There are currently an estimated 102,400 drug & alcohol counselors in the United States. The drug & alcohol counselor job market is expected to grow by 23.2% between 2016 and 2026.
How employable are drug & alcohol counselors?
CareerExplorer rates drug & alcohol counselors with a B employability rating, meaning this career should provide good employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 30,300 drug & alcohol counselors. That number is based on 23,800 additional drug & alcohol counselors, and the retirement of 6,500 existing drug & alcohol counselors.
Are drug & alcohol counselors in demand?
Job opportunities for drug and alcohol counselors are predicted to be favourable for the foreseeable future because job openings are expected to exceed the number of students graduating from counseling programs. Some of the growth in job availability may be attributed to the long hours demanded by this occupation, resulting in some counselors transitioning to different careers or retiring. Statistics suggest that rural areas will offer more opportunities. Changes in health insurance policies, allowing for coverage of counseling services, will also drive growth in the field, especially as a less costly alternative to psychiatrists and psychologists. Mental health centres and methadone clinics will require more counselors, and treatment programs will expand as drug offenders seek counseling in greater numbers than in the past. In addition, as prisons continue to face overcrowding, judges are ordering drug offenders to complete rehabilitation programs as alternatives to incarceration; these decisions are naturally heightening the demand for substance abuse counselors. Despite ongoing budget constraints, some school districts are beginning to hire substance abuse professionals for high-risk student populations and as a preventative measure to protect their communities at large. Society as a whole is becoming more aware and knowledgeable about addiction, causing more people to seek help and treatment from counselors.