Career Paths

Path through the woods in fall

There are many ways to address substance use and addiction.  The careers and positions described on this website vary in:

  • Activities, Skills and Knowledge
  • Educational Requirements and Opportunities
  • Licensure/Certification Requirements
  • Opportunities for Advancement

People follow many career paths, working with different populations, in different settings, progressing in responsibility, competency and compensation. As you make your next career move it’s also important to consider:

State Standards for your profession and the addictions field.

Transferability of coursework: Does the degree you are going for help you fulfill the requirements for licensure?

Reciprocity: Is the education, license or certification you have (or obtain) widely recognized and given reciprocity in other states?

Advancement: What are the professional milestones for your chosen discipline?

Continuing Addictions Training: How will you stay current in your addictions specialty as you move through your career?

Click on the menu choices in this section for more details on individual career paths.

For Example

A counselor may have a degree in social work, psychology, marriage and family therapy or another discipline. Each has its own professional milestones (internship, counselor, supervisor, administrator, program director, CEO).  


An addictions nurse may have a hospital diploma, an Associate’s/BS/MS in Nursing or a PhD or Doctorate of Nursing Practice; may become a Licensed Practical Nurse, a Registered Nurse, a Nurse Practitioner; and can go on to be a manager, CEO, or professor.