Florida Counselor License Exam

To get licensed in Florida, Professional Counselors are required to take an exam covering such subjects as assessment and diagnosis, counseling and psychotherapy, and administration, supervision and consultation. Whether you live in Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa 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 Florida. Licenses are granted by the Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling.

To qualify to become a licensed professional counselor in Florida, the following must be met:
  • Obtain a graduate degree in counseling from an accredited school meeting credit limits.
  • Two years Post graduate supervised experience including 1,500 hours providing psychotherapy, to be completed in not less than 100 weeks. There must be at least one hour of supervision every two weeks or at least one hour of supervision for every 15 hours of practice. With one hour of supervision every two weeks. At least every other supervisions session must be individual; the other can be group supervision.
  • An applicant must earn a passing score on the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE).
  • The applicant must complete the following courses: 1) Eight hours on Laws and rules, 2) two hours on prevention of medical errors, 3) three hours on HIV/AIDS, and 4) two hours on domestic violence. All of these courses must be taken with an approved provider. Items three and four must be completed within six months of licensure, items two and three before licensure.
How to Apply for Licensure

An application for licensure can be obtained online. All documents must be sent to:
Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling

4052 Bald Cypress Way, BIN C-08
Tallahassee, FL 32399

850-245-4474
850- 921-5389 (fax)

The state of  Florida requires a passing score on the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination (NCMHCE)

Test content of the NCMHCE

The NCMHCE consists of ten hypothetical clinical mental health counseling cases.  The cases are clinical simulations that use a multiple select/correct format where there are multiple options as possible correct answers.  The questions are centered on the ten cases and explore the nuances of the particular case.  The NCMHCE assesses an applicant’s ability to engage in clinical problem solving, including the identification, analysis, diagnosis and treatment of clinical issues.

Each of the ten cases is divided into five to eight sections and classified either as information gathering or decision making activities. The sections on Information gathering evaluate a candidate’s ability to gather clinical data that is needed in the decision making process.  The sections on decision making evaluate a candidate’s ability to solve clinical problems using data.
The ten cases cover three content areas:
Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Integration of client assessment and observational date
  • Identification of precipitating problems/symptoms
  • Identification of level of individual or relationship functioning
  • Identification of pertinent familial issues
Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • Imparting information to the client about ethical standards and practice
  • Clarification of roles of the counselor and client
  • Apply individual counseling in accordance with the treatment plan
  • Evaluation of referral information
Administration, Consultation and Supervision
  • Maintenance of client records
  • Determine if counseling services being delivered are meeting client needs
  • Communicate orally with others to maintain professional communication
  • Assistance clients to connect with needed social services
Each of the ten cases in the NCMHCE is scored a +/- 3 which is based upon appropriate client/patient care. A passing score is above the minimum required for both the information gathering and decision -making sections.

 How to Apply to Take the Exam

You can find the registration information for the NCMHCE online, or write:

The National Board of Certified Counselors
3 Terrace Way
Greensboro, North Carolina 27403-3660

(336) 547-0607

The exam is administered by Pearson VUE.

License Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements

To renew a license, regulations require a total of 35 clock hours of continuing education in the following areas, every biennial license renewal period: 25 hours on general topics, two hours on medical errors, three hours on professional ethics and boundaries. Every third Biennial renewal, the 25 general hours must include three hours on laws and rules, and two hours on domestic violence.

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

And take Tests.com's free NCE Practice Test.

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

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