Online Certificate Programs in Counseling

  • Education Prerequisites: Online counseling certificate programs require completion of a bachelor’s degree or higher, preferably in psychology, human services, or other health-related field. Many certificate programs require completion of a master’s degree, however, this varies by state.
  • Professional Prerequisites: Online counseling certificate programs usually require current or previous professional experience in education or counseling, depending on the certificate’s specialty concentration.
  • Average Program Length: 1 year (full time); 2 years (part time)

Online certificate programs in counseling are designed for individuals who want to help others, individually or in groups, through academic, emotional, behavioral, career, or family counseling. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of social and personal conflict in the world, but through an accredited online certificate program in counseling, students can learn the skills necessary to be a positive influence in the lives of others who need their help. The online counseling certificate program is ideal for those looking to improve their counseling, communication, or multicultural skills, and to understand advanced advocacy and support techniques. Students can apply this unique combination of academic, medical, and social skills to a variety of professional opportunities in the fields of education, community outreach, and healthcare, just to name a few.

Completing an Online Certificate Program in Counseling

During an online certificate program in counseling, students will learn different counseling methods, how to assess their clients’ strengths and weaknesses, and how to help guide them toward positive choices, around obstacles, and away from negativity. Most online certificate programs in counseling require prior education, as well as residential colloquia, to measure the student’s skills, as well as level of commitment and dedication shown. Students typically take mandatory courses in human development, ethical and legal issues in professional counseling, group counseling and psychotherapy, and crisis intervention and emergency management, among others. To fulfill the residency requirements, students must participate in an on-site clinical residency at an approved facility to put counseling theory into practice. The residential colloquia are usually completed one week at a time and coincide with certain courses of the degree program. Most residency requirements are intended to be integrated into a fully online counseling certificate program, so students are able to take advantage of flexible scheduling options, online discussions and seminars, and live chats with professors and students as part of their regular online course work.

Many of the students looking to pursue an online counseling certificate are hoping to build on their existing skills or work experience to move up or change careers in the field of counseling. With this certificate, students can expand their skill set into one of the many promising areas of this philanthropic industry, helping others with jobs, marriage, school, or mental health issues, among others. Through the online certificate program, students will gain the skills needed to understand and evaluate social and psychological issues, and they will be able to positively encourage those who seek their counsel. Embarking on an online counseling certificate program often leads to a more concentrated area of study, to help focus the broad curriculum. Graduates of this online program are well-suited to a career as a resident counselor, or as an administrator who manages counseling programs, at an educational, mental health, or rehabilitation facility.

What Your Online Certificate in Counseling Can Do for You

Getting an online counseling certificate allows students to build on their desire to help others while advancing their career. In the counseling community, the skills learned through an online certificate program are necessary for academic development, and may help students pursue a certain career path. Obtaining an online certificate shows the student has successfully completed the necessary courses and residency work to satisfy the requirements in this field. In many professional settings, additional certification and/or licensure is required, as determined by various national and state educational regulations, to uphold a standard of excellence in education-related fields. Counselor certification, not to be confused with the online certificate program, is often used by employers or hiring institutions as a measure of a candidate’s commitment to extending their education and professional qualifications to meet the high standards of governing educational institutions. After completing the online certificate program, many aspiring professional counselors find that their state requires additional state-specific counselor certification, so they pursue accredited certification from one of several official certification agencies.

Graduates of an accredited online counseling certificate program are eligible for a variety of humanitarian, social, educational, and community-based careers that are growing. Mental health and marriage counselors, for instance, are expected to see an increase in job growth of 37% by the year 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to the BLS, this is because many corporations and businesses are deciding that an on-staff counselor is more cost-effective than designating insurance funds for out-sourced comprehensive psychiatric services for all workers. As more companies subscribe to this new development, the need for qualified counselors will continue to increase, too. Do keep in mind, though, that your exact prospects will vary based on your education, experience, and field.

Online Certificate Programs by School

Liberty University
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Liberty University- Liberty University is an accredited, world-renowned university. They have an excellent reputation and offer many challenging certificate programs online. They can assist you with all of your needs from specialized certificate programs in Accounting to Criminal Justice.

Ultimate Medical Academy
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Ultimate Medical Academy - Ultimate Medical Academy offers distinctive online certificate programs that will help students obtain careers in the healthcare industry. Their program offerings include Medical Administrative Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, and Pharmacy Technician. Programs are career-oriented and focused on providing students with the necessary skills and practices to help individuals succeed in the workplace.

Penn Foster
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Penn Foster Career School - Penn Foster Career School has around 30 different online certificate programs to offer students from across the U.S. and Canada. If you are looking for medical billing and coding or medical assisting then Penn Foster is a great choice, but they have everything from nursing certifications to business and computer certifications. Penn Foster College also has fashion design certificates and wedding planning or bridal consulting programs. Penn Foster Career School is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council.