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Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselor Salary

Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors are not likely to strike it rich; they only make around $32K per year on average. Location and the company each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Although the larger part have medical coverage and just over a half have dental coverage, just under one in three claim no health benefits at all. Job satisfaction for Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors is high. More than half of Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors (68 percent) survey participants are women. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$25,222 - $43,538
(Median)
$25K
$32K
$44K
MEDIAN: $32,484
10%
50%
90%

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$10.35 - $20.35
(Median)
$10
$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
$25,222 - $43,538  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,011  
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).
)
$24,178 - $43,415  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 742
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
$10.35 - $20.35  
   
Overtime
$1.71 - $29.09  
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 - $1,011  
   
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).
)
$24,178 - $43,415  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 554

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Popular Employer Salaries for Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselor


The pay scale is far from balanced at Gateway Foundation, Inc.. While salaries on one end can reach $42K, the company's median pay sits at $32K, the lowest in the field.

Pay Difference by Location


Minneapolis is home to an above-average pay rate for Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors, 31 percent higher than the national average. Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselors will also find cushy salaries in New York (+10 percent), Memphis (+6 percent), San Diego (+5 percent), and Boston (+4 percent). Tampa is the lowest-paying area, 13 percent south of the national average. Workers in Los Angeles and Jacksonville earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (10 percent less and 6 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.

United States (change)

Skills That Affect Entry-Level Substance Abuse Counselor Salaries

Counseling
up arrow 1%

Group Therapy
up arrow 1%

Case Management
0%

Facilitator
0%

National Average
$32,000

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 226 votes.

Gender

Female
68 %
Male
32 %

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 70% dental benefits Dental: 55%
vision benefits Vision: 41% employee benefits None: 28%