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Substance Abuse Counselor License

In order to obtain your substance abuse counselor license you will need to earn your bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. There is currently a one year substance abuse counselor certificate program available that can be taken in place of the master’s degree but will require the applicant to have already obtained their bachelor’s. Here we will find out how to obtain and maintain your license as a substance abuse counselor, what type of substance abuse salary you can expect and how you can find employment in this career field.

The Substance Abuse Therapist License Continuing Education Requirements

Once you have earned your bachelor’s and master’s degree you will need to take the state licensing written and oral exam. The state licensing exam for the substance abuse counselor will vary from state to state as will the cost of the exam.  substance abuse counselor salary

Once you have obtained your substance abuse counselor license you will be required to earn twenty hours of continuing education credits a year, for a total of 60 hours in a three year period. You will need to renew your substance abuse counselor certifications every three years by providing proof of the required amount of continuing education credits. Failure to provide the correct amount can result in the loss or suspension of your license.

The Substance Abuse Counselor Work Environment

As a substance abuse counselor you can work in several different types of environments such as a homeless shelter, hospital, in-patient or out -patient treatment center, rehab, halfway house or a private practice.

The type of salary you can earn as a counselor will depend on your level of education, years of experience in the field and the type of environment you work in.

Places such as half way houses can offer the counselor free room and board in addition to monthly compensation, but will require the counselor to work long hours and be on-call 24 hours a day.

Positions for the in-patient counselor can provide a higher salary for those counselors that are willing to work on an on-call basis and will require them to work long hours dealing with patients that are going through withdrawals from drugs or alcohol.

The drug and alcohol counselor will work closely with clients who are former drug addicts and alcoholics or are currently struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. You will counsel clients on a one on one basis, assist them in finding resources for housing, food and clothing and you can also work by leading group therapy sessions.  You can also find employment as a drug and alcohol counselor that travels from school to school, counseling students and giving lectures in order to educate students on drug and alcohol abuse.

 

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