Doctorate In Substance Abuse Counseling
For those who are interested in careers in academia or research, earning a PhD in substance abuse may be the right path. A PhD provides you with a solid understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methods as well as a strong background in counseling theory. While you can qualify for a counseling license with a masters degree, if you have already earned a masters in a subject other than counseling, a counseling-related PhD may help you qualify for your license while furthering your career.
As an advanced degree, the coursework for a PhD in substance abuse counseling is academically rigorous. In addition to challenging coursework, you should also expect to write and defend a thesis a process that typically takes at least a year, and often up to three. Doctoral programs that emphasize practice in addiction counseling will also likely include a fieldwork component. Academic courses that are typical for a doctoral-level drug and alcohol counselor degree plan include:
- Advanced Assessment Techniques
Components Of A Successful Substance Abuse Counselor Career: Skills Credentials Tools And Technology
It takes more than just a master’s degree to succeed as a substance abuse counselor. These professionals take further steps to educate themselves and demonstrate competency.
For example, counselors need excellent interpersonal and active listening skills. They demonstrate these skills by listening to interview questions and answering them clearly and confidently. Counselors also need problem-solving skills to develop creative treatment approaches.
Many counseling centers now offer teletherapy, so employers often seek candidates with computer skills. Substance abuse counselors must also understand software programs, likeTherapyNotes. Self-employed substance abuse counselors also need marketing and accounting skills.
Certificate In Substance Abuse Counseling
For those who already have a degree or who are looking for a shorter program that can potentially lead to state licensure, many schools offer certificate programs in substance abuse counseling. At the undergraduate level, a high school diploma or associate degree is a common admissions prerequisite. At the graduate level, certificate programs will require prospective students to hold a bachelors degree.
Certificate programs typically take between 15 and 20 credit hours to complete, which equates to three to five courses . This can allow students to complete the program in as little as a semester, though a two-semester program is not uncommon. As such, certificates can provide a faster route to this career compared to a two-to-four-year drug and alcohol counselor degree program, especially if you already hold a college degree. Courses in substance abuse certificate programs tend to focus on the fundamentals of substance abuse counselor training, and will commonly have titles such as:
- Alcohol, Drugs, and Behavior
Recommended Reading: How To Make An Addict Get Help
The Substance Abuse Counselor Job Outlook Is Positive
Substance abuse counseling is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 23% increase from 2016-2026 due to a rise in people seeking addiction and mental health counseling services, as well as states seeking treatment and counseling services instead of jail time for drug offenders.
Dr. Donald Posson, who teaches several of the courses within National Universitys undergraduate certificate in alcohol and drug abuse counseling program, has been in the addictions and mental health field for over twenty years those job projection numbers dont surprise him. Thats not even taking into account the need thats coming with the opioid crisis, he says. We havent even begun to deal with the counseling aspect of that or identified how were going to deal with it or resource it. Over the next five to ten years its going to require many more therapists than we currently have in the pipeline.
Dr. Posson notes that across the professional spectrum in California, only about 10 percent of therapists currently have experience in substance abuse counseling. Individuals seeking counseling and therapy are finding it difficult to find the trained professionals they need to help them conquer negative habits.
How Do I Become A Substance Abuse Counselor
When you want to make a true difference in the lives of troubled individuals, being a substance abuse counselor can be a great option. As a substance abuse counselor, you will help people recover from addictions to drugs and other additive substances. Being a substance abuse counselor can be a very rewarding career for people who enjoy helping others get on the right track in life.
Also Check: Can You Get Addicted To Excedrin
Professional Certifications For Substance Abuse Counseling Degree Holders
Substance abuse counselor certification varies widely by state, though it usually requires at least some formal education. An associates degree in substance abuse counseling is commonly the entry-level education requirement for a license in this field, as earning your associates in addiction or a related field may qualify you for a technician or training license while you complete supervised experience. Some states allow you to become fully licensed after completing the required supervised experience, while others require that you work under supervision until you earn a bachelors degree or complete equivalent substance abuse counselor training. Other states may have different requirements. Examples of possible license titles at this level include Certified Addiction Counselor and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor .
A post-graduate certificate in substance abuse counseling can also qualify you for professional certification, depending on your states requirements. Possible job titles will vary widely according to the level of the drug and alcohol counselor training program as well as other aspects of your education and work history. Generally, a certificate program will lead to license titles similar to those opened up by a bachelors or masters degree.
|Counseling License Type
Counseling Career Outlook In Pennsylvania
Between 2018 and 2028, the number of jobs for Pennsylvania substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors is projected to increase by 17.7%. During this time, the state expects to see about 3,060 annual job openings for these professionals due to a combination of new job growth, retirements, and natural job turnover.
