MH Counseling jobs are available to candidates who possess a license and 2-3 years clinical experience. The positions are often available in low-cost community health clinics. If you are going into Addictions - there are jobs and internships available. Again in this market, entry level jobs are being offered to those who are licensed and have experience. In lesser served areas, if a job becomes available, often an unlicensed practitioner is considered.
A side note - before considering a career in Addictions - consider that it is the lowest paying therapist sector. The employment projection is good - with an anticipated increase in jobs. The median salary in a smaller market is $27-$28K to start. The highest paid specialty is school counseling - middle school or university.
I graduated with a master in MHC 6/2010 and am not working in the field. I was in a different financial situation when I started my program than I am now. I cannot afford to work as a clinician without a license. Unless I moved to a location that has a lower cost of living.
I suggest before starting a program to conduct informational interviews with practicing clinicians in the field. Ask about the availability of internships needed to completer your degree, what a day in the life is like, what the pay is like, and how happy are they with their choice. Ask about alternate career paths using the MHC degree. MH professionals will be flattered to have someone asking about their careers and requesting advice. Really.
Hope this helps.