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Drug counselor certification programs prepare individuals who are already working as drug counselors to take state or national certification examinations. Prerequisites for certification programs may include degrees or a certain number of years of related work experience. Certification examinations are available for different levels of education and experience. For example, some associate's degree programs qualify graduates for a level one certification examination. There are also certifications for counselors who have a bachelor's degree or a master's degree and significantly more work experience.
In a typical 1-year drug counselor certification preparatory program, students take the following courses:
- Drug counseling case management
- Drug counseling theories
- Abnormal psychology
- Drug addiction treatment methods
- Drug abuse and addiction
- Group counseling practices
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is expected to grow faster than average from 2014-2024, at a rate of 22%. The organization credits this job growth to an enlightened society in which people are more likely to seek treatment. These counselors earned a median annual salary of $39,980 in May 2015, according to the BLS.
Drug counselors can gain certification through various programs, which include associate's degree programs. Certification exams will give counselors the appropriate credentials for employment.