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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.
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More Pennsylvania Schools

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

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, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
Altoona N/A $42,850
Johnstown 80 $35,250
Erie 180 $32,730
Gettysburg 50 $35,530
Harrisburg-Carlisle 390 $41,560
Lancaster 260 $34,320
Pittsburgh 1320 $36,300
Reading 270 $46,450
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre--Hazleton 320 $48,750
State College 50 $50,690
Williamsport 90 $38,490
York-Hanover 80 $48,020

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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