Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor at a Glance

Projected Job Growth

  • +0% Job Growth for
    Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor

  • 2013
  • 2023

Average Salary for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor

  • $0 Annual Pay
    National Average
  • $0 Hourly Pay
    National Average

Best States for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor

  Employment
in 2011
Average
Annual Salary
Average
Hourly Pay
Pennsylvania 10,520 $38,690 $19
Idaho 890 $39,760 $19
Rhode Island 700 $33,530 $16

Becoming a Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor

Degree requirements for a career as a substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor vary depending on the type of treatment and counseling, work setting, and state licensing and certification regulations. Counselors with an education beyond a high school diploma or with additional, specialized training will enjoy more opportunities for career advancement. Many degree programs in counseling allow students to choose a concentration in an area of counseling, such as child abuse recognition or domestic violence counseling.

Many schools offer on-campus, hybrid, and/or online bachelor's degrees in counseling. Various master's degree programs in mental health and substance abuse counseling are available as well. The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) is recognized by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation to accredit master's degree programs in addiction counseling and clinical mental health counseling. Students may choose to pursue a general master's degree in psychology or social work along with certification in substance abuse counseling. A sampling of classes you may take in a bachelor's program, drawn from the course listings for the University of Cincinnati's distance learning bachelor degree program in substance abuse counseling, include the following:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Counseling
  • Crisis Management in Therapy
  • Ethics in Chemical Dependency Counseling

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors must be state-licensed for private practice. Licensure for private practice requires a master's degree, 2,000 to 3,000 of supervised clinical work experience, passing a state-recognized exam, and completing annual continuing education requirements. The National Board of Certified Counselors provides contact information for each state's regulating board. Licensure or certification requirements for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors outside of private practice vary by state. The Addiction Technology Transfer Center provides basic state-specific licensing and certification information for drug and alcohol counselors.