In Which State Is It Best to Start an Addiction Counseling Career?
When you think of addiction counseling in the United States, your mind probably goes to Florida and California. This is for a good reason, as many of the largest and highest profile treatment centers exist in those two states. But, as an addiction counselor, does that mean that you should be in one of those states to maximize your career opportunities? The answer is complex and requires serious thought about where you are and want to go in your career.
Your state of residence shouldn’t make that much of a difference in determining where you start your career in addiction. After all, there are addiction centers in every state (and every country). Each state has many excellent centers. However, if you are looking for a higher volume, larger treatment center, you may want to consider those in states that attract the most clients like New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, Florida, Texas, Arizona and more. Getting some experience at a high-volume treatment center can offer invaluable real-life training in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment.
Once you have the experience, the world is truly your oyster. You can opt for delivering care electronically, in person, or both. Urban and suburban treatment centers will have significantly different programs from rural treatment centers that may even have animal or outdoor adventure-based recovery programs. Ultimately, your choice and where to practice depends on your needs and wants.
There’s no right or wrong place to practice and gain your professional experience. The most important consideration is that you ensure that your professional and counselor education and work experience is of the highest quality. There is a great deal to learn as an addiction counselor and having the foundation of immersive work experience as well as experiential training can prepare you for many of the eventualities you will face as a counselor. This allows you to offer better care to more clients, no matter where you are located.