Professional Certification

Job Prospects

The U.S. Department of Labor projects that employment of substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors will grow 20 percent from 2016 to 2026, “much faster than average” for all occupations. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2017 Edition.)

Select this link to see what some Breining Institute students, graduates, and professional credential recipients, located in 47 U.S. States and 22 countries, have shared about their respective experiences in this challenging, but rewarding, professionIN YOUR WORDS

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RAS Career Path

  • The Registered Addiction Specialist (RAS) Credential is held by addiction professionals in 47 U.S. States and 18 countries.
  • Opportunity for Advanced Level RAS Credentials, such as RAS II, RAS III and the M-RAS, is available with more education and experience.
  • Reciprocity / Exam Waiver for addiction professionals who have passed qualifying alternative exam.

Registered Addiction Specialist (RAS)

Advanced RAS – Level II (RAS II)

Advanced RAS – Level III (RAS III)

Masters Level – RAS (M-RAS)

Exam Waiver / Reciprocity

Candidates for the RAS Credential will not be required to take the ACE Exam if they already hold a State-approved license or certification, or have passed one of the following alternative acceptable exams:

  • National Certified Addiction Counselor (NCAC) Exam, Level I or II, administered by National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC); or
  • Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) or Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (AADC) Exam, administered by International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (ICRC).

Here is a short video which explains the Reciprocity program:


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Specialty Credentials

Breining Institute advanced specialty certifications are available to qualifying addiction professionals and health care professionals with underlying certification or license, and can be earned by completing online specialist courses.

Clinical Supervisor Credential (CSC)

Master Counselor in Addictions (MCA)

Certified Women’s Treatment Specialist (CWTS)

Medication-Assisted Treatment Counselor (MATC)

Forensic Addictions Counselor (FAC)

Certified Co-occurring Disorders Specialist (CCDS)

Certified Case Manager Interventionist (CCMI)


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Substance Abuse Counselor Masters Credentials

Both the Masters Level – Registered Addiction Specialist (M-RAS) and Master Counselor in Addictions (MCA) Credentials are available to counselors with an underlying certification or license, advanced experience and education.

The qualifying exams to earn these Credentials are available daily at over 500 test centers located throughout the United States and Canada. You may qualify for an Exam Waiver if you have already passed the ACE, RAS, CATC, NCAC, or ADC Exams.

Substance Abuse Counselor Masters Credentials: Compare



Substance Use Disorders (SUD) Counselor Certification in California

California law requires individuals providing alcohol and other drug (AOD) counseling services in a State-licensed program to be registered and hold entry-level certification with a State-approved agency.

Once you hold the entry-level certification, you may then be eligible for the Breining Institute nationally-administered RAS and Specialty Credentials.

More information available at this link: California SUD Career Track


Credential Verification

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    California law requires individuals providing AOD counseling services in a State-licensed program to be registered and hold entry-level certification with a State-approved agency. To confirm registration and/or certification by State-approved agencies, please visit their respective websites:
    – California Association of DUI Treatment Programs (CADTP):
    – California Association for Alcohol / Drug Educators (CAADE):
    – California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP):


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Credential Renewal

All Breining-certified professionals need to renew their credentials every two years. The number of continuing education (CE) required is at least 40-hours every two years, and CE coursework may be obtained from any legitimate source, including Breining’s online CE courses.

You may renew your credential(s) up to one year prior to your renewal date.

Use the link below to use the online renewal form for all credentials:

Here are a couple of links to help you complete your continuing education (CE) requirement:



Request for Duplicate Credential Certificate

Breining Institute provides a display-worthy Certificate to new credential holders, upon the initial issuance of each new credential, at no extra charge to the credential holder, which is sent to the credential holder by U.S. Postal Mail or equivalent service.

If an individual credential holder wishes a duplicate of the original certificate, with a current renewal date displayed, Breining will be pleased to provide such, upon receipt of the Request for Duplicate Credential Certificate form and $75 processing fee payment for each certificate ordered.


Certification Document Request

Applicants for Breining Institute Credentials are required to send documentation of education, experience, and other documents to verify their eligibility. Applicants are typically expected to send copies to Breining Institute, and to retain their own original documents, except in the case of original / official transcripts of formal education.

If an individual who has been awarded a Credential from Breining Institute would like a copy of specific documents that they have previously submitted to or that are held by Breining Institute, upon application and payment of the research fee, we will conduct a search of our files and send copies of the specified documents found to the individual.



Online Specialist Credential Courses


Registered Service Marks of Breining Institute

These credentials are registered service marks, and may only be used by professionals who have been awarded these credentials by Breining Institute:

“Registered Addiction Specialist” and “RAS” credentials: Service Mark Reg. No. 65739, Class Number 41
“Clinical Supervisor Credential” and “CSC” credentials: Service Mark Reg. No. 66826, Class Number 41
“Master Counselor in Addictions” and “MCA” credentials: Service Mark Reg. No. 66746, Class Number 41
“Medication-Assisted Treatment Counselor” and “MATC” credentials: Service Mark Reg. No. 66622, Class Number 41
“Forensic Addictions Counselor” and “FAC” credentials: Service Mark Reg. No. 66627, Class Number 41
“Certified Co-occurring Disorders Specialist” and “CCDS” credentials: Service Mark Reg. No. 67864, Class Number 41
“Certified Women’s Treatment Specialist” and “CWTS” credentials: Service Mark Reg. No. 67863, Class Number 41
“Certified Case Manager Interventionist” and “CCMI” credentials: Service Mark Reg. No. 121265, Class Number 41;  “CCMI” Service Mark Reg. No. 5,560,295, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Ser. No. 87-778,904, Class Number 41
“Addiction Counselor Exam” and “ACE” are registered marks of Breining Institute: Service Mark Reg. Nos. 68184, 304796, Class Number 41