As of May 2020, substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in Pennsylvania earned a median salary of $46,400. If youre relatively new to the field, you can expect to earn about $36,650 in Pennsylvania, which represents the 25th percentile. Once youve established yourself in the field and have gained considerable experience, you can expect to earn a salary thats about $70,420, which represents the 90th percentile here.
Rehabilitation counselors, who provide counseling services that help individuals with physical, mental, developmental, and emotional disabilities live independently, earned a median salary of $37,320 in Pennsylvania as of May 2020. The top earners among these professionals was $68,620 during this time.
All other counselors in Pennsylvania earned a median salary of $61,280 as of May 2020 and a top of about $80,310.
You May Like: What Are The 5 Stages Of Addiction
Substance Abuse Counselor Specialties
Students specialize in a topic by selecting a concentration for their studies. Keep in mind that schools offer a unique set of concentrations, and some colleges and universities do not offer concentrations at all. Programs that do not offer concentrations often allow students to tailor their studies with a minor.
Examples of ideal concentrations for prospective substance abuse counselors include alcoholism, adolescent addiction, and mental health. Individuals pursuing a concentration in alcohol addiction learn about topics like genetic predisposition and the physical effects of alcohol.
Students focusing on adolescent addiction learn about how drugs and alcohol impact a developing brain. A mental health concentration emphasizes how substances detrimentally affect mental health and how some mental health disorders lead to substance abuse.
Individuals can also specialize in a topic by earning a certification from a professional organization.
Im A High School Graduate
Your a high school graduate and already researching the Pennsylvania school counselor career. Researching professional career options as a high school graduate shows motivation and maturity. These traits will serve you well whether you end up becoming a Pennsylvania school counselor or not. However, research will only do you some good if you act on what you find.
The following are recommended steps to learn how to advance your current level of education and learn more about working in the field of education.
Recommended Reading: How Do I Stop My Food Addiction
Requirements: Alcohol And Drug Trainee
An individual can be credentialed as a trainee with, at minimum, fifteen semester hours of coursework in alcohol and drug counseling. Coursework in ethics is also required. A candidate who holds a degree at the associates level or higher does not need to provide evidence of having coursework in board-mandated areas . A candidate who does not yet hold a degree must provide evidence of coursework specifically related to alcohol and drug counseling qualifying courses are listed on the course worksheet .
An individual may hold trainee status for up to six years . The credential must be renewed every two years.
Counselor Testing & Examination Process
Counselor candidates can download information for their desired credential from the board website. There, you’ll receive detailed information about certification criteria.
Fees vary, depending on your certification. A CADC candidate can expect to pay $350 for the exam. Retests are $200, and an AAC credential is $100.
You’ll also need to produce supporting documents like recorded practice hours, transcripts, and a signed and notarized code of ethics.
The pennsylvania certification board will then review the application packet and deem the candidate eligible–or not–to take the exam. Once approved, the candidate can schedule their exam. If they fail, they must wait 60 days before they can try again.
Applications remain open for one calendar year. it’s also worth noting that, if you have an existing CADC degree, you can upgrade your license if you earn a master’s degree and complete the advanced IC& RC exam.
Don’t Miss: How To Help Someone Who Is Addicted
How Do I Become An Addictions Counselor
Are you ready to find your fit?
Find the information you need to find, get into, pay for, and thrive in the best college for you.
Addictions counselors, also referred to as substance abuse counselors, are counseling professionals who advise individuals with alcoholism or other types of drug addiction to support their recovery. Addictions counselors are typically responsible for evaluating clients mental health, developing treatment goals, recommending treatment options, helping individuals modify behaviors for recovery, educating families on how to cope with addiction behaviors, and/or referring clients to other supportive resources in the community. Due to the fact that these professionals often deal with clients in crisis situations and have a large impact on the lives of others, it is necessary for addictions counselors to be highly trained. For those aspiring to this rewarding career, the following are the steps necessary to get on the path towards being a successful addictions counselor.
You May Like: How To Get Past Addiction
How To Become A Licensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor
Licensed alcohol and drug counselors, or LADCs, in the United States are certified through individual state licensing boards. Policies and requirements vary from state to state, but all states require significant education and experience before candidates can apply for a license. Some states also offer a lower-level certification of certified alcohol and drug counselor. LADCs observe and evaluate the behavior of individuals struggling with addiction and attempt to modify those behaviors. LADCs work in hospitals, government clinics, detox facilities, correctional facilities and private treatment centers.
Get a university degree in behavioral science or counseling. Some states require a bachelors degree, while others require a masters degree. Your degree must include significant study in human behavior, addictions or counseling. Check with your state’s licensing board to get a list of approved and accredited education programs.
Complete a practicum. This practicum, where you will assist in an alcohol and drug counseling environment, is often connected to university or college education programs. Practicum requirements vary from state to state but generally entail several hundred hours.
