Alabama Counselor License Exam

To get licensed in Alabama, Professional Counselors are required to take an exam covering such subjects as human growth and development, psychopathology, group therapy and professional ethics. Whether you live in Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile or another city or county, the resources below will help you get started on the path to receive your Professional Counselor’s license.

Need of a License: A license is needed to work as a counselor in Alabama.  Licenses are granted by the Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling

To qualify to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Alabama, the following must be met:
  • Obtain a graduate degree in counseling from an accredited school meeting credit limits.
  • Meet supervised clinical experience requirements of 3,000 hours of post-graduate professional counseling, including at least 2,250 hours of direct client contact, and 750 hours devoted to administrative tasks such as record keeping.
  • An applicant must earn a passing score on the on the NCE (National Counselor Exam).
How to Apply for Licensure

An application for licensure and other documentation can be obtained online. All documents must be sent to:
Board of Behavioral Health Examiners
3443 N. Central Avenue, Suite 1700
Phoenix, AZ 85012

1-602-364-0890 (fax)

Test Content of the NCE

The NCE measures the applicants’ knowledge of the following eight content areas:

1.   The psychology of human growth and development
2.   Socio-cultural diversity
3.   Establishing helping relationships
4.   Group dynamics and group therapy
5.   Career goals and development
6.   Assessment  of psychopathology and treatment needs
7.   Research methods and  program evaluation
8.   Professional orientation and ethical practice.

The applicant’s knowledge of the following five work areas are also measured by the NCE:
  1. Fundamental issues in counseling 
  2. The process of counseling
  3. Diagnostic and assessment services
  4. Professional practice issues
  5. Ongoing professional development and the need for clinical supervision and consultation.
The exam consists of 200 questions, 40 of which are not scored, but are included for purpose of research.  The actual score is based on 160 questions.  The number of questions the applicant must get correct to pass varies between test versions. Four hours are given to complete the exam.
For more information, see the NCE Candidate Handbook.

How to Apply to Take the Exam

A PDF of the NCE registration is available on -line, along with test dates.

License Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements

To renew a license, regulations require 40 clock hours of continuing education in acceptable courses and programs offered by approved Continuing Education providers. The hours must include six hours in professional ethics, and be completed every two year licensure renewal period. 

For more information on licensing and exam prep, go to's NCE Guide.

And take's free NCE Practice Test.

For counseling exam preparation products and services, such as study guides, practice tests, flashcards and courses, go to's NCE listings.