Maine Psychology, Social Work & Counseling Licensure Requirements

As our most northeastern state, Maine’s quaint towns and natural beauty attract many professionals—and those in the mental health fields are no exception. Whether you currently live there or are relocating to this coastal state, to practice as a psychologist, counselor, therapist, or social worker, you’ll first need to earn your license.

Licensure is essential in regulating the practice of these professions and ensuring that those who seek their services are getting help from learned, experienced professionals. So, what do you need to become licensed? Below we’ve outlined the requirements you’ll need to meet to earn licensure and begin practicing in Maine.


Psychology Licensure in Maine

To practice psychology in Maine you must hold a state certified license. The state entity that oversees all regulations and requirements for psychology licensure is the Board of Examiners of Psychology.

Education requirements

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In Maine, all candidates seeking to earn a psychology license should hold a doctoral degree from an accredited institute.

While many psychology programs include internships as part of their degree curriculum, the state of Maine doesn’t require licensure candidates to complete an internship while in school.

Psychology licensing requirements

Although internship hours are not required for licensure, hours of supervised work experience are. These are broken up into 2 distinct categories: predoctoral and postdoctoral.

Predoctoral Standards Postdoctoral Standards
1,500 hours 1,500 hours
16-40 hours per week 16-40 hours per week
2 hours per week face-to-face with supervisor 1 hour per week face-to face with supervisor
2 hours per week of additional learning activities 1 hour per week of additional learning activities
50% of time dedicated to service activities;
25% or more in direct patient/client contact;
25% or less in research
25% – 60% of time devoted to direct services; the majority of work should be in your intended area of practice
Completed within 3 years Completed within 2 years
In total you’ll complete 3,000 hours of supervised work experience

Ideally, your education and supervised work hours will help you with one of the final steps in the application process, the examination requirement. Maine’s psychology board requires candidates to take and pass 2 exams to earn licensure.

The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) is a nationally administered exam. Designed to test general knowledge and application for those entering the field, you must pass the exam with a score of 500, or 70%, to become licensed in Maine.

Administered at the state level is Maine’s jurisprudence exam. This exam is specifically designed to test your knowledge of the law and ethics that monitor the practice of psychology in Maine.

Before you begin the application process, it will be beneficial to read through the application in its entirety. But for now, you should know that there are 2 applications for candidates to complete:

  1. The first is for those looking to take the EPPP. The application ensures that you, as the candidate, meet all the necessary education and experience requirements before being allowed to take the exam.
  2. The second application is completed after you pass the EPPP. Although it is the last application you must complete before earning licensure, it’s not the last requirement. After your application is approved by the board, you’ll be notified of your eligibility to take the jurisprudence exam. Upon successful completion, you’ll be awarded your psychology license.

You’ll need to submit your official transcripts and exam scores, complete a background check, and include 3 letters of recommendation to complete the application.

Renewal and continuing education credits

Once you hold your license, will you need to renew it? With new research and regulations changing the way psychologists practice, it’s vital that practicing psychologists keep their license up-to-date.

 In Maine, psychologist must renew their license annually by April 30th and complete 40 hours of continuing education (CE) credits, 3 in ethics. You should keep records of the CEs you complete with the expectation that you may be audited.

License reciprocity

Maine doesn’t offer license reciprocity to out-of-state candidates. However, if you meet the afore-mentioned requirements, you’ll be eligible to apply for licensure along with first-time applicants.

Psychologist salary and career advancement

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that psychologists in Maine make an annual average salary of $81,290.

Consider that there are various avenues available that may impact your salary. Where you work, the position you hold, and even the specialization of psychology you practice can provide you with different pay and advancement opportunities.


Therapy & Counseling Licensure in Maine

There are 4 different license types for therapists and counselors overseen by Maine’s Board of Counseling Professionals Licensure:

  • Professional Counselor
  • Clinical Professional Counselor
  • Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Pastoral Counselor

While all 4 have differing license requirements, they have the same guidelines for reciprocity. At this time, Maine doesn’t offer out-of-state counseling candidates’ reciprocity. They do, however, provide 2 alternative routes to licensure for out-of-state candidates:

  1. Be a practicing counselor for 5 years with a license that is ‘substantially equivalent’ to the standards set forth by the board for the license you seek.

-OR-

  1. Hold an out-of-state license that has ‘substantially similar’ requirements to those of the license type most similar to yours.

