How To Become A Certified Recovery Coach In Missouri

Recovery coaches, also called peer support specialists, provide support services to clients recovering from mental health or substance use disorders.

Recovery coaches often have personal experience of overcoming addiction. To become a certified coach or peer support specialist, they must have recovered from their disorders and acquired the necessary training to assist clients and guide them through the recovery process.

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Recovery coaching is just one tool in an addiction professional’s arsenal. Therapists and sponsors also play significant roles in helping people achieve sobriety and rebuild their lives.

Each state has different requirements to become a certified recovery coach.

Read on to find out all the information on how to become a recovery coach in Missouri, as well as future job prospects and salary expectations in the state.

Role of a Recovery Coach

Before discussing how to become a certified recovery coach, let’s first assess what recovery coaching entails.

Peer support specialists facilitate various activities and interactions with people diagnosed with mental health disorders and/or substance use disorders.

There is a connection between the person in recovery and the coach, called “peerness”, as the coach themselves have recovered from either mental illness or substance use.

This connection fosters a sense of hope, acceptance, and validation.

A recovery coach focuses on helping those in recovery look forward, set goals, and avoid relapse.

The services of these addiction professionals include:

  • Contacting clients daily to check on progress and discuss any struggles.
  • Helping clients attend local 12-step meetings.
  • Recommending mental illness or health professionals (therapists and psychiatrists).
  • Assisting with family support.
  • Finding gateways for online peer support services.

Coaches and peer support specialists can also recommend lifestyle changes to maintain a healthy physical, mental, and emotional life.

How to Become a Peer Recovery Specialist in Missouri

Below are the steps required to become a Certified Peer Specialist in Missouri:

  1. Go to the Missouri Credentialing Board’s website or
  2. Submit a training application. Only 30 applicants will be selected for training and will be notified two weeks before the start date whether their application was successful.
  3. Complete the week-long training.
  4. Take an online exam while supervised.
  5. Once the training is complete and the application has passed the exam, aspiring peer supports must visit the Credentialing Board’s website.
  6. Trainees must download and complete the application to become a Certified Peer Specialist or Recovery Coach. The application form, $75 application fee and any other documents must be submitted to the Missouri Credentialing Board.
  7. The application is reviewed.
  8. Should the application be approved, the applicant will become a Certified Peer Specialist and be issued a certificate and a number of credentials.
  9. The certification must be renewed every two years, and proof of 2o hours of continuing education must be submitted. Six of these hours must be dedicated to ethical considerations.

Everything You Need To Know About Recovery Coach Certification, Missouri

Below is all the information you will need to become a certified peer support coach in Missouri.

For a complete breakdown of the certification rules, consult the Certification Rules compiled by the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

What are the requirements to qualify for a peer specialist training program?

  • High school diploma.
  • 18 years of age or older.

What are the requirements to become a certified recovery coach?

One can apply for three kinds of credentials: A Certified Peer Specialist (CPS), a Certified Reciprocal Peer Recovery (CRPR), and a Missouri Recovery Support Specialist. Each has different requirements:


Someone wishing to become certified must attend a one-week (5-day) training course and pass the online exam. After that, they can apply to the Missouri Credentialing Board for their Certified Peer Support (CPS) credentials. They must also have proven experience in recovery, meaning they must have recovered from a disorder themselves.

Applicants must reside, work or volunteer within Missouri 51% of the time.

Applicants must also agree to sign the Recovery Code of Ethical Practice and Professional Conduct to become certified.


To become a Certified Reciprocal Peer Recovery Specialist, you must have 500 hours working or volunteering in peer support. 25 of the 500 hours must be supervised within the IC&RC peer recovery domains.

You must also undergo 46 hours of training to gain knowledge of these domains and pass the IC&RC Peer Recovery exam.

The 46 hours of training in the four domains are broken down as follows:

  • Advocacy (10 hours)
  • Mentoring and Education (10 hours)
  • Recovery and Wellness Support (10 hours)
  • Ethical Responsibility (16 hours)

Lastly, applicants must have a professional reference form and sign the Code of Ethics.


A Missouri Recovery Support Specialist must complete 1,000 hours within the past ten years. They must also complete the MRSS 3-day training program and submit a professional reference form and a signed Code of Ethics.

What are the costs involved?

Training is provided free of charge; applicants will be responsible for all additional expenses, such as lodging and travel, to attend the training course.

