Executive Director of Secondary Curriculum and Instruction
LJ Coleman is the Executive Director of Secondary Curriculum and Instruction for Rio Rancho Public Schools. She says many educators feel called to the profession and thrive on seeing the spark of comprehension.
LJ says that teaching can be challenging due to a lack of resources, a need to encompass all learning styles and overcome issues students bring with them from outside the classroom.
She says young women and adults alike should identify what they really are passionate about doing, what they feel a sense of fulfillment in, and craft work around that.
LJ regularly donates resources to various Women’s Advocacy Groups as she sees the value in supporting fellow women.
Executive Director of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction
Elizabeth Jacome is the Executive Director of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction for Rio Rancho Public Schools. She says a normal workday consists of teaching, planning, being flexible to the needs of her students and teachers, and always being available for them.
She says that people who are passionate about teaching, passionate about learning, and capable of imparting their knowledge thrive in the education environment. Elizabeth does say that she feels no educator is appropriately financially compensated for the work they do; it’s rarely why teachers are teachers.
Elizabeth says you should be flexible, reflective, a great listener and be willing to learn and embrace change.
She has known since she was 8 years-old that she wanted to become a vet in order to care for animals and their human companions. Dr. Ashlee says that each day is a new adventure and she truly enjoys her career. It’s not without its challenges as she feels she must be capable of performing animal medicine as well as be a people-person and a business-savvy employer.
What’s it like to be a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
Becoming a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor is so much more than becoming a doctor of all trades; it’s about making a difference in the individual lives you touch. It’s about being that difference that can change the course of their life for the better.
If you are interested in becoming a therapist, there is some information you need to know. How much education is required and how much extra is suggested, what is the daily life like, how much can you craft what your work-life balance looks like and how much is set in stone?
I of all people can understand that the title for this occupation can seem intimidating with words like “licensed” and “professional” in it, but what power does intimidation have for a working woman? None that a little information can’t fix!
Daily Work as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
The work of a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) includes diagnosing and treating various mental disorders, learning disabilities, as well as cognitive, behavioral, developmental, and emotional “problems”. This can be accomplished through a number of therapy styles such as individual, group, and family-based for patients ranging from children to adults, and all ages in between.
This is one of the most beautiful careers available for women because it gives an opportunity to work where your heart is. You have the chance to work with children, teenagers, adults, and/or seniors– whatever age and need you find your interests drawn to!
As in any medical field, LPCC’s are trained and taught to implement different behavior and routine modifications to accommodate the varying needs and lifestyles of the patients they work with. That means that not only are you licensed to provide help for your patients based on prior education and overall clinical intelligence that you receive, but you get to be creative as well. As with any job, the requirements can depend on where you decide to practice your profession, but as long as you understand that what you’re doing is making a difference, the hard work will never compare to the reward you see.
But of course, as a fellow working woman, I can understand that the job description is only half of the deal. I can ease any premature, yet totally understandable, distress that might have come to your mind about employment percentages, as well as compensation averages. On your road to becoming an LPCC, we’ll first talk about the requirements and expectations for professionals within this occupation.
Job Requirements for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors
The majority of health offices or districts that hire LPCC employees require that applicants have a master’s degree from an accredited university in Counseling, Social Work, Psychology, or other related mental health disciplines with a concentration in health practice and/or clinical experience. The priceless benefit of attending a university and knowing what direction/concentration you want your degree to be in is that you can start looking at clinics, practitioner’s offices, schools, and hospitals near you that can coordinate an internship-style program for you while you obtain your degree.
In an interview with LPCC Claire Ann Johnson, she notes how important the hands-on time can be and how invaluable volunteering is to identifying the right path for your career. She says to find a mentor willing to share their knowledge and expertise and to research all the different ways you can craft both the education and experience piece as well as the daily job itself.
Resources/ Benefits of Field Experience
When people encourage you to utilize the resources around you, that doesn’t just mean the internet. While the internet is an invaluable resource (obviously), start to think about the professors in the department of your degree; don’t ever be afraid to talk with people and ask them about different opportunities that they, or their colleagues, might know of.
Also, don’t shy away from a related experience just because you hear or see the words “volunteer” or “unpaid”. Everyone understands that people have bills and responsibilities that require money, but when an employer is perusing your application and another, you’re going to want yours to show field- related experience.
Experience is also of valuable consideration because working in a similar environment, or a number of related settings, will increase your confidence in the dream you have chosen to pursue. Think of it like when you go to ice cream establishments: employees are always willingly offering the opportunity for you to sample any flavor that you think looks good, because you want to make sure your taste buds can manage it for an entire bowl or cone. Gaining experience for a potential lifestyle is a similar concept.
