FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PROGRAM AND A SEMINAR?
A Program is a sequence of subjects that teaches the skills and knowledge required for employment in a specific occupation. A LCDC training program includes addiction-specific courses that teach the student the skills and knowledge necessary to become a LCDC Counselor Intern.
A Seminar is a course of instruction designed to enhance a professionals' career. IAE's Addiction seminars provide advanced clinical and/or administrative instruction for the established professional.
WHAT DOES A LICENSED CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY COUNSELOR DO?
As a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, you'll evaluate clients’ mental and physical health, addiction, or problematic behavior and assess their readiness for treatment; develop, recommend, and review treatment goals and plans with clients and their families; assist clients in developing skills and behaviors necessary to recover from their addiction or modify their behavior; work with clients to identify behaviors or situations that interfere with their recovery; teach clients’ family members about addiction or behavior disorders and help them develop strategies to cope with those problems; refer clients to other resources and services, such as job placement services and support groups; and conduct outreach programs to help people identify the signs of addiction and other destructive behavior, as well as steps to take to avoid such behavior.
HOW MUCH DOES A LCDC MAKE?
The ranks of Chemical Dependency Counselors (Addiction/Substance Abuse) are growing rapidly and with the increased demand, it is expected that salaries, wages and earnings of professionals in our field will increase at a faster or much faster pace than many other industries and professions over the next decade. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2019 Occupational Outlook Handbook, Substance Abuse Counselors earn a median annual salary of over $46,000 while the top 10% of the workforce earns over $76,000. Exact counselor salaries depend on the region, the candidate’s qualifications, their specialty and place of work. These numbers reflect counselors who are employed by a treatment center or other institution. Addiction counselors in private practice may earn a higher wage.
WHY SHOULD I PURSUE A LCDC?
Employment of substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors is projected to grow 25 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth is expected as people continue to seek addiction counseling services.
HOW DO I BECOME A LCDC?
Chemical Dependency Counselor training, along with work experience and supervision are the first steps in becoming a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC). The LCDC represents the highest designations in the addictions field and is overseen by the Texas Health and Human Service Commission Professional Certification Unit. The LCDC designation is also reciprocated in dozens of states throughout the US, allowing credentialed individuals to become credentialed in other states without retaking qualification requirements. In addition to classroom training hours, you will be required to complete a 300 hour supervised practicum and 4,000 hour internship.
Practicums are considered part of your training and are generally not paid. Once you complete the practicum, your "formal” classroom training has been completed and you are eligible to apply to HHSC as a “LCDC-Intern.” You can then seek paid internships to complete you 4,000 practice hours. Most internships are paid in Texas. With the LCDC training you receive at IAE, you’ll be well prepared for the Texas licensure exam. Click here for more information on the educational requirements to become a LCDC.
CAN I BE A COUNSELOR WITHOUT A MASTER'S DEGREE?
Yes and no. If you want to be a licensed professional counselor, a licensed marriage and family therapist, or a licensed clinical social worker-you have to obtain a masters degree in each associated profession. In Texas, and many other states, you can become an addiction counselor through certification or licensure. Some states have different levels of certification depending on education and experience. In Texas, you are not required to have a masters degree or even a bachelors degree, but you must complete an associates degree before you can be fully licensed as a chemical dependency counselor.
DON'T I NEED TO GO TO A UNIVERSITY?
Most Universities do not offer LCDC certificate programs or training. There are several community colleges and 2-year colleges in Texas that offer them as part of an Associate’s Degree. There are a few four year and graduate programs that offer certification as part of their program as well. Keep in mind that you’ll be paying state tuition for course through these institutions. In addition, you need to pay student fees and other expenses. And you won’t make more money or have a better paying job as a result.
There are some benefits to going to a university or college program. You will have access to financial aid, student loans, and other financial programs that are generally not available to career colleges. You will be able to have 9-12 hours of course credits to apply towards you associates degree, saving you a semester of courses. You will have more flexibility in class times.
You must balance out what is a good fit in terms of schedule flexibility and financial resources.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE MT TO GET MY LCDC?
Much depends on your life schedule. Completing your class hours (270) can take as little as 12 weeks and your practicum hours (300) as little as 8 weeks. The 4,000 hour internship takes on average 2 years-if you work full-time. Completing an associate’s degree can be completed in as little as two years. With a detailed and structured career and educational plan, you could have your license within 30 months (2.5 years).
WHAT IF I ALREADY HAVE A DEGREE?
If you have an associate degree, bachelor degree or master degree you may have to complete all or a portion the 270 education hours, the practicum and the 4,000 hour internship. You may be able to have some of the courses you completed in college count towards your 270 hours. If you completed a practicum or internship as part of your degree program this may count towards your practicum or internship hours. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission can evaluate your transcript and tell you if your degree will meet the education, practicum and internship hours. Make sure to have your transcripts evaluated before signing up for any educational program. If you'd like to have your transcripts evaluated, click here.
DO MY CLASSES COUNT TOWARD A DEGREE?
No, IAE is working on seeking approval through the Higher Education Coordinating Board for transferrable credit options. This may not be available until after you have completed your program and may not be retroactive. Until such time as we have approved, our courses are not transferable.
DO YOU HELP ME WITH FINDING A PRACTICUM AND INTERNSHIP?
Yes. We have collaborative partnerships with many addiction service providers across Texas and we will help you secure a practicum placement as part of your training program. In addition, we use these same relationships and collaborations to find paid internship placements for our students. Once you have your IAE certificate of completion, we will assist you with completing all the necessary applications to obtain your LCDC-I. During the time it takes for HHSC to review and approve your application, we will assist you with job leads and interview preparation. You are responsible for paying application and other fees for your LCDC-I, the rest is provided at no charge to you.
CAN I TRANSFER MY LICENSE/CERTIFICATION TO ANOTHER STATE?
Your courses and practicum may be transferrable to another state. However, certification and licenses for addiction counseling generally do not have reciprocity in other states. If you are planning on moving to another state or you are in a transient situation, discuss your options with our advisor before enrolling in any career college.
CRIMINAL BACKGROUND REVIEW AND DRUG SCREENS
HHSC and any potential practicum site or internship will conduct a criminal background check and will require you to submit a urine drug screen test. These are facility licensure rules. If either of these may be problematic, please let us know so that we can evaluate this situation and make a recommendation as to your best course of action regarding seeking a LCDC. We will conduct a basic Department of Public Safety Criminal History Verification as part of our admission process.
You can appeal any admission decision in writing to the Director. The Director will review and supplemental information and communicate a final decision regarding admission. Given that this is a private education institution, admissions are at the final discretion of the Director.