Hawaii Counselor License Exam

To get licensed in  Hawaii, 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 Honolulu, or on the islands of Maui or Kaua’i, 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 the State of Hawaii. Licenses are granted by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Professional and Vocational Licensing.

To become a licensed professional counselor in Hawaii the following must be met:
  • Obtain a graduate degree in counseling from an accredited school meeting credit limits.
    Of not less than 3,000 hours of with 100 hours of face to face clinical supervision in not less than  two years and in not more than four years
  • An applicant must earn a passing score 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:

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs - PVL
Mental Health Counselor Program
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801

(808) 586-2693
counselor@dcca.hawaii.gov
www.hawaii.gov/dcca/areas/pvl/programs/mental/

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 andprogram 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 information  is available online, along with test dates.

The exam is administered by Pearson VUE.
 
License Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements

To renew a license, no continuing education is needed. The license needs to be renewed on a Triennial basis on June 30.

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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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