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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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More Colorado Substance Abuse Counselors Schools

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

School Name
Campus
Highest Award
Enrolled
Boulder
Doctorate
33,977
Fort Collins
Doctorate
31,856
Denver
Doctorate
23,960
Denver
Masters
20,474
Greeley
Doctorate
13,087
Colorado Springs
Doctorate
12,559
Denver
Doctorate
11,614
Grand Junction
Doctorate
9,735
Denver
Associates
9,013
Denver
Doctorate
8,368
Pueblo
Masters
7,802
Lakewood
Masters
7,032
Durango
Masters
3,600
Alamosa
Doctorate
3,370
Gunnison
Masters
2,908
Colorado Springs
Masters
2,114
La Junta
Associates
1,464
Denver
Doctorate
1,089
Boulder
Masters
931
Lone Tree
Masters
583
Denver
Doctorate
446

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.

2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 22.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
PuebloN/A $
BoulderN/A $
Colorado SpringsN/A $
Denver-Aurora-LakewoodN/A $
Fort CollinsN/A $

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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