Nov 3 2017

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor – Career Rankings, Salary, Reviews and Advice #money, #careers, #salary, #best #jobs, #rankings, #social #services, #substance #abuse #and #behavioral #disorder #counselor, #substance #abuse #and #behavioral #disorder #counselor, #×155/quality/85/?url=%2fcmsmedia%2f9d%2f7fbc9af667aeec8e6ca4ccfbb74738%2fjobs-job-photo-87.jpg


Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor Overview

What is a Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor?

What is a Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor?

Those struggling with an addiction like alcoholism, or burdened by an eating disorder or behavioral problem can turn to substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors for treatment and support. They can be the guiding force for helping patients integrate back into areas of their lives where their behavior has left a destructive trail, including work and personal relationships. Part of that process involves consulting with the families of patients about what treatment options are best-suited for remedying the condition of their loved ones. But substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors don’t only offer their expertise to patients. Counselors often run outreach programs to warn others about the dangers of addiction and encourage a healthy lifestyle. Hearing about the devastating effect addiction has had on a person’s life can be an emotional experience every day, so those who wish to enter this field should have a temperament that mixes empathy with patience.

With a projected 22-percent employment growth rate by 2024, substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor jobs are growing at a faster rate than many other occupations. A key reason for the growth is that the Affordable Care Act mandates that insurance providers cover treatment for mental health issues. Now that Americans are required to have insurance that will cover these services, experts predict there will be an influx in the number of people seeking mental health counseling. Another factor is a shift in how the justice system is dealing with drug offenders. Rather than jail time, many offenders are receiving treatment-oriented sentences. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that over the coming decade, 21,200 new counselor positions will need to be filled to meet the demand.

Quick Stats

$39,980 Median Salary

2.8% Unemployment Rate

21200 Number of Jobs


Substance Abuse Counselors rank #5 in Best Social Services Jobs. Jobs are ranked according to their ability to offer an elusive mix of factors. Read more about how we rank the best jobs.

Substance Abuse Counselors are ranked:

How Much Does a Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor Make?

According to the BLS, substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors earned a median salary of $39,980, or approximately $19.22 per hour, in 2015. The best-paid earned about $63,030, while the lowest-paid earned about $25,860. Areas of the industry that pay well include schools from the elementary to university level. Some of the best-compensated metropolitan areas include Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and the District of Columbia.

75th Percentile. $51,140

25th Percentile. $31,850

How much do Substance Abuse Counselors make in your city?

See current salary offers for jobs in this field

What Type of Education Do Substance Abuse Counselors Need?

There isn’t a firm academic threshold one has to meet to enter the occupation, although a majority of states require a form of certification. But as Stephen Gumbley, director of the New England Addiction Technology Transfer Center, notes, the incorporation of behavioral health into the field is upping the ante for education. “The scope of the work has widened,” he says, explaining that counselors over the past 15 years not only have knowledge about substance disorders, but also their strong correlation to mental disorders. That crossover has led many entering the field to obtain bachelor’s and master’s degrees rather than rely squarely on work experience. Still, even with the uptick of counselors with degrees, individuals working as recovery support specialists often rely on real-world experience.

Job Satisfaction

Average Americans work well into their 60s, so workers might as well have a job that’s enjoyable and a career that’s fulfilling. A job with a low stress level, good work-life balance and solid prospects to improve, get promoted and earn a higher salary would make many employees happy. Here’s how Substance Abuse Counselors job satisfaction is rated in terms of upward mobility, stress level and flexibility.

Upward Mobility. Below Average
Opportunities for advancements and salary

Stress Level. Above Average
Work environment and complexities of the job s responsibilities

Flexibility. Above Average
Alternative working schedule and work life balance

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