How To Become A Certified Recovery Coach In New Mexico

Professional recovery coaching can be a rewarding line of work, as you’ll often see the people you help improve their lives. However, becoming a certified peer support worker or certified professional coach is not as simple as just applying for a job in the sector.

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You first need to receive accreditation and training before you can start helping people recover from mental health and substance use disorders. In this piece, we’ll explain how to become a recovery coach in New Mexico and explain where and how you can receive training.

What Are The Requirements To Receive Recovery Coach Certification In New Mexico?

As we have stated above, you need to receive training and certification if you want to become a certified peer support worker or certified professional coach.

In this section, we’ll outline the minimum qualifications you need. We’ll also examine the other processes you need to go through to become certified by the New Mexico credentialing board.

Minium qualifications

To become a certified peer support worker in New Mexico, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or college transcript.
  • Be a former or current user of mental health or substance use disorder services.
  • Must have been through two or more years of continuous recovery with a letter of reference as proof.
  • Must have completed at least 40 hours of paid or volunteer work in a behavioral health agency with direct contact with clients.
  • Must not have any convictions for serious crimes against persons, such as sexual offenses and domestic violence.

Application process

Prospective professional recovery coaches and recovery peer specialists will need to do the following to apply for training:

  • Fill in the CPSW Online Application Form.
  • Read and sign the Certified Peer Support Worker Code of Ethics.
  • Fill in the Peer Support Worker Pre-Exposure Hours Verification Form.
  • Complete a 15 to 20-minute telephonic interview.


The training process for professional recovery coaches is relatively short in New Mexico, as you must already have 40 hours of experience. It consists of 40 hours of formal classroom training over the span of five days. The training is provided by the Office Of Peer Recovery and Engagement by state-approved trainers.

The training covers the following topics:

  • Professionalism
  • Components of resiliency and recovery
  • Ethics
  • Substance use disorders and mental health
  • Stress management
  • Supportive housing
  • Building communication skills

The training is entirely free, and you will be provided with the supplies used in the classroom exercises. You will also be provided with resource lists, a training manual, and an exam study guide. When you complete your five days of training, you will be required to take an exam and achieve a score of at least 75% to pass.

These exams are held four times a year by the New Mexico Credentialing Board for Behavioral Health Professionals. However, if you fail, you will be allowed to retake the exam on a different date.

While the training is free, those who are not based near the training facility will need to pay for their own travel and lodging costs. All participants will also need to pay for and provide their own food, as the training facility will not provide this.

Recovery coach certification New Mexico

When you complete your training and pass your exam, you become a certified professional coach/recovery coach in the state of New Mexico.

Renewal of certification

You’ll need to renew your certification every year if you want to continue working as a recovery coach. To do this, you’ll need to accrue 40 hours of continuing education units every year.

The 40 hours must consist of at least six hours of professional ethics and six hours of cultural competency. The remaining 28 hours must relate to behavioral health, peer support services, or social work.

The continuing education units must also be from an approved provider.

Other education options

If you’d like to receive credits toward your recovery coaching certification, you can also participate in a professional recovery coach course offered by the University of New Mexico.

It may count as certification in some states, but you’ll have to contact your state-specific certification board to be sure. For instance, if you’re in Florida, you’ll need to check this with the Florida Certification Board.

The course costs $1,895, is 60 hours long, and doesn’t have many requirements other than a computer that will allow you to access the course.

What Job Opportunities Are There In The Peer Support Services Sector?

Once you’re certified, it’s possible to open your own coaching practice. However, there are many other career opportunities in the industry for you to consider.

Types of jobs and their earning potential

  • Peer partner – $24,500 to $49,000 per annum
  • Peer Support – $27,500 to $33,000 per annum
  • Certified Peer Specialist – $29,000 to $37,500 per annum
  • Peer Recovery Specialist – $30,500 to $41,500 per annum
  • Peer Review Specialist – $40,000 to $100,000 per annum
  • Mental Health Peer Support Specialist – $31,000 to $37,000 per annum
  • Peer Support Worker – $31,000 to $39,500 per annum
  • Family Peer Support Specialist – $31,000 to $39,000 per annum


Can you call yourself a coach without certification?

It is not possible to practice as a peer support specialist without certification. However, life coaches don’t necessarily offer the same services as peer support workers. This means they don’t need certifications to practice.

It’s in your best interests to become certified as this gives you training that helps you in your career. Clients also prefer to go to life coaches and recovery coaches with certifications.

What qualities are good for peer recovery specialists to have?

The best peer recovery specialists will:

  • Be honest, friendly, and open.
  • Have good communication skills.
  • Be able to use their experiences in an appropriate and positive way.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve already volunteered or worked for a behavioral health agency in New Mexico, then becoming a certified professional coach or certified peer support worker won’t be all that difficult.

Once you’ve completed your training and the exam, you can start coaching people and helping them with their mental health disorders or substance use disorders.