AODA Counselor Degree Advice?

Question by Green: AODA counselor degree advice?
Hi there. I want to become an AODA counselor, I was wondering, hopefully for some advice from real AODA counselors, how is the schooling money/studying-wise? Is it worth the job? (Im sure I will find the job more than worthwhile no matter what, I don’t care for money, I want to help people more than anything)

What does the school consist of and how many years should I plan on going?

thanks in advance.

Best answer:

Answer by jannsody
If by AODA counselor, you’re referring to an “alcohol and other drug abuse” counselor, which is most likely similar to the credentials of CAC (certified addiction counselor) or CADC (certified alcohol and drug counselor), then obtaining a master’s degree can make a person more marketable in the field.

It’s great that you’re not considering “addiction counseling” for the money as most don’t enter the field for the salary 🙂 A lot of addiction counselors are “in recovery” (from addiction) themselves, but it’s not a prerequisite.

The substance abuse counseling student needs to get a passing score while completing several clinical fieldwork hours under the supervision of a clinical supervisor and having an actual patient caseload.

This site has more general info re: certification in addiction counseling: http://www.naadac.org/certification

Just an fyi that the social work/counseling (and nursing) field is supposed to have a high burn-out rate.

With regard to schooling, please do *avoid* those private For-profit schools, such as devry, ITT tech, strayer, U of P, capella, regis, argosy, walden, grand canyon, ashworth, full sail, ashford, pima medical, Stratford career, keiser, Everest, penn foster, icdc, Kaplan, art institute, concorde career and others. Their course credits usually do ** NOT ** transfer to other schools, even if the for-profit school is regionally accredited as opposed to only nationally accredited.

General career info: http://www.bls.gov/ooh and can search “substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors”, “social workers”, “counselors” or such.

For U.S. colleges (though, please still forgo those for-profit schools): http://www.utexas.edu/world/univ

This government site has more general info re: “functional qualities and helping skills for AODA counselors and therapists”: http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/substabuse/docs/reports/Helpingskills3.pdf

You may want to consider volunteering at a “crisis helpline” of which the volunteer engages in “active listening” (including reflecting feelings) of the caller as opposed to providing counseling or giving advice.

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