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Substance abuse and behavioral counselors are certified or licensed professionals who help those with behavioral health problems manage and overcome issues like addiction. Colorado's competitive certification and licensure programs could provide candidates with the tools they need to succeed in this challenging career path.

Colorado Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor Schools

Behavioral counseling programs in Colorado can require anything from an associate degree to a Ph.D., and there are many programs that complement and accompany these certification and licensure programs. Some of the largest schools in Colorado that offer counseling and psychology programs include:

  • Colorado State University: One of the largest academic institutions in the state, Colorado State University offers more than 150 programs from professional and certification programs to undergraduate and graduate degrees, both on-campus and online. Programs include Psychology, Counseling Psychology, Behavioral Health, and more.

  • Metropolitan State University of Denver: The Metropolitan Date University of Denver offers undergraduate and graduate programs in Psychology and Clinical/Counselling Psychology. Other programs include concentrations in Mental Health Counseling and Certified Addiction Counseling.

  • University of Colorado Denver: The University of Colorado Denver offers undergraduate and graduate programs, along with a number of professional certificate and unique hands-on learning programs. Academic programs include Psychology and Counseling degrees for Bachelor's and Master's students, and Ph.D. programs in Social and Behavioral Health.

  • University of Colorado Boulder: The largest university in the state, the University of Colorado Boulder offers over 100 professional, associate, undergraduate, and graduate programs, along with competitive training programs throughout the fields of clinical psychology, counseling, behavioral sciences, and more.

  • University of Northern Colorado: The University of Northern Colorado is a public research institution offering certification programs, undergraduate, and graduate degrees. The university offers degrees in Psychology, Social Work, and a robust selection of behavioral sciences professional counseling programs.

Coursework for Colorado Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor Programs

Certification and licensing programs for addiction and behavioral counselors in Colorado can prepare candidates for this rigorous work with a combination of fieldwork, education, and examinations. Skills candidates will obtain, as well as relevant coursework topics, include:

  • Addiction counseling
  • Professional ethics
  • Pharmacology
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Clinical assessment
  • Trauma
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Clinical supervision

Colorado Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor License

For those looking to pursue a career in substance abuse and behavioral counseling in Colorado, there are two main categories to consider:

  • Certification - There are three tiers of certification for addiction counselors in Colorado. CAC-I, CAC-II, and CAC-III represent the three levels of "Colorado Addiction Counselor" certification. To complete these programs, candidates are required to complete supervised work, education and coursework, and a practicum.

  • License - The single licensure program earns candidates the title of Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC). To qualify for this license, candidates must hold a Master's degree or a Ph.D. In addition to the appropriate degree, candidates also need to complete all of the CAC-III requirements, and pass a nationally-recognized Addiction Counseling examination. Finally, completion of all the requirements enables candidates to apply for official certification from the Colorado State Board of Education.

Resources for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselors in Colorado

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Programs
  • M.S. in Human Services - Drug and Alcohol Counseling
  • B.S. in Human Services / Counseling
  • Graduate Certificate in Alcohol & Drug Counseling
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked among the Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
  • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
  • Online courses make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months and a master’s degree in 14-24 months.
Programs
  • MS in Psychology - Addictions
  • BS in Psychology - Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Psychology
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
  • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
Programs
  • M.S. in Addiction Counseling
  • B.S. in Counseling with an Emphasis in Addiction, Chemical Dependency, and Substance Abuse
  • M.S. in Christian Counseling
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
Programs
  • Bachelor of Arts in Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as a Military Friendly School every year since 2012 by Victory Media.
  • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
  • Provides a short term Leadership Certification program in partnership with EQUIP®.
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
Programs
  • Psychology (BA)
  • Online bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
Programs
  • BA in Psychology
  • Earn your degree online from Ashford University!
  • Choose from Undergraduate and Graduate classes
  • Business, Health Care, Psychology and Liberal Arts programs to choose from
  • Apply Now! Classes begin every Tuesday!
Programs
  • Master of Science in Applied Psychology

Sacred Heart University Online is an affordable and convenient way to earn a degree online from a university ranked among America’s best colleges. Experience Sacred Heart’s signature core values and degree programs based on interactive personal attention, small classes, and rigorous academics offer students a unique life platform for career advancement and personal fulfillment.

Programs
  • Psychology (BA) (Online)
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • Features a competency-based MBA program that allows students to test out of subjects based on prior professional experience.
Programs
  • Mental Health Policy and Practice - Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
  • Psychology - BA
  • General Psychology - PhD of Psychology
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
  • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
  • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
  • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
  • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
Programs
  • Master of Science in Psychology
  • PhD in Psychology
  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
  • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
  • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
  • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
  • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.

More Colorado Substance Abuse Counselors Schools

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

School Name
Campus
Highest Award
Enrolled
Alamosa
Masters
2,830
Colorado Springs
Masters
2,075
Fort Collins
Doctorate & First Professional
27,569
Pueblo
Masters
5,908
Denver
Associate
8,359
Littleton
Doctorate & First Professional
858
Durango
Bachelor
3,928
Grand Junction
Masters
6,199
Denver
Bachelor
21,425
Boulder
Masters
1,104
Denver
Doctorate
21,658
Boulder
Doctorate & First Professional
31,796
Colorado Springs
Doctorate
8,660
Denver
Doctorate & First Professional
11,053
Greeley
Doctorate
12,702
Gunnison
Bachelor
2,146

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Substance Abuse Counselors

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Colorado. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Substance Abuse Counselors

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Substance Abuse Counselors relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
Boulder 80 $42,900
Colorado Springs 80 $37,880
Denver 930 $37,600
Aurora 930 $37,600
Lakewood 930 $37,600
Fort Collins N/A $45,430
Pueblo 60 $40,860

Sources:

  1. CAC Clinical Training Program, Colorado Division of Behavioral Health, https://www.colorado.gov/dora/dpo, accessed October 29, 2016.
  2. Divisions of Professions and Occupations, Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, https://www.colorado.gov/dora/dpo, accessed October 29, 2016.
  3. Substance Abuse Counseling Certification in Colorado, HumanServicesEdu, http://www.humanservicesedu.org/colorado-substance-abuse-counselor.html, accessed October 29, 2016.

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