The job outlook for substance abuse counselors is excellent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Employers generally seek individuals with advanced education in the science and practice of addiction counseling. Employment of substance abuse counselors is expected to grow 34 percent through 2016 (U.S. Department of Labor, December 10, 2008).
This demand for substance abuse counselors is expected to be strong for a variety of reasons:
- As society becomes more knowledgeable about addiction, it is increasingly common for people to seek treatment;
- Drug offenders are increasingly being sent to treatment programs rather than jail;
- Many addiction counselors are reaching retirement age;
- Insurance companies and HMOs increasingly provide for reimbursement to addiction counselors, and;
- Employers are increasingly offering employee assistance programs (EAPs) that provide addiction services