How to Become an Addiction Counselor in New Jersey

Addiction Counseling Education Guide for New Jersey

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What is Addiction Counseling?


When it comes to addiction counseling, New Jersey is home to a variety of colleges and degree programs. Students have their pick of schools that offer both associate and bachelor's degrees in the field. While many of the programs are geared toward working with alcohol and drug addictions, some also offer concentrations in gambling addiction or eating disorders.

Students can find programs at both public and private institutions, with many of the larger schools offering online courses, as well. Curriculum typically includes both theoretical coursework as well as practical training, which may include internships or clinical work.

Graduates of these programs will be prepared to work in a number of settings including rehabilitation centers, private practices, or government agencies. They will also be equipped with the skills necessary to assess and treat addiction problems in clients of all ages.


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Online Addiction Counseling Education in New Jersey


Addiction counselors are mental health professionals who help people with addiction issues. They can work with people who have addictions to drugs, alcohol, or gambling, as well as those who have eating disorders or compulsive behaviors. Addiction counselors help their clients to identify and address the underlying causes of their addictions and they provide support and guidance as clients work through the recovery process.

An addiction counselor works in a variety of settings including private practice, addiction treatment centers, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. A private practitioner can treat individual clients, as well as small groups, while a counselor in a hospital or addiction treatment center may work with a large number of patients at one time. Working with multiple patients at once, an addiction counselor's workload can seem intense and unsatisfying. However, the rewards are worthwhile.

To become licensed, an addiction counselor will likely need around 2,000 hours of clinical experience and the necessary education with an addiction counseling degree and certifications. Not all states require applicants to have a master's degree. Addiction counselors may take an examination in order to become licensed in their state after completing the education requirements. You may need to complete around 300 hours of coursework and 300 hours of supervised experience if you do not have a degree.

Online Associate Degree in Addiction Counseling (AS)

There are a number of different online associate degrees in addiction counseling that are available. The programs vary in length, but most take two years to complete. Curriculum generally includes classes in human behavior, addiction, counseling theories and methods, and professional ethics. Students also typically participate in an internship or practicum experience.

The benefits of earning an online associate degree in addiction counseling include the ability to learn from qualified instructors who have experience in the field, access to course materials that are up to date, and the ability to study at your own pace. In addition, many employers prefer candidates who have earned a degree from an accredited institution.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Addiction Counseling (BS)

In today's society, more and more people are struggling with addiction. The consequences of addiction can be devastating, both to the individual and to their loved ones. There is a great need for qualified professionals who can help those affected by addiction. If you are interested in helping people overcome addiction or helping people in general, a career in addiction counseling may be right for you.

An online bachelor's degree in addiction counseling can prepare you for a career in this field. These degree programs give students the knowledge and skills needed to work with people who are struggling with addiction. You will learn about the causes of addiction, as well as how to provide effective treatment. You will also learn about the different types of addictions and how to identify them. If you are interested in helping people overcome addiction, an online bachelor's degree in addiction counseling may be right for you.

These degrees are also the best option when it comes to gaining licensure. While some states will allow those with the appropriate associate degree to treat clients with addiction, a bachelor’s degree provides significantly more learning and experience to support your growing career. You can also then move into a master’s degree program so that you can have the option of working in another field of counseling if you choose to.

Online Master’s Degree in Addiction Counseling (MA)

In response to the growing demand for addiction counselors, many universities are now offering online master's degree programs in addiction counseling. These programs provide students with the necessary training and education to work as addiction counselors in a variety of settings. The courses offered in these programs cover a wide range of topics, from the history of addiction to current treatment methods. In addition, students learn how to assess and treat various types of addictions.

An online master’s degree in addiction counseling can provide students with the skills they need to work as addiction counselors. In addition to coursework on addictions and counseling techniques, students in an online master’s degree program can also expect to take courses in research methods and statistics, which will allow them to conduct their own research on addictions and treatments.

Online PhD in Addiction Counseling (PhD)

Getting a PhD in addiction counseling can be a great way to help people struggling with addiction. A PhD can provide you with the education and training you need to work as a high-level counselor, therapist, psychologist, and it can also help you research new ways to treat addiction. There are many online PhD programs in addiction counseling available, so you can find one that fits your needs and lifestyle.

PhD programs in counseling, and addiction counseling specifically, are relatively easy to find. These programs cover various pertinent areas including current treatment principles, the pharmacology of addiction, and the history of addiction and recovery. Additionally, they emphasize personal ethics, cultural sensitivity, and empathy. However, you should carefully research each program and its requirements before enrolling so that you know you will be gaining a degree in the field of your choice.

A PhD can prepare you to work in academia or as a psychologist or psychiatrist, depending on your focus.

