Substance Abuse Counseling Degree Job Opportunities

Find Career and Employment Opportunities in Substance Abuse Counseling

Substance abuse counseling degrees are best suited for individuals that want to help others beat substance abuse addictions. Students that complete this degree program will be prepared to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist, AODA counselor, or social worker.

Substance Abuse Counseling Degree Programs

Programs in substance abuse counseling are typically competed at the bachelor of master’s degree level, although some schools will offer them as a certificate program to supplement a previously earned degree. Some courses that students may need to complete in this program include:

  • Pharmacology
  • Fundamentals of substance abuse and addiction
  • Effective substance abuse screening
  • Substance abuse and families
  • Recovery
  • Effective models for treatment

Graduates of a substance abuse program may be able to get a job or they can choose to pursue their education even further. Some job opportunities available for these students include work as a social worker, AODA counselor, or clinical psychologist.

Social Worker Job Opportunities for Substance Abuse Counseling Degree Graduates

Social workers provide social services and assistance to their clients in order to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and families. They may work to maximize well-being of families and the academic functioning of children. Those that work in schools or with families and children may arrange for adoptions, assist single parents, and find foster home placements. In schools, they can address teen pregnancy problems, truancy, and other delinquent behaviors, and they may also advise teachers on how to appropriately deal with children with unique needs and problems. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a social worker in 2009 was $39,960, or $19.21 per hour. Job growth through 2018 in this area is expected to be average at 7-13%, equaling 109,600 projected job openings.

AODA Counselor Job Opportunities for Substance Abuse Counseling Degree Graduates

Substance abuse, or AODA, counselors work with individuals with alcohol, drug, or tobacco problems. They may engage in prevention programs or counsel families, individuals, or groups. They work to complete and maintain accurate records and reports regarding the history and progress of patients, and they assist people within overcoming their addiction and adjusting to life as a sober person. They also need to develop treatment plans based on their client’s history, clinical experience, and clinical research. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for an AODA counselor in 2009 was $37,700, or $18.13 per hour. The projected growth of this field through 2018 is expected to be much faster than average at 20% or higher, totaling 35,500 job openings.

Clinical Psychologist Job Opportunities for Substance Abuse Counseling Degree Graduates

Clinical psychologists identify emotional, behavioral, or psychological issues in their patients and diagnose disorders through the use of interview information, tests, reference materials, and records. They develop and implement individual treatment plans, and interact with clients to assist them in developing insight and defining goals to achieve personal, educational, and social development. They discuss treatment with clients and use methods including behavior modification, psychotherapy, hypnosis, stress reduction therapy, play therapy, and psychodrama. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a clinical psychologist in 2009 was $66,040 or $31.75 per hour. Job growth in this field is expected to be average with nearly 60,000 job openings through 2018.

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