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Addiction Counselor Salary

The ranks of Addiction Counselors are growing rapidly and with the increased demand, it is expected that salaries, wages and earnings of professionals in our field will increase at a faster or much faster pace than many other industries and professions over the next decade.

For example, according to the BLS, mental health counsels earn a median annual salary of over $42,000 while the top 10% of the workforce earns over $70,000. Exact counselor salaries depend on the region, the candidate’s qualifications, their specialty and place of work.

Below you will find key salary points according to the US Government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics from the 2016-2017 Occupational Outlook Handbook:

Mental Health Counselors:

  • Median annual salary of $42,840
  • Top 10% earned over $70,100

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors:

  • Median annual salary of $41,070
  • Top 10% earned over $65,080

Rehabilitation Counselors:

  • Median annual salary of $33,880
  • Top 10% earned over $62,010

These numbers reflect counselors who are employed by a treatment center or other institution. Addiction counselors in private practice may earn a higher wage.

How Do I Increase My Salary?

Much like any other industry, certain factors may influence an addiction counselor’s salary. Of course, much depends on the employer and the job itself. Some common salary boosters include:

  • Experience.  Those in the addiction treatment industry longer tend to receive higher wages
  • Education. Relevant, high-level education often bring a higher salary with it
  • Track-record. Excellence in addiction counseling with a proven track record can offer a counselor a leg up in salary negotiations. If you have exceptional performance reports, you may wish to talk about them
  • Affiliations. The associations you participate in and are a part of can show how you are connected to the community and your profession
  • Personality. The addiction treatment industry is driven by personalities and how they mesh, or conflict. Personality traits including ability to listen, thinking on your feet, working hard and more are all highly desirable

One of the goals of The Academy for Addiction Professionals is to offer potential counselors the opportunity to rise to the top of the employment ladder and earn the highest salary possible. By advancing their careers through continued education in the field, soon to be addiction counselors are positioning themselves to take advantage of the significant growth in today’s addiction counselor industry.

Learn More:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Rehabilitation Counselors, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/ (visited April 22, 2017).

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The Academy for Addiction Professionals is a leading addiction professional training center and an approved education provider for both the Florida Certification Board (FCB) and NAADAC. We offer interactive in-class (South Florida Location) and online training courses for the Certified Addiction Professional (CAP), Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC), Certified Behavioral Health Technician (CBHT) and Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS) levels of certification as well as Continuing Education and Professional Development programs.