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Teen Alcoholism Therapist: Employment Info & Career Requirements

You can read about the duties and training for a career as a teen alcoholism therapist and see that previous experiences as a school counselor or social worker may help to prepare. Continue reading to discover more about becoming a teen alcoholism therapist.

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Career Definition for a Teen Alcoholism Therapist

The field of teen alcoholism counseling is a specialization under the larger field of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counseling. Teen alcoholism therapists work with youth that are suffering from alcoholism. They may be employed in a residential treatment facility, an outpatient program, or as part of a social welfare or outreach agency. Typical job duties of teen alcoholism therapists include taking in and assessing patients, conducting individual and group therapy sessions, developing patient treatment plans, monitoring patient progress, and making treatment referrals.

Required Education Varies by state and employer; a bachelor's degree is the usual minimum requirement
Job Duties Include taking in and assessing patients, monitoring patient progress, making treatment referrals
Median Salary (2015) $39,980 (all substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors)
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 22% growth (all substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

The education you'll need to become a teen alcoholism therapist varies by state and place of employment. Generally, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, such as psychology, substance abuse counseling, adolescent therapy or social work. Some states or treatment programs may require you to have a master's degree in one of these areas or a related field. Common courses in a 4-year bachelor's program or 2- or 3-year master's program include adolescent psychology, human development, dependency counseling, and social and behavioral science.

Required Skills

To begin a career as a teen alcoholism therapist, it is important that you have a thorough understanding of both teen and substance abuse issues; in order to treat your patients, it is critical that you can relate to them. Being open, honest, and easy to communicate with and following the field's ethical guidelines will help you to be successful as a teen alcoholism therapist.

Economic and Career Outlook

The field of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counseling is projected to have excellent job prospects, with an employment growth of 22% from 2014-2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In May 2015, the median wages of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors were $39,980.

Alternate Career Options

Here are some examples of alternative career options:

School and Career Counselor

Normally requiring a master's degree in school counseling or a similar field, this occupation involves helping students with school success, in addition to helping individuals make decisions about their career aspirations. The demand for these professionals was projected by the BLS to grow at fast than average pace of 8% from 2014-2024. In 2015, the BLS reported their annual median wages as $53,610.

Mental Health Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist

These professionals are usually required to have a master's degree, along with licensing, to help individuals deal with and rise above relationship problems or emotional disorders. Much faster than average employment growth of 19% was anticipated for this profession by the BLS from 2014-2024. The BLS also revealed a median salary of $41,880 and $48,600 per year for these counselors and therapists.

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