How to Become a Professional Recovery Coach in Illinois

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Most people have either had problems with addiction or are very close to someone who has.

Fortunately, there are many options available for a person with addiction and mental health issues to find help.

One of those people you might come into contact with if you have suffered from substance abuse addiction is a professional recovery coach.

A recovery coach is someone who has been on that path and uses their experiences to help other people recover from their addictions.

If you have been on that path and you live in Illinois, you might want to use those experiences to become a professional recovery coach as well.

How can you become a professional recovery coach in Illinois?

What schools and programs are available?

What is the average salary?

We have answers to all of those questions and more.

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Steps to Become a Professional Recovery Coach in Illinois

If you haven’t completed high school or gotten your GED, this would be the first step to becoming a professional recovery coach.

Most jobs, including this one, require you to have graduated from high school or an equivalent.

If this is the career path you want to take, the next step would be to look up the requirements in Illinois.

Some education or training requirements need to be met before you can take the certification exam.

You can meet these requirements through college courses or you can take some online courses that only take a couple of weeks to complete.

Once you meet the training requirements and pass a background check, you can sit for the certification exam.

Once you pass the exam, you are now certified as a professional recovery coach.

Now you can update your resume, do a job search, and start submitting applications.

The hard part is waiting to get accepted for a job.

Once you get accepted, you can finally work your dream job of helping others as a professional recovery coach.

Schools in Illinois

While there aren’t a lot of schools that offer programs for a professional recovery coach, there are many online and onsite options for training and certification options in many states, including Illinois.

Below are some of those programs available in the state of Illinois.

Governors State UniversityGovernors State University

Governors State University offers three certification options for a recovery coach or peer recovery specialist.

These programs include:

  • Certified Peer Recovery Specialist
  • Certified Recovery Support Specialist
  • National Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist

The Certified Peer Recovery Specialist certification training has a total of 100 clock hours.

40 of those hours are required to be specific to a certified peer recovery specialist, 16 hours are related to professional ethics and responsibilities, and the remaining 44 hours are core functions.

To complete certification, you are also required to have 100 clock hours in CPRS domains and 2000 clock hours in personal experience or work.

The Certified Recovery Support Specialist certification requires 100 clock hours in training or education, 100 clock hours in the CRSS domain, and 2000 clock hours in work or personal experience.

The National Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist certification requires 60 clock hours for training and education, 200 clock hours in a peer recovery support domain, and at least 2 years of experience with substance abuse and/or mental health disorders.

Illinois Institute of TechnologyIllinois Institute of Technology

The Illinois Institute of Technology offers a 9-credit certificate program.

This program satisfied all of the Illinois Board of Certification requirements so that students are eligible to sit for the exam upon completion of the program.

The Recovery Support Specialist Certificate program takes approximately 110 clock hours and 300 contact hours.

Some of the focus areas of the program include:

  • Advocacy
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Ethical responsibility
  • Mentoring and education
  • Recovery and wellness support
  • Multicultural competence

Elgin Community CollegeElgin Community College

There are a few requirements for the Recovery Support Specialist program that Elgin Community College offers.

The first requirement is that you need to be a high school graduate.

The second requirement is previous experience in addiction recovery, meaning that you have some past experience with substance abuse and are now in recovery.

The courses that are included in this program are:

  • RSS 101 History and Core Functions
  • RSS 103 Survey of Clinical Techniques
  • RSS 105 Professional Responsibilities
  • RSS 107 Field Experience I
  • RSS 109 Field Experience II

Recovery Coach Representative Schools in Illinois – Summary Table

Top 3 Schools in Illinois

School NameAddress
Governors State University1 University Pkwy, University Park, IL 60484, United States
Illinois Institute of Technology10 W 35th St, Chicago, IL 60616, United States
Elgin Community College1700 Spartan Dr, Elgin, IL 60123, United States


The salary for a professional recovery coach in Illinois is approximately $35,281 with the high reaching around $39,460 and the low being $31,631.

This is a little higher than the average salary for the United States as a whole.

The average salary in the United States ranges from $30,784 to $38,404 with the average sitting at $34,337.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Professional Recovery Coachs in Illinois

City NameSalary
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Illinois

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Bloomington, IL230$42,170- NA -$62,360$24,960
Carbondale-Marion, IL80$65,560- NA -$112,860$28,000
Champaign-Urbana, IL340$69,070- NA -$176,540$25,550
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI7,210$48,980- NA -$79,310$27,290
Decatur, IL70$37,240- NA -$59,590$24,960
Kankakee, IL60$40,890- NA -$62,590$25,590
Peoria, IL220$43,570- NA -$73,310$24,960
Rockford, IL200$40,080- NA -$64,350$27,610
Springfield, IL170$38,620- NA -$53,910$24,960
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Coaches and Scouts, OCC Code 27-2022, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding becoming a professional recovery coach in the state of Illinois.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for becoming a professional recovery coach in Illinois?

To become a professional recovery coach in Illinois, you need to be certified by the state.

Illinois requires you to have the basic knowledge needed to sit through and pass the certification exam.

How often do I need to renew my certification as a professional recovery coach?

When you pass the certification exam, the certification is good for one year.

After that year, you are required to pay a fee and renew your certification and show proof of continuing education credits every two years.

Do professional recovery coach positions offer any benefits in Illinois?

Like any job, it depends on what the employer is offering as to whether you can get benefits or not.

Unfortunately, we cannot say whether this type of job will come with benefits or not.

It is completely up to the company and the employer.

What city has the highest salary for a recovery coach in Illinois?

Three cities tie for the highest professional recovery coach salary in Illinois.

These cities are Chicago, Cicero, and Oak Park.

The highest salary is recorded as approximately $36,222.

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