Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselor Salary

Pay for Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors is very modest at just $33K annually. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer. Women make up the majority of Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors (67 percent) who completed the questionnaire. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — about one in four lack coverage. On the flip side, a strong majority have medical insurance and a majority receive dental plans. Work is enjoyable for Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$25,309 - $43,930
(Median)
$25K
$33K
$44K
MEDIAN: $32,740
10%
50%
90%

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$10.64 - $20.39
(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
$25,309 - $43,930  
   
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).
)
$24,430 - $43,792  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 793
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
$10.64 - $20.39  
   
Overtime
$6.86 - $29.15  
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).
)
$24,430 - $43,792  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 593
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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


For Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors, working in the bustling city of New York has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Birmingham (+9 percent), San Diego (+7 percent), Boston (+5 percent), and Raleigh (+4 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Tampa, 14 percent below the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Los Angeles and Atlanta (12 percent lower and 6 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 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 3%

Counseling
up arrow 1%

Case Management
0%

Facilitator
0%

National Average
$32,000

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 202 votes.

Gender

Female
67 %
Male
33 %

Common Health Benefits

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