Online Addiction Counseling Certifications in New Jersey

Certifications for addiction counseling are widely available, but not all are created equal. Some online programs offer little more than a certificate of completion, while others are affiliated with respected universities and provide a solid foundation in addiction counseling. When choosing an online certification program, it’s important to do your research to make sure you are getting what you expect and that the program is properly accredited if you are hoping to gain credit hours.

The most important factor to consider when choosing an online counseling certification program is the quality of the curriculum. Make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a reputable organization and has a curriculum that covers all of the necessary topics. The faculty should also be experienced and qualified in order to provide you with the best possible education. Another important factor to consider is the cost of the program. Be sure to compare prices between different programs to find one that fits your budget. There are several certifications and licensures in New Jersey you can look into.

  • CACREP Accredited Certification

    One of the stronger national certifications to obtain is from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The CACREP is a specialized accreditation that focuses on master’s and doctoral degree programs in counseling at colleges and universities. Certification from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) is widely recognized as the gold standard in counseling. Earning CACREP accreditation is an arduous process, and only about 50% of programs achieve it. But for students seeking the highest-quality preparation for a career in counseling, CACREP certification is essential.

    CACREP-accredited programs have been rigorously evaluated and meet national standards for quality. Graduates of CACREP-accredited programs are better prepared to provide effective counseling services to clients.

  • Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC)

    The Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor is a professional certification that is offered through the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). The CADC credential is designed to certify individuals who meet specific practice standards in the addictions counseling field. The CADC certification demonstrates that an individual has met the required core knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to deliver quality addictions counseling services.
  • Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC)

    The Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) certification is a nationally recognized credential that demonstrates mastery of alcohol and drug counseling knowledge and skills. LADC's are a vital part of the addiction treatment team. They have specialized training in alcohol and drug addiction, counseling, and therapy. LADCs work with patients to assess their needs, create a treatment plan, and provide support throughout the recovery process.To become certified, an applicant must meet eligibility requirements and pass a rigorous exam. The LADC certification is administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), a leading authority on professional certification.

How to Become a Substance Abuse Counselor in New Jersey


If you are interested in helping people who suffer from addiction, becoming an addiction counseling professional in New Jersey is a great way to make a difference. There are a few important steps that you need to take in order to become a credentialed counselor in this field.

  • Step 1: Get a bachelor's degree in Counseling or Psychology

    An increasing number of addiction counselors are needed, and those with a bachelor's degree in addiction counseling or a related field are likely to have the best job prospects. There are several ways to earn a bachelor's degree in the field. You can attend a traditional four-year college or university, earn an associate or bachelor’s degree online, or gain certifications after completing a degree in another area.

  • Step 2: Complete a master's degree in addiction counseling

    A master's degree in addiction counseling can provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to help people struggling with addiction at a higher level or in a clinical setting. These degrees are required to gain higher level licensure and to be able to work with some clients one-on-one.

  • Step 3: Become certified and licensed in New Jersey

    Certification and licensure are important steps in becoming an addiction counselor. A first possible step is to become certified through the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC). Certification ensures that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide quality care to those affected by addiction. The next step is to become licensed in New Jersey. Licensure ensures that you meet the minimum requirements for practice as an addiction counselor. It also allows you to practice independently, which can be beneficial for those who wish to open their own counseling practice. In New Jersey, licensure requires that you have completed at least two years’ worth of experience working with those in alcohol and drug addiction treatment. You can contact the state board of licensing in order to find out where you can gain this experience. This experience must be gained under the supervision of a licensed counselor.

What Can I Do with a Degree in Addiction Counseling?


In order to become an addiction counselor, you will need to have a bachelor's degree in addiction counseling. This degree will give you the skills and knowledge you need to help people struggling with addiction. You will learn about the different types of addiction, as well as how to provide counseling and support to those who are trying to overcome their addiction.

Depending on your area of study, you can eventually pursue a PhD or PsyD in addiction counseling. A bachelor's degree in this field includes both general education and core courses specific to the field. You will learn about ethics in substance abuse treatment and how family dynamics can either help or hinder the treatment process. Further, you'll gain a better understanding of the human condition.

