With the rise in substance abuse, the need for highly trained counselors to assist patients in overcoming their problem has increased significantly, and pursuing an addiction counseling degree is an excellent career choice. Those who have an addiction counseling degree may work in both private and publicly-funded detoxification centers, inpatient habilitation programs, residential therapeutic communities, correctional institutions, day programs, methadone maintenance programs or out-patient counseling facilities. Even employee assistance programs have need of trained addiction counselors. Counselors may also work as part of a team for those with mental or physical issues in addition to their substance abuse problem.
What Is An Addiction Counseling Degree?
Those interested in working with those who have substance abuse problems may wonder exactly what is an addiction counseling degree? Addiction counseling coursework covers addictive behaviors, counseling theory, psychopharmacology, counseling program development, research methods and substance abuse prevention. Programs generally include an internship or clinical experience under the supervision of an experienced addictions counselor. Certification varies from state to state and does not always require a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree. However, these degrees will ensure a higher pay scale and allow for access into supervisory positions. Some schools offer a two-year associate degree in addiction counseling. Many degree programs offer addictions counseling degrees as part of psychology or social work degree programs. Online addiction counseling programs are also available, but interested students should take particular care to ensure that the school is accredited and that the degree will make you eligible for certification in your state.
How To Find The Top Addiction Counseling Degree Programs
To find the top addiction counseling degree program for your needs, you must first learn the certification requirements for the state in which you intend to work, as well as the ranking of the schools in this field of education. Some community colleges offer two-year programs that offer classes for certification. The best two-year addiction counseling programs allow you to apply certification credits to an advanced degree. Some of top addiction counseling programs offer graduate level classes that are taken in addition to undergraduate majors in psychology or social work you have already earned. Portland Community College has the largest addictions counseling program in the state of Oregon. The University of Detroit Mercy was among the first addictions counseling programs in the country. The University of Cincinnati has both on-site and online courses. Research online addiction counseling programs to ensure that they are properly accredited.
Careers and Salaries For Individuals With Addiction Counseling Degrees
Addiction counseling salaries can vary from state to state. The median income for this field is $38,000. In general, addiction therapy counselors with two-year degrees will make less than those who have graduated from a four-year bachelor’s degree program or those with a two to three-year master’s degree. Those with several years of experience as a rehab counselor or addiction therapist can garner the highest salaries. The job outlook for addiction counselors remains bright, with addiction counseling jobs expected to increase by 27 percent from 2010 to 2020. All of these factors must be included when considering the question what is an addiction counseling degree and assessing what each type of degree can offer you in a future career.