Overview of Online Degrees in Substance Abuse Counseling

Learning to Build Roads to Recovery

Armed with a passion for helping others and a non-judgmental approach, substance abuse counselors are a vital resource in addressing the epidemic of addiction and overdose deaths in the United States. Whether working with individuals in temporary crisis situations or with groups throughout the entire recovery process, these skilled professionals are instrumental in modifying behaviors to lead addicted persons on the road to eventual recovery.

Read on to learn how you can launch your career in substance abuse counseling by pursuing your bachelor’s degree and certificate at the University of Cincinnati Online.

What is Substance Abuse Counseling?

Substance abuse counseling is the treatment and support of people with drug or alcohol addictions. Counselors lead people on the road to recovery in specialized facilities — such as outpatient clinics and residential treatment centers — with duties ranging from developing individualized treatment plans to coordinating family interventions to keeping detailed documentation.

What’s the Career Outlook?

Due to its services being increasingly covered by insurance policies, substance abuse counseling has become a high-demand profession that directly impacts local communities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for substance abuse counselors was $48,520 in 2021, with employment projected to grow 22 percent by 2031. Potential jobs opportunities in the field include:

  • Social and community service managers, who plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of a social service program or community outreach organization — and earn a median wage of $74,240.
  • Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists, who assist in the rehabilitation of law offenders in custody or on probation or parole — and earn a median wage of $59,860.
  • Substance abuse social workers, who assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs — and earn a median wage of $51,240.
  • Substance abuse counselors, who counsel individuals with alcohol, tobacco, drug, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders — and earn a median wage of $49,710.
  • Rehabilitation counselors, who help maximize the independence and employability of persons coping with personal, social, and vocational difficulties that result from birth defects, illness, disease, accidents, aging, or the stress of daily life — and earn a median wage of $39,990.

Bachelor of Science in Substance Abuse Counseling

Ranked #10 for Best Online Accredited Counseling Programs in 2022 (bestcolleges.com), the Bachelor of Science in Substance Abuse Counseling (BS) program available through UC Online provides research-oriented and practical course content. Designed to prepare you for a fulfilling career working with addicted persons — or to continue your studies in advanced degrees related to mental health counseling, social work, psychology, or criminal justice — its graduates meet the academic requirements for a chemical dependency license.

Substance Abuse Counseling Certificate

The online Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling from the University of Cincinnati is a 6-month program that will equip you to work with persons impacted by substance use disorders. Built for working professionals with a bachelor’s degree, it provides the knowledge and skills needed to support people struggling with addiction as well as advance related careers in the helping professions.

“I am so grateful for this program. The interactions with other students have been great. Everyone is striving to achieve the same goal, and you can see our community building in the discussion boards and chat groups.”

– Roger Davenport, BS in Substance Abuse Counseling Student

Begin Your Counseling Journey Today

The need for well-trained counselors who can diagnose, assess, and treat addiction is greater than ever — for those who’ve never received treatment and for the millions of people who benefit from counseling services every day. If you have the compassion, empathy, and determination this field requires, take your first step in helping people heal by learning more about our certificate and bachelor’s programs. Or begin your application today.

* Salary data sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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