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If you want to help people overcome addictions and put their lives back on track, a career as a chemical dependency professional could be for you.
In this program, you’ll study substance abuse, social services, counseling and other related topics that will give you the skills and knowledge to help people who have drug problems or other addictions. Your training will include practical experiences in the field, where you will apply your learning in a work setting.
Whether you want to work in a mental health facility, treatment center, hospital or criminal justice agency, an addiction studies degree will help you meet the growing demand for professionals in the field.
SFCC offers two ways of obtaining the educational courses Washington State requires to become a Chemical Dependency Professional. If you do not have an existing degree or at least 45 credits, you would enroll into our AAS program. If you already are a provider such as a licensed mental health counselor or other healthcare providers, see the Certificate – Alternative Training for CDP for additional information. Certification requires up to 2,500 hours of field experience and the NAADAC certification exam. If a candidate has more schooling, the field experience hour requirement is reduced. Students will be required to have a grade of 2.0 or better in each required course in order to graduate from the program.
Salaries vary by region, but generally a counselor with two years of education (associate’s degree) will begin work at $14.71 per hour and with experience may earn $26.51 an hour or $30,596 - $55,140 a year (The Career Information System, 2017). A bachelor's degree holder can expect to earn more; a holder of a master's degree will usually have wage parity with social workers and mental health counselors in similar positions. Advanced professionals with the Chemical Dependency Professional (CDP) certification will increase their earning potential. Jobs are in demand in the Spokane area and nationwide.