Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors aren't exactly in the most profitable line of business; these folks earn a belt-tightening average of $35K annually. The particular firm is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Just under a third of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, more than half report medical coverage and the larger part claim dental coverage as well. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

$26,904 - $45,207
(Median)
$27K
$35K
$45K
MEDIAN: $35,266
10%
50%
90%

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$11.54 - $20.39
(Median)
$12
$15
$20
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$16K$32K$48K
Salary
$26,904 - $45,207  
   
Bonus
$247.47 - $4,438  
Profit Sharing
$2,750  
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).
)
$25,281 - $44,432  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 677
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$11$22$33
Hourly Rate
$11.54 - $20.39  
   
Overtime
$14.75 - $31.01  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$22K$44K$66K
Bonus
$247.47 - $4,438  
   
Profit Sharing
$2,750  
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).
)
$25,281 - $44,432  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 612
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Substance Abuse Counselor Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Substance Abuse Counselor


Colonial Management Group, LLC, The Salvation Army, Behavioral Health Group, Gateway Foundation, Inc., and Hina Mauka are among the top companies that take on many Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors. Hina Mauka attracts talent by shelling out the biggest paychecks in the area — the median in that office is $37K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $33,642

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

New York is home to an above-average pay rate for Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors, 9 percent higher than the national average. Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Charlotte (+7 percent), Birmingham (+5 percent), Cincinnati (+4 percent), and Chicago (+4 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 12 percent south of the national average, can be found in Atlanta. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Houston and Las Vegas (12 percent lower and 11 percent lower, respectively).

Substance Abuse Counselor Advice

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

Substance Abuse Counselor in Atlanta:
This is a field that you must develop a compassion for and understanding of the grips of this disease.

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 Substance Abuse Counselor Salaries

Counseling
0%

Group Therapy
0%

National Average
$34,000

Case Management
up arrow 1%

Facilitator
up arrow 1%

Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
up arrow 1%

Patient Counseling
up arrow 5%

Writing Procedures & Documentation
up arrow 6%

Bilingual
up arrow 17%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 133 votes.

Gender

Female
69 %
Male
31 %

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 67%
dental benefits
Dental: 57%
medical benefits
Vision: 42%
dental benefits
None: 28%
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