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What Addiction Certification Is Best for You?

Those considering a career in the addiction field often ask which certification is right for them. Of course, there is no right answer, as the decision largely depends on each student’s personal circumstances as well as their goals in the industry. However, we can broadly paint a picture that allows most students to work toward the certification that’s right for them.

Certifications for those looking to enter the recovery industry

For those who have relatively little experience in the treatment industry, an entry-level certification may be appropriate. Though these certifications do require work experience, most students can complete this requirement while taking courses and qualify relatively quickly. The most popular entry-level certifications are the Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS) which assist the clinical staff in the day-to-day workings of the treatment center and the Certified Behavioral Health Technician (CBHT), also a great entry point as techs work closely to supervise the daily lives and activities of clients in recovery.

A special note for those in recovery

Many of our students are in recovery and are looking to give back. A peer level certification may be very appropriate as it incorporates lived experience into the curriculum and ultimately, the job.

Seasoned addiction professionals

Those who have been in the treatment industry for a long time and are looking to push forward with a formal certification may benefit from the Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC), Certified Addiction Professional (CAP) and Master’s Level Certified Addiction Professional (MCAP). All three are counselor level courses, but each have very specific requirements. The MCAP requires a master’s degree in a counseling or behavioral health related field. The CAP requires a bachelors in a related field, while the CAC requires a high school diploma or equivalent. Crucially, the CAC must perform their duties under supervision and cannot bill for services on their own.

Recovery residence administrators

Administrators of recovery residences will wish to consider taking the Certified Recovery Residence Administrator program. This certification not only offers concrete guidance and advice on running a recovery residence but fulfills critical regulatory requirements.

Ultimately, the choice is up to each student as to what certification to pursue. Most importantly, certified individuals must have a dedication to excelling in their work and maintaining the highest level of ethics and integrity. Before taking a course, if you are questioning which certification may be right for you, it can be helpful to learn more about job opportunities at treatment centers in your area and inquire as to whether one certification may be more appropriate than another. Doing your research on how to best pursue your career goals is critical to making the right decision about what certification is right for you.

You can also use the convenient certification questionnaire on our website and find out what certification(s) you may qualify for.

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