Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Just How Much Does Chemical Dependency Counselor Make

Employment opportunities for substance abuse counselors will increase 21 percent between 2008 and 2018.

Chemical dependency counselors help people with alcohol, tobacco and drug addictions overcome their dependencies. They also counsel the families of people with addictions. Substance abuse counselors work in outpatient clinics, private practice, hospitals, local government agencies and rehabilitation facilities. Substance abuse counselors have particularly good job prospects through 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

National Median and Average Wages

Estimated wages for substance abuse counselors range from $11.82 to $28.87 per hour as of May, 2009. The median annual wages of substance abuse counselors in May, 2009 were $37, 700. Fifty percent of counselors earned between $29,860 and $48,060. The lowest earners made $24,580, while the top ten percent earned $60,060 per year. The estimated average earnings were $40,420 per year, or $19.43 per hour in May, 2009.

Industry Information

Outpatient care centers employ the most substance abuse counselors. Counselors working in these centers earn an average of $18.67 per hour, or $38,830 per year. Substance abuse facilities employ the second highest number of counselors, who earn an average of $16.46 per hour, or $34,250 per year. The average salary range for substance abuse clinical directors is $40,000 to $75,000, according to Western New Mexico University.

Municipal governments rank fourth in the number of counselors employed, and pay an average of $45,350 per year. The highest paying employers of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors are elementary and secondary schools, which pay an average of $60,780 per year, and colleges and universities, which pay $53,900 per year.

State Information

The states that employ the most substance abuse counselors are Vermont, South Dakota, New Jersey, Montana and Pennsylvania. The average annual earnings in these states range from $34,700 in South Dakota to $54,970 in New Jersey. Hawaii is the highest paying state for this profession, with average annual earnings of $56,320. New Jersey ranks second in average annual wages, followed by Utah at $46,760, Maine at $46,440 and Wisconsin at $45,840.

Metropolitan Areas

Metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of substance abuse counselors are Idaho Falls, Idaho, with average annual earnings of $36,470; Elmira, New York, with annual salaries at $38,860; Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, Virginia, where counselors earn an average $39,050 per year; and Newark-Union, New Jersey-Pennsylvania Metropolitan Division with salaries averaging $61,470 annually. The highest paying metropolitan areas and their average annual salaries are Trenton-Ewing, New Jersey at $64,770; Bangor, Maine at $61,980; Newark-Union, New Jersey-Pennsylvania Metropolitan Division, $61,470; Honolulu, Hawaii, $59,560; and Barnstable Town, Massachusetts at $57,420.

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