How exactly do Maine’s counseling classifications differ? Read on to find out.


Professional Counselor

Licensed professional counselors in Maine can’t practice at the clinical level. This means that any preventive measures, diagnoses, and treatments of mental illness or disorders can only be treated by counselors holding clinical licenses (LCPC, LMFT, and Pastoral) mentioned below.

Education requirements

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To practice as an LPC, you must earn a master’s degree.

The board prefers that the program you earn your degree through be CACREP accredited. If it isn’t, you must submit an ‘Educational Requirements Worksheet’ indicating that you have taken courses in the following content areas:

  • Human Growth and Development
  • Social and Cultural Foundations
  • Helping Relationships
  • Groups
  • Lifestyle and Career Development
  • Measurement
  • Research and Evaluation
  • Professional Orientation
  • Practicum
  • Internship

Your degree program, CACREP accredited or not, must include an internship that requires you to clock 600 work hours.

Professional counseling licensing requirements

Postgraduation, all candidates must earn 2,000 hours of supervised work experience over the course of 2 years. 1,000 of these hours must be in direct contact with clients and 67 of these must be under direct supervision of an approved supervisor.

Next is the application process. There are 2 applications, one that permits you to take the required exam, and another that grants you your full license. The first application should include your official transcripts, a fee of $25, and a form verifying your internship.

If your first application is approved, you’ll receive a notification of eligibility to take the National Counselor Examination (NCE) offered by the NBCC.

The second application will need to include a processing fee of $250, along with a background check fee of $21, and your passing NCE scores. It will also need to include a disclosure statement. This statement is a written description of your counseling experience and the way you intend to practice.

Renewal and continuing education credits

You’ll need to renew your LPC every 2 years by completing 55 CEs.


Clinical Professional Counselor

Licensed clinical professional counselors (LCPC) are certified to work in clinical settings diagnosing and treating mental health illness and disorders.

Education requirements

To practice as an LCPC in Maine, you’ll need to earn your master’s degree.  Although not required, it can benefit you if the program is CACREP accredited. If your program isn’t accredited, you’ll need to provide additional paperwork that indicates your program meets the standards of the board.

Your degree program must include an internship of 900 hours, 360 in direct client contact, to qualify for licensure.

LCPC licensing requirements

In addition to the work hours you gain as an intern, you’ll be expected to complete 3,000 hours of supervised work experience postgraduation, with 1,500 in direct client contact.

The application process towards becoming an LCPC will include a total of 4 applications.

  1. The first application is to be eligible to take the NCE exam. To complete this application, you must pay a $25 fee, submit your official transcripts and provide proof that you completed your internship.
  2. Once you have passed the NCE exam you can apply for a conditional license. The conditional license allows you to start gaining the supervised hours described above. To gain this license you must pay an application fee of $200 and a criminal background check fee of $21. You’ll also need to include your NCE scores and a ‘Proposed Supervision Plan.’
  3. To change your license from conditional to full you’ll need to submit an application, pay another $25 fee, and submit your completed ‘Supervisor’s Affidavit’ indicating that you’ve completed the supervised hours. Once approved you’ll be invited to take the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) offered by the NBCC.
  4. You should complete the final application after you pass the NCMHCE. This application should include a $250 fee, your test scores, and additional documentation as requested.

While reading about the application process may seem overwhelming, keep in mind that it will be completed over the course of at least 2 years.

Renewal and continuing education credits

Every 2 years you’ll need to renew your LCPC by completing 55 CE credits.

Counseling salary

Your salary as a counselor will vary depending on the population you work with and where you work. Mental health counselors in Maine report earning an annual average salary of $50,320, while substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors make $46,550.


Marriage and Family Therapists

Who are marriage and family therapists? Learn about MFTs from a firsthand source.

Education requirements

A master’s degree is required for MFT candidates. To ensure that your program follows the standards that the board expects, look for a program CACREP accredited. If your program isn’t accredited by CACREP, you’ll need to complete a form verifying that you’ve completed the expected coursework.

All programs must include a 900-hour internship that includes 360 hours of direct client contact.

LMFT licensing requirements

After you earn your degree you must apply to take the Marital and Family Therapy Examination administered by AMFTRB. You can do this by submitting your official transcripts, a $25 fee, and verifying your internship.

If you pass the examination, you can then apply for a conditional MFT license. The fee for a conditional license is $200, along with $21 for a background check. To be approved you’ll want to include a ‘Proposed Supervision Plan’. This plan should outline exactly how you intend to gain your required supervised hours.

