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Alcohol and drug counsellor

There is a strong demand for alcohol and drug counsellors across the state. They are an essential support for people who are experiencing alcohol or drug related issues.

Find out what an alcohol and drug counsellor does and the related Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses and pathways you can take to secure a job. 

What is an alcohol and drug counsellor?

Alcohol and drug counsellors help people with alcohol or drug issues. You might provide support with: 

  • goal setting and treatment plans 
  • counselling
  • first aid 
  • legal aid.

There are a range of places you could work to support people. These include: 

  • community service organisations
  • welfare organisations
  • mental health services
  • rehabilitation facilities
  • health services
  • community education settings
  • call centres.

Find out more about alcohol and drug counsellors(opens in a new window) and these related jobs on the Victorian Skills Gateway(opens in a new window):

Search for related VET courses on the Victorian Skills Gateway(opens in a new window):

You may be eligible for government funding to help pay for your course.

Average salary

The average weekly earnings for drug and alcohol counsellors in Australia is $1,084.

Source: Your Career(opens in a new window) 

Note this salary is current as of April 2024 and is indicative only. A range of salaries apply to different roles across the industry.

Job demand in Victoria

Below are the employment forecasts for counsellor jobs in Victoria. Figures show the number of workers in 2023 and the new workers expected to enter the workforce by 2026.

‘New workers expected’ accounts for workers adding new jobs to the economy and replacing retirees over the next 3 years. These forecasts are estimates only. There will be additional jobs available as people move between jobs and industries.

Specific data is not available for alcohol and drug counsellors.

RegionWorkers 2023Workforce growth 2023-2026New workers needed by 2026
Victoria9,1814.7%1,923
Melbourne – inner metropolitan1,7185.1%384
Melbourne – inner south-east metropolitan8124.2%158
Melbourne – southern metropolitan1,1804.4%238
Melbourne – northern metropolitan1,0934.8%232
Melbourne – eastern metropolitan1,3434.6%278
Melbourne – western metropolitan8324.6%174
Ballarat and surrounds (Central Highlands)2684.7%57
Bendigo, Echuca and surrounds (Loddon Campaspe)3284.3%65
Geelong, Colac and surrounds (Barwon)5665.7%138
Gippsland3304.4%66
Horsham and surrounds (Wimmera Southern Mallee)692.6%10
Mildura, Swan Hill and surrounds (Mallee)1133.2%18
Shepparton, Seymour and surrounds (Goulburn)2034.8%44
Wangaratta, Wodonga and surrounds (Ovens Murray)1954.4%39
Warrnambool, Hamilton and surrounds (Great South Coast)1313.2%21

Source: Victorian Skills Authority employment forecast dashboard

Career story

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