How To Become A Certified Recovery Coach In Washington

Have you ever gone through recovery and peer support for substance use or mental health? Your experience could be channeled toward a career in recovery coaching or peer support.

Your role as a recovery coach will be to guide individuals through peer support for mental health, behavioral health or substance misuse toward a life of sobriety.

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We will look at what it takes to become a recovery coach (or peer support) in Washington.

Recovery Coach Certification, Washington

The Washington State Department of Health does not offer a specific “Recovery Coach Certification.” However, various organizations in Washington offer training and certification programs for recovery coaches, such as the Washington Association of Addiction Professionals (WAAP).

Other certification boards to consider include the following:

Be sure to research all the possible certification boards and choose the right one for you. The next step is to begin training in a certified peer counselor course and work towards certification.

Training And Certification Requirements

The training and certification requirements for recovery coaches vary depending on the organization offering the certification. Below we will look at the Washington Association of Addiction Professionals (WAAP) requirements as an example.

The Washington Association of Addiction Professionals (WAAP) requires the following:

  • A high school diploma or equivalent is required.
  • Completion of a WAAP-approved recovery coach training program is required. This program must cover topics such as addiction and recovery. It should also cover ethics, communication skills, and motivational interviewing.
  • The WAAP requires at least 100 hours of supervised experience working with individuals in recovery.
  • The WAAP requires passing a written examination to demonstrate competence in the knowledge and skills required of a recovery coach/ peer support.
  • The WAAP certification must be renewed every two years through continuing education courses or retaking the written exam.

The training takes a while and requires a fair bit of hard work. However, once it’s completed, all that stands between you and your peer supporters’ position is applying for the certification process.

Application Requirements

The application requirements for the Washington Association of Addiction Professionals (WAAP) certification for recovery coaches are as follows:

  • A copy of your high school diploma or equivalent must be submitted as part of your application.
  • Proof of completion of a WAAP-approved recovery coach training program.
  • Documentation of at least 100 hours of supervised experience working with individuals in recovery.
  • Proof of receiving a passing score on the WAAP written examination.
  • If you are renewing your certification, documentation of continuing education courses completed or successful retaking of the written examination must be submitted with your application.
  • The WAAP may require a background check to ensure the safety and well-being of those receiving services from its certified peer supporters.

It is essential to review the application requirements set forth by WAAP carefully. You need to ensure that all required documentation and information is submitted as part of your application.

Earning Potential and Job Prospects In Washington

The earning potential and job prospects for recovery coaches in Washington can vary depending on several factors. This includes your level of education, experience, and certification. However, some general information about this field’s earning potential and job prospects is as follows:

Earning potential

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a peer counselor/recovery coach in Washington state is approximately $40,000 per year. However, this can range from $30,000 to $70,000, depending on experience and location.

Peer support job prospects

The demand for recovery coaches/ peer support in Washington is increasing as the need for addiction and recovery services continues to grow. Job opportunities for recovery coaches can be found in various settings, including inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities, community-based organizations, and mental health clinics.

Working As A Recovery Coach

Working as a recovery coach/peer support in Washington can be a rewarding and fulfilling career. You’ll help individuals in recovery to achieve their goals and live fulfilling lives. Some key responsibilities and duties of peer supporters in Washington include:

  • Assisting individuals in recovery to develop and implement a personalized recovery plan.
  • Providing support and encouragement to individuals in recovery.
  • Connecting individuals in recovery to resources and services that can help support their recovery.
  • Facilitating communication between individuals in recovery and other healthcare and support professionals.
  • Encouraging and supporting individuals in recovery to pursue their goals and live fulfilling lives.

Ongoing Education

Continuing your education as a certified recovery coach/ peer support is vital. You need to keep up to date with best practices and developments in the field. You should constantly be expanding your knowledge and skills.

This is due to the ever-evolving nature of our understanding of mental health and substance abuse.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do recovery coaches/certified peer counselors get clients?

Recovery coaches/peer supporters find new customers through various means. This includes word of mouth, social media connections, and partnerships. Often, previous clients will recommend your peer support services to other people.

What do certified peer counselors do?

A certified peer counselor is an individual who uses their recovery coach training and experience to help others through the recovery process. They support individuals in their journey to manage mental health, behavioral health, and substance abuse issues.

Is the certification process hard?

Yes, peer counselors and recovery coaches face a challenging training process. This includes oral and written tests. It also involves gathering real-life training and experience dealing with substance use and mental health.


Becoming a certified peer counselor is no walk in the park, but the number of people whose lives you can change makes the struggle worth it. With the knowledge and experience you gain through training, you can begin helping individuals who are in recovery from mental health, behavioral health, and substance use issues.