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How Much Money Do Addiction Counselors Make?

One health crisis that is often ignored in America is the crisis of addiction. Substance abuse and addiction disorders are rising at unprecedented rates across the US. As such, the government predicts that the demand for addiction counselors will rise by 25% over the next decade, as an increasingly addicted population requires ever-greater levels of support.

As demand continues to rise, it is likely that salaries will also rise, as institutions and facilities compete for qualified candidates. This is just one of many reasons why now is the time to consider a rewarding career as an addiction counselor. But how much do substance abuse counselors make hourly, monthly, and yearly? Read on to find out everything you need to know about the addiction counselor salary range. 

1. Addiction Counselor Salary by Sector

So, what is the certified addiction counselor salary range? First off, it is important to note that a certified addiction counselor’s salary varies depending on the sector you are working in. Typically, the highest salaries can be found in the governance sector, for example by working for the Federal Government or the CDC.

Here, you can expect to earn around $50,000 as a starting licensed addiction counselor salary. Meanwhile, hospitals will pay slightly less to start, at around $48,000, but this can rise substantially with experience. Substance abuse facilities and rehab centers tend to pay the least, at around $38,000 starting salary. 

2. Addiction Counselor Salary by Location

If you want to become a substance abuse counselor, another key consideration is location. According to local livings costs and local demand for addiction treatment, salaries can vary hugely from state to state and city to city. For example, an addiction counselor’s salary in Utah is among the highest in the nation, with an average starting salary of $66,000.

Meanwhile, salaries in New Jersey are at the lower end of the scale. It is important to keep an open mind when it comes to location if you wish to expand your potential salary horizons. 

3. Essential Addiction Counselor Qualifications

Of course, how much you can earn as an addiction counselor will depend largely on your qualifications. A certificate from an accredited college that provides quality addiction counselor training, such as this program, is an essential starting point. A high-quality certificate can boost your potential salary substantially. Meanwhile, those with full-fledged bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology and addiction counseling can expect to earn substantially more than those without high-level qualifications.

Much like any other industry, you can also expect your compensation to rise according to your work experience. Those who have been in the addiction counseling career path for more than ten years can typically expect to command the highest salaries, with some even earning six figures. This is a career path that pays off for those who show true dedication and commitment to the cause. 

Salary Transparency Matters

By knowing the kind of addiction counselor salary you can expect, you can make more informed and empowered career choices. That’s why we are committed to providing up-to-date salary information for all careers and passions. Make sure to consult our industry-specific business pages for more salary ranges.