Treatment Counselor Salaries on the Rise

Salaries are up among U.S. treatment professionals, according to Counselor Magazine’s recently-released second annual survey of addiction treatment professionals’ careers and salaries.

Over 56 percent of the 112 respondents said their salaries increased during the year; 12 percent even received bonuses. The average salary is approximately $40,000.

However, many do not have health insurance, vacation, or other benefits. Thirty percent are without medical coverage, 40 percent do not have dental coverage, and 55 percent do not receive coverage for substance use or mental health services.

Despite the lack of benefits, over 81 percent said they do not plan to seek a new job in the upcoming year. Over 50 percent report feeling “generally” satisfied with their work, and 37 percent say they are “thoroughly” satisfied.

The survey also provides insights into several industry hot topics. For example, 75 percent of the respondents were over 46 years of age, lending credibility to concerns that younger people are not entering the field.

Additionally, in the survey’s feedback section, respondents wrote in comments on quality of care. One respondent said, “My company is very worried about getting paid and not as much about treatment.” Another said, “Therapy seems to be taking a secondary place to medical management.”

Respondents were residents of the United States and readers of Counselor Magazine. A majority were certified drug/alcohol counselors. Other professions represented include uncertified drug/alcohol counselors, social workers, treatment center administrators, mental health counselors, clinical supervisors; guidance counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists.