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Licensed Professional Counselor Salary (United States)

Licensed Professional Counselors in the United States can typically expect wages of $43K annually. Earnings sit near $33K on the lower side but can approach $78K per year on the higher side. This group's pay is mainly influenced by geographic location, followed by career length and the specific company. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and just under one in three lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by a majority and dental coverage is claimed by just over a half. Most Licensed Professional Counselors are women (77 percent). For the most part, Licensed Professional Counselors enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Licensed Professional Counselor Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$32,481 - $62,283
(Median)
32K
43K
51K
62K
MEDIAN: $43,470
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Licensed Professional Counselor Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$16.83 - $73.97
(Median)
17
40
74
MEDIAN: $26.00
10%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Salary
$32,481 - $62,283  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,050  
Profit Sharing
$715 - $11,745  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$33,098 - $77,588  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 862
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$16.83 - $73.97  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $46.74  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,050  
   
Profit Sharing
$715 - $11,745  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$33,098 - $77,588  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 313
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Job Description for Licensed Professional Counselor

A licensed professional counselor may work in a variety of environments providing care in the area of mental health to individuals with mental illnesses, disorders, or imbalances. They assist patients in setting goals, using strengths-based techniques, and maintaining their mental health. Aside from practicing counseling, licensed professional counselors are responsible for the maintenance of records relating to therapy. They function as a counselor, case manager, consultant, and educator while providing therapy. This therapy may be to individuals, groups, or couples.
Read More...
Licensed Professional Counselor Tasks
  • Conduct psychological assessments, make recommendations, and maintain records.
  • Prepare and execute treatment plans according to the needs of each patient.
  • Facilitate adult or youth groups and individual counseling sessions.

Licensed Professional Counselor Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Licensed Professional Counselor

Self-Employed offers the highest compensation with a median salary of $44K.

Popular Skills for Licensed Professional Counselor

Licensed Professional Counselors report using a wide range of professional skills. Most notably, facility with Substance Abuse and Clinical Supervision are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 20 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Most people familiar with Bereavement Counseling also know Clinical Supervision.

Pay by Experience Level for Licensed Professional Counselor

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Licensed Professional Counselors — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Those who have worked for fewer than five years take home a median salary of $42K, and workers with five to 10 years of experience earn a higher $46K on average. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $51K in this role. Licensed Professional Counselors with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $57K. One to nine years of experience is standard for most employees in this area; more than half of respondents fit between this range. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up nearly one in four of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than five percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining less than one in ten.

Pay Difference By Location

Fort Worth
up arrow 33%
up arrow 18%
Pittsburgh
up arrow 14%
up arrow 13%
Baltimore
up arrow 9%
up arrow 4%
Charlotte
up arrow 4%
up arrow 1%
National Average
$46,000
Denver
up arrow 2%
San Antonio
up arrow 4%
Cincinnati
up arrow 6%
Oklahoma City
up arrow 9%
St. Louis
up arrow 10%
Tulsa
up arrow 13%
Chicago
up arrow 16%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Licensed Professional Counselors, busy Fort Worth offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 33 percent above the national average. Licensed Professional Counselors will also find cushy salaries in Austin (+18 percent), Pittsburgh (+14 percent), Houston (+13 percent), and Baltimore (+9 percent). In Chicago, salaries are 16 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Tulsa and St. Louis (13 percent lower and 10 percent lower, respectively).

Licensed Professional Counselor Reviews

What is it like working as a Licensed Professional Counselor?
Licensed Professional Counselor in Hudson:
"Rewarding."
Pros: I love the opportunity to incorporate creativity and my artistic background in therapeutic ways. I enjoy my scenic drive to work and the people I work with. I most enjoy seeing changes in clients for the better.
Cons: It can be very overwhelming and even depressing at times depending on the populations you work with. It is critical to take good care of yourself to prevent burnout. Bureaucracy/ and billing mandates/paperwork often steal valuable time you could be using in therapeutic interventions with clients--that is what I hate the most.

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Experience Affects Licensed Professional Counselor Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 24%
National Average
$46,000

Skills That Affect Licensed Professional Counselor Salaries

Substance Abuse
up arrow 20%
Counseling
up arrow 1%
Bereavement Counseling
0%
National Average
$46,000
Group Therapy
up arrow 2%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 187 votes.

Gender

Female
77%
female alumni
 
Male
23%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 67% dental benefits Dental: 53%
vision benefits Vision: 40% employee benefits None: 31%