Addictions Worker: Career Diploma Overview

Career diploma programs in addictions teach students how to counsel people who are struggling with drugs and alcohol. Most career diploma programs for addictions workers are offered by for-profit schools.

Essential Information

Depending on state requirements, addiction worker career diploma programs may fulfill the training and internship licensure requirements for addictions workers. Such programs are designed to prepare students to counsel individuals struggling with addictions to drugs, alcohol and other substances. They also give students practical experience in the field through a supervised internship. A high school diploma or GED equivalent is required for entry into these programs.

Addiction Worker Diploma or Certificate Program

The coursework in these programs examines areas pertinent to working in the addictions field, including intervention, assessment and community resources. These programs cover the fundamentals of recovery, individual and group counseling, treatment planning, and case management. Specific course topics may include:

  • Alcohol and drug studies
  • Group dynamics and facilitation
  • Crisis intervention
  • Chemical dependency
  • Counseling models
  • Special populations

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The career prospects for addictions workers depend on an individual's level of education, experience in the field and licensure. Addictions workers are employed in many different settings, including residential treatment centers, mental health centers and detox centers. Some job titles may include:

  • Recovery support specialist
  • Addictions counselor
  • Prevention specialist

Employment figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that for the 2012-2022 decade, the number of jobs for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors was projected to increase 22%. These types of counselors earned an average salary of $42,920 in 2015, according to BLS figures.

Another career to consider is that of a mental health and substance abuse social worker. This field was estimated to see a 12% rise in jobs in the same above mentioned decade, per the BLS, and in 2015, had a mean yearly income of $45,820.

Continuing Education and Licensing Information

Graduates of a diploma or certificate program in addictions may choose to enroll in an associate, bachelor's or master's degree program in substance abuse, counseling or a related field. Each state has different licensure requirements for addiction workers. Some states specify that an addictions worker must graduate from an approved certificate program and complete the minimum required hours of field work. Others require a minimum of an associate degree in the field and supervised work and practical training. An aspiring addictions worker should check with the licensing body of his or her state of residency to determine what is required.

A career diploma addictions program is designed to teach students all about addictions and how to treat them. Students should be well aware of what their state requirements are to make sure their schooling is properly preparing them for the job.

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