What is the Addiction Studies Field?
"Chemical dependency treatment is a rewarding career where knowledgeable and skilled professionals
provide quality care for their patients. Washington State is experiencing a counselor shortage and we want
to encourage people to consider a career as a Chemical Dependency Professional. You will find this to be an
exciting profession where you can truly help people overcome their addiction and put their lives back
together again. It is a challenging and rewarding way to build a career and to contribute to your community."
David Dickinson, Director of the Washington State Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse
SFCC offers two ways of obtaining the educational courses the state requires to become a Chemical Dependency
Professional. If you do not have an existing degree or at least 45 credits, you would enroll into our
A.A.S. Human Services in Addiction Studies degree program. If you do have an existing degree, or 45
college-level credits, you may qualify for the Addiction Studies certificate program. Certification also
requires up to 2,500 hours of field experience, and the NAADAC certification exam. If a candidate has more
schooling, the field experience hour requirement is reduced. Students will be required to have a grade of
2.0 or better in each Addiction Studies (AS) course in order to graduate from the program.
For information about state certification, contact the
Washington State Department of Health.
How much will I earn?
Salaries vary by region, but generally a counselor with two years of education will begin work at $10 to
$15 per hour and with experience may earn $25 an hour or $35,000-$40,000 a year. A bachelor's degree holder
can expect to earn more and a holder of a master's degree will usually have wage parity with the mental
health workers in similar positions.
Jobs are available in the Spokane area and nationwide. With the certification requirement, many counselors
are finding that additional education leads to greater opportunities in Spokane and elsewhere.
Human Services Office: (509) 533-3148
Carla Dvoracek: (509) 533-3626
Kaydee Steele: (509) 533-3620