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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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Results:  10
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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
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Programs
  • MS in Psychology - Addictions
  • BS in Psychology - Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Psychology
  • Programs include Bachelor of Science in Human Services, Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Addiction, and more.
  • Approved as an education provider by the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC).
  • Courses cover topics such as addiction science, assessment, prevention, and treatment.
  • Students learn how to identify, plan, and use resources to help improve client situations.
Programs
  • BA in Psychology
  • Master of Arts in Psychology
  • Doctorate in Psychology
  • Non-profit university accredited by WASC Senior Commission
  • Professors with real-world experience and student centered approach
  • Flexible, fully online degree programs responding to the market needs
  • All courses are offered six times a year with clear path to completion and reduced time-to-degree
  • No additional costs for textbooks or other fees
  • Personal support from application to graduation leading to high retention and graduation rates
Programs
  • Psychology (BA)
  • Earn your Bachelor of Arts in Psychology - 100% online
  • South University brings over 115 years of tradition and achievement to a supportive online classroom
  • Topics covered include psychological disorders, personality development, social perception, and more
  • Concentrations include Behavioral Health, General Psychology, and Experimental/Research
Programs
  • Ed.D. Educational Psychology and Technology
  • M.A. Psychology
  • Online Ph.D. Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
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
  • Advanced Addictions Counseling Certificate
  • Advanced Addictions Counseling (Certificate) - Online
  • Sports Counseling (Certificate) - Online
  • For the 12th consecutive year, Cal U was named one for the best schools in the Northeast by The Princeton Review 
  • Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017
  • Quality Online courses at Cal U have the same objectives, content and learning outcomes as campus-based programs and are taught by the same expert professors.
  • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost. Student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1
  • CAL U online programs complete an annual assessment of student learning to ensure outcomes are focused on your success in career entry, advancement or enhancement!
Programs
  • Associate of Arts in Applied Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology

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Whatever your motivation for considering an undergraduate or graduate degree, Florida Tech offers programs online that can meet your needs. Here are a few reasons Florida Tech may be the right choice for you.

Programs
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
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  • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
  • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
Programs
  • Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
  • Master of Arts: Pastoral Counseling: Discipleship and Church Ministry
  • Master of Arts: Pastoral Counseling: Crisis Response and Trauma

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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 -2222 $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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