New Jersey School Counselor Certification

School counselors in New Jersey provide a variety of services to students, their families, and educators, supporting the success of almost 1.5 million students located across the state. Counselors develop comprehensive school counseling programs for campuses that address mandates in No Child Left Behind, the NJ Administrative Code, and other important policies related to student achievement.

For more information about the initiatives that impact school counseling in New Jersey, visit this webpage.

Skip down the page to the certification pathway you’re interested in:

Initial New Jersey School Counselor Certification

The initial license is the School Counselor Standard Certificate, and does not need renewal.

Step 1: Education Requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college/university, such as programs offered from the following schools:
  • Required graduate study hours include specific areas of study, including, but not limited to: theory, interviewing techniques, testing, psychology, and statistics. For detailed information about required graduate coursework, download this PDF

Step 2: Criminal Background Check

Applicants for the school counselor license must complete a criminal background check with the Office of Student Protection Unit. There are multiple types of Criminal History record check applications, depending on your employment history and other conditions.

For detailed instructions about the application process, and to begin the criminal history record check with the Office of Student Protection Unit, visit the New Jersey Department of Education website.

Fees for the criminal background checking range from $6 to $28.75, depending on which application you submit: new, archive, or transfer.

Step 3: Examination Requirements

As of February 2020, there is no examination requirement for New Jersey school counselor license.

Step 4: Know the Fees

Applicants for a New Jersey school counselor license will include a $95 standard application fee, payable only through the online application portal, located here.

Step 5: Organize Your Application Materials

Your application materials include the following:

  • Completed profile and application through the Teachers Certification Information System with the Department of Education
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended, including transfer credits that led to earned degree, sent with degree conferral and grade point average (GPA) included in the transcripts
  • $95 standard application fee, payable online

Step 6: Submit Your Application

New Jersey school counselor license applications are only submitted online through the Teacher Certification System.

Any supporting materials that are not able to be submitted through the online portal must be sent in one complete packet to:

New Jersey Department of Education
Office of Certification and Induction
PO Box 500
Trenton NJ 08625-0500

Additional Information

If you would like to speak with a licensure specialist, you can contact the New Jersey Office of Certification and Induction at 609-292-2070. Customer service representatives are available from 7:45 AM to 4 PM EST, Monday through Friday.

New Jersey School Counselor Certification Renewal

Standard counseling certificates have no expiration date, and therefore, renewal is not required. As a New Jersey credentialed school counselor, you will be expected to complete 20 hours of continuing education units each academic year as part of your job expectations.

For additional information, call the Customer Service department at 609-292-2070. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday between 7:45 AM and 4 PM EST.

New Jersey School Counselor Certification Through Reciprocity

The NJ school counseling certificate is categorized as an Educational Services Certificate, and is eligible for a reciprocity certificate. For more information, visit the New Jersey Department of Education website.

If you hold a valid, current school counselor certificate issued by another state, and can demonstrate at least two years of teaching within three consecutive years of the previous four calendar years, they you may be eligible for a reciprocity certificate in New Jersey.

Your reciprocity application will include the following materials:

  • Completed profile and application through the Teachers Certification Information System with the Department of Education, located here
  • $95 standard application fee, payable only online
  • Copy of out-of-state credential
  • Completed Record of Professional Experience verifying recent employment as a school counselor, downloadable here
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended, including transfer credits that led to earned degree, sent with degree conferral and grade point average (GPA) included in the transcripts

Additional Assistance

If you have questions about your out-of-state application, contact the certification office at 609-292-2070, Monday through Friday from 7:45 AM to 4 PM EST.

New Jersey School Counseling Certification Resources

For resources to assist you with continuing education and other career development opportunities, see the following websites:

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