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Career and Education Opportunities for Substance Abuse Specialists in Washington

Washington has a population of 6,664,195, which has grown by 13.07% in the last 10 years. Nicknamed the "Evergreen State," its capital is Olympia, though its biggest city is Seattle.

There are currently 2,260 working substance abuse specialists in Washington; this should grow by 25% to about 2,820 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%. Substance abuse specialists generally counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders.

Substance abuse specialists earn approximately $16 per hour or $34,050 per year on average in Washington. Nationally they average about $17 per hour or $37,030 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy, people working as substance abuse specialists in Washington earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy nationally. People working as substance abuse specialists can fill a number of jobs, such as: substance abuse counselor , direct care counselor, and clinician.

In 2008, there were a total of 4,012,270 jobs in Washington. The average annual income was $42,747 in 2008, up from $41,919 the preceding year. The unemployment rate in Washington was 8.9% in 2009, which has grown by 3.5% since the previous year. Approximately 27.7% of Washington residents have college degrees, which is higher than the national average.

The top industries in Washington include software publishers, offices of dentists, and overhead traveling crane, hoist, and monorail system manufacturing. Notable tourist attractions include the History House, the Birthplace of Seattle Log House Museum, and the Art Museum Charles & Emma Frye.

CITIES WITH Substance Abuse Specialist OPPORTUNITIES IN Washington


JOB 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.

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.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Washington 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.
  • 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Washington

Washington
Washington photo by Kelvin Kay

Washington has a population of 6,664,195, which has grown by 13.07% over the past 10 years. Nicknamed the "Evergreen State," its capital is Olympia, though its largest city is Seattle. In 2008, there were a total of 4,012,270 jobs in Washington. The average annual income was $42,747 in 2008, up from $41,919 in 2007. The unemployment rate in Washington was 8.9% in 2009, which has grown by 3.5% since the previous year. About 27.7% of Washington residents have college degrees, which is higher than the national average.

The top industries in Washington include software publishers, offices of dentists, and overhead traveling crane, hoist, and monorail system manufacturing. Notable tourist destinations include the Birthplace of Seattle Log House Museum, the History House, and the Boeing and Eames IMAX Theatres.