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

If you want to be a substance abuse specialist, the Palmdale, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 9,600 people work as substance abuse specialists in California. This is expected to grow 35% to 13,000 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for substance abuse specialists are expected to grow by about 21.0%. Substance abuse specialists generally counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders.

Income for substance abuse specialists is about $15 per hour or $32,660 per year on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $17 hourly or $37,030 per year. 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. People working as substance abuse specialists can fill a number of jobs, such as: student assistance counselor, addiction counselor, and certified alcohol and drug counselor.

There are fourteen schools within twenty-five miles of Palmdale where you can study to be a substance abuse specialist, among 210 schools of higher education total in the Palmdale area. Given that the most common education level for substance abuse specialists is a Master's degree, it will take about six years to learn to be a substance abuse specialist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have 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 Palmdale include:

  • Career Advisor. Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.
  • Child and Family Services Worker. Provide social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families and to maximize the family well-being and the academic functioning of children. May assist single parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, they address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. May also advise teachers on how to deal with problem children.
  • Health Education Specialist. Promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health by assisting individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors. Collect and analyze data to identify community needs prior to planning, implementing, and evaluating programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies and environments. May also serve as a resource to assist individuals, other professionals, or the community, and may administer fiscal resources for health education programs.
  • 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.
  • Rehabilitation Counselor. Counsel individuals to maximize the independence and employability of persons coping with personal, social, and vocational difficulties that result from birth defects, illness, or the stress of daily life. Coordinate activities for residents of care and treatment facilities. Assess client needs and design and implement rehabilitation programs that may include personal and vocational counseling, training, and job placement.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Substance Abuse Specialist Training

East Los Angeles College - Monterey Park, CA

East Los Angeles College, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, CA 91754-6099. East Los Angeles College is a large college located in Monterey Park, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,475 students. East Los Angeles College has a one to two year program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated one student in 2008.

Los Angeles City College - Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles City College, 855 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029. Los Angeles City College is a large college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,310 students. Los Angeles City College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated fifteen and five students respectively in 2008.

Los Angeles Pierce College - Woodland Hills, CA

Los Angeles Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Ave, Woodland Hills, CA 91371-0002. Los Angeles Pierce College is a large college located in Woodland Hills, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,832 students. Los Angeles Pierce College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated seven and six students respectively in 2008.

Intercoast Colleges - Carson, CA

Intercoast Colleges, One Civic Plaza-Ste 110, Carson, CA 90745. Intercoast Colleges is a small college located in Carson, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 143 students. Intercoast Colleges has a one to two year program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated fifty-four students in 2008.

Long Beach City College - Long Beach, CA

Long Beach City College, 4901 E. Carson St., Long Beach, CA 90808-1706. Long Beach City College is a large college located in Long Beach, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,097 students. Long Beach City College has less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated twenty-three, twenty-eight, two, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Los Angeles Southwest College - Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Southwest College, 1600 W Imperial Hwy., Los Angeles, CA 90047-4899. Los Angeles Southwest College is a medium sized college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,411 students. Los Angeles Southwest College has a one to two year program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated six students in 2008.

Mt San Antonio College - Walnut, CA

Mt San Antonio College, 1100 N Grand Ave, Walnut, CA 91789-1399. Mt San Antonio College is a large college located in Walnut, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 30,439 students. Mt San Antonio College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated seventeen, nine, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Intercoast Colleges - West Covina, CA

Intercoast Colleges, 1400 W. West Covina Pkwy-2nd Floor, West Covina, CA 91790. Intercoast Colleges is a small college located in West Covina, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 74 students. Intercoast Colleges has a one to two year program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated sixty-two students in 2008.

Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science - Los Angeles, CA

Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, 1731 E 120th St, Los Angeles, CA 90059. Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science is a small university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 249 students. Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated one and one students respectively in 2008.

Rio Hondo College - Whittier, CA

Rio Hondo College, 3600 Workman Mill Rd, Whittier, CA 90601-1616. Rio Hondo College is a large college located in Whittier, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,505 students. Rio Hondo College has less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated nine, nine, four, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Glendale Community College - Glendale, CA

Glendale Community College, 1500 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208-2894. Glendale Community College is a large college located in Glendale, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,993 students. Glendale Community College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated fifteen, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Intercoast Colleges - Burbank, CA

Intercoast Colleges, 175 East Olive Avenue, 3rd Floor, Burbank, CA 91502. Intercoast Colleges is a small college located in Burbank, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 68 students. Intercoast Colleges has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated five and thirty-nine students respectively in 2008.

ICDC College - Los Angeles, CA

ICDC College, 5422 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027. ICDC College is a small college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,750 students. ICDC College has a less than one year program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated eighty-two students in 2008.

West Los Angeles College - Culver City, CA

West Los Angeles College, 9000 Overland Avenue, Culver City, CA 90230-3519. West Los Angeles College is a large college located in Culver City, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,612 students. West Los Angeles College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated two and one students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Palmdale, California

Palmdale, California
Palmdale, California photo by Jamesb01

Palmdale is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 143,197, which has grown by 22.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Palmdale, 132, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Palmdale are priced at $218,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred seventy-four new homes were built in Palmdale, down from eight hundred thirty-nine the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Palmdale are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 43 minutes. More than 13.3% of Palmdale residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Palmdale is 15.6%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Palmdale residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Palmdale is home to the Ritter Ranch and the Palmdale City Library as well as McAdam Park and Tejon Park.