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What Can You Do With a Bachelor’s in Addiction Studies?

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

While you may think you know what you want to study during college, the truth is, According to, about 75% of college students consider or change their major. 

However, a degree in addiction studies might be right for you! Helping people through one of the most challenging times in their lives can be incredibly fulfilling, rewarding, and even help you earn more income. 

But what is an addiction studies degree, and why follow that career path? 

If you’re feeling lost about studying in college, here are some facts about getting a bachelor’s degree in addiction studies.

What Is an Addiction Studies Degree?

According to, nearly 21 million people struggle with addiction, and only a tiny percentage of them seek treatment. This means that there’s still a lot of work to be done to combat the disease of addiction. 

An addiction studies degree is a degree that trains you to help people with addictions. You focus on walking them through their road to recovery using methods and techniques. The job titles may vary, such as substance use disorder counselor or alcohol and drug counselor. 

Why Study Addiction Studies?

Addiction studies is a fascinating field that aims to better the lives of others. But there are several other reasons for studying addiction. Here are five reasons to consider. 

1. Growing Field

The demand for addiction counselors is growing exponentially. According to the BLS, as of March 2021, the job outlook is expected to grow 25% within the next ten years. The field could hold as many as over 300,000 jobs.

These numbers encourage people to help those struggling with addiction because many college graduates have difficulty finding a job in their field.

2. Job Stability

You may not live in a mansion with an addiction studies degree, but you could make a decent living with job stability and opportunities for a certified counselor! According to the BLS, as of March 2021, the salary will vary depending on your location and experience. Your salary will also depend on your particular job and duties and if there’s an opportunity to advance.  Because there is so much growth in the field, good counselors who want to work and are certified can find themselves gainfully employed for years to come.

3. Diverse Work Environments

Another great reason to pursue addiction studies is the diverse work environments available to you, everything from treatment to research. Once you determine your study’s focus, it will help you choose the best option to pursue where you wish to work.

Substance use disorder counselors work in a variety of places and hold various positions. You can work in a hospital treatment unit, outpatient and inpatient rehab centers, government agencies, open your practice, community health centers, hotlines, prisons, and schools.

Also, the type of work you do pertains to the environment you choose to work in. You may work directly with people individually, in a group setting, work with families, or work in prevention, to name a few. 

4. Rewarding Work

One of the perks of being an alcohol and drug counselor is seeing people’s lives change for the better. 

This has a tremendous benefit for you in knowing that the work you’re doing is affecting the outcome of someone’s life. People who find their work meaningful have a positive outlook on life because they recognize they’re working from someone or something other than themselves. 

5. Expand Your Education

If you especially love your job in the drug and alcohol addiction field, you could consider continuing your education and pursuing higher learning. 

Many counselors who enjoy their work pursue a master’s degree in a related field such as social work. They have more job opportunities and can work with clients on a different level. Additional opportunities open up for candidates with further education.

How to Get a Degree in Addiction Studies

Getting a degree in addiction studies starts with graduating high school or completing your GED. Then, you need to research and apply to the best schools that offer this particular degree. You’ll also need to make sure that you meet the educational requirements for entry and study.

While you might think you need a four-year degree to pursue this career, you can get a certificate or an associate’s degree in addiction studies.  Research schools that are approved for state certification.  For example, in California, research schools approved by CCAPP or CAADE to ensure the completion of your coursework will permit you to obtain certification once you complete your required hours in the field, if applicable. 

If you’re a busy adult – working, family life, career change, and so on – trade schools are perfect because they’re flexible, and you can take many of your classes online, tailoring it to your timeline. They know how busy adults can be and are flexible and accommodating. 

What Skills Are Needed?

Getting a degree is just the first part of your journey, but you’ll need more than that!

People who wish to become counselors in the field of addiction need soft skills, which are character traits or interpersonal skills. While hard skills are teachable, soft skills come naturally.  

For example, people with compassion, good listening skills, empathy, and a strong desire to see a person’s well-being mended make exceptional counselors in substance use disorders. These skills can rarely be taught, so if you believe you’re a person with these character traits, you may make excellent alcohol and drug counselor.

Are You Ready to Learn About Addiction Studies Today? 

According to, addiction studies is a growing field with a rewarding career. With all the reasons to pursue addiction studies, such as growth potential, length of time in school, and unique job opportunities, it’s a career that could benefit everyone involved. 

Do you want to learn more about addiction studies from a trade school? We’ve got you covered! Contact us today for more information so you can be on your way to a career you won’t regret. 

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