If you want to help others overcome their drug addictions and enjoy working in a group environment, then you might consider becoming a drug rehabilitation technician. These technicians, who assist addiction counselors, need at least a high school diploma and completing a healthcare certificate or degree program may be beneficial.
Drug rehabilitation technicians assist therapists and addiction counselors with the treatment of patients. They work in a team environment, performing clinical and technical tasks. Common responsibilities include scheduling clients, tracking inventory, prepping treatment areas, record-keeping and equipment maintenance. A high school diploma is sufficient to enter this career field, though some postsecondary education is needed for more advanced positions and may be preferred in general.
|Required Education||High school diploma for entry-level jobs; completion of a formal healthcare certificate or degree program may be preferred|
|Other Requirements||Work experience in healthcare|
|Certification||CPR certification required|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||14% (for various types of health technologists and technicians)|
|Median Annual Salary (May 2015)**||$41,260 (for various types of health technologists and technicians)|
Sources: *O'Net Online, **United States Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Education Requirements for Drug Rehabilitation Technicians
Drug rehabilitation technicians work in hospitals, public shelters, private rehabilitation centers, community health programs and correction systems. A high school diploma or GED is required for entry-level rehabilitation positions. Employers generally want individuals to have at least 1 year of practical experience working in a health care setting. Individuals must have CPR certification. Preference may be given to those with formal education or training in medical assisting or nursing.
An educational background in the social or behavioral sciences will benefit individuals aspiring to work in drug rehabilitation. Completion of a certificate or degree program from an accredited college or vocational school may qualify individuals for management positions.
A 1- to 2-year education program in medical assisting provides the basic skills for working in a health care environment. Individuals take courses in medical terminology, administrative procedures, ethics, psychology and clinical medical assisting. A 4-year education program in rehabilitative services prepares individuals to work directly with patients recovering from an illness, trauma or addiction. Curriculum includes general psychology, psychosocial aspects of rehabilitation, case management, therapeutic communication and rehabilitation aspects of substance abuse.
Continuing Education Opportunities
Those seeking to further their education in rehabilitation services may consider pursuing an undergraduate or master's degree. A bachelor's degree or higher may qualify individuals for leadership roles in the field of drug rehabilitation. Degree options include an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting, Associate of Applied Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Services, Bachelor of Health Science in Rehabilitation Services, Master of Arts in Addiction Counseling and a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling.
Career Outlook and Salary Information
According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), various types of health technologists and technicians as a group earned an annual median wage of $41,260 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov). O'Net Online reported that these health technologists and technicians would experience a rapid increase in jobs between 2014 and 2024, with an expected growth rate of 14% during that decade (www.onetonline.org).
Drug rehabilitation technicians need at least one or two years of postsecondary schooling where they'll learn about working in a healthcare environment. This is a rapidly-growing field, and individuals who go on to earn bachelor's or master's degrees may have the opportunity for career advancement.