How to Become a Professional Recovery Coach in New Mexico

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New Mexico has many unique medical career options that may suit you, including the important and sometimes painful world of addiction recovery.

If you’ve gone through treatment yourself and want to make a difference in the lives of others, you may want to become a professional recovery coach.

These experts help individuals with an addiction stay focused on recovery and earn good money with just a minimum amount of hands-on, in-depth training.

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Steps to Become a Professional Recovery Coach in New Mexico

Do you need a college degree to become a professional recovery coach?

Not at all!

This career path does require important training steps, though, to follow New Mexico law.

Thankfully, much of this education is free or can be completed fairly quickly, streamlining your career.

Here’s what you need to do if you want to become a professional recovery coach in the Land of Enchantment.

Step One: Meet the Minimum Requirements

Before you even start your training or fill out your certification application paperwork, make sure you meet several important qualifications.

First, you must be at least 18 years old and have a minimum of a high school diploma or a GED.

If you have a college transcript, that’s great, but you don’t need a specific college degree to start this career.

You must also be a former or current user of mental health or substance-use disorder services, which means you should have received rehab support in the past.

Beyond this requirement, you also need to have continuous recovery for two years and more more with a letter of reference from a sponsor.

Finally, you need at least 40 hours of paid or volunteer work in a behavioral health agency and must have no serious criminal convictions.

Step Two: Apply for Training

If you meet these basic criteria, you can now apply for training to become a professional recovery coach.

First, go to the New Mexico Human Services Department website here and download the CPSW application form.

Fill out all of its information, including your contact information, and verify any details it asks, such as your Social Security number.

On the same site, download, read, and sign the Certified Peer Support Worker Code of Ethics.

This document focuses on important details about your training and career, such as how to talk with patients and what you can and can’t do with them.

Now, download, read, and fill in the Peer Support Worker Pre-Exposure Hours Verification form and submit it.

Finally, you complete a 15-20 minute telephone interview with a trainer who will go over the training process, gauge your interests and abilities, and set up your hands-on educational process.

Thankfully, this period is fairly short and shouldn’t be too challenging for you to handle.

It will require some classroom work, but less than you might expect.

Step Three: Complete Your Training

The Office of Peer Recovery and Engagement will provide you with 40 hours of formal classroom training over five days in eight-hour blocks.

A skilled and state-approved trainer will cover multiple topics to ensure that you fully understand this profession.

Why is this training so short compared to other states?

You need 40 hours before applying for training, which cuts your training needs in half and speeds up your learning process.

Subjects you’ll learn include how to provide professional care, important elements of professionalism and resiliency, recovery support for your clients, ethical considerations, stress management, support housing, communication skills, and substance-use disorders.

This free training includes a training manual, resource lists, and an exam study guide.

After you complete this training, you’ll get scheduled for an exam date.

The New Mexico Credentialing Board for Behavioral Health Professionals provides this exam four times a year.

You must pass the exam with a score of at least 75%.

If you don’t achieve this score, you’ll have to take the test again.

You can take it as often as you need to pass.

Schools in New Mexico

The University of New Mexico provides a six-month, $1,895 professional recovery coach training program that can cover your 40 initial training hours.

Once you’re done, you receive a Certificate of Completion and can take your certification course exam.

This university also provides a certified professional life coach course for $1,995 that covers many of the same topics.

Once you finish this 40-course-hour class, you can take a certification exam and continue on in your career.


Professional recovery coaches make an average of $31,672 yearly in New Mexico, with a maximum pay of about $35,424.

Though not high paying, the minimal training requirements make it a smart career investment.

This fact is true even though you’ll make less, on average, than the national average.

For example, some facilities may provide extra training to help you advance in your career.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Professional Recovery Coachs in New Mexico

City NameSalary
Las Cruces$29,186
Santa Fe$32,448
Rio Rancho$32,182
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in New Mexico

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Albuquerque, NM680$41,310- NA -$63,720$23,920
Farmington, NM40$48,170- NA -$75,600$23,920
Las Cruces, NM130$52,560- NA -$108,140$23,920
Santa Fe, NM40$45,480- NA -$65,970$27,910
* 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to get my certificate renewed in New Mexico?

Yes, you must renew your cert every year by taking 40 hours of continuing education units.

Within these hours, you must have six hours of professional ethics and six of cultural competency.

The other hours must be behavioral health, peer support, or social work services.

Who does this job fit in New Mexico?

If you’ve gone through addiction recovery and want to help others through this process, a career as a professional recovery coach may be a rewarding choice.

You can take the lessons you learned and help others master them.

In this way, you can give back to your community.

Is this a well-paying job for New Mexico?

A professional recovery coach makes about $31,672 in New Mexico on average, while the state’s average salary is $68,000.

Note that career advancement is possible in this field and may include more advanced medical training later.

Where can I get a job like this in New Mexico?

New Mexico has 21 detox centers, four partial hospitalization centers, 88 outpatient centers, 18 residential care options, 14 long-term inpatient facilities, 71 telehealth agencies, and 11 sober living facilities where you can start your career.

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