How do I become a substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor?

How do I become a substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor?

How do I become a substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor?

rehabilitation-counselor-

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors are not like other counselors. The situations that they handle are unlike those of other counselors and might occasionally turn violent. However, becoming a substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor can be a rewarding choice simply because their success against addiction is your success as well. Those who become substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors have the rare chance to help someone turn their life around.

No matter what work environment you end up in, the job duties of a substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor are static to the job title. In most cases, the counselor will be working one on one with the client. Sometimes, the client’s family will also be involved. The client and counselor will work together to come up with a plan for the client to follow to help him or her stay away from their addiction.

Those seeking to pursue a career as a substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor should be both mentally and emotionally strong. There is no way of knowing what the case load will be like, and even counselors can go through a “burnout” if their case load is too great. It is important that the person pursuing this field know their strengths, weaknesses, and limits. It can come in handy later to avoid a “burnout” or prevent it from getting too out of hand.

Along with working one on one with clients, many also participate in addiction outreach programs that involve a group setting. The purpose of these outreaches is to inform the community of the struggle of addiction, and it also helps to educate the community to be aware of the signs of addiction in those around them.

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors also have the opportunity to reach students – both at the college level and at the primary level. When counseling at schools, the pay grade is higher because the counselors are often required to be licensed and have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree.

Each industry that hires substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors has different education requirements, and they have a variety of different salary levels. There are particular requirements regarding education and a variety of different career opportunities, which are all detailed below. However, in order to get the most accurate information regarding the industry you want to work in (as an example: a prison or a school), you should contact the particular agency.

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor Education Requirements and Processes

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor Education Requirements and Processes

The education and certification requirements will vary depending on the agency and job opening. The minimum amount of education necessary for a substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor is a high school diploma and specific certification. Others require a Bachelor’s degree, and still others will require education as high as a Master’s degree or PhD. This can mean many years of schooling before obtaining employment in the agency of choice. However, most substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor degrees require work in the field, so there will be a chance to explore other agencies that hire these particular counselors.

Most substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors require a license in order to work with the public, which requires a Master’s degree and about 2,000 to 3,000 hours of clinical experience. Many counselors are now encouraged to take psychology courses because of the link between addictions and some mental illnesses. Most substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors will go through on the job training after completing the education necessary.

Those looking to become substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors will have a variety of different schools to choose from, as most schools offer a counseling degree. However, some agencies might require specific classes. As an example, a substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor looking to work at an elementary, junior high, or high school might be required to take a few child development classes or education classes.

Career Opportunities as a Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor

Career Opportunities as a Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors work in a variety of different work environments. Hospitals, prisons, and private offices are common places that hire substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors. The hours will depend on the work environment and can include days, nights, evenings, and even weekends. Although most substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors work up to 40 hours a week, some may even work more – especially when they have a large case load.

These particular counselors must have excellent stress management skills and trauma-coping skills. The work environments can also require a counselor to have high emotional maturity due to the situations that can occur while on the job.

The average salary in 2013 of a substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor is $41,090. However, each agency is different. Some counselors can make as little as $25,200 and as much as $60,160. Those with advanced degrees or who work in hospitals tend to make the most. Counselors with private offices also have the chance to make more. Most with a private office do not, however, as those requiring the services of a substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor are low wage.

There are not very many advancement opportunities within the field of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counseling because the job titles and particular duties are static to the position. Those who work in a work environment that employees numerous counselors might promote one to a supervisory position, but most counselors work at the same level.

When it comes to salary with substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, it all depends on the education level and experience of the candidate as well as the work environment the candidate is applying for. Below is a list of industries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that hire substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors:

* Outpatient care centers (annual mean wage of $39,900)
* Residential substance abuse facilities (annual mean wage of $36,500)
* Individual and family services (annual mean wage of $39,200)
* Local government (annual mean wage of $47,090)
* General hospitals (annual mean wage of $49,090)
* Substance abuse hospitals (annual mean wage of $43,710)
* Other residential care facilities (annual mean wage of $35,450)
* Colleges, universities, professional schools (annual mean wage of $55,770)
* Junior colleges (annual mean wage of $52,520)
* Elementary and secondary schools (annual mean wage of $52,560)
* Educational support services (annual mean wage of $51,670)
* Nursing care facilities (annual mean wage of $50,610)

This particular list only includes those industries that have the highest wages and the largest number of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors hired. From this list, it is easy to see that getting the license required or a higher education level will quickly and easily pay off.

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors are in high demand, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the job will grow 31% by 2022. States like California, Washington, Arizona, and Texas hire the greatest number of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors. There are also a great number of states on the east coast including Florida, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

These states all employ more than 1,900 substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors with Pennsylvania hiring 9,350 in 2013.The highest mean wage for this position is in Michigan at $50,890 annually. Other states with a high mean wage include Utah, New Jersey, and Alaska.