New Jersey Counselor License Exam

To get licensed in New Jersey, 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 Newark, Jersey City, or Trenton, 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 New Jersey.  Licenses are granted by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Professional Counselor Examiners Committee.

To qualify to become a licensed professional counselor in New Jersey, the following must be met:
  • Obtain a graduate degree in counseling from an accredited school meeting credit limits.
  • Meet supervised clinical experience requirements consisting of three years of graduate clinical counseling experience, including at least two years of which is post-graduate. An additional 30 graduate credits in counseling may be substituted for one year of experience.
  • Pass the NCE (National Counselor Exam) 
The application for licensure and other documents for applicants can be obtained on line in PDF files.

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 is 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 application is available online, along with test dates.

License or Certification 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 be completed every two year license renewal period, and must include at least five hours on professional ethics, and three hours in cultural competency. Ten hours may be carried over into the next biennial licensure period. All Continuing education may be completed on-line.

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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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