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What Education is Required to be an Addiction Therapist in North Dakota?

As a North Dakota resident interested in pursuing a career as an addiction therapist, you are likely curious as to what educational qualifications you will be required to meet in order to work your dream job. The answer, however, isn't entirely simple. The education you will have to pursue depends on many factors such as where you plan to work, the exact job title and description you are aspiring to, whether or not you plan to seek licensure or certification if optional or whether your prospective career requires certification and/or licensure, and whether or not you already possess any related or unrelated degrees. As such, your best course of action is to determine what most of the people working in your career path did to get there or what the general qualifications are and then to follow them.

As a North Dakota resident interested in pursuing a career as an addiction therapist, you are likely curious as to what educational qualifications you will be required to meet in order to work your dream job. The answer, however, isn't entirely simple. The education you will have to pursue depends on many factors such as where you plan to work, the exact job title and description you are aspiring to, whether or not you plan to seek licensure or certification if optional or whether your prospective career requires certification and/or licensure, and whether or not you already possess any related or unrelated degrees. As such, your best course of action is to determine what most of the people working in your career path did to get there or what the general qualifications are and then to follow them.

If your job or licensure/certification course in the state only requires an associate's degree and some training requirements, you will have many options as to where to go to seek your education. There are a variety of community and junior colleges throughout North Dakota that offer basic programs relating to counseling and substance abuse. Typically, these degree programs take only two years to complete on average, and you can transfer any credits that you earn to most bachelor degree programs in the state. Just make sure that your college and program are fully licensed and accredited in the state, especially if you choose to take courses via an online college.

The vast majority of working professionals in the field in North Dakota possess at least a bachelor's degree. These degrees, which typically take around four years to complete, provide you with a wealth of knowledge in the area of your interest. Plus, you are never locked into one major, no matter what your intended career path may be. Working addiction therapists in North Dakota typically major in psychology, sociology, social work, therapy, substance abuse, and other related fields. Since specialized training almost always comes after graduation, there is no need to pick a very specific major, though you should aim to pick one that deals at least partially with your area of interest.

If you are coming to your decision to become an addiction therapist long after your undergraduate years are behind you, don't think that you have no choice but to go back to school for a second, more related undergraduate degree. The good news for you is that most graduate level programs accept students from a wide variety of educational backgrounds, even those that are totally unrelated. In fact, sometimes having a unique educational background will work for you rather than against you. Plus, having a master's degree is an easy way to earn more money at your chosen profession, and you can even go on to obtain a doctorate degree if you so desire. So, actually, you're ahead of the game rather than behind in it!

No matter what your educational background, if you wish to practice addiction therapy at a clinical level in the state, you will have to be licensed by the North Dakota Board of Addiction Counseling Examiners. To obtain this license, you will need to have at least a bachelor's degree that includes 32 credit hours in addiction studies. After your education, you will have to complete a nine month course of experiential learning and training in the field that totals 1400 hours, and you will have to pass both a written and oral exam. To keep up your license, you will also have to gain forty hours of continuing education in the field every two years. Do be aware, however, that not all careers in addiction therapy will require this strenuous licensure process. The only time it will be needed is if you wish to work one on one with patients or supervise group therapy settings as a clinical and diagnostic addiction therapist. You can work in some hospitals, private facilities, and non-profit groups without the licensure, though obtaining the licensure will earn you a higher salary. The licensure process may seem difficult, but it is highly recommended for those serious about being successful in the field.