How to Become a Counselor in New Hampshire

State of New Hampshire

Licensed counselors in New Hampshire are known as Clinical Mental Health Counselors (CMHCs). The state’s premier professional organization for CMHCs is the New Hampshire Mental Health Counselors’ Association, a local chapter of the American Mental Health Counselors’ Association whose mission is to “promote and support the professionalism of and collaboration among clinical mental health counselors.” Licensure for counselors in New Hampshire is managed by the state Board of Mental Health Practice.

Licensure requirements for counselors in New Hampshire, including those relating to education, supervision, examination, fees, and renewal, are examined in further detail below, along with salary information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as scholarships and loan repayment programs available to aspiring CMHCs in the state.

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Counselor Education in New Hampshire

CMHC licensure in New Hampshire requires the completion of a 60-credit master’s or doctorate degree from a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs-accredited graduate program or a similar program that meets the same academic requirements.

Appropriate degree programs will include at least 30 credit hours of graduate coursework in the following content areas:

  1. Human growth and development
  2. Abnormal psychology/psychopathology
  3. Counseling theories
  4. Counseling techniques
  5. Social and cultural foundations
  6. Group work
  7. Professional orientation and ethics
  8. Career and lifestyle development
  9. Testing and assessment
  10. Research and program evaluation
  11. Addictive behaviors

Internship Requirements

 CMHC licensure in New Hampshire may require the completion of a practicum or internship depending on the applicant’s completed degree program—particularly if it was not accredited by the council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. The practicum/internship should be 700 hours.

This practicum/internship is a distinct requirement from post-graduate supervision, which is also necessary for CMHC licensure in New Hampshire.

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Supervision Hours

“Supervision” is shorthand for post-graduate, directed experience in professional counseling under supervision in a work setting. New Hampshire requires aspiring CMHCs to complete 3,000 hours of supervision in a minimum of two years, with at least of one hour per week of individual face-to-face direction from an approved supervisor who is licensed as an CMHC.

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CMHC licensure in New Hampshire requires a passing score on the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam, which tests knowledge of assessment, diagnosis, counseling, psychotherapy, administration, consultation, and supervision. It consists of 10 clinical mental health counseling cases and assesses clinical problem-solving ability by testing identification, analysis, and treatment. It is administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors.

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CMHC Licensure Fees

CMHCs in New Hampshire can expect to pay the following fees for their license, renewal, and examination:

CMHC Application: $150

CMHC License: $135

CMHC License Renewal: $270

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CMHC License Renewal

CMHC licenses in New Hampshire expire biennially on the date they were issued. License renewal requires payment of the appropriate fees and the completion of continuing education.

Continuing Education

New Hampshire CMHCs are required to complete 40 hours of continuing education (CE) during each two-year renewal period. At least 30 of these hours must be from “Category A,” means they must be obtained through approved means, like participating in or preparing seminars or workshops, completing graduate-level coursework, or publishing peer-reviewed articles or books. Six hours must be accrued in ethics from this category and three hours in collaborative means.

Category A activities must be approved by the American Psychological Association, American Association of Pastoral Counselors, National Association of Social Workers, National Board for Certified Counselors, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, American Counseling Association, American Medical Association, American Mental Health Counselors Association, or Association of Social Work Boards. “Category B” activities are similar in nature but do not have such organizational approval. No more than 10 hours can be accrued from category b activities.

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Additional Information

For Counselors Licensed in Other States

The New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice has an alternative route to licensure for counselors who have already obtained their licenses in other states. Applicants from out-of-state are required to submit an application, pass the NCMHCE, meet the educational, course, and supervision requirements as well as pay the applicable fee.

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Average Counselor Salary in New Hampshire

The following types of counselors in New Hampshire can expect to earn the respective average hourly and average annual wages, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Average Counselor Salary in New Hampshire
Type of Counselor Average Hourly Wage Average Annual Wage
Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors $20.96 $43,600
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors $25.52 $53,070

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New Hampshire Counseling Scholarships

The following scholarships and loan repayment programs are available to aspiring LCMHCs in New Hampshire:

New Hampshire State Loan Repayment Program

  • Type: Loan Repayments
  • Amount: Up to $75,000 per Year
  • Description: Counselors in New Hampshire are eligible to apply for loan repayment assistance in exchange for working in a state-designated shortage area for up to 36 months full time. The program requires a 50 percent local match with state funds.

American Addiction Centers’ Behavioral Health Academic Scholarship Program

  • Type: Scholarships
  • Amount: $2,500 to $5,000
  • Description: American Addiction Centers offers three scholarships providing financial assistance to full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate school students pursuing careers in behavior health and addiction-related studies, including counseling.

Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students

  • Type: Scholarships
  • Amount: To Be Decided by School
  • Description: The Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program provides funds to schools, which in turn offer scholarships to full-time, financially needy students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are studying professional counseling (amongst other health professions).

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*Licensure information including requirements, salaries, renewals, scholarships and fees were retrieved as of November 2019. Information may have changed since, check with the state's board of licensing for more information.