Addictions Counselling

What can I do with a major in Addictions Counselling

The Addictions Counselling Program gives students the knowledge they need to guide people through the addiction recovery process. The program provides students with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge needed for an effective and compassionate role in treatment, prevention, and health promotion wherever addiction, or the potential for addiction, affects people's lives. It focuses on a range of addictive behaviours and intervention strategies. In addition to in class learning, students also have the benefit of completing two 13-week internships in the fourth year of studies where they gain valuable clinical experience in real world contexts.

Graduates from this four-year program earn a Bachelor of Health Sciences with a major in Addictions Counselling.

Students interested in Aboriginal Health can complete: 

  • Bachelor of Health Sciences 

Program Planning Guides


  • Awareness of and respect for diversity
  • Communication
  • Counselling Methods
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Decision Making
  • Emotional Maturity & Self Awareness
  • Empathy and Compassion
  • Ethical Standards & Confidentiality
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Objectivity
  • Organizational
  • Problem Solving
  • Self-care
  • Cross Cultural Awareness & Tolerance  
  • Think Creatively 
  • Work Collaboratively  
  • Sensitivity & Compassion for Others  
  • Understanding of Various Beliefs & Practices  
  • Oral & Written Communication 
  • Interpersonal Skills   


Work Environment 

Graduates work in a variety of agencies and settings that serve individuals, families and communities, including the health and social services, justice, education, and private sectors. Addictions counsellors are employed in agencies doing one-on-one, group and family counselling, and agencies doing community development, harm reduction and health promotion activities, such as smoking reduction, and mental and emotional health promotion. Some counsellors may prefer to practice in private settings seeing patients one-on-one or conducting group meetings.


Key Areas of Specialization:  

  • Rehabilitation & Treatment
  • Substance Abuse
  • Social Services
  • Mental Health
  • Marriage & Family Therapy
  • Health Promotion
  • Harm Reduction


Career Possibilities 

These jobs are normally intended for new graduates and require 0 to 2 years of experience. It is important to note that many entry level positions require some related experience or demonstrated ability to perform job-related tasks.

  • Addictions Counsellor
  • Addiction and Mental Health Recovery Worker
  • Client Support Worker
  • Community Worker
  • Drugs, Alcohol & Gambling Counsellor
  • Mental Health Therapist
  • Mobile Addictions Outreach Worker
  • Psychiatric Assistant
  • Social Service Worker
  • Substance Abuse Counsellor
  • Workplace Support Services Counsellor
  • Shelter Addiction Support Worker
  • Addiction Recovery Coach
  • Peer Support Worker

These jobs generally require extensive, relevant work experience and/or further education.

  • Addictions Counsellor
  • Career Counsellor
  • Case Worker (Child/ Youth Worker)
  • Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist
  • Clinical Social Worker
  • Clinical Support Staff
  • Concurrent Disorders Youth Counsellor
  • Crisis Counsellor
  • Family School Liaison Counsellor
  • Family Support Worker
  • Housing Outreach Worker
  • Mental Health Counsellor
  • Registered Psychologist
  • Probation & Parole Officer
  • Residential Services Manager
  • Seniors & Caregivers Case Manager & Counsellor
  • Transitional Housing Support Specialist
  • Withdrawal Management Counsellor

On average people change their careers three to five times in their lifetime. So, no matter what major you choose, you may still be interested in opportunities totally unrelated to your program of study. We encourage you to be open to all possibilities! Your undergraduate degree can be a springboard for other educational pursuits, and your transferable skills and experience can prepare you to work in a multitude of settings


  • Corrections Officer
  • Cultural Diversity Consultant
  • Customs Officer
  • Group Home Coordinator
  • Motivational Speaker
  • Mental Health Nurse
  • Personnel Manager & Human Resources 
  • Program Evaluator/Manager
  • Public Health Officer
  • Research Assistant
  • Small Business Owner
  • Student Services
  • University/College Counsellor
  • Volunteer Manager

Useful Resources

Add Value to Your Degree

The more you do to differentiate yourself, the more likely you are to succeed in building a fulfilling career path for yourself. It takes more than just attending classes to stand out amongst other students and new graduates. Become an explorer! Try new things, challenge yourself, build unique skills, and connect with diverse people.

