Job Outlook


Some text as placeholder. In real life you can have the elements you have chosen. Like, text, images, lists, etc.

Job Outlook

Due to the number of persons needing treatment for chemical dependency, the job outlook for chemical dependency/substance abuse therapists is very good.

Learn more about a career in Addictions and Substance Use Disorders: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.


Pay range varies greatly for chemical dependency/substance therapists based on a wide variety of factors. The following are only pay range estimates and cannot be considered a guarantee of pay rate or employment. Pay rates can be higher or lower.

Licensed Substance Abuse Technician

$27,000 to $32,000 per year

Licensed Associate Substance Abuse Counselor

$27,000 to $32,000 per year

Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor

$28,000 to $50,000 per year

 *Note: Chemical dependency therapy is a social service field and pay is often on the lower end when compared with other employment opportunities with similar educational requirements.

A day in the job

Role of Chemical Dependency Therapists

  • Assist chemically dependent persons in their recovery process
  • Interview and counsel individuals, families, and groups
  • Write, maintain and update treatment records and assessments
  • Have knowledge of how chemical addiction affects the lives of individuals and families
  • Have knowledge of current counseling theories
  • Have knowledge of the effects of chemical use on human biological systems and human development
  • Know the principles of various self-help groups: Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-anon, Al-ateen, and Narcotics Anonymous, etc.
  • Have knowledge of adjustment issues of Adult Children of Alcoholics
  • Have knowledge of sexual dysfunction resulting from the effects of chronic chemical abuse
  • Have knowledge of physiological and psychosocial factors on recovery and relapse
  • Have knowledge of local chemical dependency and behavioral health treatment providers
  • Know how to interface between the legal/criminal justice system and service providers
  • Know how to interface on behalf of the client with medical and insurance providers

Work Setting

Addictions and Substance Use Disorders therapists work in a variety of settings:

  • Government agencies
  • Private and public behavioral health agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Halfway houses
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • DUI
  • Education programs
  • Prevention programs

Career Possibilities

Since substance abuse affects the lives of so many people in so many ways, there is a critical need for people trained in chemical dependency to work in many fields of employment which may include:

  • Human resources
  • Civil courts
  • Criminal justice
  • Education
  • Social-service case managers & caseworkers
  • Welfare services
  • Adolescent & child services

A background in chemical dependency also provides a great educational start for people planning to continue their education in: law enforcement, law, medicine, nursing, education, social work, counseling and psychology.