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Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling Major

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Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling

469 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
571 Master's Degrees Annually
#46 in Popularity

Types of Degrees Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many substance abuse/addiction counseling graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 2,131
Associate’s Degree 1,377
Undergraduate Certificate 1,207
Master’s Degree 571
Bachelor’s Degree 469
Graduate Certificate 334
Doctor’s Degree 2

What Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to substance abuse/addiction counseling were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in substance abuse/addiction counseling should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

Skills for Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to substance abuse/addiction counseling:

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities for Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a substance abuse/addiction counseling student include the following:

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling Major?

People with a substance abuse/addiction counseling degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Mental Health Counselors 23.1% NA
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors 23.2% NA

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling?

469 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
74% Percent Women
32% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 74% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of substance abuse/addiction counseling majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 3
Black or African American 83
Hispanic or Latino 37
White 297
International Students 2
Other Races/Ethnicities 47

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling, too. About 0.4% of those with this major are international students.

Some careers associated with substance abuse/addiction counseling require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for substance abuse/addiction counseling careers below.

Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 0.8%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 1.1%
Some College Courses 4.0%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 8.5%
Bachelor’s Degree 26.4%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 3.5%
Master’s Degree 45.1%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 1.7%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 9.0%
Doctoral Degree 1.5%

Online Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 379 schools offered some type of substance abuse/addiction counseling program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 131 17
Certificate (1-2 years) 139 14
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 173 22
Bachelor’s Degree 55 19
Post-Baccalaureate 131 17
Master’s Degree 30 15
Post-Master’s 15 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 1 1
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to substance abuse/addiction counseling.

Major Number of Grads
Mental Health Counseling/Counselor 6,377
Other Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions 3,989
Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling 3,316
Psychiatric/Mental Health Services Technician 3,085
Community Health Services/Liaison/Counseling 2,643
Clinical/Medical Social Work 1,818
Clinical Pastoral Counseling/Patient Counseling 222
Genetic Counseling/Counselor 193
Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy 9


*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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