Maine Psychology, Social Work & Counseling Licensure Requirements

Home » Psychology, Counseling & Social Work Licensing Requirements » Maine

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

graduation cap and mortarboard icon

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 two 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 two 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

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.

Clinical and Counseling Psychologists

National data

Median Salary: $82,510

Projected job growth: N/A

10th Percentile: $47,010

25th Percentile: $62,040

75th Percentile: $126,590

90th Percentile: $167,460

Projected job growth: N/A

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alaska $81,600 $59,480 $133,860
Alabama $62,520 $34,060 $167,250
Arkansas $62,540 $46,910 $128,070
Arizona $77,450 $30,000 $126,110
California $126,470 $61,770 $205,460
Colorado $81,940 $39,760 $133,850
Connecticut $104,940 $60,820 N/A
District of Columbia $79,430 $38,290 $205,920
Delaware $94,570 $74,870 N/A
Florida $70,320 $38,790 $166,460
Georgia $62,460 $29,600 $149,070
Hawaii $101,310 $62,310 N/A
Iowa $88,340 $32,320 $166,980
Idaho $62,410 $39,630 $130,030
Illinois $81,500 $39,760 N/A
Indiana $65,250 $39,470 $128,570
Kansas $75,410 $29,350 N/A
Kentucky $77,190 $35,820 $161,610
Louisiana $93,750 $49,520 $203,650
Massachusetts $80,840 $50,730 $135,650
Maryland $82,710 $47,850 $147,340
Maine $75,670 $57,010 $159,120
Michigan $66,180 $47,280 $128,390
Minnesota $98,050 $47,630 $127,160
Missouri $63,580 $39,280 $100,620
Mississippi $64,430 $31,140 $158,720
Montana $81,590 $50,510 $126,040
North Carolina $81,700 $39,640 $163,980
North Dakota $101,910 $47,350 $204,240
Nebraska $81,570 $47,270 $113,790
New Hampshire $94,570 $49,440 $130,720
New Jersey $119,670 $79,430 N/A
New Mexico $98,030 $52,400 N/A
Nevada $94,480 $19,440 $164,110
New York $104,070 $48,800 N/A
Ohio $98,030 $39,620 N/A
Oklahoma $59,710 $31,240 $98,030
Oregon $119,180 $60,820 $205,440
Pennsylvania $69,930 $38,150 $111,110
Rhode Island $98,680 $74,870 $170,890
South Carolina $78,930 $34,860 $129,780
South Dakota $94,050 $52,840 $126,750
Tennessee $98,030 $47,150 N/A
Texas $78,000 $39,510 $126,870
Utah $79,510 $48,390 $133,850
Virginia $83,080 $50,810 $205,920
Vermont $62,260 $30,450 $104,580
Washington $97,140 $59,490 $131,640
Wisconsin $78,810 $48,640 $129,380
West Virginia $50,350 $35,250 $101,780
Wyoming $62,070 $23,680 $129,710

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2030. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.


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

graduation cap and mortarboard icon

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. 

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

National data

Median Salary: $48,520

Projected job growth: 22.9%

10th Percentile: $30,870

25th Percentile: $38,520

75th Percentile: $61,660

90th Percentile: $77,980

Projected job growth: 22.9%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alaska $61,040 $37,440 $97,740
Alabama $38,830 $29,430 $61,140
Arkansas $38,660 $27,520 $77,510
Arizona $48,930 $36,940 $76,630
California $49,630 $36,750 $98,560
Colorado $49,630 $36,330 $80,580
Connecticut $48,900 $36,330 $81,610
District of Columbia $60,600 $31,370 $96,870
Delaware $46,910 $30,730 $63,340
Florida $46,680 $30,130 $76,880
Georgia $44,080 $30,320 $63,310
Hawaii $51,060 $38,000 $80,580
Iowa $47,730 $30,090 $77,460
Idaho $49,360 $30,690 $79,420
Illinois $47,640 $35,100 $80,030
Indiana $46,230 $30,640 $76,090
Kansas $48,330 $30,810 $63,460
Kentucky $44,250 $28,820 $62,870
Louisiana $37,510 $25,290 $59,460
Massachusetts $48,960 $37,070 $78,540
Maryland $55,480 $36,650 $78,310
Maine $48,960 $30,840 $100,040
Michigan $48,820 $31,800 $76,650
Minnesota $48,980 $37,960 $65,510
Missouri $38,920 $26,140 $60,310
Mississippi $37,580 $23,700 $62,670
Montana $46,790 $24,510 $63,800
North Carolina $48,640 $29,960 $76,670
North Dakota $60,920 $36,750 $76,720
Nebraska $49,370 $30,640 $78,700
New Hampshire $46,640 $30,720 $68,520
New Jersey $60,000 $44,470 $92,620
New Mexico $56,750 $36,230 $96,710
Nevada $59,940 $30,640 $95,790
New York $49,650 $31,310 $78,940
Ohio $47,510 $30,600 $76,950
Oklahoma $47,500 $29,200 $76,720
Oregon $59,060 $37,140 $94,800
Pennsylvania $46,790 $30,690 $75,060
Rhode Island $60,300 $31,990 $97,740
South Carolina $38,110 $28,580 $73,730
South Dakota $39,070 $30,970 $61,330
Tennessee $37,700 $27,780 $61,380
Texas $46,470 $29,360 $76,670
Utah $60,460 $30,690 $101,100
Virginia $48,820 $36,750 $76,670
Vermont $47,320 $38,360 $63,340
Washington $49,360 $37,070 $78,090
Wisconsin $48,100 $32,770 $76,650
West Virginia $38,100 $29,530 $60,340
Wyoming $60,130 $38,830 $96,440

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2030. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.


