Substance Abuse Counselor

  • Contra Costa County, CA
  • Contra Costa County, California
  • Jan 01, 2022
Full Time Human and Social Services Legal Services
  • Salary: $67,393.08 - $81,916.68 Annually USD

Job Description

The Position


Bargaining Unit: Local 856 â€" Health Services Unit

The Contra Costa County Health Services Department is offering an excellent career opportunity for qualified individuals interested in several Substance Abuse Counselor positions. Substance Abuse Counselors work at the Alcohol and Other Drugs unit within the Behavioral Health Division and the Restoration Center within the Public Health Division. The candidates selected will engage in a variety of counseling and prevention activities targeted at individuals, groups, and families experiencing or at high risk for problems related to substance abuse. The position may be assigned to either an outpatient or residential facility program in East, West, or Central Contra Costa County. Individuals selected for this position may be required to work various shifts and weekends.

The ideal candidate will have a proven track record demonstrating the following:
  • Ability to use provide counseling and related family counseling and education
  • Ability to communicate effectively with people experiencing anxiety, stress and depression
  • Knowledge of the current substance abuse methods and techniques of individual and group counseling

Characteristics of the ideal candidate:
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Acknowledge and respect cultural and linguistic differences of the County's diverse population

Read the complete job description at
The eligible list established from this recruitment may remain in effect for six (6) months.

Tentative Training and Experience Evaluation: Periodically Until Vacancies Filled

Typical Tasks
  • Interviews applicants to determine appropriateness for program services
  • Conducts intake assessments to determine client problems and appropriate course of action
  • Orients clients on program requirements
  • Provides substance abuse counseling to individuals, families and groups
  • Conducts group education programs
  • Provides crisis intervention and counseling
  • Develops recovery plans and makes referrals to appropriate service providers
  • Represents the division to the community through outreach activities and educational programs
  • Maintains client case records and does technical client charting
  • Participates in meetings, committees and training
  • Plans, schedules and implements clients daily work, counseling and recreational activities
  • Monitors client files
  • Prepares reports for other agencies as required
  • Monitors ongoing treatment
  • Develops aftercare plans and provides client follow-up
  • Provides and promotes excellent customer service for all internal and external customers

Minimum Qualifications

License Required: Candidates must possess a valid California Motor Vehicle Operator's License. Out of State valid Motor Vehicle Operator's License will be accepted during the application process.
Certification Required: Candidates must possess and maintain throughout the duration of employment certification as an Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Counselor issued by a certifying agency approved by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).
Education: Successful completion of 30 semester or 45 quarter units from an accredited college or university which included at least 12 semester or 15 quarter units in psychology, sociology, counseling, or chemical dependency.
Experience: One (1) year of full-time experience, or its equivalent, counseling persons in a substance abuse program or one (1) year of experience as a Substance Abuse Counselor Trainee in Contra Costa County.
Substitution for Education: Additional qualifying experience of the type noted above may be substituted for the required completion of 30 semester or 45 quarter units of education on a year-for-year basis. No substitution is allowed for the required 12 semester or 15 quarter units of specialized coursework.
OTHER REQUIREMENTS: A background investigation/fingerprint and/or physical exam may be required prior to the start of employment.


Selection Process
1. Application Filing: All applicants must apply on-line at and submit the information as indicated on the job announcement by the final filing date. A completed supplemental questionnaire is required at the time of applying.

2. Application Evaluation: Depending on the number of applications received, an Application Evaluation Board may be convened to evaluate and select the best-qualified candidates for invitation to the next phase of the examination.

3. Training and Experience Evaluation: Consists of an evaluation of each candidate's relevant education, training and/or experience as presented on the application and supplemental questionnaire. (Weighted 100%).

4. Candidates must receive a score of at least 70, which may be an adjusted score, in order to be ranked on the employment list.

The Human Resources Department may change the examination steps noted above in accordance with the Personnel Management Regulations and accepted selection practices.

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements
Please note that as of August 24, 2021, Contra Costa County enacted a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine requirement for employees. Proof of full vaccination will be required of all employees, including new hires. The policy requirements can be found here:

After you receive a conditional job offer, you will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The resulting report of your conviction history (if any) will be used to determine whether the nature of your conviction conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the job for which you have received a conditional job offer. If a conflict exists, you will be asked to present any evidence of rehabilitation that may mitigate the conflict, except when federal or state regulations bar employment in specific circumstances. Having a conviction history does not automatically preclude you from a job with Contra Costa County. If you accept a conditional job offer, the Human Resources department will contact you to schedule a fingerprinting appointment.

All Contra Costa County employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law. Employment with the County requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.

It is the policy of Contra Costa County to consider all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identify, gender expression, marital status, ancestry, medical condition, genetic information, military or veteran status, or other protected category under the law.

Job Address

Contra Costa County, California United States View Map