Being a drug counselor is a demanding yet rewarding job. In the United States, there is a significant increase of the number of people who seek counseling as part of their treatment for their addiction problems.
The demand for counselors increases radically as more people fall to drug addiction. Combined with the right traits and skills needed to be a drug counselor, you may consider taking the path to becoming an addiction therapist. But first, you will have to comply with several requirements in order to start your profession as a substance abuse counselor.
Most states would require aspiring drug counselors to complete a bachelor’s degree in any field related to counseling. This includes courses like nursing, psychology, sociology and social works, with psychology as the most common. A bachelor’s degree will take you 4 years to finish.
Many states allow eligibility to be licensed after completing a two year associate program. This not only includes two years of full-time courses, but also a lot of on-the-job experience.
Some states require those wanting to work in this field to obtain a master’s degree in drug counseling instead of an associates degree in order to sit for the licensure examination. This will be a 2 to 3-year course and may require you to complete a certain amount of hours in supervised clinical experience in order to get hold of your degree title.
- Post-Graduate Experience
Depending on the state, most will be requiring an extra period of supervised clinical practice that will usually take 1 to 2 years to complete. This training will expose you to real patients in settings like mental health institutions or rehabilitation centers for drug addicts.
During this period you will be considered a counselor intern (CI).
- Obtain A License
Most states would require their drug counselors to be licensed in order to practice the profession. Some states would also require certain certification exams to be taken by drug counselors in order to obtain competitiveness in the field. You may apply for the licensure examination from your state’s professional board and must pass the examination in order to get hold of a license to practice.
Certification exams may also be required for some. Depending on what level of certification you would want to obtain, requirements would include a bachelor’s or master’s degree, a 3 to 5-year clinical experience and a current license.
After completion of these requirements, you can then practice as a drug counselor. For most, it can take up to 9-10 years before practicing the profession with a license. How long you can take before becoming a drug counselor may vary depending on the type of credentials you want to achieve.
|Steps To A Career As A Drug Counselor
Total time - Around 10 years
*Depending on your current education, this total time could be significantly shorter.
- How To Become A Drug Counselor
- What Are The Requirements To Become A Marriage Counselor?
- How To Become A Marriage Counselor
Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are markedAdd Comment