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Career and Education Opportunities for Substance Abuse Specialists in Round Rock, Texas

There are many career and education opportunities for substance abuse specialists in the Round Rock, Texas area. There are currently 3,010 working substance abuse specialists in Texas; this should grow by 35% to 4,060 working substance abuse specialists in the state 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.

The income of a substance abuse specialist is about $16 hourly or $33,350 per year on average in Texas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 per hour or $37,030 annually on average. Substance abuse specialists earn less than people working in the category of Counseling and Therapy generally in Texas and less than people in the Counseling and Therapy category nationally. People working as substance abuse specialists can fill a number of jobs, such as: certified abuse and drug addiction counselor, addiction therapist, and clinical manager.

The Round Rock area is home to thirty-four schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Round Rock where you can get a degree as a substance abuse specialist. Substance abuse specialists usually hold a Master's degree, so 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 Round Rock 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Substance Abuse Specialist Training

Austin Community College District - Austin, TX

Austin Community College District, 5930 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, TX 78752. Austin Community College District is a large college located in Austin, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 35,798 students. Austin Community College District has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated five and four 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.



Licensing agency: Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Address: 9001 IH 35 North, Suite 105, Austin, TX 78753

Phone: (800) 832-9623
Website: Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse


Round Rock, Texas
Round Rock, Texas photo by Redsully

Round Rock is located in Williamson County, Texas. It has a population of over 104,446, which has grown by 70.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Round Rock, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Round Rock are priced at $145,400 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, three hundred twenty-four new homes were constructed in Round Rock, down from seven hundred ninety-six the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Round Rock are educational services, computer and electronic products, and health care. For men, it is computer and electronic products, construction, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 32.9% of Round Rock residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Round Rock is 6.2%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Round Rock residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Primera Iglesia Bautista of Round Rock Church, Round Rock Chapel Church and Round Rock Church of Christ are all churches located in Round Rock. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Round Rock is home to the Inn at Brushy Creek and the Captain Nelson Merrell House as well as Roundrock West Park and Mesa Village Park. Visitors to Round Rock can choose from Best Western Executive Inn and Austin Marriott North for temporary stays in the area.