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Become An Alcohol And Drug Counselor

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Working As An Alcohol And Drug Counselor

  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $39,980

    Average Salary

What Does An Alcohol And Drug Counselor Do

Rehabilitation counselors help people with physical, mental, developmental, and emotional disabilities live independently. They work with clients to overcome or manage the personal, social, or psychological effects of disabilities on employment or independent living.

Duties

Rehabilitation counselors typically do the following:

  • Provide individual and group counseling to help clients adjust to their disability
  • Evaluate clients’ abilities, interests, experiences, skills, health, and education
  • Develop a treatment plan for clients in consultation with other professionals, such as doctors, therapists, and psychologists
  • Arrange for clients to obtain services, such as medical care or career training
  • Help employers understand the needs and abilities of people with disabilities, as well as laws and resources that affect people with disabilities
  • Help clients develop their strengths and adjust to their limitations
  • Locate resources, such as wheelchairs or computer programs, that help clients live and work more independently
  • Maintain client records and monitor clients’ progress, adjusting the rehabilitation or treatment plan as necessary
  • Advocate for the rights of people with disabilities to live in a community and work in the job of their choice

Rehabilitation counselors help people with disabilities at various stages in their lives. Some work with students to develop strategies to live with their disability and move from school to work. Others help veterans cope with the mental or physical effects of their military service. Still others help elderly people adapt to disabilities developed later in life from illness or injury. Some may provide expert testimony or assessments during personal injury or workers’ compensation cases.

Some rehabilitation counselors deal specifically with employment issues. These counselors, sometimes called vocational rehabilitation counselors, typically work with older students and adults.

Rehabilitation counselors who work in private practice must spend time marketing their practice to prospective clients and working with insurance companies and clients to get paid for their services.

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How To Become An Alcohol And Drug Counselor

Rehabilitation counselors typically need a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling or a related field. Some positions require certification or a license.

Education

Most employers require a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling or a related field. A bachelor’s degree in most fields is acceptable to enter a master’s degree program. Master’s degree programs teach students the theories, skills, and techniques that will enable them to provide effective mental health counseling. These programs also train students in evaluating clients’ needs, formulating and implementing job placement strategies, and understanding the medical and psychological aspects of a disability. They typically require a period of supervised clinical experience, such as an internship.

Although some employers hire workers with a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation and disability studies, these workers typically cannot offer the full range of services that a rehabilitation counselor with a master’s degree can provide. Students in bachelor’s degree programs learn about issues that people with disabilities face and about the process of providing rehabilitation services. Some universities offer dual-degree programs in rehabilitation counseling, in which students can earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in 5 years.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensing requirements for rehabilitation counselors differ by state and by type of services provided. Those providing counseling services to clients and patients must attain a license through their state licensing board. Other services provided by rehabilitation counselors, however, may be exempt from state licensing requirements. For example, rehabilitation counselors who provide only vocational rehabilitation services or job placement assistance may not need a license.

Licensure typically requires a master’s degree and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience. In addition, counselors must pass a state-recognized exam. To maintain their licensure, counselors must complete annual continuing education credits.

Applicants should contact their state licensing board for information on what services or counseling positions require licensure. Contact information for these state licensing boards can be found through the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.

Some employers prefer or require rehabilitation counselors to be certified. The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification offers the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) certification. Applicants must meet advanced education, work experience, and clinical supervision requirements and pass a test. Certification must be renewed every 5 years. Counselors must complete continuing education requirements or pass a reexamination to renew their certification.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Rehabilitation counselors need to be able to effectively communicate with clients. They must express ideas and information in a way that is easy to understand.

Compassion. Counselors often work with people who are dealing with stressful and difficult situations. They must be compassionate and empathize with their clients.

Critical-thinking skills. Counselors must be able to develop a treatment plan to help clients reach their goals by considering each client’s abilities and interests.   

Interpersonal skills. Being able to work with different types of people is essential for rehabilitation counselors, who spend most of their time working directly with clients, families, employers, or other professionals. They must be able to develop and maintain good working relationships.

Listening skills. Good listening skills are essential for rehabilitation counselors. They need to give their full attention in sessions in order to understand clients’ problems, concerns, and values.

Patience. To help people learn new skills and strategies, rehabilitation counselors must have patience as clients struggle to learn about and address their disabilities.

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Alcohol And Drug Counselor jobs

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Alcohol And Drug Counselor Career Paths

