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Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor

Minimum Education Required for this Career

Basic Certificate
Advanced Certificate
Associate's Degree
4+ year Degree
Basic Certificate
$25,344

City Colleges Program Options

Nature of the Work

​Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors typically:
  • Complete and maintain accurate records or reports regarding the patients' histories and progress, services provided, or other required information.
  • Counsel clients or patients, individually or in group sessions, to assist in overcoming dependencies, adjusting to life, or making changes.
  • Interview clients, review records, and confer with other professionals to evaluate individuals' mental and physical condition and to determine their suitability for participation in a specific program.
  • Develop client treatment plans based on research, clinical experience, and client histories.
  • Review and evaluate clients' progress in relation to measurable goals described in treatment and care plans.
  • Intervene as an advocate for clients or patients to resolve emergency problems in crisis situations.
  • Coordinate counseling efforts with mental health professionals or other health professionals, such as doctors, nurses, or social workers.
  • Modify treatment plans to comply with changes in client status.
  • Attend training sessions to increase knowledge and skills.
  • Participate in case conferences or staff meetings.

Click here to learn more about 21-1011 Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors.

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Future Trends

Career Pathways

Success at City Colleges

Career Disclaimer

Wage estimates are based on Occupational Employment Statistics and the American Community Survey. Wage estimates are also affected by county-level Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) earnings by industry. The Nature of the Work description is from O*Net Online, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.