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Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
Quick Facts : Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors*
2010 Median Pay$38,120
Entry Level EducationHigh school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 201285,500
Job Outlook27% (Faster than average)
Employment Change23,400


Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors advise people who have alcoholism or other types of addiction, eating disorders, or other behavioral problems. They provide treatment and support to help the client recover from addiction or modify problem behaviors.

What Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors Do

  • Evaluate clients' mental and physical health, addiction or problem behavior, and openness to treatment
  • Review and recommend treatment options with clients and their families
  • Help clients develop skills and behaviors necessary to recover from their addiction or modify their behavior
  • Teach families about addiction or behavior disorders and help them develop strategies to cope with those problems
  • Develop and conduct outreach programs to help people learn about addictions and destructive behavior how to avoid them

Work Environment

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors work in a wide variety of settings, such as mental health centers, prisons, and private practice. Most work full time.
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Job Outlook

Employment of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is expected to grow by 27 percent from 2010 to 2020 as more people seek treatment for their addictions or other behaviors and drug offenders are increasingly sentenced to treatment rather than jail time.
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Pay

The average salary of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors was $38,120 in May 2010.
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Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

38120

Personal Care and Community Service Occupations

29680.0

All Jobs in the U.S.

52312.5223
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors*
Percent Change in Employment

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

27.3684

Personal Care and Community Service Occupations

19.979913332245566

All Jobs in the U.S.

15.767561808929724

Becoming a Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

Requirements range from a high school diploma and certification to a master's degree. Workers with more education are able to provide more services to their clients, such as private one-on-one counseling sessions, and they require less supervision than those with less education.
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