Certification and Licensure

Addiction and Substance Abuse Related Disorders (Graduate Certificate)

Certification and Licensure Requirements to Become a Substance Abuse Counselor

All states require either certification or licensure to practice as a substance abuse counselor. Most states have multiple levels of licensure, typically a bachelor's level license that requires ongoing supervision, and a master’s level license that allows independent practice. For example, the Arizona state licensing board offers three levels of licensure: Licensed Substance Abuse Technician (LSAT), Licensed Associate Substance Abuse Counselor (LASAC), and Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC).

Additional information can be found at the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners website, https://www.azbbhe.us/.

Licensed Substance Abuse Technician (LSAT)

  • requires an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in a behavioral health science program
  • must include at least three semester credit hours in the seven core content areas covered by the ASU graduate certificate program
  • a passing score on a licensure exam from IC&RC, NAADAC, or NBCC
  • Typical salaries range between $28,000 - $50,000 annually (estimates vary by state and location)

Licensed Associate Substance Abuse Counselor (LASAC)

  • When already an LSAT
    • bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in a behavioral health science program
    • Completion of at least 3200 hours of supervised work experience in substance abuse counseling in no less than 24 months
  • With a master’s degree
    • a master’s or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university in a behavioral health science program
    • must include at least three semester credit hours in the seven core content areas covered by the ASU graduate certificate program
    • 300 hours of supervised practicum within the master’s program
    • a passing score on a licensure exam from IC&RC, NAADAC, or NBCC
  • Typical salaries range between $40,000 and $60,000 (estimates vary by state and location)

Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC)

  • a master’s or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university in a behavioral health science program
  • must include at least three semester credit hours in the seven core content areas covered by the ASU graduate certificate program
  • 300 hours of supervised practicum within the master’s program
  • a passing score on a licensure exam from IC&RC, NAADAC, or NBCC
  • Completion of at least 3200 hours of supervised work experience in substance abuse counseling in no less than 24 months
  • Typical salaries range between $40,000 and $75,000 (estimates vary by state and location)

Refer to this document for information about certification and licensure requirements in other states. Please be aware that certification and licensure requirements are subject to change. Check with your state’s professional regulatory board before applying for certification, licensure or renewal to verify accurate and up-to-date requirements