Several states in the U.S., including Illinois have implemented a two-tier system where both the LPC (Licensed Professional Counselors) and LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors) are used. Both licenses allow you to provide counseling and therapy services, however the LCPC license has additional supervision and examination requirements for those who are interested in supervisory roles or in research, development.
How to Become Licensed as a LPC or LCPC
Both a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor must have a master’s or doctoral degree in a counselling related program from an accredited institution and that meets specific degree and coursework requirements. Practicum or internship experience is also mandatory.
To earn LPC licensing, Illinois requires completion of the National Board for Certified Counselors’ National Counselor Examination (NCE). To become licensed as an LCPC, you do not need to earn the LPC license, but the LPC requirements are part of the LCPC licensing requirements. In addition to the NCE exam, LCPC candidates must pass the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam (NCMHCE), which is more rigorous than the NCE.
18 hours of clinical supervision is required for the LPC license process while the LCPC candidates must work under supervision for two years.
With a LPC license, you can become a school guidance counselor, a marriage and family therapist, a mental health counselor, or a substance abuse counselor.
With the LCPC license, you can be a licensed clinical social worker, licensed clinical psychologist, or a licensed clinical psychiatrist.
If you are interested in becoming an LPC or LCPC, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology offers degrees to prepare you for your future as an LPC or LCPC.