Use the ideas listed below to help you brainstorm experiences to add value to your degree. For more ideas on experiential opportunities at the University of Lethbridge, view the Student Experience Transcript. 

Making connections with others is one of the best ways to learn about the world of work and gain access to career-building opportunities. Making meaningful connections with people is often called building a network.  Building these connections can give you access to jobs before they are posted, or to jobs that are not publicly posted. Employers like to hire people they have already built relationships with, and are more likely to hire people who have been recommended by trusted colleagues and friends.

Start building your network by attending Career Fairs and other on-campus recruitment events found on the Career Services Events page within the Career Bridge portal. Get introduced to career professionals in a welcoming and approachable way through uLethbridge Connect at Ten Thousand Coffees. Consider joining a professional association to help you find opportunities to meet experienced professionals in your field, find training opportunities, be paired with a mentor, or get involved in committees or other volunteer positions.

Co-operative Education allows you to earn income through real-world work experience that is related to your academic studies. Completing a co-op work term provides you with an opportunity to build your skills in a practical work setting, network with employers, and increase your marketability after graduation.


Co-operative education is available to undergraduate and graduate-level students within a variety of programs in the Faculty of Arts & Science, Dhillon School of Business, Faculty of Fine Arts, and Faculty of Health Sciences. Learn more about eligibility requirements and how co-op works here.

The Applied Studies program offers you the opportunity to earn academic credit for learning gained through employment or volunteer experiences. Placements provide skill development and experiential learning related to your studies by integrating principles learned in the classroom with practical situations encountered on the job.

Participating in clubs and running for student government are great ways to build employability skills, learn how to work with others, and demonstrate your leadership abilities.

The University of Lethbridge Students’ Union is committed to building a rewarding and enriching experience for undergraduate students. They have positions for Executive Council members and General Assembly members, as well as an extensive list of ratified clubs, offering opportunities to get involved in areas of interest and in leadership positions.

The Graduate Students’ Association’s mandate is to identify and advocate for graduate student needs. They have GSA Executive positions, GSA Council positions, and a mentorship program for incoming students.  


The University of Lethbridge provides many different opportunities to gain research experience in addition to the required courses in your degree program.

An independent study is a chance for you to design your own research project for course credit under the supervision of a professor of your choice. Course work usually requires independent library research and/or field work and/or a major term paper. For more information, meet with an Academic Advisor and the Department or Faculty member under whom you wish to pursue an Independent Study.

You can also opt to complete an Undergraduate Thesis Course. This will allow you to earn an “Honours Thesis” designation on your degree and is a great springboard into graduate studies and professional programs. Fourth-year standing and a cumulative GPA of 3.30 is required to complete an Honours Thesis; it is also helpful to have previous research experience like Independent Studies. For more information, contact the Department or Faculty member under whom you with to pursue your Honours Thesis.

The Office of Research and Innovation Services has a wealth of information on additional research opportunities for students, including Student Funding, Student Research Positions, AGILITY, and events. The School of Graduate Studies has information on Research Opportunities/Graduate Student Positions and GA/Co-op/Internship Opportunities. If you are interested in building your research portfolio, do not miss out on these opportunities!

International experience builds valuable employability skills like adaptability, multi-cultural awareness, and the initiative to take on new challenges. Gain an international perspective by participating in Education Abroad opportunities like semester exchanges, study tours, field studies, work-study tours, internships, and more.  Learn about international careers and resources through MyWorldAbroad (available within the Career Bridge portal). 




Volunteerism is an excellent way to demonstrate your current skills, build new skills, and grow your network. If you are not sure where to get started, connect with UVolunteer, the University of Lethbridge’s partnership with Volunteer Lethbridge. If you already volunteer, UVolunteer can provide you with a framework to organize and document your volunteer work. If you are not sure how or where to get involved, UVolunteer can help you find volunteer opportunities that meet your needs and the needs of your community. Also consider volunteering with a local Board, Commission, or Committee.