Online Addiction Counseling Certification Programs

Read about online addiction counseling certificate programs, which can help prepare you to become certified in the field. Get detailed info on addiction counselor certification, including the eligibility requirements and credential levels offered. Find out what you'd study in an online program and how these programs work. Schools offering Addiction Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Will An Online Addiction Counseling Certification Program Help Me?

Addiction counseling certificate programs provide you with the training needed to gain state or national certification in the addiction counseling field. Online addiction counseling certificate programs are offered at many schools as part of their distance learning program. Although most schools offer courses that meet the requirements for their particular state, the courses may also be applicable in other states as well. Some of the programs will also qualify you to take the exam for national certification.

Each credit hour you complete in the program is typically equivalent to a designated number of coursework or training hours. The programs are designed to meet your needs, regardless of your level of study. You may be able to complete the program in less than two years. If you hold a bachelor's degree, you can plan to take longer to complete the program than if you hold a master's degree.

Program DurationDepending on the degree you already have, the program can be completed in less than two years online
Types of CertificationNational Certified Addiction Counselor Level I (NCAC I), National Certified Addiction Counselor Level II (NCAC II), Master Addiction Counselor (MAC)
Certification RequirementsEach level of certification has its own requirements regarding work experience, education, and specific topic trainings
Technology RequirementsComputer, Internet access, email address

What Kind of a Degree or Training Do I Need for Earning Certification?

Addiction counselors help patients deal with addictions, such as drugs, alcohol, gambling and eating disorders. To become an addiction counselor, you must meet certain requirements for state and national certification. You must be licensed or certified to legally work as an addiction counselor, but the requirements vary by state. To earn national certification, you must meet requirements set by the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC).

The NAADAC offers three levels of certification for addiction counseling. The National Certified Addiction Counselor Level I (NCAC I) - the basic level - is for individuals that have put in years of experience working in the profession.

The National Certified Addiction Counselor Level II (NCAC II) is also for individuals that have years of work experience in addiction counseling but also have completed related undergraduate studies.

The Master Addiction Counselor (MAC) is aimed at individuals with years of addiction counseling work experience, as well as haivng completed related graduate studies.

What Are The Other Requirements for Certification?

You will need to meet other requirements, other than a degree and work experience, to be eligible for national certification. Level I and Level II both require you to be a state-licensed or certified substance abuse counselor from an accredited education institution, while MAC requires you to be state-licensed or certified as a counselor, social worker or a related profession.

Level I requires you have 6,000 hours or three years of supervised work experience (full time) as a substance abuse counselor, six hours each of HIV/AIDS and ethics training and 270 hours of coursework and training in substance abuse counseling.

Level II requires you have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, 10,000 hours or five years supervised work experience as a substance abuse counselor, six hours each of HIV/AIDS and ethics training and 450 hours of coursework and training in substance abuse.

MAC requires you have a master's degree from an accredited institution, 500 hours of coursework and training, proof of HIV/AIDs and ethics training within previous five years and three years supervised work experience. Two out of the three years must take place after earning the master's degree.

How Do Online Programs Work?

As an online student, you need a computer with Internet access, an e-mail address and self-discipline. Your coursework is delivered through the program website, e-mail and an Internet-based course delivery system such as Blackboard. Although it's an online program, many of the same admission requirements you'd have as an on-campus student may still need to be met. Although online programs allow you to work at your own pace, you'll still need to log into the site regularly to turn in assignments, take tests or communicate with instructors.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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