Pass your LADC examination. Some, but not all, states have an examination process. In many cases, you can begin working under a temporary license as you wait to write your examinations.
You May Like: Is Nicotine As Addictive As Heroin
What Is The Minimum Degree Requirement For Substance Abuse Counselors In Pennsylvania
Counselors who wish to specialize in the area of substance abuse must be licensed as LPCs in Pennsylvania. This type of licensure requires at least a masters degree with approved coursework in a broad range of areas. Specific coursework can be taken in the area of substance abuse as long as the degree meets the general education requirements. No licensure specifically for substance abuse counselors exists in Pennsylvania.
What Are The Requirements To Become A Counselor In Pennsylvania
The first step to becoming a licensed counselor in Pennsylvania is to complete a masters or doctoral program that consists of 60 semester hours and includes study in:
- Human growth and development
- Counseling education
- Child development and family studies
Many graduate programs in counseling are now offered in a hybrid and/or online format to provide an unprecedented degree of convenience and flexibility for busy, working professionals or those with geographical limitations. Learn more about online masters degrees in counseling.
Recommended Reading: What Makes You An Addict
S To Become A Substance Abuse Counselor
- GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOLAll states require substance abuse counselors to hold a high school diploma or higher. While in high school, aspiring counselors can prepare for their careers by volunteering with crisis centers, community organizations, or faith communities.
- EARN THE REQUIRED DEGREEIn most states, counselling or psychology degrees qualify graduates to become substance abuse counselors. However, each state determines its minimum required education level. Most states require at least a bachelors degree.
- COMPLETE ALL REQUIREMENTS FOR STATE LICENSUREThese requirements can include supervised work hours or state-specific training. The Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network provides a list of state requirements. Substance abuse counselors who work in private practice must hold licensure with the National Board for Certified Counselors.
- EARN INDUSTRY CERTIFICATIONSCounseling professionals can advance their careers by pursuing certification as adolescent addictions counselors, peer recovery support specialists, or master addictions counselors.
Masters Degree In Addiction Counseling
Earning a masters degree is an important step for many addiction counselors. In some states, you must achieve this level of education before youre allowed to practice as a substance abuse counselor.
All states require you to get a masters if you want to become clinically licensed.
In states other than Kansas, a masters degree can be a good way to break into this field for the first time. A number of masters programs dont require you to hold a particular bachelors degree.
Editorial Listing ShortCode:
On the other hand, certain undergraduate prerequisites may qualify you for an advanced-standing masters program. The masters program you pursue can come in a number of fields. For example, some students earn a masters in applied behavior analysis or a masters in psychology.
Some graduate programs are specifically designed to prepare you for licensure. Youll first need to earn work hours and take an exam.
Licensure can allow you to practice independently, and it can qualify you to take advanced roles with increased responsibilities or higher pay.
Read Also: How To Convince An Addict To Go To Rehab
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Addicted To Flonase
Additional Counseling Careers And Licenses In Pennsylvania
The pathway to counseling licensure in Pennsylvania varies depending on the type of counseling youd like to provide and the population youd like to work with. The following section outlines other popular counseling careers, such as licensed marriage and family therapists, school counselors, and substance abuse counselors, including how to earn Pennsylvania counseling licensure.
Six Steps To Becoming A Substance Abuse Counselor
Becoming an addiction counselor takes time and effort. After completing education and following the necessary steps, individuals can earn jobs as substance abuse counselors in private practice, rehabilitation, or hospital settings. Below, we discuss actions these professionals must take to emerge as a leader in this field.
Read Also: Can You Get Addicted To Allergy Pills
Is A Phd Needed To Become A Counselor
In most cases, no. A masters degree is generally considered the terminal degree in counseling, as a masters in counseling satisfies the education requirement for licensure in all 50 states. However, for those who have a masters in a different subject, a doctoral substance abuse counselor program can offer the necessary specialization to qualify for licensure. Additionally, a PhD may be expected for many positions in research and academia, including tenure-track faculty in colleges and universities.
What Is The Minimum Degree Requirement For Substance Abuse Counselors In Maryland
Prospective substance abuse counselors have many options in the state. While it is possible to get an entry-level job in the field without a degree , an associates degree in counseling is required for the lowest alcohol and drug counselor credential, the CSC-AD, but CSC-ADs must work under supervision. To be able to practice substance abuse counseling independently , the minimum degree you will need to have is a bachelors degree in counseling, which will qualify you to become a CAC-AD. For full clinical status as an LCADC, a masters or doctoral degree in counseling is required.
Also Check: How To Deal With Love Addiction
How To Become A Counselor In Maryland
Most types of professional counseling in Maryland require licensure to practice. A masters degree is usually the minimum education required, and most types of licenses require that you take a national exam and complete a certain number of supervised experience hours. There are several schools in Maryland that offer counseling programs to prepare you for this process, which typically includes the following steps: