Substance Abuse Counselor Masters Degree Programs
Substance abuse counselors work with people who have drug, alcohol or other addictions. They can find employment in a number of public or private areas, including drug and alcohol education, rehabilitation and social work. A master's degree in substance abuse counseling is generally the minimum educational requirement for licensure in the field.
Master of Science in Substance Abuse Counseling Program
Master of Science (M.S.) in Substance Abuse Counseling programs commonly feature areas of concentration, such as alcohol abuse or clinical counseling. Programs focus on basic skills and practical techniques of counseling, as well as theory and research in substance abuse. Graduate students also are trained in treatment and prevention methods.
Admission requirements for a master's degree program in substance abuse counseling typically include a bachelor's degree and a minimum GRE score. Some programs also require prior undergraduate or graduate coursework in areas such as social sciences, counseling, research and statistics.
Substance abuse counseling master's degree programs often include an internship, in addition to classes such as the following:
- Group counseling techniques
- Treatment methods for drug and alcohol abuse
- Advanced individual counseling, assessment and diagnosis
- Role of the family in rehabilitation
- Contemporary issues in drug and alcohol abuse
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor prospects were expected to exhibit faster than average growth from 2006 to 2016, increasing by 21%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The median salary for mental health and substance abuse social workers was $34,040 in May 2006. Entry-level wages in 2006 were approximately $27,330 per year.
M.S. in Substance Abuse Counseling graduates should be eligible for certification or licensure, the requirements of which vary by state. Graduates who wish to further their education can pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Rehabilitation Counseling and Administration with a concentration in substance or clinical counseling. A Ph.D. could lead to career advancement opportunities.
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