Licensing Required for Therapists
The last requirement that we will talk about is licensure and certification to be an LPCC. Depending on which state you plan to practice in, you can find out the procedure to gaining your Professional Clinical Counseling license and certificate that indicates you are authorized to practice Clinical Counseling in that state. There are a number of websites to find the courses and policies required for each state, but here is an example of a really simple site that has a list of the states for you to choose from and then see their specific requirements along with how and where to meet those requirements: https://www.counselor-license.com/articles/counselor-license.html.
Salary and Employment Outlook for Clinical Counselors
Now let’s talk a little bit about employment percentages and annual salary averages for LPCC’s. With an RSE (the Relative Standard Error of the employment estimate; https://www.bls.gov/help/def/oes.htm) of 1.4%, the mean hourly wage is marked at a little over $37 an hour, showing a mean annual salary of $78,690 with a wage RSE of .7%. I don’t want you to misunderstand; these numbers are the mean averages of higher and lower wages and salaries. We’ll talk shortly about how location and occupation concentration have an effect on most of the numbers we’re going to look at.
Joining the LPCC community would mean being a part of a family that is estimated at 107,980 professionals employed through this occupation not including those self- employed. As I mentioned earlier, there are a number of environments that are in need of working women like you, and the averages for employment are the highest within elementary and secondary schools, followed by working in an office with other related health practitioners. There are so many resources at your disposal to gather information, so for now we’re going to move onto the effect that location has on becoming an LPCC.
There are a number of Northeastern states with a higher employment rate of LPCC’s, along with Florida, Colorado, Texas, and California. However, there is a higher concentration of jobs and locations seeking LPPC’s in Northwestern states, as well as New York and Hawaii.
The states that pay LPCC’s the highest average hourly wage are scattered across the U.S. New Jersey and South Dakota are the nation’s leaders in salary, followed closely by California, New York, and Oregon. Hopefully this serves as an anticipative bit of information; whether you feel rejuvenated on a coast, or love the calm outdoor life on the plains, there is a need for you almost everywhere! Metropolitan districts of cities and states are in high demand for LPCC employees, but of course there are opportunities in numerous divisions. The need for licensed counselors ranges all across metropolitan and more rural locations, as well.
How to Get Hired as a Clinical Counselor
Once you have the requisite education and experience, you’ll need to keep your resume up to date. There are a plethora of resume writing resources. The one that I found to be the most helpful is LiveCareer. Not only do they provide tips and effective formatting, but they also simplify the resume writing process, taking into consideration the specific profession of Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors.
Additional Resources used for the information in this article include: Simply Hired, Indeed and Glassdoor are the top search engines with results for LPCC’s.
Introducing you to the podcast, Career Talk with Working Women, where we explore the vast array of careers and lifestyles women have crafted for themselves. I’m your hostess, Anna Doo, and I possess an insatiable curiosity about how women navigate work, life, and define what success means to them. Join me on a journey to explore every possible career; the challenges, the benefits, the work-life harmony. No more fairy tale fluff. Let’s talk about the truths, the nitty gritty for each career.
Women Working Together
I am interviewing women who are interested in sharing their thoughts, advice and journey with the next generation of the workforce and even those of us adults trying to figure out where we fit.
I want answers.
How do you know what you’re meant to do for work?
Does it change at different phases of life?
Or is it best to craft life around work?
What defines career success?
How can we change the rhetoric that a huge paycheck equals success?
Are there any parallels between childhoods of those women finding fulfillment in their careers, or is it all a whim?
How many adult women change careers completely at different phases of life?
And what triggers those changes?
All of these questions and more are what I aim to explore in this podcast.
Why a Podcast About Women’s Careers
The idea for this podcast came about after I had my second child in my mid 30s. I had never really gotten onto the path of a lifelong career. I had dabbled here and there in many different things. Most of them full-time Army National Guard work which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was a photojournalist for the Army National Guard and that afforded me the opportunity to ask people questions.
I am curious by nature and this trait has only strengthened the older that I’ve become. But once I became a mother, working full-time, taking care of two very young children, trying to be a good wife, and just be everything that I feel that I’m expected to be, working became much more challenging. I really didn’t know what I was supposed to do.
You know you talk to people here and there and they know exactly what it is in life that they’re meant to do. I don’t have that feeling. I don’t have that ‘this is me, this is exactly what I am supposed to be here to do.’ So I started asking around. I started asking other women who are in the same space of life that I’m in with young children and who maybe had budding careers that they either try to continue on after this phase of life and some of them stopped their careers because of becoming mothers.
Passionate Career Women
I also just talked to women who seem genuinely passionate and interested in the work that they did on a daily basis. I want to know what drives them, what gets them to that mindset. Is it really just identifying that this is what they are good at in life and this is where they can be of service to others and then crafting your mind and your brain around this is what I’m supposed to do? Or do people truly feel like they have identified their calling?
I have a number of female friends who have gotten past this phase of life if you will. They’ve had children, or chosen not to have children, and their children are grown and out of the house and so they’re back in the paid workforce. I wanted to ask them whether they are still doing the same jobs that they were when they began their careers or are they changing constantly in what they’re doing for work. How do they define what success is? Is it really the amount of money that they’re making? Is it that they feel like they’re making a difference or that they’re just genuinely happy in the work that they’re doing and the people that they’re doing it with?
I had all of these questions that I just started asking people. I started asking women in particular because I feel like we tell young girls that they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up. But then the examples that we show them are rock stars and actresses and princesses. While those are wonderful things to aspire to be, the vast majority of us are not going to make it to those careers.
I want young girls to be able to see women in all sorts of careers.
The guests are women firefighters, women zoo keepers, women scientists, women entrepreneurs, women who have worked in restaurants their whole lives; whatever it is that these individual, local, you could reach out and touch them type of women are doing.
Along with this podcast, I’m writing a series of children’s books that are going to highlight individual women doing their jobs. The first one is a firefighter. She’s been a firefighter for more than 16 years and she’s actually one of the guests on the podcast. You’ll be able to listen to her interview and then by springtime you’ll be able to find that book and purchase it. I will of course include that information once it’s available.
In addition to the firefighter I’ve also had the privilege of speaking with a mechanical engineer. I’ve had the privilege of speaking with a Ph.D. candidate in communications and a clinical counselor. All of these different women doing all of these different types of jobs and they’ve all found peace in their work. They’ve found a sense of purpose and that really resonates throughout the interviews.
They’ve all found peace in their work. They’ve found a sense of purpose.
I hope you’ll listen to all of the interviews. I really hope that you’ll give me some feedback and let me know what other kinds of careers you would like me to seek out that women are doing. I also hope that you’ll share those podcasts with other women who you feel might be struggling with identifying what it is that they’re supposed to do with their lives and accepting that what they are doing is enough.
I also hope to reach young women and young girls who are just starting to identify what it is that they want to be doing for the rest of their lives. Whether they’re in mid high school, late high school or even college and going through that phase of life where you’re really just sort of experimenting; trying this job, volunteering over here, seeing what kind of work this kind of career would entail on a daily basis. That’s what I hope to share here as I interview women doing different jobs.
Inquiring Minds Want to Know the Daily Life in a Given Career
I am asking the questions of what it’s like day-to-day. What’s been the most exciting thing that’s happened in their career so far. What are the challenges that they have. How are they creating and crafting a work-life harmony that works for them. Is it a career that allows you to do so. Or is it a career that you really have to craft your external life around your work life. I want all of those answers because I want to share them with you. I want you to be able to listen to all of these different careers and kind of go ‘oh man that sounds perfect, that sounds fascinating. That sounds like something that I could do day in, day out for the foreseeable future’. Then hook you up with some resources to find some ways to talk with other women in that same career or go and volunteer.
One of the guests is a director of a non-profit and her advice for young girls is to go volunteer, go try out spaces that you think you might be interested in and just see what they are. I think that’s great advice for all of us is to just volunteer and to give back to our communities. But bigger picture than that is to try out a whole bunch of different things.
My Career Background
I was afforded a loving wonderful childhood. I have no qualms about the way that I was raised. The only thing I would say though is that when I was raised and where I was raised there weren’t a whole lot of opportunities to go and try a whole lot of different careers. There really wasn’t a lot of rhetoric in my early education about a vast array of careers and only when I got to college did I start to really look at options. I thought, well I can make this a career or I can make that a career. But then you’re already there and you’re going OK well I’m paying for this, so maybe I should figure out something to get a degree in and hope that I can create or craft a career and a life out of it.
My undergrad is in Visual Communications in Graphic Design and Website Design from the fantastic Northern Arizona University. And thankfully that has proven to be a space that I really, really enjoy. I love creating. I love the visual design, color theory, the psychology behind why we do this for branding and why we do that for a website and user experience. It’s all very fascinating to me and I’m still trying to craft a career out of it. It’s one of my other side hustles if you will, is website design for small businesses.
But I really feel like I’ve had to kind of create that myself. I don’t feel like there was a very good resource when I was coming up for trying out a whole bunch of different jobs and just seeing what they are, seeing what they entail.
That’s the whole point of this podcast. It’s to talk with these women who’ve been there, done that, or are currently doing it, and just find out what advice they have. What they would recommend for young girls who might be interested in being a lawyer. What is the time commitment? What is the education commitment? How do you get there any way?!
I hope that you will enjoy listening to the interviews that I conduct with these women. They are fascinating, genuine, wonderful human beings and all they want to do is give back to the next generation and help other people find the happiness and fulfillment that they have found in their careers.
Support the Show
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