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Career and Education Opportunities for Substance Abuse Specialists in Oxnard, California

If you want to be a substance abuse specialist, the Oxnard, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 9,600 jobs for substance abuse specialists in California and this is projected to grow 35% to about 13,000 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for substance abuse specialists, which sees this job pool growing by about 21.0% over the next eight years. Substance abuse specialists generally counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders.

The income of a substance abuse specialist is about $15 hourly or $32,660 per year on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 hourly or $37,030 annually on average. Incomes for substance abuse specialists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy in California, and not quite as good as the overall Counseling and Therapy category nationally. Substance abuse specialists work in a variety of jobs, including: alcoholic counselor, case manager, and addiction counselor.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Oxnard where you can study to be a substance abuse specialist, among sixteen schools of higher education total in the Oxnard area. Given that the most common education level for substance abuse specialists is a Master's degree, you can expect to spend about six years studying to be a substance abuse specialist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Substance Abuse Specialist

Substance Abuse Specialist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, substance abuse specialists counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. They also may counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.

Substance abuse specialists attend training sessions to increase knowledge and skills. They also participate in case conferences and staff meetings. Equally important, substance abuse specialists have to furnish clients or family members with data related to addiction issues and about available services and programs, making appropriate referrals when needed. They are often called upon to counsel clients and patients, individually and in group sessions, to help in overcoming dependencies, adjusting to life, and making changes. They are expected to intervene as an advocate for clients or patients to deal with emergency problems in crisis situations. Finally, substance abuse specialists direct efforts with courts, probation officers, community services and other post-treatment agencies.

Every day, substance abuse specialists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for substance abuse specialists to act as liaisons between clients and medical staff. They are often called upon to conduct chemical dependency program orientation sessions. They also formulate and implement follow-up and aftercare programs for clients to be discharged from treatment programs. They are sometimes expected to instruct others in program methods and functions. Somewhat less frequently, substance abuse specialists are also expected to participate in case conferences and staff meetings.

and complete and maintain accurate records and reports regarding the patients' histories and progress and other required data. And finally, they sometimes have to direct efforts with courts, probation officers, community services and other post-treatment agencies.

Like many other jobs, substance abuse specialists must have exceptional integrity and have a strong concern for others.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Oxnard include:

  • Career Advisor. Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.
  • Marriage and Family Therapist. Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. Apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of professional services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.
  • Mental Health Counselor. Counsel with emphasis on prevention. Work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental health. May help individuals deal with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; suicide; stress management; problems with self-esteem; and issues associated with aging and mental and emotional health.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Substance Abuse Specialist Training

Oxnard College - Oxnard, CA

Oxnard College, 4000 S Rose Ave, Oxnard, CA 93033-6699. Oxnard College is a medium sized college located in Oxnard, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,639 students. Oxnard College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated twenty-three, eleven, and zero students respectively in 2008.


Distance Credentialed counselor: A Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) will be nationally recognized as a professional with training in best practices in Distance Counseling.

For more information, see the Center for Credentialing & Education, Inc. website.

Certified AODA Counselor: Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse Counselor is one of the five reciprocal certifications offered through IC&RC.

For more information, see the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse, Inc. website.

ServSafe Alcohol: The ServSafe Alcohol program outlines effective responsible alcohol service practices for all front-of-the-house staff, including bartenders, waiters, hosts, busers, security and valets.

For more information, see the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation website.


Oxnard, California
Oxnard, California photo by Lan56

Oxnard is situated in Ventura County, California. It has a population of over 185,717, which has grown by 9.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Oxnard, 132, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Oxnard are valued at $247,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, seventy-four new homes were built in Oxnard, down from two hundred five the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Oxnard are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, construction, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 13.7% of Oxnard residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Oxnard is 15.0%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Oxnard residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.6%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. All Saints Episcopal Church, Park Avenue Church of Christ and Good Shepherd Baptist Church are all churches located in Oxnard. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Oxnard is home to the Silver K Golf Course and the Saint Johns Regional Medical Center Health Sciences Library as well as Plaza Park and Mandalay County Park. Shopping malls in the area include Esplanade Mall Shopping Center, Rose Shopping Center and Fremont Square Shopping Center. Visitors to Oxnard can choose from Best Western Oxnard Inn and Ambassador Motel for temporary stays in the area.