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Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselors are mental health providers who work with individuals or groups to overcome obstacles such as addiction, eating disorders, or other behavioral health problems. As more health insurance plans in the state begin to cover mental health care, more substance abuse counseling programs in Pennsylvania are becoming available to prospective counselors.

Pennsylvania Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor Schools

There are more than 100 substance abuse counselor schools in Pennsylvania, making it easy for individuals to find the perfect program, from professional certifications to higher degrees. These include:

  • Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon University offers certificate and degree programs from bachelor's to doctoral degrees. This research university offers professional training and degrees including Clinical and Counseling Psychology.

  • Drexel University: Spanning three campuses, Drexel University offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs from Behavioral Health Counseling to Psychology and more.

  • Pennsylvania State University: Commonly referred to as "Penn State," this state-related research university offers certification and degree programs through the doctoral level from its College of Health and Human Development.

  • Temple University: Located in Philadelphia, Temple University is a research institution offering degrees in Psychology, Counseling Psychology, and Behavioral Health Sciences.

  • University of Pennsylvania: The University of Pennsylvania is one of the oldest universities in the nation, and offers certificate, Bachelor's, Master's, and doctoral programs in Psychology, Mental Health Counseling, Mental Health Services, and more.

Coursework for Pennsylvania Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor Programs

In Pennsylvania, it is possible to begin a substance abuse counseling career as early as after the completion of high school or a GED. Throughout certifications and licensure requirements, counselors can be expected to complete:

  • Crisis intervention training
  • Mental health, substance abuse, and physiology coursework
  • Family counseling training
  • Group facilitation training
  • Credentialing and IC&RC exam
  • Care monitoring
  • Referral outcome training
  • Confidentiality and patient safety training

Many of these skills are tested through the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium written and oral exams, which are required for completion of several certifications and licenses detailed below.

Pennsylvania Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor Licenses

For the state of Pennsylvania, there is no comprehensive mandate for licensure for substance abuse counseling. Typically, organizations require a minimum of an Associate's degree with relevant clinical experience. The Pennsylvania Certification Board does offer a number of certification programs, including for a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC), and a Certified Associate Addiction Counselor (CAAC). An individual can earn a CAAC without a degree, and candidates may first complete the Associate Addiction Counselor (AAC) program, which is a primer course for the full, certified program.

Meanwhile, a CADC candidate must hold a Bachelor's degree. Candidates typically benefit from a degree in Psychology, Social Work, or Sociology, among others. Another tier of certification, the Certified Advanced Drug and Alcohol Counselor (CADAC), requires a Master's degree.

Resources for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor in Pennsylvania

  • Allied Health World explains the credentials required for each tier of substance abuse counselor in Pennsylvania.
  • The IC&RC prepares candidates for certification for programs such as the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor certifications with examination guides for the written and oral exams.
  • The Pennsylvania Certification Board offers applications for various counselor certification programs.
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. .
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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
  • 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).
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
  • 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
  • Drug & Alcohol Treatment Specialist
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
Programs
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology : Addictions
  • Master of Science in Psychology : Addictions
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Addictions
  •  Ranked one of the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  •  Offers a no-obligation, 3-week trial period where students may determine if the university is right for them before they commit to it.
  •  Strives to be a student’s partner in lifelong learning; committed to helping them achieve their goals.
  •  Serves students of all ages, from first-graders learning to read to professionals seeking postgraduate training.
  •  Provides career-oriented diploma through master’s programs in fields such as healthcare, business, legal and paralegal services, information technology, criminal justice and design.
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Hagerstown
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Programs
  • Substance Abuse
  • A private, accredited distance learning college based in Norcross, Georgia founded in 1987.
  • Ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
  • Gives students the option to customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
  • Offers all-inclusive tuition: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
  • Allows alumni to enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
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
  • 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.
  • 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.
Programs
  • Psychology (B.S.) Online
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Challenging students to live extraordinary lives of personal and professional fulfillment since 1878.
  • Offers programs in business, communication, education, humanities, fine arts, health sciences, and graduate studies.
  • Provides on-campus housing options and study abroad programs for students.
  • Campus features several academic centers for students, including The Writing Center and the Study Place for Achievement (SPA).

