our everyday life

The Average Salary of a Drug Abuse Interventionist

by Dana Severson, studioD

Drug abuse interventionists are addiction counselors who specialize in non-crisis interventions, where “addicts” are encouraged to seek treatment. They often work with family members, providing information on the nature of addiction and helping them prepare for the conversation that will come. Pay varies by employer and location.


In 2012, addiction counselors earned an average of $40,920 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent of earners made more than $60,000 a year, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $25,140 annually. But Indeed, an online job site, sets the average wage much higher, estimating pay at about $58,000 a year as of 2013.


The largest sector of addiction counselors works at outpatient care centers, where the average salary was $39,340 a year. Those working directly for substance abuse facilities didn’t fare much better, averaging $36,580, while those employed in individual and family services made $39,100 a year. The highest wages paid were at colleges and universities, with an average of $55,320 annually.


As with any job, location affects earnings, and addiction interventionists are ne exception. Among the states, those working in Michigan earned the most in the nation, with an average of $51,290 a year. Those in Alaska were a close second, at an average of $50,270, while those in New Jersey ranked third, earning $49,990. The lowest wages paid were in West Virginia, where the average wage was just $26,550 a year.


The BLS expects employment for substance abuse counselors -- as well as those specializing in behavioral disorders -- to grow by 27 percent through 2020. This is almost twice as fast as the average growth rate for all U.S. occupations, an estimated 14 percent. Being a relatively small field, the 27 percent equates to the creation of 23,400 new jobs. Counselors leaving the occupation should also create additional opportunities for employment.

About the Author

Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Dana Severson has been writing marketing materials for small-to-mid-sized businesses since 2005. Prior to this, Severson worked as a manager of business development for a marketing company, developing targeted marketing campaigns for Big G, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, among others.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images