Chemical Dependency Counselor Salary
Those pursuing careers as Chemical Dependency Counselors in the United States may have to make do with less; average incomes for people in this area hover around only $39K annually. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Although a strong majority have medical coverage and more than half have dental coverage, just under one in four claim no health benefits at all. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
Job Description for Chemical Dependency Counselor
Chemical Dependency Counselors are people who help those suffering from drug addiction, alcoholism, and other chemical dependencies. They can be someone's sole lifeline when a person decides to start their recovery process. Counselors help to find the roots of their clients' dependency and form a trusting relationship so that they can assist them through a treatment program. Depending on the client's circumstances, treatment options can vary, so a chemical dependency counselor should be knowledgeable about the many methods of treating addiction.Read More...
There are a variety of training programs that will make a candidate better suited for the position. Though the requirements vary from state to state, most employers will prefer to hire people with at least an associate's degree in counseling. To go further in their careers, candidates might consider pursuing their master's degree. If they complete 3,000 hours of work experience and can pass the national counselor examination, they will be eligible to become a national certified counselor through the National Board for Certified Counselors. Overall, education is the key to advancing in this field. A counselor can also expect to go through a significant amount of training on the job.
Counselors should be very good at communicating and empathizing with others. They should have great interpersonal skills and a likable nature. They should also be very emotionally stable and have a great deal of patience. Counselors work in a variety of environments, from hospitals to treatment centers or even client's homes. They often work closely with many people, including fellow staff members. Because they must be on-call to respond to their client's needs, they can expect to work outside of normal business hours, including overnight, weekends and holidays.
Chemical Dependency Counselor Tasks
- Gather information about patients using interviews, case histories, observations and assessments.
- Facilitate and lead group and education sessions.
- Manage caseload and documentation.
- Develop individual intervention, treatment and recovery plans.
- Perform chemical dependency evaluations for patients.
Common Career Paths for Chemical Dependency Counselor
Chemical Dependency Counselor Job Listings
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Popular Skills for Chemical Dependency Counselor
Survey results show that Chemical Dependency Counselors typically report just a few professional skills. Those who have experience with Group Therapy, Counseling, and Case Management can expect to be compensated well for these skills. The majority of those who know Case Management also know Group Therapy.
Pay by Experience Level for Chemical Dependency Counselor
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $34K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $41K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $42K. Folks with more than two decades of experience actually report lower incomes overall; their average comes out to a mere $39K.