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Addiction Professionals: Finding the Right Employer In The Field

Once a candidate has completed their education and received their addiction certification, the hunt for a job is on. Many of our students are surprised to see how strong the demand is for their qualifications, as demand for certified professionals in the addiction field is high. And while it may be exciting to be in demand, this is where the hard decisions have to be made. Not all addiction treatment facilities are created equally and not all will be appropriate for every employee.

Indeed, there are facilities that value their employees and treat them with respect, while other employers do not place much emphasis on their human resources. While this is no different than other industries, addiction professionals have a higher incidence of burnout than most – the work is often mentally and emotionally taxing. Following are our five tips to choosing the right employer as you begin your journey in the addiction treatment industry:

  1. Accreditation or certification by a state or national governing body is important when evaluating the validity of an addiction treatment center. While accreditation is not a guarantee that the addiction treatment facility is a good place to work, it does show that they place emphasis on quality. Assuming that the treatment facility has the same healthy respect for their employees as they do for their patients/clients, you are already ahead of game.
  2. Continuing education and training is a big part of success as a behavioral health professional. Not only should the professional make sure that they meet minimum continuing education criteria, but the treatment facility should regularly provide their employees with advanced training. This not only offers the patient/client a better experience in treatment, but also helps the employee be more fulfilled and empowered in their job.
  3. No two patients are the same, and as such, the treatment center must have a dynamic therapeutic program to match individual needs. Understanding of valuing the individual is good business practice and shows that the treatment center respects its clients. Hopefully, they feel the same way about their employees.
  4. Individual pay and benefits packages are, of course, a significant part of the employment experience. Underpaid, overworked employees do not feel valued. This can create a stressful work environment, which is especially problematic in an industry like addiction treatment. On the flipside, if the pay and benefits package seems too good to be true, it just may be. Take the time to speak to current and former employees about their tenure at the company – it never hurts to do a little bit of research.
  5. Lastly, we’ve all had that gut feeling about major events or decisions in our lives. While our gut may not always be right, it seems to be right more often than not. If you have a feeling that you’re making the wrong decision, take time to reevaluate. Understand why you may be feeling that way and see if you have a better alternative. Remember that a career is a long-term commitment; growth opportunities may be more valuable in the longer-term over short-term salary considerations.

Finding the company that is a good fit for your skills and personality can offer a great deal of satisfaction above and beyond pay. Spending the time to research the many addiction treatment programs in Florida and throughout the United States will yield dividends in the form of a more stable career with an employer that values and appreciates your hard work and potential.