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Chemical Dependency Studies

Employment Opportunities
People with training in addiction studies find employment in many areas including traditional treatment settings (residential and outpatient facilities), schools, probation offices, corrections departments, mental health agencies, prevention programs and other social and human services organizations.

The state of Washington is currently experiencing a workforce shortage of credentialed Chemical Dependency Professionals (CDP). The first step in becoming a CDP is education and the CDS program at WVC meets Washington state requirements.  

Becoming a Credentialed Chemical Dependency Professional
Becoming credentialed in the state of Washington is a three-step process. The education requirements in Washington state are described in WAC 246-811 and include courses in abnormal psychology and human development, as well as a variety of other topics related to addictions counseling such as the effect of addiction on the family and the physiological aspects of addiction.

The second phase of the credentialing process is the internship. The internship consists of a minimum of 2,500 hours of experience for those with an associate’s degree. The hour requirements decrease with more advanced degrees (bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degrees). Internship hours can be accumulated during the education process. To begin obtaining internship hours you must first become a registered counselor by completing the Application for Registered Counselor.

Once the education and the internship hours are completed a certification test must be passed. Once all three of these steps are completed, you are eligible to apply for credentialing from the state of Washington as a Chemical Dependency Professional (CDP). The average annual salary of a CDP in Washington is approximately $30,000.

Education Requirements
The WVC Chemical Dependency Studies (CDS) program prepares students to practice in the field of chemical dependency counseling. Students who complete the chemical dependency studies program will have met the certification requirements for chemical dependency treatment service providers (WAC 246-811). Students are required to have a two-year degree, or its equivalent, from an accredited college or university in addition to an internship (2,500 hours for a two-year degree). Students must also pass a certification test before qualifying as a Chemical Dependency Professional. The CDS program also provides opportunities for professional development studies for practitioners to review and expand their skills.

Chemical Dependency Studies
This program is designed for those already working with alcoholism and drug abuse, those aspiring to become chemical dependency professionals, and those who desire this education to enhance other areas of human services such as educators, social workers, school counselors and mental health workers.

Graduates of the WVC Chemical Dependency Studies program will:

  • Demonstrate effective communication.
  • Successfully complete all academic requirements.
  • Graduates will be employable and meet the needs of the community.

To explore occupations and find related career information go to My Next Move