How To Become An Alcohol Drug Counselor: Degree and Education Requirements

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what degree do you need to become a Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor
majors for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

Other names for this job might include Addiction Therapist, Addictions Counselor, Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Alcoholic Counselor, Assessment Specialist, Behavior Therapist, Behavioral Analyst, Behavioral Specialist, Behavioral Therapist, Case Manager


  • $42920
    Salary
  • 74%
    Job satisfaction
  • Hard
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

B



Be An Alcohol Drug Counselor: What You Really Need


In this requirements guide for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors, you will find out what do you need to become a Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor and what it takes to become one.

After reading this, you will be able to plan for your future if you want to be a Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor.



Degree required

Recommended degree level

Master’s Degree

Master’s degree
30.17%

Bachelors degree
19.36%

First professional degree
15.94%

Associates degree
13.85%

Some college courses
7.12%

Generally, employers are looking for Alcohol Drug Counselors who have a Master’s degree. They also prefer someone who is good in Active Listening and Speaking.

1 common question that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become An Alcohol Drug Counselor or what courses do I need to take.

We did a survey to ask other Alcohol Drug Counselors what did they major in college or university and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling
Clinical/Medical Social Work
Clinical Pastoral Counseling/Patient Counseling

Educational requirements range from a high school diploma and certification to a master’s degree. Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors 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. A majority of Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors have a master’s degree.



Schools

schools for Alcohol Drug Counselors

Interested in becoming An Alcohol Drug Counselor? Find the right schools that can help you to become one. You will need some of your details to get you matched with the right college or university. This service is free thanks to our sponsors.

Questions to ask the university or college:

  1. How many students are in the program?
  2. Is your program accredited?
  3. How many faculty members do you have? Do they hold the right credentials?
  4. What is your job placement rate?
  5. Does your school hold career fairs or other on-campus events with employers? How many employers typically attend?
  6. How many of your students have at least one internship by graduation?

Click to start becoming a Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor




How long does it take

Difficulty
Hard

You will need a considerable amount of skill, knowledge and experience to be An Alcohol Drug Counselor. Normally you will be required to have more than five years of experience.

For example: A surgeon have to complete 4 years of college plus an additional 5 to 7 years of specialized medical training to be able to do his/her job.

In terms of on-the-job training, you may need some training however you will be assumed that you will already have the necessary skills and work experience to perform the job.


How long does it take
2 1/2 to 5 years


Work experience
2 to 4 years

2 to 4 years
38.89%

1 to 2 years
24.5%

6 months to 1 year
18%

4 to 6 years
8.26%

No experience
5.21%

Job training
6 months to 1 year

6 months to 1 year
20.52%

2 to 4 years
20.23%

1 to 3 months
17.87%

1 to 2 years
12.07%

0 to 1 month
11.4%

Most Alcohol Drug Counselors have 2 to 4 years work experience and 6 months to 1 year job training.

To increase your chances of getting a job, you can look for job training while studying to be one.



License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification
Requirements vary by job tasks


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 between 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience. In addition, counselors must pass a state-recognized 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 found through the Addiction Technology Transfer Center.



Skills required

We asked other Alcohol Drug Counselors if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Active Listening what does this mean
2.Speaking what does this mean
3.Social Perceptiveness what does this mean
4.Reading Comprehension what does this mean
5.Critical Thinking what does this mean
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

We did some research and found that most successful Alcohol Drug Counselors have these 5 common characteristics. Most of them had Concern for Others and Integrity.

1.Concern for Others
2.Integrity
3.Stress Tolerance
4.Self Control
5.Cooperation




Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need some know-hows to do the job. To become a successful Alcohol Drug Counselors you need to acquire knowledge in these 5 key areas.

1. Psychology what does this mean
2.Therapy and Counseling what does this mean
3.Customer and Personal Service what does this mean
4.English Language what does this mean
5.Sociology and Anthropology what does this mean

As An Alcohol Drug Counselor, you may also be required to know how to use certain Medical software, Medical software and Medical software tools.

ACMS Casewatch Millenium (Medical software)
Addison Health Systems WritePad EMR Systems (Medical software)
Allscripts Canopy (Medical software)
Anasazi Software Assessment and Treatment Plan Systems (Medical software)
Athena Software Penelope Case Management (Medical software)
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for




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Career type

Human and Social Service
Health Informatics, Therapeutic Services
Counseling and Mental Health Services

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Learn more about Alcohol Drug Counselors

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Job Description
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Related to Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors Requirements

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors requirements, how to become Alcohol Drug Counselors, degree required to be a Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor, Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors license and certifications, majors to be a Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor, is it hard to become a Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor and how long does it take

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-and-behavioral-disorder-counselors.htm
http://www.nattc.org/
http://www.naadac.org/
http://www.counseling.org/

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Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
Written by: Stanley Tan
Alcohol Drug Counselors counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, drug, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. May counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.
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