A group meets for therapy with a counselor

Substance Abuse Counselor Education - Technical Diploma

If you possess an associate degree or bachelor’s degree in Health Science, Psychology, Sociology, Criminal Justice or Social Work and are interested in becoming a substance abuse counselor, consider the Substance Abuse Counselor Education technical diploma. You'll experience 360 hours of education across six content areas required for substance abuse counselors. This comprehensive education program is pre-approved by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. 9 courses in this technical diploma may be applied towards the Human Services associate degree. Interested applicants should contact (920) 498-5708 to schedule an appointment with the program admissions advisor.

Program Code: 315501
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Program Costs & Financial Aid

See costs of tuition, books, and supplies.

This program is fully eligible for financial aid.

Estimates based on in-state residency. Learn more about tuition and fees.

Explore Locations

Offered At:

Follow Your Path

9 courses from this technical diploma apply toward the following associate degree(s):

Human Services Associate, 105203

All credits from the following certificate(s) apply toward this technical diploma:

Substance Abuse Specialty, 905502


  • Day
  • Evening
  • Full-time
  • Part-time

How do I get started in this program?

Requirements for Program Entry

  • Completed application
  • All applicants must make an appointment with the advisor, Mollie Kaebisch, to enter an application. Acceptance into this program requires an Associates or Bachelor’s Degree. Please call (920) 498-5444 to make an appointment.

What are my courses?


Students following the study plan below will complete the Substance Abuse Counselor Education technical degree in the number of semesters shown.

Total Credits 28
  • Curriculum Note: Students must earn a "C" or higher in 10-806-112; Principles of Sustainability and/or 10-804-134; Mathematical Reasoning.

Program Outcomes

  • Clinically evaluate for substance use disorders and treatment needs.
  • Develop treatment plans.
  • Facilitate referral to meet needs.
  • Demonstrate case management skills.
  • Demonstrate counseling skills with individuals, groups and families.
  • Provide culturally relevant education related to substance abuse.
  • Document and maintain clinical records according to agency, federal and state guidelines.
  • Adhere to accepted ethical and behavior conduct.

What careers are in my future?


Graduate Employment

with 100% in field


Median Starting Salary

Source: NWTC Graduate Outcome Survey

Employment Potential

A graduate of the program will have the potential for employment as a Substance Abuse Counselor in Training or Substance Abuse Counselor.

What else do I need to know about the program?

Industry Credentials

Provides 360 hours of education across the 6 content areas required for substance abuse counselors.


Classes wherever you have an internet connection. 

  • An in-person career experience, such as an internship, practicum, or credit for prior learning, may be required.
  • Some online courses may be held at specific dates/times.
Classes between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Classes between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
A combination of online classes and Saturday and/or Sunday classes.
12 or more credits per term.
Fewer than 12 credits per term.