How to Get Addiction Counseling Certification in Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania offers a credentialing for Addiction Counseling through the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB) at the baccalaureate level as a Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC). The certification process is quite extensive, but attainable if steps are followed and records are maintained accordingly.

Obtain an application packet from the Pennsylvania Certification Board online. The completed application forms and relevant documentation can be hand-delivered or mailed to:

Pennsylvania Certification Board 298 S. Progress Ave. Harrisburg, PA 17109

Present college transcripts for proof of education, as well as certificates and other relevant training documents. The certification requires 300 education hours in addiction work, with 100 of these hours concentrating on alcohol and drug abuse training. Six hours must also include professional ethics, and another six must relate to HIV/AIDS.

Complete and present the CAC's application section pertaining to employment and supervision. Proof of employment in an alcohol or drug abuse treatment environment for at least two years or 4,000 hours is required and must include supervision of clients counseled at least 51 percent of the time.

Sign and present a copy of the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB) Code of Ethical Conduct form included in the application packet.

Present proof of residency in Pennsylvania or show proof of employment in Pennsylvania by completing the work history and current work section of the application form included in the packet.

Pay the $350 examination fee and complete the PCB's written test. Study guides are available through their website which give applicants an idea of what to expect on the test. Testing is offered in March, June, September and December with information on exact dates, times and sites available on the PCB website or by calling the main office at 717-540-4455.


Should the applicant fail the examination, a re-test is available at $150 if a written request is made to the PCB within 30 days of notification of test results. It is also important to note that the Certified Addiction Counselor certificate requires ongoing re-certification every two years.