Alcohol And Drug Counselor
Program Director Educator Case Manager
Career Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Pastor Family Service Counselor
Case Management Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Program Director General Manager Specialist
Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Addictions Counselor Mental Health Therapist Clinical Social Worker
Clinical Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Therapist Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Therapist
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Substance Abuse Counselor Therapist
Clinical Supervisor
8 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Social Worker
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Therapist Family Counselor Social Worker
Director Of Social Work
7 Yearsyrs
Clinical Supervisor Nursing Director Case Manager
Housing Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Family Therapist Therapist
Lead Therapist
5 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Education Director Case Manager
Mental Health Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Therapist Clinical Social Worker Clinical Director
Outpatient Services Director
9 Yearsyrs
Counselor/Case Manager Case Manager Program Supervisor
Residential Program Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Specialist Case Manager
Senior Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Therapist Mental Health Counselor Clinician
Senior Clinician
7 Yearsyrs
Clinical Supervisor Assistant Director Social Worker
Senior Social Worker
6 Yearsyrs
Addictions Counselor Mental Health Counselor Social Worker
Social Services Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Substance Abuse Counselor Social Worker
Social Work Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Service Director Therapist
Therapist And Program Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Clinical Counselor 2.6 years
Primary Counselor 2.4 years
Counselor 2.0 years
Top Employers Before
Counselor 12.2%
Internship 12.1%
Case Manager 11.1%
Volunteer 4.1%
Therapist 3.6%
Supervisor 2.7%
Top Employers After
Counselor 10.8%
Case Manager 10.5%
Therapist 6.9%
Internship 4.3%
Supervisor 3.8%
Clinician 2.9%
Director 2.4%
Specialist 2.2%

Alcohol And Drug Counselor Demographics

Gender

Female

64.4%

Male

34.2%

Unknown

1.3%
Ethnicity

White

82.8%

Hispanic or Latino

9.5%

Asian

5.9%

Unknown

1.2%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.1%

French

10.0%

Italian

4.4%

Dakota

3.3%

Arabic

3.3%

Greek

2.2%

Portuguese

1.1%

Chinese

1.1%

German

1.1%

Bosnian

1.1%

Cantonese

1.1%

Serbian

1.1%

Japanese

1.1%

Mandarin

1.1%

Polish

1.1%

Hindi

1.1%

Choctaw

1.1%

Urdu

1.1%

Croatian

1.1%

Thai

1.1%
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Alcohol And Drug Counselor Education

Schools

Capella University

12.1%

Grand Canyon University

11.8%

Walden University

8.9%

Liberty University

7.0%

University of Phoenix

6.2%

Minnesota State University - Mankato

5.1%

Metropolitan State University

4.8%

Saint Cloud State University

4.6%

Cleveland State University

4.0%

Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies

4.0%

Springfield College

3.5%

University of South Dakota

3.5%

University of Cincinnati

3.2%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.2%

Portland State University

3.2%

Eastern Washington University

3.0%

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

3.0%

Saint Mary's University

3.0%

Youngstown State University

3.0%

Ohio State University

3.0%
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Majors

Social Work

16.5%

Psychology

13.2%

Mental Health Counseling

11.0%

School Counseling

9.5%

Counseling Psychology

6.9%

Chemical Engineering

6.6%

Human Services

6.3%

Criminal Justice

5.5%

Business

3.4%

Family Therapy

2.9%

Clinical Psychology

2.6%

Pharmacy

2.5%

Sociology

2.2%

Rehabilitation Science

2.1%

Nursing

2.0%

Education

1.8%

Health Care Administration

1.5%

Liberal Arts

1.2%

Public Health

1.2%

Theology

1.2%
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Degrees

Masters

42.6%

Bachelors

24.3%

Other

15.3%

Associate

8.1%

Certificate

4.7%

Doctorate

3.8%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Alcohol And Drug Counselor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Chemical Dependency Counselor I Hazelden Foundation Center City, MN Apr 23, 2013 $46,500
Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor Avida Care Services, LLC Houston, TX Sep 01, 2015 $43,000
Chemical Dependency Counselor Asian Counseling and Referral Service Seattle, WA Jun 15, 2011 $42,035
Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor Avida Care Services, LLC Houston, TX Sep 01, 2015 $42,000
Counselor-Chemical Dependancy St. Christopher's Inn, Inc. NY Sep 26, 2012 $41,000
Chemical Dependency Counselor Residence Xii Kirkland, WA Apr 13, 2012 $35,000 -
$47,000
Chemical Dependency Counselor Residence Xii Kirkland, WA Oct 01, 2012 $35,000 -
$47,000
Chemical Dependency Counselor Residence Xii Kirkland, WA May 12, 2015 $34,856 -
$48,362

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Top Skills for An Alcohol And Drug Counselor

IndividualTreatmentPlansChemicalDependencyAssessmentsIntakeAssessmentsSubstanceAbuseTreatmentAppropriateReferralsCrisisInterventionMentalHealthDisordersAftercarePlansRelapsePreventionTreatmentProgramDischargePlanningGroupTherapySessionsProbationOfficersDischargeSummariesIndividualTherapySessionsCommunityResourcesCognitiveBehavioralTherapyAngerManagementDependencyCounselorAsam

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Top Alcohol And Drug Counselor Skills

  1. Individual Treatment Plans
  2. Chemical Dependency Assessments
  3. Intake Assessments
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conducted intake sessions and consulted with clients when developing individual treatment plans.
  • Performed chemical dependency assessments and made recommendations for appropriate level of care based on findings.
  • Completed intake assessments and utilization review for insurance authorization.
  • Worked in the Outpatient program, facilitating adolescent adult and some limited adolescent outpatient and inpatient substance abuse treatment.
  • Make appropriate referrals as necessary.

Top Alcohol And Drug Counselor Employers

Alcohol And Drug Counselor Videos

A Day in the Life - Drug/Alcohol Counselor

Career Planning : How to Become a Drug & Alcohol Counselor

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