Certified Addiction Drug and Alcohol Counselor Salary
Certified Addiction Drug and Alcohol Counselors in the United States can expect wages of $16.36 per hour on average. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. There are more female Certified Addiction Drug and Alcohol Counselors who answered the questionnaire than male, making up 64 percent. For the most part, Certified Addiction Drug and Alcohol Counselors enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — slightly less than a third lack coverage. On the flip side, a majority have medical insurance and more than half receive dental plans. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Certified Addiction Drug and Alcohol Counselor
Certified substance abuse counselors help clients overcome addiction to drugs, alcohol, or gambling. An evaluation of the patient’s addiction type and severity should be carried out before other services are administered; then, counseling services can be provided. These counselors help their patients to understand why addiction exists and what can be done to overcome it.Read More...
Because patients are trying to overcome addictions, these counselors may need to work with some behavioral problems. It is important to remain compassionate and stay calm, even if the situation is stressful; these may be in individual or group settings. It is important to be very understanding of patients' situations, but also to be objective in administering standard treatment plans. The effectiveness of a plan should be evaluated over time and should be modified if it appears to be ineffective. Much of this work is actually performed in-between counseling sessions. Sometimes, it may be necessary to refer patients to medical professionals and community services, as well.
Documentation regarding treatment and progress should be kept complete and in an understandable manner so these files can be used by medical personnel and other therapists who work with clients. Case management may also be necessary in this position, which involves overseeing patients' records, developing treatment plans, and providing updates to families. Certification requirements vary by state; however, a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field is generally required, and candidates who have a master’s degree are often preferred.
Certified Addiction Drug and Alcohol Counselor Tasks
- Counsel individuals or groups and implements therapeutic treatment plans to resolve addictions to drugs or alcohol.
- Maintain case history and progress notes while observing their patients.
- Provide evaluations, interventions, and individual and group therapy to clients experiencing chemical abuse or chemical dependency.
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Popular Skills for Certified Addiction Drug and Alcohol Counselor
Survey takers who work as Certified Addiction Drug and Alcohol Counselors usually report a few specific skills. Those who have experience with Group Therapy, Case Management, and Counseling can expect to be compensated well for these skills. For most people, competency in Case Management indicates knowledge of Group Therapy.
Pay by Experience Level for Certified Addiction Drug and Alcohol Counselor
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $35K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $39K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $43K in this role. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make no more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage.
Pay Difference by Location
With a pay rate for Certified Addiction Drug and Alcohol Counselors that is 33 percent greater than the national average, Baltimore offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Certified Addiction Drug and Alcohol Counselors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Diego (+25 percent), New York (+19 percent), Minneapolis (+8 percent), and Philadelphia (+6 percent). Certified Addiction Drug and Alcohol Counselors in Atlanta earn salaries far below the national average by 21 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. Employers pay around 17 percent less in Des Moines and 14 percent less in Sacramento, below-median salaries for those in this field.
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