The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics ranks Substance Abuse Counselors as one of the top ten fastest growing occupations through 2016.
- Do some research so you can learn what your state's requirements are to become a drug and alcohol counselor. Each state has different requirements and many require certification.
- Consider becoming certified. Many states require certification and those that don't will require certification within a few years. There are many certification programs and some are the equivalent of getting an Associate's Degree.
- Go to college. While a certification in drug and alcohol counseling may be the equivalent of an Associate's Degree, many states require at least a Bachelor's Degree in psychology or counseling and a few require a Master's Degree in counseling or psychology.
- Be prepared for the process to take some time. Many states require, in addition to classroom time, supervised clinical setting time (often for years), and passing a written and/or oral test.
I did a search on Indeed.com for job openings for Drug and Alcohol Counselors. You can see that here: http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=Drug+and+Alcohol+counselor
Here is a list of some of the requirements that employers listed:
- BA/BS Degree in chemical dependency, psychology, social work, counseling, nursing, Crminal Justice or other related field and one (1) year of clinical experience, or;
- MA/MS Degree in chemical dependency, psychology, social work, counseling, nursing, Criminal Justice or other related field, which includes a practicum in a health and human service agency, preferably in a drug and alcohol setting.