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What Degree is Required to Become an Addiction Counselor in Alaska?

There are many types of addictions that can harm a person's well being, affect their daily lives and the people they love. From sexual addiction to gambling, many people can't overcome the powerful pull that certain behaviors have over them, which is why the role of the addiction counselor is so vital. As Alaska is the biggest state in the United States, there is a huge need for compassionate and educated licensed addiction counselors who can make a difference by assisting those in need. Do you have what it takes to be an addiction counselor in Alaska? Do you have the right level of education or will you need to go back to school? How do you find the right information that will lead you in the right direction? Is there a way to expedite the license process so you can begin your career as an addiction counselor more quickly? If your goal is to assist people with addictions, here's what you need to know from graduating from high school to becoming licensed in the state.

How to Earn your Certification

In most states and for the state of Alaska, the majority of addiction counselor opportunities will be given to those with a master's degree and who pass a state certified exam. Although you can qualify for some addiction counselor jobs in Alaska with only a associate's two year degree, training hours and recommendations from your supervisor, the field will be limiting. Consider committing to an advanced degree such as a master's or PhD and have a long and rewarding career. During your associate's education, you will narrow your focus on many interesting subjects such as ethics, laws of professionalism, the specifics of licenses and training, client assessment and mental illnesses among many others. If you are earning your bachelor degree, expect your coursework to broaden from the basics and learn valuable skills and training such as the history of addiction, recovery and relapse, a addictive lifestyle and the responsibility of your role as an addictive counselor.

When you earn your master's degree in addictive counseling, you will really expand your knowledge and expertise, which can qualify you for a number of careers such as being a mental health counselor, rehabilitative counselor or a counselor to a particular group of people such as for adults with addiction issues or adolescents. The coursework will be specific to your career path and will allow you to be more educated than ever before. Some coursework includes the following: the dynamics of family, referral networks, diversity of clients, addictive behaviors and strategies for intervention. Like any other state, Alaska is in need of certified, knowledgeable and interested addiction counselors that can make a difference and work diligently with its clients in a compassionate way. Holding a master's degree and upon passing your state exam, you will be able to work in a variety of fields and work environments. Whether you want to be employed as an addiction counselor in a hospital or clinical setting, therapeutic setting or work in a small practice, the opportunities are endless and available to you.

Why Alaska?

What makes Alaska such a great state to become an addiction counselor in, anyways? As the largest state in the country, Alaska has a great need for the right kind of counselor. If you possess strong interpersonal skills, empathy and a strong desire to help people with their addiction issues, Alaska is the perfect place for you. With a gorgeous landscape as your view and friendly people who welcome you to the state, there isn't much reason not to come to Alaska and put your much needed skills to good work! A strong addiction counselor knows how to delegate and share responsibility with a team, is a good listener and helps patient's set realistic goals for themselves as they work to fight their addictive tendencies. It's important to ask yourself if you have the personality traits that are so important for the role of the addiction counselor. Do you enjoy working with people? Do you find it rewarding to see small but significant changes in a person's life? Are you patient? The more your personality traits line up with the necessary traits for helping those with addictions, the more successful you will be. One of the greatest benefits of being an addiction counselor in Alaska is the amount of diversity it involves. There aren't just one or two addictions you can help treat but those that range from eating disorders to gambling and everything in between.