Finding the right career can be difficult. Fortunately, the Strong Interest Inventory® is a powerful tool for helping people identify careers that they will enjoy, and which match their personality and professional preferences. This instrument assesses individuals’ personalities and interests from multiple angles, and then refers them to one to three of six different Career Theme Code Categories based on how they respond to the assessment questions. Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors is considered part of the The Strong Interest Inventory® Social Career Theme Code Category because their responsibilities center around communicating and counseling to help others improve their lives.

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, drug, or other problems, such as gambling or eating disorders. They might also provide support to families, friends, or loved ones of individuals coping with these problems. As they do so, they may complete and maintain accurate patient records, provide counseling individually or in groups, and develop client treatment plans based on research, clinical experience, and client histories. They may also need to review and evaluate clients’ progress in relation to other patients as well as measurable goals described in treatment and care plans. If a plan is not effective or is not working quickly enough, the Substance Abuse Counselors may need to modify their treatment plans.

Strong Interest Inventory®

Discover the Strong Interest Inventory® career as a Substance Abuse Counselor. Learn about this career in this data rich write-up including information such as income, daily tasks, required education and more.

Another major responsibility of these Counselors is their own professional development. They often attend additional training or continuing education sessions in order to increase their knowledge or skills, as well as participate in conferences, staff meetings, and other professional development opportunities. In some cases, they may even conduct, present, and publish research, or supervise or direct other workers who are also providing services to their patients or clients. Overall, these Counselor’s lives are highly interactive and social.

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors use a number of different software programs and tools to complete their daily tasks, including analytical or statistical software, scheduling programs, e-mail and communications software, and Microsoft Office Suite. In addition, they may use medical software (e.g., Addison Health Systems WritePad EMR Systems; Athena Software Penelope Case Management; STI Computer Services ChartMaker) and project management software to ensure that they can keep track of patients’ status and progress. However, the specific programs used will vary depending on the service provider.

Many Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselors are highly educated, with 30% holding a Master’s Degree and 16% holding another professional degree. They typically have a broad base of knowledge in psychology, therapy, and personal service, as well as a basic understanding of sociology and anthropology. Furthermore, counselors need to have well-developed active listening and critical thinking skills, as so much of their job is being able to listen and respond to others’ needs and challenges.

The median salary for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors is $46,740 annually. However, in Utah, Wyoming, and North Dakota, average annual salaries are over $55,000. On the other extreme, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia all have annual salaries under $37,000. Counselors are in high demand in California, New York, and Pennsylvania, each of which employs over 9,800 counselors.

Below are some employment trends for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors:

  • Median Salary: $22.47 hourly; $46,740 annually
  • Employment: 102,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026): much faster than average (15% or higher)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026): 14,100
[Information retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2016-2026 employment projections]

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Gain access to your best-fit careers, occupational preferences and interests with these career based Strong Interest Inventory® Assessments:

  • Strong Interest Inventory® Interpretive Report

    Delve deeper into what your interests, hobbies, favorite topics, and locations can mean for your career and personal life with the help of this extensive and personalized Strong profile.

    Your Strong Interest Inventory® Interpretive Report starts with the same foundational information found in the Strong Interest Inventory Profile, but goes even further into analyzing your likes and dislikes by offering you a detailed look at how following your interests and preferences can help you lead a more fulfilling, satisfied life. The report presents you with the closest matched occupations for people with your interests, an in-depth breakdown of certain areas matched to your Strong Interest Inventory test results, and insight into your likes and dislikes.

    Download sample Strong Interest Inventory® Interpretive Report

    Price: $59.95 Buy now
  • Strong Interest Inventory Profile Test & Profile

    Strong Interest Inventory® Profile

    Mold your future success by choosing a career that accurately reflects your interests, preferences,  favorite topics as well as your likes and dislikes with the help of this profile.

    Direct your future based on what you like and enjoy, providing you with a happier, more fulfilling life and career. The Strong Interest Inventory® Profile uses an extensive analysis of your interests and preferences to guide you towards a career that best suits who you are on a personal level. Depending on your likes and dislikes compared to others in specified fields, you may find a fulfilling career previously unthought-of, helping guide you down the road to success and happiness.

    Download sample Strong Interest Inventory® Profile

    Price: $49.95 Buy now
  • iStartStrong™ Report

    Plan your future career based on your interests and preferences, leading you down the path to a successful work and personal life.

    Use your interests, preferences, and favorite subjects and leisure activities to assess which career or career field works best with who you are and what you like. Through the web-interactive and thorough iStartStrong™ report, you’ll get set off on the right foot toward finding a career that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

    Download Sample iStartStrong™ Report

    Price: $39.95 Buy now


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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections