Are you seeking to become a credentialed addiction counselor? You’ll definitely be happy to note that the future looks promising for skilled professionals in this field. The demand for behavioral disorder and substance abuse counselors has been on the rise.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this demand has been consistently rising since 2010 and is anticipated to be between 22% – 24% by the year 2024. Some of the reasons attributed to this rise include the fact that many people are becoming more conscious of their conditions and are willing to pursue treatment voluntarily. It has also become common for offenders to be compelled to receive treatment, in addition to prison sentences. This is because of the realization that it’s much more helpful to deal with addiction as an illness rather than an offense.
Credentialing of an Addiction Counselor
There are various levels of entry for a credentialed addiction counselor. You can always choose from whichever level you’d want to break into the profession. Some positions will for instance demand that you have an associate degree or less, while others will require a master’s degree.
But the most important thing about having an impressive educational level is the kind of career options you’ll get exposed to, in addition to giving you a better scope of practice and autonomy. Having a master’s degree will for instance allow you to venture into private practice, where you can as well offer help to persons seeking treatment out of their own volition.
Educational Requirements for a Credentialed Addiction Counselor
Educational requirements and certification levels of a credentialed addiction counselor vary from one state to another. In some states for instance, you’ll find that the board that deals with addiction treatments is distinct from the one handling counseling and vise versa.
When it comes to licensing, it’s important that you explore online in regard to educational requirements set out by your state. In most cases licensing of candidates is done in several educational levels, although master’s level licensing is usually administered by the Board of Professional Counseling.
If you’ve not got a degree yet, then it’s advisable that you enroll for a program in addiction studies. This will act as a springboard and fling you to the next level. Essentially it will give you greater confidence of being a viable candidate for a master’s degree in addiction counseling.
As you pursue your education to become a credentialed addiction counselor, it’s important to be clear in your mind about the credentialing level that such skills are meant to prepare you for. For instance, when it comes to certification for an entry level in drug abuse counseling, it can take you to just about one year. However, to sit for an exam required for credentialing of a professional counselor entails putting in more time and extra classes.
Alternatively, you can from the outset go for a broader program that will allow you to become a professional addiction counselor. Bear in mind that an addiction counselor pursuing full accreditation is usually required to work under close supervision for not less than two years from the time his or her degree is conferred.