Once you hold your conditional license you can begin gaining the required 3,000 hours of supervised practice. Of these hours, 1,000 should be working directly with clients and 200 must be under board-approved supervision.

When you’ve completed your education, the required exam, and all supervised hours, you’ll be eligible to complete the final application for full MFT licensure. This application should include a $250 fee and a form completed by your supervisor indicating that you’ve met the hour requirement.

Renewal and continuing educations credits

LMFTs should renew their license every 2 years by completing 55 CE credits.

LMFT salary

The annual median wage for MFT practitioners is $48,790, with the top 10% earning $81,760.


Pastoral Counselor

Pastoral counseling is perfect for counselors who seek to integrate religious training and psychological method within a clinical setting.

Education requirements

Those interested in pastoral counseling must earn a master’s degree to become licensed. Although not required, the board prefers that candidates hold a degree earned through a program accredited by CACREP.

Coursework should include pastoral theology, psychology, courses that blend these 2 topics, and professional ethics. Additionally, all candidates must complete an internship in which they perform 400 hours of supervised clinical pastoral ministry. The internship must be accredited by the ACPE.

Pastoral counseling licensing requirements

Because pastoral counselors practice at the clinical level, the application process and requirements mirror those of the LCPC candidate depicted above. The only major difference is that course work should focus on the integration of pastoral and psychological topics.

Renewal and continuing education credits

Like all counseling related licenses in Maine, pastoral counselors must renew their license every 2 years by completing 55 CE credits.


Social Work Licensure in Maine

Social work licensing is overseen by the State Board of Social Worker Licensure. Those seeking licensure in Maine will need to choose between 3 license types:

  • Licensed Social Worker (LSW)
  • Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

LSW, LMSW, and LCSW; what’s the difference?

The basic difference between the 3 levels is what you’re able to do with each specific license.

LSWs work to guide clients through difficult situations by creating specific goals. Often, they refer clients to appropriate resources, i.e. helping a young single mother connect with Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) for example. LSWs are not able to work in clinical or private settings.

LMSWs are eligible to work in private settings and can work as consultants. However, they can’t work at the clinical level.

LCSWs are the only social workers eligible to work at the clinical level. Working at the clinical level means that you’re certified to diagnose and treat mental disorders.

Education requirements

graduation cap and mortarboard icon

If you’re seeking to earn an LSW, then you’ll need to earn a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). LMSW and LCSW candidates must hold a Master of Social Work (MSW) if they hope to become licensed.

To be qualified for any license level, the degree you hold must be accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

Applications submitted without a degree earned through a CSWE accredited program will be rejected.

Social work licensing requirements

All social work licensure applications require the following fees:

  • $25 application fee
  • $70 license fee
  • $21 criminal background check fee

You’ll also be required to submit your official transcripts and exam scores.

The exact exam you’ll be expected to take and pass will vary depending on the level of licensure you seek to earn. All exams are offered through the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB):

LicenseExam
LSWBachelor’s
LMSWMaster’s
LCSWClinical

In addition to the fore mentioned requirements, LCSW candidates must complete a set amount of postgraduate supervised hours. The hour requirements vary depending on the degree concentration you choose:

Clinical Nonclinical
3,200 total hours 6,400 total hours
Completed in 2 or more years Completed in 4 or more years
96 hours in direct client contact:
72 with an individual
24 in group settings
192 hours in direct client contact
144 with an individual
48 in group settings
All hours must be accrued in a public clinical

Renewal and continuing education credits

No matter which social work license you hold, you must renew it every 2 years by earning 25 CE credits.

License reciprocity

Maine doesn’t offer license reciprocity for any level of social work license. You must meet all of the requirements and provide proof of your current out-of-state license.

Social worker salary and career advancement

What license you hold may impact the amount you make as a social worker in Maine. Another common factor to impact salary is the area of social work you work within. There are 4 common occupational areas:

OccupationAnnual Average Salary
Child, family, and school$51,810
Healthcare$50,530
Mental health and substance abuse$59,680
General$52,700

Ready to Get Started?

Now that you know the ins and outs of the licensure process, you may have noticed that there’s a common thread running through all of the fields – the right education. No matter which mental health profession speaks to you, if you intend to practice in Maine, you’ve got to earn the right education. To find schools that fit your educational needs use the Find Schools button and get started today.

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