Drug and Alcohol Counsellors

ANZSCO ID 272112

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
1,600
Future Growth
N/A
Weekly Earnings
N/A
Full-Time Share
64%
Female Share
63%
Average age
45

Summary

Drug and Alcohol Counsellors provide support and treatment for people with drug and alcohol dependency problems, develop strategies which assist them to set goals and affect and maintain change, and provide community education. They may work in call centres.

Tasks

  • Assesses client needs in relation to treatment for drug and alcohol abuse.

  • Conducts counselling interviews with individuals, couples and family groups.

  • Assists people in the understanding and adjustment of attitudes, expectations and behaviour.

  • Presents alternative approaches and discusses potential for attitude and behavioural change.

  • Consults with clients to develop rehabilitation plans taking account of vocational and social needs.

  • May work in a call centre.

Characteristics

Job Type
Professionals
Skill Level
Very high skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
n/a
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Interests
  • Analytical
  • Creative
  • Helping
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary

Outlook

Employment Outlook

The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Counsellors, under the outlook section.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 64% of people employed as Drug and Alcohol Counsellors work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is similar to the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 41 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.


Industries

Main industries

1
Health Care and Social Assistance
86.1%
2
Other Services
5.0%
3
Public Administration and Safety
4.9%
4
Administrative and Support Services
1.2%
5
Other industries
1.3%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

24.4% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

33.5% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

11.8% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

6.2% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

14.1% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

2.9% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

4.5% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

2.6% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Drug and Alcohol Counsellors All Jobs Average
NSW 24.4 31.6
VIC 33.5 25.6
QLD 11.8 20.0
SA 6.2 7.0
WA 14.1 10.8
TAS 2.9 2.0
NT 4.5 1.0
ACT 2.6 1.9


  • Around 48% of Drug and Alcohol Counsellors live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.

    Victoria, the Northern Territory and Western Australia have a large share of employment relative to their population size.

    The regions with the largest share of workers are:

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
45
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
63%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Drug and Alcohol Counsellors is 45 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.

    Females make up 63% of the workforce. This is 15 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Drug and Alcohol Counsellors All Jobs Average
15-19 0.0 5.0
20-24 2.7 9.3
25-34 22.7 22.9
35-44 24.0 22.0
45-54 24.5 21.6
55-59 12.8 9.0
60-64 8.9 6.0
65 and Over 4.4 4.2
Median Age 45 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

A formal qualification in counselling (alcohol and drugs), mental health, psychology, social work or another related field is needed to work as a Drug and Alcohol Counsellor. University and Vocational Education and Training (VET) are both common study pathways.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Community Services VET training pathways.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Drug and Alcohol Counsellors All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 20.5 10.1
Bachelor degree 29.4 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 26.6 11.6
Certificate III/IV 13.3 21.1
Year 12 4.3 18.1
Year 11 2.1 4.8
Year 10 and below 3.8 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Counsellors who can communicate clearly and are caring and compassionate.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 70%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 63%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 59%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 59%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 57%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 57%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 57%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 55%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 55%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 55%

    Persuasion

    Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.

  • 54%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 52%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 52%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 46%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 46%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 46%

    Systems evaluation

    Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

  • 46%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 45%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.

  • 45%

    Negotiation

    Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.

  • 45%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 95%

    Therapy and counselling

    Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.

  • 89%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 76%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 71%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 67%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 65%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 61%

    Philosophy and theology

    Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.

  • 61%

    Sociology and anthropology

    Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

  • 60%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 49%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 43%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 43%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 42%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 42%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 40%

    Biology

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  • 37%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 37%

    Medicine and dentistry

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.

  • 36%

    Sales and marketing

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  • 31%

    History and archeology

    Events of the past, their causes, how we learn about them, and how they influence the way we live today.

  • 22%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 64%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 64%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 63%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 61%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 59%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 57%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 57%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 57%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 54%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 50%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 48%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 46%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 46%

    Originality

    Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.

  • 45%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 45%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 43%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 41%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 39%

    Multitasking

    Do two or more things at the same time.

  • 37%

    Memorization

    Remember things like words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.

  • 34%

    Speed of recognition

    Quickly make sense of and organize things you can see like letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 74%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 71%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 70%

    Helping and caring for others

    Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.

  • 70%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 70%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 65%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 64%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 63%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 62%

    Negotiating and resolving conflicts

    Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.

  • 61%

    Giving expert advice

    Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.

  • 60%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 59%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 59%

    Scheduling work and activities

    Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

  • 57%

    Communicating with the public

    Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 57%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 57%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 54%

    Working with the public

    Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.

  • 50%

    Providing office support

    Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.

  • 50%

    Leading and encouraging a team

    Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

  • 43%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 62%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 57%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 43%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 29%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 19%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 95%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 76%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 71%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 71%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.

  • 62%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 57%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 98%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 95%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 94%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 91%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 90%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 88%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 87%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 87%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 86%

    Spend time sitting

    Spend time sitting at work.

  • 85%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 85%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 85%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 83%

    Angry or unpleasant people

    Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.

  • 82%

    Conflict situations

    Deal with conflict or disagreements.

  • 82%

    Contact with the public

    Work with customers or the public.

  • 81%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 79%

    Letters and memos

    Write letters and memos.

  • 76%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

  • 75%

    Physically close to people

    Work physically close to other people.

  • 70%

    Disease or infection

    Be exposed to disease or infections.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 21-1011.00 - Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors.


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