Simple Steps

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Simple Steps to Becoming a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor (CATC)


The CATC credential is commonly pronounced “cat-see”.  Here is the order to follow along your credentialing path:

Get Registered 

1 – Get registered as a recovery worker. California State law requires anyone working in a licensed addiction treatment facility to be registered by one of the authorized certifying bodies.

Get recognized as a CATC-i by taking the exam

2 – Become a CATC-i. The CATC-i or intern means you have completed the educational requirements for credentialing and have passed the CATC exam. To become certified in step 3, individuals need to keep track of 2240 hours of supervised internship work in the profession. The CATC-i is gaining professional work experience toward certification. The i is for intern.

Get Certified as a CATC

3 – Become a fully recognized CATC. The CATC has completed all of the educational requirements at a school other than regionally accredited institutions for certification, passed the CATC exam and completed 2240 hours of supervised internship as evidence of their professional work experience.


Get Certified as a CATC I-II-III-IV-V or N (nurse)

4 – Become a CATC I-II-III-IV-V or N (nurse). The implementation of an educationally based tiered system rewards and recognizes individuals who have obtained certificates or higher degrees from regionally accredited institutions or equivalent, in addition to, meeting the minimum requirements of the basic CATC in step 3. All of the CATC credentials are widely recognized in the profession as credentials with the highest standard of education in the industry, something employers and consumers alike regard in high value.

Renew Your Credential

5 – Keep your credential current. Make sure to renew (recertify) your credential ever two years and complete your continuing education units in plenty of time.

Tip: The I is a Roman numeral for one (1), meaning certified. The lower case i stands for an intern who has passed the CATC exam but has not yet accumulated 2240 hours or supervised internship experience to become certified. Download the Simple Steps to Becoming a CATC document.