As an addiction counselor, you can make a decent living while also making a positive impact on the lives of others. Addiction counselors play a critical role in helping individuals overcome addiction and regain control of their lives by providing support, guidance, and education. Counselors are there to help clients navigate the often difficult road to recovery. There is an increasing need for well trained professionals in the field of substance abuse counseling — but how much can you earn as an addiction counselor?
The salary you can earn as an addiction counselor can vary depending on several factors, such as your level of education, years of experience, location, and the type of organization you work for.
Here’s a look at what you can expect to earn as an addiction counselor.
Salary Range for Addiction Counselors
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors was $48,520 in May 2021. The lowest 10 percent of counselors earned less than $32,540 per year, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $76,080 per year.
However, it’s important to note that these figures represent the median salary for all addiction counselors, regardless of their level of education or years of experience. Additionally, counselors who work in certain settings or in certain geographic areas may earn more or less than the national median.
Also key to note is that the job outlook for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors is projected to grow 22 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 43,600 openings for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors are projected each year, on average, over the decade.
Factors That Affect Salary for Addiction Counselors
Education and Experience: As with many other professions, education and experience can have a significant impact on how much you can earn as an addiction counselor. Generally, those with more advanced degrees or more years of experience can command higher salaries.
Location: The salary you can earn as an addiction counselor can vary depending on where you work. Counselors who work in large cities or in states with a high cost of living may earn more than those who work in rural areas or in states with a lower cost of living. The time it takes to become an addiction counselor also varies from state to state.
Type of Employer: Addiction counselors can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, private practices, and government agencies. The type of employer you work for can also affect your salary.
Specialization: Addiction counselors can specialize in different areas, such as working with teenagers, veterans, or those with co-occurring disorders. Substance abuse counselors who specialize in a specific area may be able to command higher salaries than those who work with a more general population.
In general, addiction counselors can expect to earn a competitive salary while also making a positive impact on the lives of those struggling with addiction. The salary you can earn as an addiction counselor can vary depending on factors such as your level of education, experience, location, and type of employer. However, with dedication and a passion for helping others, you can build a successful career as an addiction counselor while also making a meaningful difference in the world.
And in order to make more money, certifications are absolutely critical.
Certifications not only add clear credentials and professionalism but not having them can also legally prevent you from being able to serve those who need help most.
CE-Classes and certifications come with exams and immediate scoring as well as instantly printable certificates, which are often required to meet your state and discipline requirements.
CE-Classes offers affordable and accredited certification courses in the following areas:
- Alcohol and drug counseling
- Behavioral health tech
- Breakfree interventionist
- Case manager
- Peer recovery specialist
- Recovery resident administrator
- Sex therapist
These topics can be heavy, so having the credentials can give you the support you need to execute the job effectively without depleting your own energetic resources.