How to Become a Professional Recovery Coach in North Carolina

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If you have personal experience with drug addiction, it’s natural to want to use your experience to help others currently in recovery.

You can do this by becoming a professional recovery coach.

While you do have to meet several requirements, you can begin your career quickly, rather than spending years in college.

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Steps to Becoming a Professional Recovery Coach in North Carolina

You can provide volunteer peer support without completing these steps.

However, these steps are necessary to begin a career as a professional recovery coach.

The official term for a recovery coach in North Carolina is a Certified Peer Support Specialist, or CPSS.

This is a very rewarding career, and can help you find meaning in the challenges you have overcome.

You will work with those in recovery, and their family and peers.

1. Recover From Drug Addiction

The first step to becoming a professional recovery coach is to recover from addiction yourself.

North Carolina requires that you have one year in recovery before becoming a recovery coach.

This allows you to be able to speak to those currently struggling with addiction or recovery as someone who has been there.

This gives you an empathy that is only possible by living through the experience yourself.

You will understand their current struggles and feelings, as well as how to work through these issues on a personal level.

Education can allow you to understand these things on an academic level, but this is different than having lived experience.

When becoming a recovery coach, you’ll also need to consider if you are ready for the responsibility.

Are you stable in your own recovery?

Can you handle temptation?

Can you discuss your experiences with drug use without rose-colored glasses, which romanticize your experience?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then you are ready for the next step in the process.

2. Be at Least 18 Years Old

North Carolina requires you to be at least 18 years old to become a certified peer support specialist.

If you aren’t 18, you can still work on some of the other steps, but you’ll need to wait to apply for certification.

3. Graduate High School

This step may come before or after you recover from addiction.

If you became addicted to drugs while attending high school, you may not have graduated.

You’ll need to finish high school or get your GED before continuing.

If you have attended college or vocational school, you’ll need your transcripts.

If you’ve graduated, you’ll need a copy of your diploma or GED.

High school transcripts can also be helpful.

4. Get Proper Training

The next step is to complete the required training.

You’ll need at least 40 hours of NCCPSS training which has been completed in the last 2 years.

This training will prepare you for your career as a professional recovery coach.

You’ll also need 20 hours of study in a relevant field, including psychology, counseling, substance abuse, or social work.

8 hours of child or adolescent education also meets this requirement.

Most recovery coaches choose to take the Wellness Recovery Action Plan, or WRAP, course to meet this requirement.

5. Apply for Certification

Now you are ready to apply for certification.

You’ll need to complete an application.

You’ll also need to provide a diploma, GED, or college transcript, and NCCPSS training certificate.

If you meet the additional 20-hour requirement with a college course, you’ll need to send in your college transcript.

If you take the WRAP course, submit a copy of your completion certificate for this course as well.

You’ll need to provide two references with your application as well.

One of these must be someone who has known you for a year or longer.

The other should be someone who was involved in or witnessed your recovery.

Lastly, you’ll need to write about your personal addiction and recovery experience.

Along with your application, you’ll need to pay a $20 application fee.

You can send in a money order or check with your application, or pay the fee online.

Schools in North Carolina

Therapeutic AdvancesTherapeutic Advances

Therapeutic Advances offers several types of training, including peer support certification training.

Courses are offered frequently in Charlotte, Durham, and Greensboro.

The training costs $330-$370.

You’ll learn crisis support, communication training, and addiction education.

In addition, you can take the WRAP course, which costs $155.

On Track WellnessOn Track Wellness

On Track Wellness also offers a Peer Support Specialist Certification Course in Fayetteville and Charlotte.

This course is 50 hours, and covers adult learning, hands-on exercises, and focuses on personal growth as well as career preparation.

You’ll attend 40 hours of in-person training.

The remaining 10 hours are completed as homework, and are self-paced.

This course costs $375, including the course and textbook.

They also offer WRAP courses.

This course is completed over 8 hours, and costs $175.

Recovery Coach Representative Schools in North Carolina – Summary Table

Top 2 Schools in North Carolina

School NameAddress
Therapeutic AdvancesP.O.Box 42315. Charlotte, NC, 28262, USA
On Track Wellness1425 McArthur Road Fayetteville, NC 28311, USA


A professional recovery coach in North Carolina earns an average of $32,963.

The lowest salary in the state is $29,553 and the highest is $36,868.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Professional Recovery Coachs in North Carolina

City NameSalary
High Point$33,012
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in North Carolina

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Asheville, NC260$44,710- NA -$61,930$23,240
Burlington, NC130$55,660- NA -$96,400$23,070
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC1,730$60,580- NA -$97,220$27,330
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC390$113,940- NA -$#$28,190
Fayetteville, NC140$42,630- NA -$63,690$22,180
Goldsboro, NC50$43,090- NA -$63,140$21,820
Greensboro-High Point, NC350$61,540- NA -$78,500$23,230
Greenville, NC140$78,820- NA -$179,440$29,520
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC90$46,380- NA -$64,720$22,200
Jacksonville, NC30$48,320- NA -$64,800$19,460
Raleigh, NC1,010$51,380- NA -$79,160$23,390
Rocky Mount, NC60$44,500- NA -$63,290$23,240
Wilmington, NC180$52,970- NA -$86,190$22,860
Winston-Salem, NC420$54,310- NA -$79,480$22,750
* 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 you need to be certified to be a recovery coach in North Carolina?

Yes, you must be NCCPSS certified to be a professional recovery coach.

However, you can work in a volunteer role without certification.

Are Recovery Coaches in demand in North Carolina?


There are currently nearly 4,500 open job positions for a recovery coach in North Carolina.

How long does it take to become a recovery coach in North Carolina?

Assuming you have a diploma, are 18 or older, and have a year or more of recovery, you can become a recovery roach relatively quickly.

Training takes about 2 weeks.

Then, you’ll need to submit your application and wait for approval.

What's the difference between a counselor and a recovery coach in North Carolina?

A counselor has the academic education necessary to diagnose and treat addiction.

A recovery coach has a supportive role, providing support and helping the person meet their recovery goals.

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