Whether you’ve recently completed an educational certification program, like the 100% online UW-Madison Substance Use Disorders Counselor certificate—offered through the UW Flexible Option format—or you’ve considered applying to the program, it’s important to understand your state’s counselor licensure process. Becoming a licensed substance abuse counselor involves crucial steps to ensure you are qualified with the experience to support a growing population struggling with substance use disorders.
Use this guide to help plan what’s next.
- Start planning for how you will obtain an offer of employment, internship, or volunteer agreement with a licensed clinical supervisor that provides substance use disorders treatment. This is a required step to obtain the SAC-IT license
- Complete the UW-Madison Substance Use Disorders Counselor Certificate program. This includes:
- 100-hour educational requirement for Substance Abuse Counselor in Training (SAC-IT) license
- 360-hour specialized educational requirement for Substance Use Counselor (SAC) license
**The following requirements and processes are based on the State of Wisconsin and are subject to change. Check the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) website for up-to-date information. This infographic guide is not a replacement for official guidance by DSPS—rather, it’s intended to help point you in the right direction.
You can only renew your SAC-IT license twice, so it is important that you have a plan for gaining the 3,000 supervised hours for the SAC license. For more information, visit the SAC-IT page on the Wisconsin DSPS website.