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What Is an Intervention Specialist?

If you have a caring nature, a willingness to solve problems, and the ability to listen to people's needs, a job as an intervention specialist might be for you. In this role, you help people confront and overcome various addictions, including drugs, alcohol, and food. Read on to find out more about what's involved in this career.

Career Overview

An intervention specialist, also known as an interventionist, is a type of social worker who helps addicts find treatment. Your job is to work with individuals to assess and treat addictions to a variety of things, including alcohol, drugs, food, sex, and gambling. You will work with addicts one-on-one or in groups to provide counseling, guidance, and education. You may work with friends and family of an addict to convince him or her to seek treatment. Your job may take place in a private clinic, hospital, or treatment facility.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Similar Occupations Rehabilitation counselor, social and human service assistant, psychologist, mental health counselor
Key Skills Compassion, patience, listening and speaking skills
Work Environment Typically full-time in stressful, tense situations
Licensure Required usually for private practice

Education and Licensure Requirements

Obtaining a bachelor's degree in social work, psychology, or another related field is generally a requirement for working in this career field. Master's degrees are also available and may be required by certain employers. You will also need to meet licensure or registration requirements, which will depend on the state in which you intend to work. Generally, these requirements involve completing a certain number of hours in training and supervised work experience, as well as passing an exam.

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the need for mental health and substance abuse social workers was predicted to increase by 19% between 2016 and 2026. One reason cited for this growth was the increasing number of substance abusers who are being sent to treatment programs in place of or in addition to prison. The BLS indicated that the median annual salary for these substance abuse social workers in May 2018 was $44,480.