help inmates in a prison make better choices for their lives, or even have the flexibility to open your own counseling practice, you may find that a counseling degree can offer the education, skills and options to make a difference in the world.