More Pennsylvania 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
Reading
Masters
2,233
Meadville
Bachelor
2,193
Glenside
Doctorate
3,592
Clarks Summit
Doctorate
1,016
Bloomsburg
Doctorate
8,745
Bryn Mawr
Doctorate
1,790
Lewisburg
Masters
3,677
Newtown
Associate
9,649
Butler
Associate
3,656
Radnor
Masters
3,108
California
Masters
8,206
Pittsburgh
Doctorate
2,178
Pittsburgh
Doctorate
10,326
Allentown
Masters
1,888
Philadelphia
Doctorate
2,062
Cheyney
Masters
1,438
Clarion
Masters
6,795
Pittsburgh
Associate
18,525
Monaca
Associate
3,194
Philadelphia
Associate
17,334
Center Valley
Masters
2,898
Media
Associate
10,816
Carlisle
Bachelor
2,381
Philadelphia
Doctorate
20,682
Pittsburgh
Doctorate & First Professional
10,296
East Stroudsburg
Masters
7,053
Saint Davids
Doctorate & First Professional
4,291
Edinboro
Masters
7,686
Elizabethtown
Masters
2,360
Lancaster
Bachelor
2,104
Erie
Doctorate
4,134
Beaver Falls
Masters
1,891
Gettysburg
Bachelor
2,503
Grove City
Bachelor
2,504
Bryn Mawr
Associate
947
Harrisburg
Associate
9,774
Haverford
Bachelor
1,169
Philadelphia
Masters
3,487
Immaculata
Doctorate
4,057
Indiana
Doctorate
14,018
Huntingdon
Bachelor
1,506
Kutztown
Masters
10,295
Pittsburgh
Masters
1,499
Philadelphia
Doctorate
5,994
Easton
Bachelor
2,403
Annville
Doctorate
1,936
Schnecksville
Associate
7,184
Bethlehem
Doctorate
6,845
Lincoln University
Masters
2,449
Lock Haven
Masters
5,241
Williamsport
Bachelor
1,429
Jenkintown
Associate
982
Mansfield
Masters
3,338
Scranton
Doctorate
3,316
Erie
Masters
4,253
Grantham
Bachelor
2,837
Millersville
Masters
8,306
Dallas
Doctorate
2,355
Blue Bell
Associate
9,184
Bethlehem
Masters & First Professional
1,989
Cresson
Masters
1,595
Allentown
Bachelor
2,457
Aston
Doctorate
3,084
Bethlehem
Associate
7,912
University Park
Doctorate
43,252
Altoona
Bachelor
4,034
Monaca
Bachelor
793
Reading
Bachelor
2,824
Erie
Masters
4,171
McKeesport
Bachelor
783
Middletown
Doctorate
3,907
Fogelsville
Bachelor
801
Upper Burrell
Bachelor
912
Schuylkill Haven
Bachelor
940
Philadelphia
Doctorate & First Professional
2,073
Philadelphia
Doctorate
3,349
Pittsburgh
Masters
3,591
Reading
Associate
4,682
Moon Township
Doctorate
5,055
Rosemont
Masters
940
Loretto
Doctorate
2,125
Philadelphia
Doctorate
7,542
Latrobe
Masters
1,924
Greensburg
Masters
1,991
Shippensburg
Masters
7,765
Slippery Rock
Doctorate
8,325
Selinsgrove
Bachelor
2,039
Swarthmore
Bachelor
1,491
Philadelphia
Doctorate & First Professional
34,696
Greenville
Bachelor
1,219
Philadelphia
Doctorate & First Professional
23,980
Bradford
Bachelor
1,407
Greensburg
Bachelor
1,777
Johnstown
Bachelor
3,121
Pittsburgh
Doctorate
27,020
Scranton
Doctorate
5,612
Philadelphia
Doctorate
2,969
Collegeville
Bachelor
1,583
Phoenixville
Masters
929
Villanova
Doctorate & First Professional
10,470
Washington
Bachelor
1,531
Waynesburg
Doctorate
2,462
West Chester
Masters
13,219
New Wilmington
Masters
1,455
Chester
Doctorate
4,866
Wilkes-Barre
Doctorate
5,114
Chambersburg
Masters
724
York
Masters
5,720

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Substance Abuse Counselors

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Pennsylvania. 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
Altoona N/A $39,630
Johnstown 80 $31,620
Erie 180 $31,960
Gettysburg 50 $27,470
Harrisburg 390 $38,550
Carlisle 390 $38,550
Lancaster 260 $29,130
Pittsburgh 1320 $34,840
Reading 270 $46,240
Scranton 320 $49,740
Wilkes 320 $49,740
Barre 320 $49,740
Hazleton 320 $49,740
State College 50 $51,340
Williamsport 90 $36,050
York 80 $47,330
Hanover 80 $47,330

Sources:

  1. Candidate Guide for the IC&RC Alcohol and Drug Counselor Examination, IC&RC, https://www.pacertboard.org/sites/default/files/applications/2015_ADC_CandidateGuide.pdf, accessed October 29, 2016.
  2. Certifications, Pennsylvania Certification Board, https://www.pacertboard.org/certifications, accessed October 29, 2016.
  3. Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Pennsylvania.gov, http://www.ddap.pa.gov/pages/default.aspx, accessed October 29, 2016.
  4. How to Become a Substance Abuse Counselor in Pennsylvania, Allied Health World, http://www.alliedhealthworld.com/substance-abuse-counselor-certification-in-pennsylvania.html, accessed October 29, 2016.

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