Occupation Summary

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

O*NET 21-1011.00


Counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, drug, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. May counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.

Annual Wages:
Employment Rate:
Employment is expected to increase by %.
Education Level:
Master's Degree. According to O*Net, the majority of people employed in this occupation have this level of education.

  1. Counsel clients or patients, individually or in group sessions, to assist in overcoming dependencies, adjusting to life, or making changes.
  2. Complete and maintain accurate records or reports regarding the patients' histories and progress, services provided, or other required information.
  3. Develop client treatment plans based on research, clinical experience, and client histories.
  4. Review and evaluate clients' progress in relation to measurable goals described in treatment and care plans.
  5. Interview clients, review records, and confer with other professionals to evaluate individuals' mental and physical condition and to determine their suitability for participation in a specific program.
  6. Intervene as an advocate for clients or patients to resolve emergency problems in crisis situations.
  7. Provide clients or family members with information about addiction issues and about available services or programs, making appropriate referrals when necessary.
  8. Modify treatment plans to comply with changes in client status.
  9. Coordinate counseling efforts with mental health professionals or other health professionals, such as doctors, nurses, or social workers.
  10. Attend training sessions to increase knowledge and skills.
  11. Plan or implement follow-up or aftercare programs for clients to be discharged from treatment programs.
  12. Conduct chemical dependency program orientation sessions.
  13. Counsel family members to assist them in understanding, dealing with, and supporting clients or patients.
  14. Participate in case conferences or staff meetings.
  15. Act as liaisons between clients and medical staff.
  16. Coordinate activities with courts, probation officers, community services, or other post-treatment agencies.
  17. Confer with family members or others close to clients to keep them informed of treatment planning and progress.
  18. Instruct others in program methods, procedures, or functions.
  19. Follow progress of discharged patients to determine effectiveness of treatments.
  20. Develop, implement, or evaluate public education, prevention, or health promotion programs, working in collaboration with organizations, institutions, or communities.
  21. Supervise or direct other workers providing services to clients or patients.
  22. Assess individuals' degree of drug dependency by collecting and analyzing urine samples.
  23. Train or supervise student interns or new staff members.

No Industry Employment Patterns found.

Labor Market Information

Region Employment Projected Employment 2030 Projected
Annual Openings 2030
Growth Rate
Average Income
Texas (all regions) Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable
* Due to confidentiality rules, not all regions may have the data displayed. The sum of all the regions may not be equal to the state total.

Top 10 Relevant Knowledge Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
English Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Sociology and Anthropology
Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures, and their history and origins.
Philosophy and Theology
Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Top 10 Relevant Skill Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Top 10 Relevant Abilities Relevant Importance Levels
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • Getting Information
    -- Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
    -- Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Processing Information
    -- Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
    -- Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Working with Computers
    -- Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Other Activities

  • Achievement
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Relationships
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.


Alcohol analyzers: Breathalyzers;

Desktop computers: Desktop computers;

Notebook computers: Notebook computers;

Personal computers: Personal computers;

Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers: Personal digital assistants PDA;


Analytical or scientific software: Statistical software;

Calendar and scheduling software: Scheduling software;

Data base user interface and query software: Database software; Economic Analysis Group EAG CaseTrack; Online informational database software;

Electronic mail software: Microsoft Outlook; Email software; IBM Lotus Notes;

Internet browser software: Web browser software;

Medical software: Varian Medical Systems; STI Computer Services ChartMaker; danic Technology; IMA Technologies CaseTrakker; Libera System7; ACMS Casewatch Millenium; Addison Health Systems WritePad EHR; Allscripts Canopy; Anasazi Software Assessment and Treatment Plan Systems; Athena Software Penelope Case Management; Cadence Solutions extendedReach; Case management software; CaseManagement.com E-Reports; Client System;

Office suite software: Microsoft Office;

Presentation software: Presentation software; Microsoft PowerPoint;

Project management software: Practice Technology Prevail;

Spreadsheet software: Microsoft Excel; Spreadsheet software;

Word processing software: Word processing software; Microsoft Word;

Related O*NET occupational titles for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors include:
  • 29-1141.02 Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses
  • 21-1021.00 Child, Family, and School Social Workers
  • 19-3033.00 Clinical and Counseling Psychologists
  • 21-1022.00 Healthcare Social Workers
  • 21-1013.00 Marriage and Family Therapists
  • 21-1023.00 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
  • 21-1014.00 Mental Health Counselors
  • 29-1223.00 Psychiatrists
  • 29-1125.00 Recreational Therapists
  • 21-1015.00 Rehabilitation Counselors

No sources of additional information found.

Contact Texas Workforce Commission
Labor Market and Career Information  |  101 E. 15th Street, Annex Room 0252  |  Austin, Texas 78778
Official Website  |  1-800-822-PLAN (7526)  |  512.936.3200

** The information in this report may be derived from many sources like O*NET, BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), OOH (Occupational Outlook Handbook), and Career One Stop.