The national average salary for Licensed Professional Counselors is $45K annually; Self-Employed pays the most in this field, though, offering a median salary of $77K. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$33,772 - $61,350
(Median)
$34K
$45K
$61K
MEDIAN: $44,613
10%
50%
90%

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$16.35 - $59.05
(Median)
$16
$25
$59
MEDIAN: $25.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$33,772 - $61,350  
   
Bonus
$293.61 - $7,147  
Profit Sharing
$800  
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).
)
$33,938 - $70,449  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,276
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$20$40$60
Hourly Rate
$16.35 - $59.05  
   
Overtime
$19.87 - $42.35  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$293.61 - $7,147  
   
Profit Sharing
$800  
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).
)
$33,938 - $70,449  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 435
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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.

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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.

Common Career Paths for Licensed Professional Counselor


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While not commonly seen, Licensed Professional Counselors who transition into a Clinical Director position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Clinical Directors is $72K per year. Moving from a Licensed Professional Counselor to Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor or Clinical Supervisor is a more common career path, however.

Licensed Professional Counselor Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Licensed Professional Counselor

Popular Skills for Licensed Professional Counselor


Survey results imply that Licensed Professional Counselors deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in addiction, Emergency/Trauma, Clinical Supervision, and Substance Abuse are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 9 percent and 20 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Substance Abuse Counseling. Most people experienced in 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.


Licensed Professional Counselors do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $42K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $49K. Licensed Professional Counselors who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $52K. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $58K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $45,885

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

With a pay rate for Licensed Professional Counselors that is 13 percent greater than the national average, Pittsburgh offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Licensed Professional Counselors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Atlanta (+9 percent), Houston (+8 percent), Dallas (+7 percent), and San Antonio (+3 percent). In Chicago, salaries are 15 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Cincinnati and New Orleans are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries tend to be 13 percent less than the median.

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




National Average
$46,000


Skills That Affect Licensed Professional Counselor Salaries

addiction
up arrow 20%

Emergency/Trauma
up arrow 17%


Substance Abuse
up arrow 7%


Case Management
up arrow 4%

Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
up arrow 2%

Counseling
up arrow 1%

Clinical Psychology
up arrow 1%

Patient Counseling
0%

National Average
$46,000

Group Therapy
up arrow 1%

trauma
up arrow 2%

Substance Abuse Counseling
up arrow 19%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 155 votes.

Gender

Female
79 %
Male
21 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
46%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 67%
dental benefits
Dental: 52%
medical benefits
Vision: 42%
dental benefits
None: 31%
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