Become a Substance Abuse Counselor in Pennsylvania - PA
Substance abuse counselor certification in Pennsylvania begins with a sound education and hands-on training. Credentialing for this profession is done through the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB), which is a non-profit organization dedicated to implementing testing measures throughout the field of substance abuse and other types of counseling.
Substance abuse counselors in Pennsylvania are recognized, after requirements are met, as Certified Addiction Counselors (CAC). This credential requires:
- At least 2 years of employment (4,000 hours), of which at least 300 must be supervised by a CAC
- A bachelor or master degree in substance abuse psychology
- Passage of the PCB written examination
Prior to being eligible for CAC certification, students in Pennsylvania can be issued an Associate Addiction Counselor Level I or II credential. This credential is designed for students that have not yet met the 4,000-hour employment requirement for CAC certification. The Associate credential effectively allows students to work in a substance abuse environment while they gain the experienced required to be recognized as a CAC.
In Pennsylvania, careers in substance abuse management are growing. Recently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected the potential for a 21% increase in the need for substance abuse counselors in Pennsylvania between 2008 and 2018. In order to become a substance abuse counselor in Pennsylvania and jump into this growing field, you will need to learn the in’s and out’s of certification.