NCC vs. State License

There is sometimes confusion between a national counselor certification and a state licensure. While a national certification adds professional esteem and serves to demonstrate that a professional counselor has met national standards as set by the NBCC, it is not a state license. Therefore, earning an NCC credential does not mean that candidates will automatically receive a state license. While some states maintain a distinct difference between the two examinations, others have an abbreviated licensure process for counselors who hold a national certification or may even utilize the same examination for licensure.

To be sure of the proper process for state licensure and how holding an NCC certification may affect the licensing project, contact the licensing board in the state in which you reside and/or plan to practice. Also note that states may have either a single or two-tiered counselor licensing system. In addition, the names of state licenses and the certification may vary from state to state.

Once you earn the right to say that you are a National Certified Counselor, you must adhere to the NBCC Code of Ethics, pay annual dues on time each year, and accrue a minimum of 100 hours of continuing education requirements by the end of the 5-year period. The annual fees help to support all NBCC legislative and advocacy programs as well as certification and testing support. The NBCC will send you a bill 90 days in advance of the due date for payment.