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The Department of Human Services and Counseling at Metropolitan State University of Denver is dedicated to helping students like you become competent, motivated and dedicated practitioners in the delivery of human services. With a degree in Human Services, and the benefit of an internship in your field of study, you’ll have the knowledge and skills you need to qualify for a variety of entry-level positions.

Addiction Studies

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the market for addiction treatment is $35 billion per year. Qualified addiction professionals are in high demand, especially as much of the current American workforce is retiring and the need for treatment services continues to grow. In fact, the US Government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that between 2014-2022, jobs within the addiction counseling field are projected to be significantly higher than average.

• Mental health counselors: 19%
• Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors: 22%
• Rehabilitation counselors: 9%

Graduates in the Addiction Studies concentration will have the skills and knowledge necessary for entry level positions in D.U.I. Therapeutic Education Programs, Detoxification Facilities, Inpatient and Outpatient Addiction Treatment Programs and other environments.

According to information gathered by PayScale in 2016, here are sample compensations* for professional positions within the Addiction Treatment industry:

Substance Abuse Counselor: $32,741
Case Manager: $38,061
Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor: $40,775
Licensed Professional Counselor: $46,086*

* Some positions may require a master’s degree.

High Risk Youth

Counselors who work with high risk youth provide guidance, information, and often case management for youth ages 11-21. Counselors work with a wide variety of problems, including substance abuse, trauma, social skills, academic underachievement and family issues. With your degree and a concentration in High Risk Youth, you will have the knowledge and skills needed to work with young clients.

High Risk Youth counselors work in a wide variety of settings, including:

• Crisis Intervention
• Drop-out Prevention Programs
• Drug & Alcohol Prevention Programs
• Foster Care
• Gang Prevention & Intervention Programs
• Group Homes
• Juvenile Correction Facilities
• Mentoring Programs
• Juvenile Probation Programs
• Residential Treatment Facilities
• Shelters serving youth
• Outpatient

According to PayScale, the average salary for High Risk Youth Counselors is between $21,985-$39,777.

Mental Health Counseling

Counselors help people manage and overcome mental and emotional disorders and problems with family and other relationships. Employment of mental health counselors and therapists is projected to grow 19% between 2014-2024, much faster than for other occupations.

Students in the Mental Health Counseling concentration will gain the knowledge and skills to work with clients through class work and internship. They will be prepared for a variety of entry level positions in a range of settings, including:

• Group Homes
• Hospice
• Crisis Intervention
• Victim’s services
• Mentoring Programs
• Nursing Homes
• Programs serving homeless populations
• Residential Treatment Facilities
• Domestic Violence Shelters

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, the median annual wage for mental health counselors is $42,250.*

*To become a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a School Counselor or a Licensed Clinical Social Worker requires a master’s degree.

Nonprofit Studies

In the U.S., nonprofits accounted for 11.4 million jobs in 2012, which is 10.3 percent of all private sector employment. Employment in the nonprofit world has increased steadily for the past 7 years, and growth is expected to continue through 2024. These jobs are concentrated heavily in the healthcare and social assistance sector.

Students in the Nonprofit Studies concentration are prepared to work in a variety of entry level administrative and management positions, including:

• Development Officer
• Executive Director
• Grant writer/Fundraiser
• Program Coordinator
• Volunteer Coordinator

Here are salary expectations in the nonprofit sector, according to*.

Program Coordinator $34,900
Development Manager: $47,000
Director of Development: $78,850
Executive Director: $50,000-$63,546
Program Manager: $49,579

* Some positions in the nonprofit sector may require a master’s degree. 

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