Salary Report for Tennessee Substance Abuse Counselors

  • The number of Substance Abuse Counselors currently employed in Tennessee is 4,300.
  • Substance Abuse Counselors in Tennessee earn an average of $42,210 per year or $20.29 per hour.
  • The percentage of U.S. Substance Abuse Counselors who work in Tennessee is 1%.
  • Tennessee will need 4,940 new Substance Abuse Counselors by 2030 or 520 new psychologists per year.

Tennessee Rankings

  • Tennessee ranks #50 in the U.S. for Substance Abuse Counselors salary and #37 when adjusted for cost-of-living.
  • Tennessee ranks #23 in the U.S. for the total number of Substance Abuse Counselors employed.
  • Tennessee ranks #27 in U.S. for the number of new Substance Abuse Counselors needed by 2030.
  • Tennessee ranks #5 in U.S. for the percentage of new Substance Abuse Counselors needed by 2030.

Compare Tennessee to U.S.

Tennessee Substance Abuse Counselors earn an average of $42,210 which is 21% less than the national average salary of $53,490.

TypeTennesseeU.S.% Difference
Average Hourly Wage$20.29$25.72-21.11%
Average Annual Salary$42,210$53,490-21.09%
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Commerce – 2022*

Salary Range by Education and Experience

In Tennessee, 50% of Substance Abuse Counselors earn between $29,810 and $48,560 a year, depending on factors such as level of education, experience, location and place of employment.

About 10% of Substance Abuse Counselors earn more than $61,380, a rate generally associated with highly educated and experienced Substance Abuse Counselors.

Approximately 10% of Substance Abuse Counselors earn under $27,780, a rate generally reserved for less experienced or entry level Substance Abuse Counselors.

PercentExperienceEmployedAnnual Salary
10%Less than a Year430Under $27,780
15%2 – 4 years645$27,780 – $29,810
25%5 – 9 years1,075$29,810 – $37,700
25%10 – 14 years1,075$37,700 – $48,560
15%15 – 20 years645$37,700 – $61,380
10%20+ years430Above $61,380
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Commerce – 2022*

Adjusted for Cost-of-Living

After being adjusted for cost-of-living, Substance Abuse Counselors in Tennessee psychologists earn about $45,806 per year which is less than the average U.S. psychologist of $53,490.

Cost-of-living in Tennessee is 8% less than the national average, which means Tennessee residents have an overall less cost for food, housing, utilities and transportation compared to other states.

  • National average salary for Substance Abuse Counselors is $53,490.
  • Average Tennessee Substance Abuse Counselors salary is $42,210.
  • Adjusted for cost-of-living, Tennessee Substance Abuse Counselors earn an average salary of $45,806.

More cost-of-living reports for U.S. States.

Salary Compared to Related Professions

With an average annual salary of $42,210, Tennessee Substance Abuse Counselors tend to earn less than Clinical and Counseling Psychologists ($108,560), Psychology Teachers ($78,840), School Psychologists ($67,420), Health Care Social Workers ($52,920), Social Workers ($46,280), and Marriage and Family Therapists ($43,560).

TitleAnnual Salary
Clinical and Counseling Psychologists$108,560
Psychology Teachers$78,840
School Psychologists$67,420
Health Care Social Workers$52,920
Social Workers$46,280
Marriage and Family Therapists$43,560
Substance Abuse Counselors$42,210
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Commerce – 2022*

Projected Demand for Psychologists in 2030

The U.S. Department of Labor projects that in Tennessee the three professions needing the most new psychologists by 2030 are Health Care Social Workers (6,640), Social Workers (6,520) and Substance Abuse Counselors (4,940).

The three professions in Tennessee needing highest percentage new psychologists by 2030 are Substance Abuse Counselors (35%), Psychology Teachers (29.5%) and Marriage and Family Therapists (25.2%).

Title20202030ChangeYearly Openings
Social Workers5,9306,5209.9%630
Health Care Social Workers5,4006,64023%670
Substance Abuse Counselors3,6604,94035%520
Marriage and Family Therapists1,1901,49025.2%150
Psychology Teachers9501,23029.5%130
Forensic Psychologists9409602.1%70
Industrial Organizational Psychologists60600%0
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, 2022*

Salaries Ranked by Tennessee Cities

The average salary for Substance Abuse Counselors in Tennessee is $42,210. The top cities that pay Substance Abuse Counselors the most are Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin ($46,070), Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol ($43,490) and Chattanooga ($43,350).

When adjusted for cost-of-living, the cities that pay Substance Abuse Counselors the highest average annual salary are Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol ($49,948), Jackson ($49,691) and Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin ($47,505).

The following table shows the average yearly salary range for Substance Abuse Counselors in each city, and the average yearly salary after being adjusted for cost-of-living in that state.

The difference column shows how much more or less purchasing power a Substance Abuse Counselors salary will have in that area.

