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Western MA Fast Facts

  • Workers in Hampden County: 400
  • Entry Level Salary:$11/hour
  • Experienced Salary:$23/hour

Hampshire Franklin Counties

  • Entry Level Salary:$16/hour
  • Experienced Salary:$30/hour
  • Education Needed: Bachelor’s Degree

Occupational Employment and Wages Statistics, May 2016, EOLWD

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors create treatment plans to help people recover from addiction or modify problem behaviors.

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors are in increased demand in Western Massachusetts. Much of the growth is expected from more people seeking treatment for mental illness and addiction.

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors create treatment plans to help people recover from addiction or modify problem behaviors.

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors:

  • Educate and counsel patients and their families about addiction or behavior disorders and help them develop strategies to cope with those problems
  • Connect patients with services such as housing, meal services, transportation, or hospice care for a terminally-ill patient
  • Create care plans with clients evaluating mental and physical health and openness to treatment

Employment opportunities can be found in

Education and training requirements

Most substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors hold a master’s degree and have completed supervised clinical hours that allow them to become licensed. Some counselors who do not work in a private practice may have completed a certificate program a community college.

Counselors are also expected to have

  • A deep understanding of human development and behavior
  • Strong cultural competence, including appreciation for the effects of various social, economic and cultural factors, and an understanding of how these factors interact
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a team

1441 Main Street, First Floor
Springfield, MA 01103
413-787-1547

The REBHC is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Program, auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities, Verizon Telephone Relay Service: TDD/TTY: 1-800-439-2370 Voice: 1-800-439-0183

An Initiative of

This website was funded in part by Workforce STAT (Skills, Talent, Awareness, Training): Transforming Regional Capacity for Healthcare Education, Grant # CB18820. Workforce STAT was a $1.66 million Community Based Job Training Initiative through the U.S. Department of Labor. The website is also funded in part by a Healthcare Skills Gap Partnership grant through the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. The grant program was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and administered by Commonwealth Corporation.