Addiction is the only fatal condition that is 100 percent treatable, according to Family First Intervention, an Illinois intervention-services company. When a person's life is on a damaging or dangerous path as a result of addiction, family and friends may request that an interventionist step in to help that individual get the treatment they need. Interventionists specialize in substance abuse and behavioral disorders -- they help families understand such conditions and organize proactive family involvement through gatherings called interventions. Although money is not the motivation for many interventionists, they do earn a respectable salary.
Money and Making a Difference
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2012, the average annual salary of an interventionist was $40,920. Interventionists on the higher end of the earnings scale, or 90th percentile, earned $60,000 and those on the lower end of the earnings scale, or 10th percentile, earned $25,140.
Location Makes a Difference
The highest paying states for this occupation are Michigan and Alaska, where 2012 salaries averaged $51,290 and $50,270, respectively, exceeding the national average. Income for this occupation is also higher than average in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Florida and Wisconsin. On the other hand, salaries are lower than average in Rhode Island, South Dakota, Montana and Texas, where they ranged from $33,530 in Rhode Island to $36,850 in Texas, the BLS reports.
Industry Makes a Difference
The most common industries for an interventionist to work in are outpatient care centers, with 2012 salaries averaging 39,240 and residential, inpatient facilities, with salaries averaging $36,580. Many interventionists also work in individual family services, for the local government and for hospitals. A smaller percentage of interventionists work in higher paying roles at colleges, universities ($55,320) and civic/social organizations ($52,800), respectively. However, given that only one out of every 500 interventionists work in each of these less common industries, employment may not be as readily available in these fields, according to BLS data.
You Make a Difference
Another factor that may have a significant impact on your earnings as an interventionist is you -- your success rate and your reputation. If you have a reputation for excellence or a proven record of success, you will likely receive positive word-of-mouth and online reviews. Generally speaking, people will feel more confident that you, with your positive track record, can help their loved one recover and you will more than likely be able to charge more for your services. Your level of experience also has an impact. According to Health Care Salaries, interventions who are just starting out earn $23,489 whereas those with between five and nine years of experience earn $27,011 to $47,121 annually, as of 2013. Government positions also take experience into account. The state of Oklahoma uses experience as one of its measures in determining an interventionist's salary grade.
A Pretty Safe Bet
As of 2010, there were 85,500 substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors employed in the U.S. By 2020, the BLS expects this number to rise by 23,400 to 108,900. This is a 27 percent increase, which is much faster than average when compared to other occupations, the BLS reports.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012 Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
- Family First Intervention: Intervention Statistics
- Oklahoma.gov: Alcohol and Drug Counselor, #X23
- Health Care Salaries: Substance Abuse Counselor
- Paul Sutherland/Digital Vision/Getty Images