Potential Careers for Counseling Graduates


  • Adult and Geriatric Counselor:

    An adult and geriatric counselor provide counseling and psychotherapy services to adults and geriatric patients to help them deal with issues affecting them as they age, whether this is a lack of mobility or motivation after retirement or a loss of their cohort members.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Master’s degree in counseling or a related field
    • Licensed as an Adult and Geriatric Counselor
    • Experience working with adults and geriatric patients

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for rehabilitation counselors in the US in 2021 was $38,560
    • The mean annual wage for rehabilitation counselors in New Jersey is $71,570 and counselors (all other) earn $82,020
  • Child Counselor:

    A child counselor will provide counseling and support to children who are experiencing emotional or behavioral difficulties. The counselor will work with the child and their family to develop a treatment plan and help the child cope with their challenges.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Master’s degree in Counseling or a related field
    • Licensed as a counselor in the state of practice
    • Experience working with children who have emotional or behavioral difficulties

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors in the US in 2021 was $60,510. Marriage and family therapists earned $49,880 and child, family, and school social workers earn $49,150
    • The mean annual wage for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors in New Jersey is $76,040. Marriage and family therapists earn $81,330 and child, family, and school social workers earn $75,410
  • Residential Counselor:

    A residential counselor is responsible for providing support and guidance to residents in a group home setting. Responsibilities include developing and implementing individualized service plans, leading group activities, and promoting positive social interactions. They must be able to maintain a calm and professional demeanor in challenging situations and have a genuine commitment to helping others.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • A bachelor’s degree in social work or a related field is required
    • Previous experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities is preferred

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in the US in 2021 was $48,520 and counselors (all other) earned $45,160
    • The mean annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in New Jersey is $63,430 and counselors (all other) earn $82,020
  • School Counselor:

    A school counselor is responsible for providing guidance and counseling services to students in a school setting. They will work with students to identify and address academic, personal, and social issues. The counselor will also collaborate with teachers, parents, and other school staff to ensure that students are receiving the support they need.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Master’s degree in counseling or a related field
    • Experience working with children and adolescents in a school setting
    • Strong communication and interpersonal skills

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors in the US in 2021 was $60,510
    • The mean annual wage for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors in New Jersey is $76,040
  • Health Psychologists:

    Health psychologists are responsible for helping people manage their physical and mental health. They work with patients to identify and treat psychological factors that may be affecting their health. They also work to promote healthy behavior and prevent illness.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • A bachelor's degree in psychology or a related field
    • A master's degree or PhD in health psychology
    • Clinical experience

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for clinical and counseling psychologists in the US in 2021 was $82,510
    • The mean annual wage for clinical and counseling psychologists in New Jersey is $143,150
  • Group Counselor or Therapist:

    A group counselor or therapist is responsible for facilitating group counseling or therapy sessions. They will create and maintain a safe and supportive environment for clients to explore their thoughts and feelings. These counselors help clients to identify and work through personal issues. They also provide guidance and support to clients as they develop coping and problem-solving skills.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Master’s degree in counseling or a related field
    • Licensure as a counselor or therapist
    • Experience leading group counseling or therapy sessions

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for counselors (all other) in the US in 2021 was $76,780 and clinical and counseling psychologists in earned $82,510
    • The mean annual wage for counselors, all other in New Jersey is $82,020 and clinical and counseling psychologists earn $143,150
  • Clinical Social Worker:

    Clinical social workers provide direct services to individuals, families, and groups. They work with clients to promote social and personal well-being and also work with clients to prevent or resolve problems that may impact their lives.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Master’s degree in social work from an accredited school of social work
    • Licensed by the state in which they practice

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for healthcare social workers in the US in 2021 was $60,840 and child, family, and school social workers earned $49,150
    • The mean annual wage for healthcare social workers in New Jersey is $71,310 and child, family, and school social workers earn $75,410
  • Military Counselor:

    A military counselor provides counseling and support services to members of the military, their families, and veterans. They work to promote the well-being of their clients and help them navigate the challenges of military life.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Master’s degree in counseling or a related field
    • Licensed or certified as a counselor in the state of practice
    • Experience working with the military population is preferred

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for rehabilitation counselors in the US in 2021 was $38,560, protective service members earned an average of $46,590, and counselors (all other) earned $45,160
    • The median annual wage for rehabilitation counselors in New Jersey is $71,570, protective service members earned an average of $63,080, and counselors (all other) earned $82,020
  • Behavioral Therapist:

    A behavioral therapist will provide individual and group therapy to patients with mental health disorders. This therapist will create treatment plans and goals based on the needs of the patient and will work with the patient to help them achieve those goals. They may also provide support to the patient's family and friends.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Master's degree in psychology, social work, or related field
    • Licensed as a behavioral therapist in the state of practice
    • Experience working with patients with mental health disorders

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in the US in 2021 was $48,520
    • The median annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in New Jersey is $63,430
  • Sports Psychologist:

    A sports psychologist is a professional who helps athletes improve their performance and well-being through psychological techniques. As a sports psychologist, you will work with athletes of all levels to help them overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. You will also collaborate with coaches and other members of the athlete's support team to develop optimal training and competition plans.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • A master's or doctoral degree in psychology
    • Certification as a sport psychologist from the Association for Applied Sport Psychology
    • Experience working with athletes of all levels

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for counselors (all other) in the US in 2021 was $45,160
    • The median annual wage for counselors (all other) in New Jersey is $82,020

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