Career Guidance

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AMHCA Career Guide

AMHCA was the first association to recognize advanced professional expertise in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. AMHCA leaders believe that highly developed skills are in increasing demand. Both the public and insurance providers are looking for counselors who have acquired cutting-edge training and clinical abilities.

Career Phases in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Profession

Listed here are the five phases of professional development for those who desire to pursue a career in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This roadmap for professional development was established to enable each individual to reach the highest standards of professional expertise. This step-by-step approach to career advancement is crucial to the profession of the profession.


Phase 5 — Recognition of Exceptional Service

Individuals are recognized for their achievement and exceptional service to the profession.

Phase 5 board certification: AMHCA Clinical Mental Health Counseling Laureate (available TBD)


Phase 4 — Advanced Professional Certification

For licensed clinical mental health counselors who are independently licensed, AMHCA offers advanced credentialing certifications that provide evidence of increasing professional competence and expertise that can convey to clients that they hold independently recognized competencies.

Whether practicing or as an educator, individuals have attained advanced standing in the profession attested to by experience, accomplishments, and service to the profession.

Individuals are Clinical or Regular members of AMHCA in this phase.

Phase 4 board certification: AMHCA Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialist

Phase 4 board certifications: AMHCA Clinical Mental Health Counseling Diplomate

Phase 4 board certification: AMHCA Clinical Mental Health Counseling Fellow


Phase 3 — Clinical Mental Health Counselor Licensed for Independent Practice

Completed all of the licensing requirements as defined by the respective state and awarded the license to practice independently

Individuals who have been licensed in their state for independent practice without supervision and appreciate that it is crucial for them to apply these concepts throughout their careers.

They recognize the need for continuing development of professional expertise as their career advances.

Phase 3 credentialing: AMHCA Independent Clinical Mental Health Counselor Credential (available TBD)


Phase 2 — Initially Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Under Supervision

In this phase an individual has completed initial state licensing and is under supervision after earning a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Individuals demonstrate a basic knowledge of the profession and its foundational documents.

Initially, licensed CMHCs work to complete the state licensing requirements for independent practice.

Individuals move to be an emerging professional member of AMHCA.

Phase 2 credentialing: AMHCA Supervised Clinical Mental Health Counselor Credential (available TBD)


Phase 1 — Clinical Mental Health Counseling Student

Students enrolled in a regionally accredited Clinical Mental Health Counseling related graduate program.

These students are welcomed into the career when they become a student member of AMHCA and acknowledge their commitment to the profession.

What does being a clinical mental health counseling professional mean to you?

Phase 1 credentialing: AMHCA Clinical Mental Health Counseling Student Credential (available TBD)