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Substance Abuse Counselor Career Outlook

According to the CDC, more than 10% of Americans over the age of 12 use illegal drugs at least once each month. Many of these people suffer from substance abuse problems.

Because of this, there is a huge need for substance abuse counselors in this country right now. It’s why you might want to give some thought to potentially trying to become a substance abuse counselor yourself.

Before you try to launch a substance abuse career, though, you will need to learn how to become a substance abuse counselor. You’ll also need to know what to expect from a career in addiction counseling.

Are you interested in finding out more about jumping into an addiction counselor career? We’re going to provide you with a substance abuse counselor career outlook below so that you can mentally prepare yourself for it.

Keep reading to see if you have what it takes to work as a substance abuse counselor.

What Does a Substance Abuse Counselor Do?

Prior to even thinking about becoming a substance abuse counselor, you should make sure you know what one does. It’ll help you decide if you should pursue a substance abuse counselor career.

A substance abuse counselor is a mental health professional who is in charge of working with those who are struggling to beat an addiction to drugs. They can help people overcome cocaine addiction, heroin addiction, or an addiction to prescription drugs.

A substance abuse counselor will often help those battling addictions by trying to get to the root causes of them. They’ll also do things like:

  • Create and maintain records for the substance abuse patients they treat
  • Meet with patients on a regular basis to discuss their addictions, their emotions, etc.
  • Put together treatment plans for patients and evaluate their success

With so many Americans dealing with substance abuse issues at this time, there is a huge need for substance abuse counselors. If you think you’re cut out for the job, it could be a fantastic career for you.

How Many Substance Abuse Counselors Are There?

As of 2022, there is definitely not a shortage of substance abuse counselors scattered throughout the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 300,000 substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors.

But you shouldn’t let this stop you from considering a substance counselor career. The demand for substance abuse counselors remains high because of the ongoing substance abuse problems in this country.

How Can You Become a Substance Abuse Counselor?

Does the idea of working as a substance abuse counselor appeal to you? If it does, you should take some time to learn about how to become a substance abuse counselor. It might not be as difficult as you think.

To start, you’ll want to do your research on what a day in the life of a substance abuse counselor is like. It’ll help you figure out if you really want to pursue a career in this particular field.

From there, you can take these steps to become a substance abuse counselor:

  1. Earn a substance abuse counselor degree from an accredited educational institution
  2. Begin working as a substance abuse counselor and earn enough experience in the field
  3. Pass a series of background checks
  4. Obtain a license within your specific state to work as a substance abuse counselor

You can get this process started by registering to take classes so that you can get your Bachelor’s in Addiction Studies. It’ll get your new career off to a great start.

How Much Do Substance Abuse Counselors Make?

Most of the people who try to become substance abuse counselors don’t do it because of the money. But it’s worth noting that you can pull in a pretty decent income by working as a substance abuse counselor.

On average, substance abuse counselors make about $56,000. But you could put yourself in a position to make more money than that by continuing to earn licenses and certifications once you’re working as a substance abuse counselor.

You can also give your annual salary a bump by turning yourself into one of the best substance abuse counselors in your area. You’ll be able to make a pretty penny when you’re good at what you do.

What Are the Benefits of Becoming a Substance Abuse Counselor?

As we just alluded to, most substance abuse counselors aren’t in it for the money. They’re in it for all the other benefits that come along with working as a substance counselor.

Here are a few of the biggest benefits of working in this field:

  • You’ll get the chance to help people who are struggling badly with addictions
  • You’ll be able to give hope to the families of those battling addictions
  • You’ll earn some valuable insight into the minds of addicts
  • You’ll feel like you’re making a real difference in the world
  • You’ll look forward to going in to work every day since you’ll care about those who lean on you for support

Working as a substance abuse counselor can be a daunting job at times. But it can also be a very rewarding job that will fill you with pride in the years to come.

Is Working as a Substance Abuse Counselor the Right Career for You?

Not everyone is going to be able to launch a career as a successful substance abuse counselor. Some people just aren’t cut out for this industry.

But if you have an urge to help others, you might be able to transform yourself into an incredible substance abuse counselor. Just keep everything you learned here in mind as you move forward.

Get more career and education advice by reading through more of our blog articles.

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