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Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

Career Overview

Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors advise people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, mental health issues, or other mental or behavioral problems. They provide treatment and support to help clients recover from addiction or modify problem behaviors.

Education

Most positions require at least a bachelor’s degree. Although educational requirements can vary from a high school diploma and certification to a master’s degree for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, a master’s degree and an internship is typically required to become a mental health counselor.

Salary Expectations

Low End:
Median:
High End:
$28,240 /yr
$44,630 /yr
$72,990 /yr

Recommended Courses

  • Math - as much as possible!
  • English - as much as possible!
  • Communication
  • Science - as much as possible, including biology and psychology!
Work Environment

Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors work in a wide variety of settings, such as mental health centers, community health centers, prisons, and private practice. Most work full time.

Future Outlook

Employment of substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors is projected to grow 23 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth is expected as people continue to seek addiction and mental health counseling.

Schools
References
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook
Explore Careers, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada