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Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselor Salary

Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors can expect only a modest salary, with average pay of just $32K annually. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer. The majority of Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors (67 percent) who took the survey are female. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors. Some workers in this field — just under one in three — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by the greater part and dental plans are enjoyed by slightly more than half. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
$25,127 - $43,291
(Median)
25K
29K
37K
43K
MEDIAN: $32,039
10%
25%
75%
90%

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$10.17 - $20.22
(Median)
10
12
15
17
20
MEDIAN: $14.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
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
$25,127 - $43,291  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,009  
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).
)
$23,821 - $43,096  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 704
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
$10.17 - $20.22  
   
Overtime
$1.80 - $28.96  
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 - $1,009  
   
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).
)
$23,821 - $43,096  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 529
United States (change)

Substance Abuse Counselor Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselor


Though lagging the field in terms of compensation — Gateway Foundation, Inc. offers the lowest median salary at $32K — pay within the company still varies considerably between $23K and $42K.

Pay Difference by Location


For those looking to make money, Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors in New York enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 16 percent above the national average. Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Diego (+6 percent), Memphis (+4 percent), Dallas (+4 percent), and Boston (+1 percent). Falling short of the national average by 11 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Los Angeles. Workers in Chicago and Baltimore earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (6 percent less and 4 percent less, respectively).

Substance Abuse Counselor Advice

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

Skills That Affect Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselor Salaries

Counseling
up arrow 2%

Case Management
up arrow 1%

Facilitator
up arrow 1%

National Average
$31,000

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 233 votes.

Gender

Female
67 %
Male
33 %

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 70% dental benefits Dental: 55%
vision benefits Vision: 39% employee benefits None: 28%