Chemical Dependency Counselor (CA)Student walks past building

Be the Person People in Need Connect with for a Caring, Supportive Voice

Lead a weekly group meeting of clients you’ve seen for the past year. Get a phone call from a family member that their loved one has been missing all day and not answering their phone. Talk on the phone with a client who’s having difficulties from an event earlier in the day.

Being a Chemical Dependency Counselor is being on call twenty-four-seven. It can be very stressful working with clients who have been through traumas, such as abuse, crime, poverty, and many other affronts to their livelihoods. Knowing how to be there for someone who is attempting to manage sobriety can be extremely difficult. Counseling takes extraordinary listening skills, curiosity, patience, determination, integrity, and compassion. 

It also comes with the reward of knowing you can help transform someone’s life.

Careers as a Chemical Dependency Counselor

Counselors advocating for and supporting those with chemical dependencies often work in healthcare, reformatories, community organizations, a college, a public health department, a nonprofit, or even a private business. You will likely have the opportunity to work closely with licensed psychologists and together, play an important role in the lives of everyday people. 

Here are a few careers and their salaries you could have with a certificate in Chemical Dependency Counselor:

Career information below taken from bls.gov November 2019. Go to bls.gov for most current career information.

Provide treatment and advise people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, or other mental or behavioral problems.

Data for Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim

Typical Education Level: Salary: Hourly Median Wage:
Bachelor’s Degree $50,650/year $24.35/hour
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: Job Outlook 2018-2028: Number of Jobs 2018:
None needed 5% increase (as fast as average)
12,630

Provide client services in a variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, and social work.

Data for Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim

Typical Education Level: Salary: Hourly Median Wage:
High school diploma or equivalent $42,160/year $20.27/hour
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: Job Outlook 2018-2028: Number of Jobs 2018:
None needed 5% increase (as fast as average)
19,070

Assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. Activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, case management, client advocacy, prevention, and education.

Data for Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim

Typical Education Level: Salary: Hourly Median Wage:
Bachelor’s Degree $61,570/year $29.60/hour
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: Job Outlook 2018-2028: Number of Jobs 2018:
None needed 5% increase (as fast as average)
5,670
 

What You’ll Learn at LASC to be a Chemical Dependency Counselor

You can get a Certificate of Achievement in Chemical Dependency Counselor where you will develop the academic theories and skills on how to counsel those with chemical dependencies:

  • Become aware of theories and methods of how to assist individuals with chemical dependency, and ways to help both the individual and their family through the process of change.
  • Discover the principles behind intervention, treatment, and recovery issues in chemical dependency, what the stages of formal intervention are, along with the obstacles that might be faced. 
  • Become familiar with what the appropriate procedures are in a clinical setting, like the initial interviewing processes and treatment planning, to ensure you are giving the best care while ensuring professional boundaries.
  • LASC provides internships so you can build your career connections and create community ties for after you graduate.
  • Want to transfer? If you want to get your bachelor’s degree in social work or another related subject, talk with your academic counselor about what you would need to do to transfer to a four-year university or college.

 

Degrees & Courses You Will Take 

Review LASC’s Certificate of Achievement in Chemical Dependency Counselor below along with our suggested course of study for this program. Go to LASC’s current Course Catalog for specific course information:

Major Code: 2104.40

Total Units Required: 33

Upon completion of this program, you will be able to: 

  • Discuss, describe, and demonstrate the intake/initial interviewing process in a clinical setting. 
  • Discuss, describe, and demonstrate the treatment planning process in a clinical setting. 
Required Courses: Units
Semester 1   
PSYCH 1 General Psychology I 3
PSYCH 63 Alcohol/Drug Studies: Prevention and Education 3
PSYCH 64 Introduction to Drug and Alcohol Abuse  
     (ADDICST 1 Understanding Addiction and Counseling)
3
PSYCH 65 Chemical Dependency: Intervention, Treatment & Recovery 3 
     (ADDICST 7 Addiction Treatment and Recovery)
3
Semester 2  
PSYCH 2 Biological Psychology 3
PSYCH 14 Abnormal Psychology 3
OR 3
PSYCH 41 Life-Span Psychology: From Infancy to Old Age 3
PSYCH 37 Psychology of Co-Dependency and Family Systems 
     (ADDICST 10 Addiction and the Family) 
3
PSYCH 67 Counseling Techniques for the Chemically Addicted 
     (ADDICST 4 Clinical Counseling Laws and Ethics) 

3

Semester 3   
PSYCH 43 Principles of Group Dynamics I  
     (ADDICST 5 Group Skills for Addiction Counselors) 
3
Plus, any class above not completed   

Semester 4

 
PSYCH 81 Field Work I
3
Semester 5  
PSYCH 82 Field Work II  3
TOTAL UNITS 33

Get Ready Before You Start 

Interested in a career in counseling those with chemical dependency? Before your first class starts at LASC, you can begin to prepare for your career:

  • Make an appointment with your LASC academic counselor to review LASC’s program, start to develop a Student Education Plan (SEP), and discuss your career goals to learn about support services and other opportunities that you could benefit from while at LASC.
  • Still in high school? Look for opportunities to volunteer and make positive impacts in your community. Talk with your high school counselor to see if there are opportunities to intern at local nonprofits or shadow someone for the day. Look for summer opportunities in your local community service organizations where you can learn more and gain more experience in your future career.  

Program Learning Outcomes

As a student, upon successfully completing this program, you will be able to:

  • Discuss, describe, and demonstrate the intake/initial interviewing process in a clinical setting.
  • Discuss, describe, and demonstrate the treatment planning process in a clinical setting.