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Take Classes or Get Your Work Experience?

What to do if you don’t yet qualify for certification you want?

Many prospective students ask us about certifications that they do not yet fully qualify for. All certifications required training and work experience to a varying degree. And while our students may not yet qualify for the certification of their choice, they may be pursuing education or work experience that will allow them to qualify in the future.

The question is: Should the student take their training or their work experience first?

For most, the answer is relatively straightforward as training can be pursued while the student works at a behavioral health, addiction or mental health facility. Fortunately, any training received at The Academy for Addiction Professionals, or other approved education provider by the Florida certification board, is valid for 10 years after completion.

Other cases are not as cut and dried. This is particularly true of the Certified Addiction Counselor certification. A student pursuing a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a related field can upgrade their certificate – assuming all other criteria have been met, to a Certified Addiction Professional or MCAP, respectively, when they graduate. It may, therefore, be prudent to take the full CAP training rather than the lower-hour CAC.

Of course, there are always considerations to bear in mind. Addiction treatment is fluid and, by definition, coursework must be as well. Certification boards such as the FCB recognize this and periodically update the required number of hours in each domain to reflect new and changing trends.

Fortunately, this does not happen very often, so for most, their training should be perfectly valid months or even years from now. Bear in mind that each state will have their own training and regulatory requirements, and this should be explored before committing to a course or certification.

Should you have any questions, please contact us to learn more.