Most Affordable Online Master’s in Addiction Counseling Degrees

Master’s in addiction counseling programs prepare graduates to provide direct therapeutic services to clients with substance use and behavior issues.

January 5, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Most Affordable Online Master’s in Addiction Counseling Degrees

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to find your fit?

Master's in addiction counseling programs prepare graduates to provide direct therapeutic services to clients with substance use and behavior issues. Addiction counseling emphasizes compassion, understanding, acceptance, and accountability. Counselors often provide referrals and collaborate with medical professionals and social workers in designing treatment plans.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors earn a median annual salary of $46,240. The BLS projects jobs for these professionals to grow 25% between 2019-2029. Graduates with a master's in addiction counseling degree can also pursue roles like social worker and social and community service manager.

This guide ranks the most affordable online master's in addiction counseling degrees. It also covers other important information for prospective students, such as common courses and scholarship opportunities for addiction counseling students.

View Our Rankings List Here

FAQ's Surrounding Master's in Addiction Counseling

true Q. What can I do with a master's in addiction counseling?

Graduates with a master's degree in addiction counseling can pursue careers in areas like mental health, behavioral health, human services, and counseling psychology.

true Q. How much does a substance abuse counselor make with a master's degree?

According to PayScale data from February 2021, addiction counselors make an average of $39,900 annually, while MS in addiction counseling graduates earn an average of $44,574 annually.

true Q. What degree do you need for addiction counseling?

According to the BLS, substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors typically need at least a bachelor's degree to practice.

true Q. How long does it take to get a degree in addiction counseling?

Master's programs typically take about two years of full-time study to complete. However, some programs offer accelerated timelines.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Accredited Online College Programs

Explore our featured online programs and find the right match for you today.

Why Get a Degree in Addiction Counseling?

A master's in addiction counseling offers many professional and personal benefits, including new skills, job satisfaction, and career advancement.

Addiction counseling master's students typically acquire advanced listening, communication, and research skills. Addiction counseling professionals help people overcome difficult challenges, making it a rewarding and satisfying career. A master's degree in addiction counseling can help graduates qualify for leadership roles in the field. Master's in addiction counseling students often benefit from professional networking opportunities with classmates, professors, and professionals. Graduates with a master's in addiction counseling can work in diverse settings, including community health centers, treatment facilities, hospitals, and juvenile detention centers.

Courses in Addiction Counseling

Master's in addiction counseling programs cover topics like ethics, clinical skills, pharmacology, and addiction theory. Learners also take courses on assessment and case management. Many master's programs require a thesis or capstone project that cultivates advanced research, analysis, and writing skills.

Some master's programs offer specializations in areas such as adolescent addiction, mental health/dual diagnosis, and clinical addiction counseling. Courses vary by program, but the following list outlines several courses commonly found in master's in addiction counseling programs.

Certifications and Licensure for Addiction Counseling

Addiction counselors often need certification or licensure to practice. Common counseling credentials include licensed professional counselor (LPC) and national certified counselor (NCC). Addiction-specific certifications include national certified addictions counselor (NCAC), national certified adolescent addictions counselor (NCAAC), and master addictions counselor (MAC).

LPC licensure requirements vary by state. Aspiring counselors should look up their state's licensure board for details. Master's degrees in addiction counseling typically meet the education requirements for licensure. Candidates may also need to meet professional experience requirements and pass the National Counselor Examination. The National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors certifies NCACs at two levels. Master's in addiction counseling graduates with five years of related professional experience usually qualify for level two certification. Eligible applicants must also pass the Certified Addiction Counselor Examination. NCACs often work as substance abuse counselors, mental health counselors, and social service managers. This NAADAC certification can qualify professionals for counseling jobs in schools, juvenile detention centers, and various community youth agencies. NCAAC candidates need a bachelor's degree, 270 addiction-related education and training contact hours, five years of relevant professional experience, and passing scores on the certification examination.

Scholarships for Addiction Counseling Students

Master's in addiction counseling students can take advantage of scholarships to help offset the cost of a degree. Unlike loans, scholarships do not require repayment, making them ideal forms of financial aid. The following list outlines several scholarship opportunities for master's in addiction counseling students.

Scholarships for Addiction Counseling Students
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

Franklin D. Boyce Health Scholarship

$2,500 This scholarship serves students pursuing health-related degrees. Eligible candidates must demonstrate financial need and a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also submit recommendation letters, essays, extracurricular-activity records, and official transcripts.

Stephanie Nicole Ross Graduate Scholarship

$1,500 This scholarship supports graduate students enrolled in psychology-related programs at accredited Florida schools. Applicants submit short-answer essays and a resume.

Nancy Howell Award

Varies Master's in addiction counseling students can apply for this annual scholarship. Applicants must submit professional references and a description of their involvement in professional advocacy.

Most Affordable Online Master's in Addiction Counseling Programs 2021

Keep up with the latest

Never miss a detail on the news, trends, and policies that could directly impact your educational path.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Do this for you

Explore your possibilities- find schools with programs you’re interested in and clear a path for your future.