A substance abuse and behavioral counselor will advise those who are suffering from eating disorders, drug addiction, alcoholism and other behavioral problems. They support their client, helping to get them the right treatment so they can modify their behavioral problem or recover from their addiction. These types of counselors can work in a range of settings, including private practices, prisons and community or mental health centers.

Iowa Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor Schools

In order to be eligible for a role as a substance abuse counselor, the majority of employers will require you to have a bachelor's or master's degree whilst others may accept high school diplomas and certifications. There are a number of substance abuse counselor schools in Iowa, including:

  • Kaplan University: Established in 1937, Kaplan University is an institute that provides education to undergraduates, graduates and professionals. They offer a vast range of programs including the Bachelor's degree in psychology in addictions. Approved by the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) this program is available at Kaplan University's Des Moines, Cedar Falls, Davenport, Cedar Rapids and Mason City campuses.

  • Southeastern Community College: Located in West Burlington, Iowa, SCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers a vast range of different courses, including four-year degrees. One of their programs is the Chemical Dependency Counselor Associate of Applied Science Program. This has been established to provide students with the necessary skills needed to become a certified alcohol and drug counselor with the Iowa Board of Substance Abuse.

  • Iowa Lakes Community College: This institute boasts five campus locations - Algona, Emmetsburg, Estherville, Spencer and Spirit Lake, with a plethora of courses on offer. Their Associate of Applied Science Degree in Substance Abuse Counseling is typically a two-year course and is based at their Estherville campus.

Coursework for Iowa Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor Programs

Substance abuse counseling programs in Iowa will cover a wide range of topics, teaching you the necessary skills that are required to go on and become a professional counselor. Many of the courses will combine classroom-based study with hands-on experiences in an alcohol and drug treatment center. During your course, you can expect to learn things such as:

  • Chemical dependency counseling
  • Counseling theories
  • Techniques for group counseling
  • Social work
  • Counseling women
  • Working with families of drug and alcohol abuse
  • Social problems
  • Counseling adolescents
  • Public speaking

Iowa Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor License

In order to practice as a substance abuse counselor in Iowa, you will need to be licensed, especially if you're working in a private practice. This will require you to gain the Alcohol and Drug Counselor Certification from the Iowa Board of Certification, which can be a temporary certification (tCADC), a permanent certification (CADC) or an international certification (iCADC).

To obtain one of these certificates, you will have to meet the certain criteria laid out by the Iowa Board of Certification. For example, to achieve the CADC certificate you will need a high school or general education diploma with 150 hours of relevant education included and six months full-time experience of working under supervision in substance abuse counseling in the past three years. You'll also need to pass the Supervisor's Counselor Evaluation and the IC&RD ADC exam.

Resources for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor in Iowa

Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school.
Results:  10
Matching School Ads
  • 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.
  • M.S. in Addiction Counseling
  • B.S. in Counseling with an Emphasis in Addiction, Chemical Dependency, and Substance Abuse
  • M.S. in Christian Counseling of Substance Abuse and Addictive Disorders
  • Why Earn Your Degree from GCU?
  • Options: Choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more!
  • Convenience: Complete courses online, on campus, or a combination of both!
  • Earlier Graduation: Our 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree program in less time.
  • Transfer Friendly: We will request your transcripts, evaluate your graduate coursework, and determine your anticipated graduation date within 24 hours.
  • Quality: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is regionally accredited. Learn more today!
  • 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).
  • Certificate in Trauma
  • Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling
  • Master of Science in General Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology program helps students prepare for careers in counseling, marketing/sales, human services, ministry, and more.
  • The School of Psychology & Counseling received a 95% match rate for 4th year Psy.D. student internships in 2015.
  • Programmatic accreditation for psychology programs is provided by the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • 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
  • 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!
  • MA: Psychology

National Louis University is one of the oldest and most progressive universities in Chicago. We offer more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs through two colleges: the National College of Education and the College of Professional Studies and Advancement.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Iowa 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
Highest Award
Sioux City
Storm Lake
Cedar Rapids
Mount Vernon
Sioux Center
Des Moines
Des Moines
Doctorate & First Professional
Mount Pleasant
Sioux City
Cedar Rapids
West Burlington
Doctorate & First Professional
Iowa City
Doctorate & First Professional
Cedar Falls
Forest City

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Substance Abuse Counselors

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Iowa. 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
Annual Median Salary
Iowa City 140 $51,310
Des Moines 300 $42,070
West Des Moines 300 $42,070


  1. Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors Occupational Outlook Handbook 2016-17 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-and-behavioral-disorder-counselors.htm, accessed October 31, 2016
  2. O*NET OnLine Summary Report for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1011.00, accessed October 31, 2016

Career and College Resources

Real-World Career Reports
Career References and Original Articles
Back to Top