Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
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Overview
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Counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, drug, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. May counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.
Titles for this career often contain these words
CounselorAbuseDrugAlcoholCertifiedSubstanceTherapistSpecialistBehavioralTechnicianAddictionChemicalDependencyTreatmentCoordinatorClinicianDomesticViolenceGroupLicensedPreventionPrimaryAddictionsAlcoholicAssessmentBehaviorAnalystCaseManagerADACCADCCDProfessionalClinicalCorrectionalDirectCareAdvocateDATSHumanRelationsHomeIntakeSocialWorkerPsychotherapistQuitlineResidentialStudentAssistanceSACSA
Education
About 76% of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
More substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors have bachelor's degrees than 83% of other careeers.
Employment
Safety from automation
Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors are less likely to be automated than 84% of other careers.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors earn.
$46K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Gender
Women account for 68% of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors -- that's a larger percentage than 80% of other jobs.
Gender of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. Women substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors actually earned more than men -- a very rare occurance among careers!
Race/Origin
About 29% of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors are minority, and 9% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (9%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
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Benefits
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs?
Context: Employer offers health insurance
Context: Employer offers a pension plan
Context: workers are union members
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (88%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (85%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (80%)
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections (54%)
  • Consequence of Error (53%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (45%)
  • Deal With Physically Aggressive People (40%)
SOURCES:
Salary and diversity
What do substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries. This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors (BLS Salary Data)
$46K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$46K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors (ACS Salary Data)
$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Counselors: Inflation-adjusted salary trend
This job's median $48KAll jobs' median $45K$47K$44K070809101112131415161718$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors.
Employers of Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors (ACS)
Private for-profit (32.3%)
Private not-for-profit (31.2%)
Local government (14.0%)
State government (15.8%)
Federal government (3.1%)
Self-employed incorporated (1.8%)
Self-employed not incorporated (1.9%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$43K$41K$41K$51K$69K$46K$52K$60K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$46K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Salary growth for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

Salary distribution
$37K$42K$50K$48K$50K$50K$48K$48K$26K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
02K4K6K8K10K12K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors and gender

With 68% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 80% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
68%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors
Men (32%)
Women (68%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

Although nationally the median (middle) salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%, in substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, the median salary for women is 0% higher than the median salary for men.

$43K$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KWomenMen

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. There is a higher percentage of minority substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors than for 83% of other careers. While this career employs many minorities, it employs a relatively small number of foreign-born people.

Race/origin of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors
White (67% )
Black (22% )
Other (4% )
Asian (3% )
Multiracial (3% )
American Indian (1% )
Hispanic (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
29%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
9%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$40K$41K$41K$42K$43K$44K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KAmerican IndianBlackMultiracialOtherAsianWhite
Distribution: Salaries for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors by nativity
$43K$45K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 20% part-time workers, this occupation has a higher percentage of part-time workers than 67% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
20%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

The salary distributions for full-time and part-time substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is shown following.

$16K$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KPart-time workersFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education attained by substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors typically hold a .

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.

Education attained by substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors? Below we see the distribution of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors salaries based on the education attained.

$35K$34K$35K$36K$41K$53K$73K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KNone (1%)High School (5%)Some College (11%)Associate's/Cert. (7%)Bachelor's Degree (38%)Master's Degree (34%)Doctorate (2%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

College majors held by substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors

This table shows the college majors held by people working as substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Percentage of Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
The link between degrees and careers

With the following sankey diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. We hope this provides ideas for similar jobs and similar fields of study.

Elementary and Middle Sch...Specialized Social Worker...Specialized ManagersEducational, Guidance, an...Specialized PsychologistsLawyers, and judges, magi...Postsecondary TeachersRegistered NursesLabor Relations Specialis...Education and childcare a...Child, Family, and School...Healthcare Social WorkersSocial and Community Serv...Specialized TherapistsMedical and Health Servic...Mental Health and Substan...Secretaries and Administr...Police OfficersSecondary School TeachersSpecial Education Teacher...Preschool and Kindergarte...Teaching AssistantsFirst-Line Supervisors of...Probation Officers and Co...Security Guards and Gambl...Correctional Officers and...Detectives and Criminal I...First-Line Supervisors of...Specialized CounselorsMental Health CounselorsSubstance Abuse and Behav...Accountants and AuditorsFinancial ManagersWholesale and Manufacturi...Chief executives and legi...First-Line Supervisors of...Customer Service Represen...Retail SalespersonsChildcare WorkersEditorsWriters and AuthorsPsychologySocial WorkSociologyGeneral EducationCriminal Justice and FireProtectionCounseling PsychologyBusiness Management andAdministrationGeneral BusinessElementary EducationEnglish Language andLiteratureAll other degreesThis jobTop 10 majorsEach major's top ten jobs
What college major is your best entry?

About 76% of people working as substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors have at least a bachelor's degree. Each dot represents a college major leading to these jobs, with the dots to the right representing the majors sending the most of their grads into this career. The dots at the top are the majors who earn the most working in this career.

Darker colors have a larger percentage with graduate degreesOverall median salary0.0%5.0%10.0%15.0%20.0%25.0%30.0%Percentage with this major$20,000$30,000$40,000$50,000$60,000$70,000$80,000$90,000Median salary with this major
Switching Careers
The most common next careers for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors

What jobs will most substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

CounselorsTherapists, all otherSocial workersEducation and childcare administratorsElementary and Middle School School TeachersPostsecondary teachers and assistantsPersonal Care AidesSocial and Community Service ManagersPsychologistsMiscellaneous community and social service specialistsMedical and Health Services Managers
Lateral job transitions for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 10 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors as well as 1% of respondents after working as substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Employed
How many people have this job?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
No degree
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Men
Women
Prior and next careers for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Employed
How many people have this job?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
No degree
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.02.04.06.0
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Location-adjusted median salary for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
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$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

How should the career similarity be computed?

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?