AreaAverage SalaryCOL AdjustedDifference
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin$46,070$47,505$1,435
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol$43,490$49,948$6,458
Chattanooga$43,350$47,104$3,754
Clarksville$42,640$46,986$4,346
Memphis$42,390$45,718$3,328
Jackson$41,790$49,691$7,901
Cleveland$40,860$46,269$5,409
Johnson City$39,450$44,391$4,941
North Central Tennessee Nonmetropolitan Area$39,360$45,767$6,407
Knoxville$39,120$42,679$3,559
South Central Tennessee Nonmetropolitan Area$37,940$44,116$6,176
West Tennessee Nonmetropolitan Area$36,740$42,721$5,981
East Tennessee Nonmetropolitan Area$35,170$40,895$5,725
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Commerce – 2022*

Salary FAQ for Tennessee Substance Abuse Counselors

Tennessee Substance Abuse Counselors earn between $27,780 and $61,380 a year depending on their level of education, experience and skill.

There are currently 4,300 Substance Abuse Counselors employed in Tennessee which is about 1% of the U.S. total.

Clinical and Counseling Psychologists are the highest paid psychologists in Tennessee with an average annual wage of $108,560.

An entry level psychologist makes as much as $27,780 a year in Tennessee

The most Substance Abuse Counselors work in the Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin area where 1,410 Substance Abuse Counselors are employed.

After being adjusted for cost-of-living, Substance Abuse Counselors in Tennessee earn 45,806 per year, while the average across the United States earns $53,490.

By 2030, Tennessee will need 4,940 Substance Abuse Counselors. A total of 520 Substance Abuse Counselors will need to enter into the Tennessee work forces each year.

City and Rural Summaries

Chattanooga

Average Substance Abuse Counselors Salary: $43,350
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $47,104
Hourly Wage: $20.84
Currently Employed: 340
Cost-of-Living Index: 92.03
Chattanooga Salary Report

Clarksville

Average Substance Abuse Counselors Salary: $42,640
Adjusted for Cost of Living: $46,986
Hourly Wage: $21
Currently Employed: 240
Cost-of-Living Index: 90.75
Clarksville Salary Report

Cleveland

Average Substance Abuse Counselors Salary: $40,860
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $46,269
Hourly Wage: $19.65
Currently Employed: 30
Cost-of-Living Index: 88.31
Cleveland Salary Report

East Tennessee Nonmetropolitan Area

Average Substance Abuse Counselors Salary: $35,170
Adjusted for Cost of Living: $40,895
Hourly Wage: $17
Currently Employed: 130
Cost-of-Living Index: 86.00
East Tennessee Nonmetropolitan Area Salary Report

Jackson

Average Substance Abuse Counselors Salary: $41,790
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $49,691
Hourly Wage: $20.09
Currently Employed: 100
Cost-of-Living Index: 84.10
Jackson Salary Report

Johnson City

Average Substance Abuse Counselors Salary: $39,450
Adjusted for Cost of Living: $44,391
Hourly Wage: $19
Currently Employed: 160
Cost-of-Living Index: 88.87
Johnson City Salary Report

Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol

Average Substance Abuse Counselors Salary: $43,490
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $49,948
Hourly Wage: $20.91
Currently Employed: 240
Cost-of-Living Index: 87.07
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol Salary Report

Knoxville

Average Substance Abuse Counselors Salary: $39,120
Adjusted for Cost of Living: $42,679
Hourly Wage: $19
Currently Employed: 630
Cost-of-Living Index: 91.66
Knoxville Salary Report

Memphis

Average Substance Abuse Counselors Salary: $42,390
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $45,718
Hourly Wage: $20.38
Currently Employed: 890
Cost-of-Living Index: 92.72
Memphis Salary Report

Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin

Average Substance Abuse Counselors Salary: $46,070
Adjusted for Cost of Living: $47,505
Hourly Wage: $22
Currently Employed: 1,410
Cost-of-Living Index: 96.98
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin Salary Report

North Central Tennessee Nonmetropolitan Area

Average Substance Abuse Counselors Salary: $39,360
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $45,767
Hourly Wage: $18.92
Currently Employed: 140
Cost-of-Living Index: 86.00
North Central Tennessee Nonmetropolitan Area Salary Report

South Central Tennessee Nonmetropolitan Area

Average Substance Abuse Counselors Salary: $37,940
Adjusted for Cost of Living: $44,116
Hourly Wage: $18
Currently Employed: 110
Cost-of-Living Index: 86.00
South Central Tennessee Nonmetropolitan Area Salary Report

West Tennessee Nonmetropolitan Area

Average Substance Abuse Counselors Salary: $36,740
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $42,721
Hourly Wage: $17.66
Currently Employed: 210
Cost-of-Living Index: 86.00
West Tennessee Nonmetropolitan Area Salary Report

Official Data Sources for Substance Abuse Counselors: Salary Data | Projected Employment | Cost of Living Data