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Become An Intake Counselor

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Working As An Intake Counselor

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Getting Information
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $75,343

    Average Salary

What Does An Intake Counselor Do

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors advise people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, or other behavioral problems. They provide treatment and support to help the client recover from addiction or modify problem behaviors.

Duties

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors typically do the following:

  • Evaluate clients’ mental and physical health, addiction, or problem behavior and assess their readiness for treatment
  • Help clients develop treatment goals and plans
  • Review and recommend treatment options with clients and their families
  • Help clients develop skills and behaviors necessary to recover from their addiction or modify their behavior
  • Work with clients to identify behaviors or situations that interfere with their recovery
  • Teach families about addiction or behavior disorders and help them develop strategies to cope with those problems
  • Refer clients to other resources and services, such as job placement services and support groups
  • Conduct outreach programs to help people identify the signs of addiction and other destructive behavior, as well as steps to take to avoid such behavior

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, also called addiction counselors, work with clients individually and in group sessions. Many incorporate the principles of 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) to guide their practice. They teach clients how to cope with stress and life’s problems in ways that help them recover. Furthermore, they help clients rebuild professional relationships and, if necessary, reestablish their career. They also help clients improve their personal relationships and find ways to discuss their addiction or other problems with family and friends.

Some addiction counselors work in facilities that employ many types of healthcare and mental health professionals. Addiction counselors may work with psychiatrists, social workers, physicians, and registered nurses to develop treatment plans and coordinate care for patients.

Some counselors work with clients who have been ordered by a judge to receive treatment for addiction. Others work with specific populations, such as teenagers, veterans, or people with disabilities. Some specialize in crisis intervention; these counselors step in when someone is endangering his or her own life or the lives of others. Other counselors specialize in noncrisis interventions, which encourage a person with addictions or other issues to get help. Noncrisis interventions often are performed at the request of friends and family.

Some substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors work in private practice, where they work alone or with a group of counselors or other professionals. These counselors manage their practice as a business. This includes working with clients and insurance companies to receive payment for their services. In addition, they market their practice to bring in new clients.

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How To Become An Intake Counselor

Most positions require a bachelor’s degree. However, depending on the employer, educational requirements can vary from a high school diploma and certification to a master’s degree.

Education

Most positions require a bachelor’s degree. However, depending on the employer, educational requirements can vary from a high school diploma and certification to a master’s degree. Workers with more education are able to provide more services to their clients, such as private one-on-one counseling sessions, and they require less supervision than those with less education. Those interested should research their state’s educational requirements.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors in private practice must be licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state, but all states require a master’s degree and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience. In addition, counselors must pass a state-issued exam and complete continuing education every year. Contact information for your state's regulating board can be found through the National Board for Certified Counselors.

The licensure or certification criteria for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors outside of private practice vary from state to state. For example, not all states require a specific degree, but many require applicants to pass an exam. Contact information for your state’s licensing board can be found through the Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors often work with people who are dealing with stressful and difficult situations, so they must be compassionate and empathize with their clients.

Interpersonal skills. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors must be able to work with different types of people. They spend most of their time working directly with clients or other professionals and must be able to develop and nurture good relationships.

Listening skills. Good listening skills are essential for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors. They need to give their full attention to a client to be able to understand that client’s problems and values.

Patience. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors must be able to remain calm when working with all types of clients, including those who may be distressed or angry.

Speaking skills. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors need to be able to effectively communicate with clients. They must express ideas and information in a way that their clients easily understand.

