Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselor Salary

Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors are not likely to strike it rich; they only make around $33K per year on average. Geographic location and the company each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Some workers in this field — roughly one in four — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by a fair number and dental plans are enjoyed by more than half. Women make up the majority of Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors (68 percent) who completed the questionnaire. Most Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors report high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$25,299 - $43,904
(Median)
$25K
$33K
$44K
MEDIAN: $32,697
10%
50%
90%

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$10.51 - $20.40
(Median)
$11
$15
$20
MEDIAN: $14.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$15K$30K$45K
Salary
$25,299 - $43,904  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,027  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,374 - $43,816  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 786
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$10$20$30
Hourly Rate
$10.51 - $20.40  
   
Overtime
$4.25 - $29.24  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$20K$40K$60K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,027  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,374 - $43,816  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 586
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Popular Employer Salaries for Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselor


Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors flock to The Salvation Army for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $33K lead the pack in compensation.

Pay Difference by Location


Surpassing the national average by 12 percent, Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors in New York receive some of the highest pay in the country. Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors will also find cushy salaries in Birmingham (+9 percent), San Diego (+7 percent), Raleigh (+5 percent), and Memphis (+5 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Tampa, 13 percent below the national average. Employers pay around 12 percent less in Los Angeles and 6 percent less in Atlanta, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Substance Abuse Counselor Advice

What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?

Substance Abuse Counselor in Batavia:
"Strong boundaries."
Continue to develop and maintain strong boundaries with clients and supervisors. Most professionals in the field, in my experience, have their own trauma, mental health or substance abuse issues which can create barriers to you job performance.

Substance Abuse Counselor in Atlanta:
"Stay focused and open minded."
Always stay abreast of the policies and laws related to your job, research and have answers to the questions that your clients need to achieve their goals.

Substance Abuse Counselor in Anchorage:
"The Driving Stress."
It's wonderful to want to help someone out, especially when it has to do with the whole family, or maybe you just want the experience. That's your call. However, you can't just think it's going to be the most easiest job, even with your passion for people. One thing that I'm learning the hard way, is paperwork. I'm not the best at, but I supersede that with my counseling abilities. If I could just counsel and do half of the paperwork, I'd be alright. And paperwork comes by the truck loads. Now, it's not all so stressful, there are the moments that the biggest payment you receive is the job you're doing for the client and their families. However, if you plan on going into this field, learn to do paperwork. In the end it will be better. But beyond the paperwork, if you don't love people, don't even bother to apply.

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Skills That Affect Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselor Salaries

Group Therapy
up arrow 2%

Counseling
up arrow 1%

Case Management
0%

Facilitator
0%

National Average
$32,000

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 200 votes.

Gender

Female
68 %
Male
32 %

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 70% dental benefits Dental: 56%
vision benefits Vision: 41% employee benefits None: 27%
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