Marriage and Family Therapists

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

Marriage and Family Therapists

National data

Median Salary: $49,880

Projected job growth: 16.4%

10th Percentile: $37,050

25th Percentile: $42,910

75th Percentile: $75,410

90th Percentile: $96,520

Projected job growth: 16.4%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $44,820 $34,060 $62,170
Arizona $49,360 $37,270 $62,950
California $49,650 $37,220 $96,520
Colorado $62,280 $43,580 $130,760
Connecticut $59,330 $37,220 $96,520
Delaware $52,310 $48,760 $61,420
Florida $46,900 $34,530 $59,380
Georgia $46,910 $34,760 $61,710
Hawaii $49,650 $48,090 $102,540
Iowa $46,910 $36,910 $76,950
Idaho $49,440 $38,480 $63,040
Illinois $47,320 $33,140 $97,400
Indiana $48,690 $35,270 $62,870
Kansas $46,740 $30,640 $62,940
Kentucky $49,720 $34,260 $81,350
Louisiana $24,800 $22,980 $65,450
Massachusetts $49,630 $38,630 $80,460
Maryland $49,630 $38,580 $80,560
Michigan $59,910 $38,520 $76,090
Minnesota $65,150 $39,000 $96,710
Missouri $47,050 $37,060 $60,190
Mississippi $46,860 $36,890 $51,520
North Carolina $43,670 $36,560 $63,350
North Dakota $48,540 $38,430 $60,990
Nebraska $47,040 $20,650 $63,240
New Hampshire $46,490 $36,750 $76,630
New Jersey $77,960 $61,320 $99,160
New Mexico $49,410 $37,000 $79,890
Nevada $61,330 $46,650 $96,250
New York $59,760 $29,060 $96,520
Ohio $50,530 $37,220 $76,800
Oklahoma $55,660 $37,060 $101,430
Oregon $49,650 $44,280 $95,790
Pennsylvania $47,380 $36,210 $77,170
South Carolina $46,030 $35,500 $96,700
South Dakota $46,640 $37,060 $59,910
Tennessee $38,520 $30,640 $50,910
Texas $54,920 $38,850 $80,840
Utah $75,940 $49,250 $129,400
Virginia $49,130 $37,210 $76,950
Washington $47,130 $37,070 $60,020
Wisconsin $62,430 $44,090 $76,090
West Virginia $38,830 $36,040 $61,140
Wyoming $47,600 $36,660 $60,410

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2030. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.


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. Here are a couple areas of specialty and their median annual salaries, from the the 2021 BLS Occupational Employment Statistics.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers

National data

Median Salary: $49,130

Projected job growth: 14.9%

10th Percentile: $31,010

25th Percentile: $38,630

75th Percentile: $69,260

90th Percentile: $97,300

Projected job growth: 14.9%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alaska $48,820 $37,220 $77,420
Alabama $36,600 $22,940 $51,270
Arkansas $37,430 $29,180 $60,300
Arizona $38,590 $36,110 $61,140
California $77,640 $39,000 $123,210
Colorado $48,330 $35,610 $77,430
Connecticut $65,230 $36,860 $103,600
District of Columbia $61,660 $48,820 $103,600
Delaware $46,910 $36,780 $62,670
Florida $38,850 $29,010 $62,670
Georgia $39,010 $29,390 $78,280
Hawaii $63,700 $48,560 $81,230
Iowa $48,560 $37,060 $79,230
Idaho $40,050 $18,550 $76,730
Illinois $46,640 $30,600 $98,370
Indiana $47,280 $31,600 $74,320
Kansas $46,910 $30,690 $62,870
Kentucky $38,530 $28,840 $63,560
Louisiana $46,520 $25,270 $62,950
Massachusetts $48,960 $31,010 $81,240
Maryland $48,090 $35,550 $77,150
Maine $59,390 $39,040 $79,800
Michigan $49,340 $37,060 $76,180
Minnesota $59,990 $38,680 $84,240
Missouri $44,200 $25,820 $59,940
Mississippi $39,140 $29,170 $62,720
Montana $38,180 $31,010 $49,790
North Carolina $49,590 $45,160 $63,460
North Dakota $52,620 $35,790 $70,390
Nebraska $34,040 $23,770 $49,340
New Hampshire $61,480 $38,700 $77,920
New Jersey $80,540 $60,710 $166,740
New Mexico $54,000 $23,890 $74,670
Nevada $59,910 $38,520 $78,950
New York $75,230 $46,910 $114,690
Ohio $46,910 $30,460 $63,360
Oklahoma $38,110 $22,520 $62,870
Oregon $49,220 $30,730 $78,450
Pennsylvania $39,380 $29,770 $62,870
Rhode Island $76,410 $47,700 $80,540
South Carolina $41,500 $35,570 $51,320
South Dakota $41,270 $30,640 $60,620
Tennessee $38,830 $23,300 $58,320
Texas $42,230 $29,350 $72,360
Utah $46,720 $29,240 $64,300
Virginia $48,350 $35,190 $77,440
Vermont $47,750 $36,780 $79,490
Washington $61,210 $33,790 $78,450
Wisconsin $48,610 $36,380 $76,620
West Virginia $38,430 $30,600 $49,170
Wyoming $49,600 $30,730 $95,960

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2030. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.