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Intake Counselor Jobs

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Intake Counselor Career Paths

Intake Counselor
Program Director Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Counselor Therapist
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Program Director Clinical Therapist Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Therapist Clinical Supervisor Nursing Director
Clinical Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Intake Coordinator Substance Abuse Counselor School Counselor
Counseling Director
5 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Therapist Intake Specialist Employment Specialist
Director Of Employer Services
8 Yearsyrs
Clinician Clinical Supervisor Program Director
Director Of Residential Services
7 Yearsyrs
Counselor Case Manager Social Worker
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Clinician Therapist Medical Social Worker
Director Of Social Work
7 Yearsyrs
Service Coordinator Registered Nurse Nurse Manager
Emergency Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
Residential Counselor Case Manager Clinician
Health Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Residential Counselor Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Crisis Counselor Intake Specialist Housing Counselor
Housing Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Therapist Family Counselor Case Manager
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Medical Social Worker Clinical Social Worker Clinical Director
Outpatient Services Director
10 Yearsyrs
Service Coordinator Driver Direct Support Professional
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Intake Coordinator Social Worker Program Supervisor
Residential Program Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Medical Social Worker Ambulatory Care Coordinator Utilization Review Nurse
Utilities Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Intake Counselor?

Intake Counselor Demographics

Gender

Female

75.4%

Male

22.1%

Unknown

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

60.3%

Hispanic or Latino

16.0%

Black or African American

12.6%

Asian

7.8%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.5%

French

12.1%

Italian

5.2%

Chinese

3.4%

Russian

3.4%

Swedish

1.7%

Portuguese

1.7%

Filipino

1.7%

German

1.7%

Mandarin

1.7%

Armenian

1.7%
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Intake Counselor Education

Schools

Liberty University

8.7%

Grand Canyon University

8.7%

Capella University

8.1%

Prairie View A & M University

6.7%

Walden University

6.7%

University of Phoenix

6.7%

Louisiana Tech University

6.0%

Webster University

4.7%

Columbia University

4.7%

Arizona State University

4.0%

University of Southern California

4.0%

Chicago School of Professional Psychology

4.0%

Troy University

3.4%

University of South Florida

3.4%

University of Nevada - Las Vegas

3.4%

San Francisco State University

3.4%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.4%

Pennsylvania State University

3.4%

Case Western Reserve University

3.4%

University of Kansas

3.4%
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Majors

Social Work

18.6%

Psychology

13.2%

School Counseling

12.0%

Mental Health Counseling

9.8%

Counseling Psychology

8.8%

Criminal Justice

5.3%

Business

5.0%

Clinical Psychology

3.8%

Human Services

3.8%

Education

3.0%

Family Therapy

3.0%

Sociology

2.4%

Rehabilitation Science

2.3%

Health Care Administration

1.8%

Law

1.7%

Theology

1.2%

Human Development

1.2%

Nursing

1.1%

Liberal Arts

1.1%

Management

1.1%
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Degrees

Masters

50.2%

Bachelors

24.5%

Other

10.9%

Doctorate

5.5%

Associate

4.7%

Certificate

3.6%

Diploma

0.4%

License

0.1%
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Real Intake Counselor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Intake Counselor Fountain of Hope Center Inc. Shreveport, LA Jun 01, 2010 $41,740
Intake Counselor Fountain of Hope Center, Inc. Shreveport, LA Jun 01, 2010 $41,740
Intake Counselor Red River Hospital, LLC Wichita Falls, TX Sep 12, 2014 $41,725
Clinical Intake Counselor Carrillo Counseling Services Santa Barbara, CA Aug 31, 2015 $35,256

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Top Skills for An Intake Counselor

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  1. Intake Assessments
  2. Referrals
  3. Crisis Intervention
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed Intake assessments, data entry, provided referrals and counseling to diverse population with serious and non serious mental illness.
  • Provided inter-agency and/or outer-agency referrals to assist clients returning to the community from incarceration.
  • Provided intake and assessment services for on-campus center delivering crisis intervention and counseling to students.
  • Identify cases of domestic abuse or other family problems and encourage residents to seek additional assistance from mental health professionals.
  • Facilitated and taught evening classes on chemical education and substance abuse awareness.

How Would You Rate Working As an Intake Counselor?

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Top Intake Counselor Employers

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Jobs From Top Intake Counselor Employers

Intake Counselor Videos

Mental Health Counselor, Career Video from drkit.org

Ethical Dilemma" ESU Assignment"

career counseling session

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