According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for drug counselors in the United States may increase about 34 percent by the end of 2016, giving an additional 29,000 jobs for aspiring drug counselors.
The increase in demand also increases the number of people aspiring to make the profession a living. Being a drug counselor is a demanding but a lucrative job as well. The salary of a drug counselor depends on who they work for, their experience, their skills and location. Those interested in this field as a potential career would like to know - how much does a drug counselor make?
- National Average
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual average salary of a drug counselor is $39,670 as of May 2008. The lowest 10 percent of the total number of drug counselors earns about $24,240 and $59,460 for the other 10 percent falling on the highest paid drug counselors.
The years of expertise are also one of the determinants for a substance abuse counselor’s salary. Most high-paying employers hire drug counselors who are on top of their game, those who obtained several credentials and work experience.
According to Payscale, drug counselors who have just begun their career, having less than one year experience earns $24,887 to $61,933 annually. Counselors who had established 1 to 4 years of experience earned $19,442 to $49,305 and $26,113 to $49,788 for those who had 5 to 9 years of experience. Some who had been working as a drug counselor for 10 to 19 years earned $27,414 to $54,307, while those who reached 20 years and above practicing the profession were earning $21,100 to $52,495 a year.
An average of 21 percent of drug counselors are employed by out-patient care centers and earns $38,830 a year, on average. Addiction therapists who work for a counseling firm earned $20,067 to $52,379 and $14,303 to $51,064 for those working on rehabilitation centers. Some who worked in hospitals were earning an annual wage ranging from $27,597 to $50,779 and those who worked in Prisons and Correctional Facilities earned $29,163 to $34,450 per annum.
According to BLS, the state of California, New York and Pennsylvania are among the states having the greatest number of positions in the profession. About 8,000 drug counselors are employed as of middle of 2010.
Drug counselors who are working in New York earned an annual wage of $24,729 to $48,189, $17,586 to $58,723 for those in California and $22,837 to $58,723 for drug counselors working in Pennsylvania. The highest-paying state is New Jersey were drug counselors earn an average annual wage of $57,760.
How much a drug counselor earns is also influenced by other factors that contribute to its variation. It sometimes depends on the type of clientele you prefer, as drug addictions would vary from teenagers to senior citizens. Statistics shows there is a significant increase on drug addiction for teenagers, so a lot of drug counselors work on this age group in order to earn more.
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