Skip navigation

Summary Report for:
21-1011.00 - Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

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.

Sample of reported job titles: Addictions Counselor, Case Manager, Chemical Dependency Counselor (CD Counselor), Chemical Dependency Professional, Clinical Counselor, Correctional Substance Abuse Counselor, Counselor, Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist (DATS), Prevention Specialist, Substance Abuse Counselor (SA Counselor)

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Complete and maintain accurate records or reports regarding the patients' histories and progress, services provided, or other required information. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Counsel clients or patients, individually or in group sessions, to assist in overcoming dependencies, adjusting to life, or making changes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Interview clients, review records, and confer with other professionals to evaluate individuals' mental and physical condition and to determine their suitability for participation in a specific program. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Develop client treatment plans based on research, clinical experience, and client histories. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Review and evaluate clients' progress in relation to measurable goals described in treatment and care plans. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Intervene as an advocate for clients or patients to resolve emergency problems in crisis situations. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Coordinate counseling efforts with mental health professionals or other health professionals, such as doctors, nurses, or social workers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Modify treatment plans to comply with changes in client status. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Attend training sessions to increase knowledge and skills. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Participate in case conferences or staff meetings. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Provide clients or family members with information about addiction issues and about available services or programs, making appropriate referrals when necessary. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Conduct chemical dependency program orientation sessions. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Coordinate activities with courts, probation officers, community services, or other post-treatment agencies. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Train or supervise student interns or new staff members. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Act as liaisons between clients and medical staff. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Plan or implement follow-up or aftercare programs for clients to be discharged from treatment programs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Assess individuals' degree of drug dependency by collecting and analyzing urine samples. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Instruct others in program methods, procedures, or functions. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Counsel family members to assist them in understanding, dealing with, and supporting clients or patients. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Confer with family members or others close to clients to keep them informed of treatment planning and progress. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Supervise or direct other workers providing services to clients or patients. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Follow progress of discharged patients to determine effectiveness of treatments. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Develop, implement, or evaluate public education, prevention, or health promotion programs, working in collaboration with organizations, institutions, or communities. See more occupations related to this task.

Find occupations related to multiple tasks

back to top

Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Alcohol analysers — Breathalyzers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Notebook computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Analytical or scientific software — Statistical software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Calendar and scheduling software — Scheduling software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base user interface and query software — Database software; EAG Economic Analysis Group CaseTrack; Online informational database software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Electronic mail software — Email software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Medical software — Addison Health Systems WritePad EMR Systems; Athena Software Penelope Case Management; STI Computer Services ChartMaker; Varian Medical Systems software (see all 14 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Presentation software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Project management software — Practice Technology Prevail See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

back to top

Knowledge

  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Philosophy and Theology — Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

back to top

Skills

  • 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. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.

back to top

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources). See more occupations related to this ability.

back to top

Work Activities

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.

back to top

Detailed Work Activities

  • Maintain client records. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Write reports or evaluations. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Counsel clients or patients with substance abuse issues. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interview clients to gather information about their backgrounds, needs, or progress. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collaborate with other professionals to assess client needs or plan treatments. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Intervene in crisis situations to assist clients. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop treatment plans for patients or clients. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Refer clients to community or social service programs. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor clients to evaluate treatment progress. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Train staff members in social services skills. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Advocate for individual or community needs. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Confer with family members to discuss client treatment plans or progress. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Modify treatment plans to accommodate client needs. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain professional social services knowledge. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Administer drug screening tests. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Counsel family members of clients or patients. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Present social services program information to the public. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Supervise workers providing client or patient services. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of counseling or educational programs. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Plan programs to address community health issues. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collaborate with other professionals to develop education or assistance programs. See more occupations related to this activity.

Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities

back to top

Work Context

  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 91% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 92% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 78% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 63% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 59% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 56% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 64% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 71% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 48% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Electronic Mail — 74% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 45% responded “Important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 42% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 44% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 52% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 58% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 39% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 37% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 38% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections — 38% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 26% responded “Important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Consequence of Error — 38% responded “Very serious.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Public Speaking — 25% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With Physically Aggressive People — 28% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 35% responded “40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 28% responded “Very high responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.

back to top

Job Zone

Title Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
Related Experience Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
Job Training Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, sports medicine physicians, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.
SVP Range (8.0 and above)

back to top

Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
30   Master's degree
19   Bachelor's degree
16   Professional degree Help

back to top

Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses

back to top

Interests

Interest code: SAI

  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally. See more occupations related to this interest.

back to top

Work Styles

  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.

back to top

Work Values

  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.

back to top

Related Occupations

back to top

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $18.88 hourly, $39,270 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 90,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Much faster than average (22% or higher) Much faster than average (22% or higher)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 47,200
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs Job Banks

back to top

Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

back to top