Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College


Students sitting in a circle and talking


Graduates of the PCC Addiction Counseling program typically start out making around $22 an hour, or $45,760?annually.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows that Oregon ranks among the states with the highest substance abuse and mental health challenges, while at the same time ranking among the worst states for access to care. If you’re passionate about the impact that substance abuse is having on society, then Addiction Counseling may be your path.

The Oregon Employment Department forecasts that Portland-area addiction counselor employment will grow 17.2% through 2027.

Why choose Addiction Counseling at PCC?

PCC’s Addiction Counseling program is the largest addiction counselor education resource in the state. This program provides the educational foundation needed to begin your career as a certified alcohol and drug counselor.

Adaptive and inclusive

Our program provides specialization for further career advancement as well as the foundation for students starting their journey in the addictions profession. We designed this program for working students by providing afternoon and evening classes. We also routinely update our curriculum to be current with the professional standards of the industry through direct contact with local agencies. Our program is reputable within the counseling industry and our students are sought for employment.

Degrees and certificates

Degrees and certificates by number of terms to complete
Award Length Financial aid eligible Currently accepting students?
Associate Degree: Addiction Counselor2 yearsLimited entry, see how
to get into this program
Certificate: Addiction StudiesLess than 1 year


What will you learn?

More about the program

Once you complete the program you can expect to have learned the following:

  • Listening and empathy skills
  • Motivational Interviewing techniques
  • Group counseling techniques
  • Individual counseling techniques
  • Job responsibilities of an addiction counselor
  • Clinical documentation
  • Culturally-responsive services and techniques
  • Co-occurring treatment options
  • Risk assessments

What will you do?

As an addictions counselor, you work with many populations directly impacted by substance use and mental health. Some of the tasks that you will be expected to perform include:

  • Substance-use screenings
  • Assessments
  • Level of care placement
  • Clinical evaluations
  • Treatment planning
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Family and community education
  • Discharge planning
  • Case management
  • Referrals
  • Crisis intervention

Who will hire me?

  • All levels of substance-use treatment programs
  • Treatment agencies that specialize in working with the following populations:
    • Adolescent
    • Older adult
    • Culturally-specific
    • Justice system involved
    • Trans and non-binary folks
  • Justice-oriented programs
  • Hospitals, medical centers, and clinics
  • Community outreach organizations
Certified recovery mentor training

Our program offers an addiction recovery mentor course available to all students. It counts as an elective option for the AAS degree. Students who meet the requirements and complete the course have the option of becoming Certified Recovery Mentors (CRM) through the Mental Health and Addiction Board of Oregon (MHACBO).

Next steps

See how to get into this program.Get started now

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Related programs

PCC offers more than 90 programs.