Addiction rehabilitation assistants provide direct support to individuals in addiction recovery programs. They also deliver group education, coaching, mentoring, and advocacy and outreach services. These professionals typically work as part of a team in support of a client’s treatment plan. Launching an addiction rehabilitation assistant career can begin with enrolling in an associate’s degree in applied psychology program.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment within the broader category of substance abuse counselor will increase by 22% between 2014 and 2024. That’s three times faster than the national average of 7% for all occupations during that decade.
Employment will increase as society learns more about addiction and more people seek treatment. Additionally, increasing numbers of drug offenders who are required to attend treatment programs will spur demand.
Candidates with advanced degrees should have stronger employment prospects, according to the BLS.
Addiction Rehabilitation Assistant Job Duties
Addiction rehabilitation assistants support patient recovery efforts by implementing clinical services according to treatment plans developed by substance abuse counselors and other mental health professionals. Typical duties include assisting clients with daily living tasks, as well as financial management. Additional responsibilities may include encouraging participation in social and recreational activities, leading group learning sessions and participating in program meetings.
In addition to monitoring client medical and mental health needs, addiction rehabilitation assistants may conduct orientations and training, prepare reports for state, local and federal agencies, and transport clients. Timely upkeep of client case records and documentation of encounters may also be required.
Addiction rehabilitation assistants typically work in hospitals, residential substance abuse care centers or private rehabilitation facilities. They may be required to travel during the work day.
According to national data from the BLS, the average annual wage for substance abuse counselors nationwide was $44,160 as of May 2016. Salaries for the top 10% of earners exceeded $65,080 a year.
Recent associate’s degree program graduates typically start out at the lower end of the scale and can advance with additional education and experience.
Potential salary ranges, like employment opportunities, are determined by multiple factors, including a candidate’s work history and highest level of educational attainment. Regional market conditions and the type and size of employer also influence earning potential.
Education and Training for Addiction Rehabilitation Assistants
Specific requirements for addiction rehabilitation assistant jobs vary according to employer. Many employers show preference to applicants with an associate’s degree and some also require advanced training and/or certifications.
A career as an addiction rehabilitation assistant can begin with an associate’s degree in applied psychology. Coursework typically includes introduction to psychology, group behavior, human behavior perspective, and lifestyle development and psychology.
Employers should expect graduates of an associate’s degree in applied psychology program to be able to:
- Exhibit the values of ethical behavior
- Value the complexity of socio-cultural diversity
- Recognize the differences among psychological theories of human behavior
- Identify and develop solutions through critical thinking
Some employers offer opportunities for continuing education. Eligible employees may be able to gain a position with an associate’s degree and use a tuition assistance or reimbursement program to pursue a bachelor’s degree while working full time.
Skills Required for an Addiction Rehabilitation Assistant Job
Considering a career as an addiction rehabilitation assistant? You’ll need strong verbal and written communication skills, as well as excellent customer-client relationship skills. A high level of diplomacy and professionalism will serve you well in this occupation, as will excellent organizational and planning skills.