The certification exam forms part of the training and is also free.

The CPS and MRSS certification application fee is $75, and certification renewable (once every two years) will cost $70.

The CRPR application fee is $200.

Will there be a background check before certification?

Yes. Peer specialists must complete a Family Care Safety Registry (FCSR) Worker Registration Form. The FCSR will then conduct a background check.

Applicants will be disqualified from certification if the background check reveals any of the following:

  • Name is listed on the disqualification registry of the Missouri Department of Mental Health.
  • Name is listed on an employee disqualification list from the Department of Health and Senior Services or the Department of Social Service.
  • Crimes against a minor.
  • Someone convicted of, found guilty of, plead guilty to, or nolo contender to one of the Disqualifying Crime(s) Pursuant to Section 630.170, RSMo.

Are there continuing education requirements?

Yes. Certified peer specialists must demonstrate 20 hours of continuing education every two years. Six of these hours must be dedicated to ethical consideration training.

Individuals must track continuing education requirements, and certifications must be sent to the Credentials Board should an audit occur.

State Certification Board Information

  • Missouri Credentialing Board
  • Address: 428 East Capital, 2nd Floor, Jefferson City, Missouri, 65101
  • Postal Address: P.O. Box 105380, Jefferson City, MO. 65110
  • Tel: 573.616.2300
  • Email: [email protected]

Information on peer support training

Peer support training sessions in Missouri are currently hosted once a month.

You can find all the information on upcoming training courses on the Missouri Credential Board’s Calendar.

What Are The Competencies Required To Become A Recovery Coach?

Recovery coaches play a vital role in each client’s recovery process and offer peer support services originating from a place of understanding and technical knowledge.

The training programs for CPS, CRPR, and MRSS each contain different yet overlapping competencies that will aid recovery coaches in providing mental health support during recovery.

CPS Competencies

CRPR Competencies

The competencies include the four domains of the IC&RC Peer Recovery support programs:

  • Advocacy
  • Mentoring and education
  • Recovery and wellness support
  • Ethical responsibility and considerations

MRSS Competencies

The two critical competencies of an MRSS are:

  • Recovery mentoring and coaching
  • Recovery peer support services

Recovery Coach Jobs and Salary

Recovery coaches, whether certified to be a CPS, CRPR, or MRSS, can work in various institutions and organizations to help those with mental health and substance use disorders.

The services they provide can be used in private, community, religious, or not-for-profit organizations to aid people in overcoming addiction and related issues.

Recovery coaching job opportunities in Missouri are commonly found at:

  • Recovery community centers
  • Hospitals and emergency rooms
  • Recovery housing
  • Community treatment programs
  • Residential treatment programs
  • Detention centers
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Wellness recovery centers
  • Drug courts
  • Drop-in centers
  • Phone support lines
  • Recovery support services
  • Spiritual counseling services

Recovery coaches in Missouri can expect to earn an average of $27,813 a year, although it can go up to $43,166 a year.


Can I still become a certified peer specialist (CPS) even if I have no lived experience?

You cannot become a certified peer specialist without lived experience with mental health or substance use disorders.

However, family members, friends, or loved ones without lived experience can become an ICAADA Certified Addiction Recovery Coach (CARC). This certification is granted to those who want to enter the field without lived experience of mental health disorders, substance use, or co-occurring disorders.

Do I require any educational qualifications to work as a recovery coach in Missouri?

You only require a high school diploma to participate in the training sessions to become a certified recovery coach.

However, some employers may ask for a qualification in either health care or a set amount of relevant experience before employing a recovery coach, even if they are certified.

How do recovery coaches get new clients?

If you are not employed by an organization that offers recovery support, you are responsible for finding your own clients. Word of mouth, social media, and having a professional website are good places to start.

You can also build connections with other healthcare professionals (therapists or psychiatrists) and contact local 12-step programs to get your name out there and attract clients in need of your services.

Final Thoughts

Recovery coaches offer indispensable services to people recovering from mental health or substance use disorders. They provide clients with a brighter future, steering them away from relapse. Certified workers in this role also get to share similar experiences that they went through to provide hope.

People wishing to become certified recovery coaches can apply through the Missouri Credentialing Board after completing the required training to become a CPS, CRPR, or MRSS.

There are plenty of job opportunities for certified coaches to work in various institutions, including hospitals, recovery homes, and state departments.