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Career and Education Opportunities for Substance Abuse Specialists in St. Paul, Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for substance abuse specialists. There are currently 2,310 jobs for substance abuse specialists in Minnesota and this is projected to grow 33% to about 3,070 jobs 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%. In general, substance abuse specialists counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders.

Substance abuse specialists earn about $20 per hour or $43,300 per year on average in Minnesota and about $17 hourly or $37,030 per year on average nationally. Incomes for substance abuse specialists are better than in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy in Minnesota, and not quite as good as the overall Counseling and Therapy category nationally. Jobs in this field include: outreach worker, group home counselor, and assessment specialist.

There are seven schools within twenty-five miles of St. Paul where you can study to be a substance abuse specialist, among seventy-seven schools of higher education total in the St. Paul area. The most common level of education 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 St. Paul 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.
  • Social Services Assistant. Assist professionals from a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, to provide client services, as well as support for families. May assist clients in identifying available benefits and social and community services and help clients obtain them. May assist social workers with developing, organizing, and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, or adult daycare.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Substance Abuse Specialist Training

University of St Thomas - Saint Paul, MN

University of St Thomas, 2115 Summit Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105-1078. University of St Thomas is a large university located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,960 students and an admission rate of 81%. University of St Thomas has a bachelor's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated two students in 2008.

Metropolitan State University - Saint Paul, MN

Metropolitan State University, 700 E Seventh St, Saint Paul, MN 55106-5000. Metropolitan State University is a medium sized university located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,909 students and an admission rate of 53%. Metropolitan State University has a bachelor's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated ten students in 2008.

North Central University - Minneapolis, MN

North Central University, 910 Elliot Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404-1391. North Central University is a small university located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,136 students and an admission rate of 29%. North Central University has a bachelor's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities - Minneapolis, MN

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 100 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0213. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is a large university located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 51,140 students and an admission rate of 53%. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has 2 areas of study related to Substance Abuse Specialist. They are:

  • Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling, less than one year and postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated twelve and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties, postbaccalaureate certificate.

Century Community and Technical College - White Bear Lake, MN

Century Community and Technical College, 3300 Century Ave N, White Bear Lake, MN 55110. Century Community and Technical College is a medium sized college located in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,384 students. Century Community and Technical College has an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College - Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis Community and Technical College, 1501 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403-1779. Minneapolis Community and Technical College is a medium sized college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,539 students. Minneapolis Community and Technical College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated one, four, and forty-two students respectively in 2008.

Capella University - Minneapolis, MN

Capella University, 225 South 6th Street, 9th Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402-3389. Capella University is a large university located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 23,733 students and an admission rate of 100%. Capella University has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated twenty-three students 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.

LICENSES

Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC)

Licensing agency: Behavioral Health and Therapy (BBHT), Minnesota Board of
Address: 2829 University Ave SE, Suite 210, Minneapolis, MN 55414

Phone: (651) 201-2758
Website: Behavioral Health and Therapy (BBHT), Minnesota Board of

Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

Licensing agency: Behavioral Health and Therapy (BBHT), Minnesota Board of
Address: 2829 University Ave SE, Suite 210, Minneapolis, MN 55414

Phone: (651) 201-2758
Website: Behavioral Health and Therapy (BBHT), Minnesota Board of

LOCATION INFORMATION: St. Paul, Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota photo by Gridge

St. Paul is located in Ramsey County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 279,590, which has shrunk by 2.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in St. Paul, 99, is near the national average. New single-family homes in St. Paul are valued at $213,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, thirty new homes were built in St. Paul, down from seventy-four the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in St. Paul are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 32.0% of St. Paul residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Paul is 7.4%, which is greater than Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of St. Paul residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 61.3%, is more than both the national and state average. Zion Church, Convent of the Visitation and Saint Paul Cathedral are some of the churches located in St. Paul. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Baptist General Conference.

St. Paul is home to the Saint Paul Orphange and the Wilder Center as well as Terrace Park and East View Playground.