$38,544
Avg. Salary
$16.59
Avg. Hourly Rate

Average additional compensation:

$977

Bonus

$2,435

Profit Sharing

$2,000

Commission

What am I worth?
How should I pay?

The average pay for a Substance Abuse Counselor is $16.59 per hour.

The average pay for a Substance Abuse Counselor is $38,544 per year.

$12.38
10%
$16.59
50%
$22.90
90%
MEDIAN $16.59
$29k
10%
$39k
50%
$51k
90%
MEDIAN $38,544
$29,132 - $51,218
$29K
$39K
$51K
MEDIAN: $38,544
10%
50%
90%

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$12.38 - $22.90
$12
$17
$23
MEDIAN: $16.59
10%
50%
90%

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$0$51K
Salary $29,132 - $51,218
Bonus $100 - $3,439
Profit Sharing $355 - $19,500
Commission $2,000
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).
)
$27,454 - $50,434
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 28 Nov 2018
  • Individuals Reporting: 1,927
Hourly Data $0$33
Hourly Rate $12.38 - $22.90
Hourly Tips $0.91
Overtime $15.13 - $33.77
Annual Data $0$50K
Bonus $100 - $3,439
Commission $2,000
Profit Sharing $355 - $19,500
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).
)
$27,454 - $50,434
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 28 Nov 2018
  • Individuals Reporting: 1,803

Job Description for Substance Abuse Counselor

Substance abuse counselors provide therapy to individuals struggling with issues related to alcohol and/or drug use. They may lead group counseling and support groups, as well as conduct one-on-one sessions with patients; employers may include nonprofit and for-profit healthcare providers, government entities and nonprofit organizations that provide counseling services. These counselors must have an excellent understanding of how to work with individuals dealing with substance abuse issues, including common issues for this population and established therapeutic techniques. It is important for the counselor to be able to work with people who come from a variety of age groups and cultures.

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Substance Abuse Counselor Tasks

  • Manage caseload and documentation
  • Perform substance abuse or other disorder evaluations for patients
  • Develop individual intervention, treatment and recovery plans
  • Facilitate and lead group and education sessions
  • Gather information about patients using interviews, case histories, observations and assessments

Substance Abuse Counselor Pay By Employer

$0$48K

$32,642

Acadia, Inc.
18 profiles
$37,896

$32,740

$31,892

$35,321

$35,360

MedMark Inc.
7 profiles
$35,185

$27,040

$41,130

$37,128

Common Career Paths for Substance Abuse Counselor


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It's not very common for Substance Abuse Counselors to move on to become Clinical Directors. Average pay for a Clinical Director is $72K annually. Becoming a Certified Drug and Alcohol Addiction Counselor is, more often than not, the most common role that Substance Abuse Counselors move into when they're ready for the next step in their career. A median salary for a Certified Drug and Alcohol Addiction Counselor is $35K. Another frequent advance is for Substance Abuse Counselors to assume a Mental Health Counselor role; in this role, workers often take home $38K.

Substance Abuse Counselor Job Listings

Popular Skills for Substance Abuse Counselor


Substance Abuse Counselors seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in Clinical Supervision, Oral / Verbal Communication, Patient Counseling, and Writing Procedures & Documentation are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 17 percent. Bilingual and Masters degree as skills, however, tend to be associated with significantly smaller paychecks. Most people who know Case Management also know Facilitator.

Pay by Experience Level for Substance Abuse Counselor

Pay by Experience for a Substance Abuse Counselor has a positive trend. An entry-level Substance Abuse Counselor with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $34,000 based on 1,256 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Substance Abuse Counselor with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $38,000 based on 454 salaries. An experienced Substance Abuse Counselor which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $41,000 based on 328 salaries. A Substance Abuse Counselor with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $44,000 based on 103 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $36,662

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

Surpassing the national average by 18 percent, Substance Abuse Counselors in Philadelphia receive some of the highest pay in the country. Substance Abuse Counselors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Phoenix (+11 percent), Atlanta (+9 percent), New York (+7 percent), and San Diego (+6 percent). Houston is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 14 percent. Employers in Los Angeles and Raleigh also lean toward paying below-median salaries (10 percent less).

Substance Abuse Counselor Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Substance Abuse Counselor?

Substance Abuse Counselor in Grand Rapids:
"I love to help people get clean and sober."
Pros: Helping clients maintain their sobriety once they have and watching them improve self worth, esteem, and self-image.
Cons: Seeing how backwards the "system" ie, CPS, mental health, & DHS are. They tend to set their clients up for failure by not reuniting families once clean and sober status is obtained. They continually hold they past hostage and do not believe they have changed, because reuniting families back together takes money out of the "systems" pockets.

Substance Abuse Counselor in Marshall:
"The Agency."
Pros: The people I work for and with are the best role models and colleagues I could wish for. They accepted me as an intern and were helpful with guidance and suggestions, and most importantly, patient with my progress as I continued to learn from them. I am also very passionate about working with people with substance abuse issues. I have the chance to work with all ages, races and addiction issues. It is very rewarding to have them begin to heal under the care and programs of our agency.
Cons: I don't have anything I don't like about my job.

Substance Abuse Counselor in Philadelphia:
"Extend a Helping Hand."
Pros: In a position such as a Substance Abuse Counselor allows me the opportunity to extend a helping hand to others less fortunate.
Cons:

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.

Substance Abuse Counselor in Chicago:
"My Work."
Pros: I can help others, using the skills I have learned, such as CBT, Motivational Interviewing and good documentation skills. I meet many different people, every day is a little different. I have a good bond with my co-workers. I have a lot of independence, as long as I get my job done.
Cons: The lack of income, I need more income at this time, and there are no raises/bonuses given.

Substance Abuse Counselor in Westminster:
"Changing Lives."
Pros: Working in this field is very rewarding. I have the opportunity to effect peoples live in a positive way. I have the opportunity to be apart of that individual getting their life back and also their families.
Cons: It can be emotionally draining. This is why it is imperative to take care of yourself mentally, emotionally and physically.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Substance Abuse Counselor

Gender

Female
68 %
Male
32 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 565 votes.
Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
50%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
6%

Experience Affects Substance Abuse Counselor Salaries

▲20%

▲12%

▲3%

National Average
$37,000

▼7%

Skills That Affect Substance Abuse Counselor Salaries

Clinical Supervision
▲16%

Oral / Verbal Communication
▲8%




National Average
$37,000

▼1%


▼1%


Assessment
▼3%

Masters degree
▼5%

Bilingual
▼24%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 565 votes.

Gender

Female
68 %
Male
32 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
50%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 69%
dental benefits
Dental: 59%
vision benefits
Vision: 47%
no benefits
None: 27%