How to Become a Professional Recovery Coach in Pennsylvania

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How To Become A Professional Recovery Coach In Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, it’s estimated that 293,0000 people had an active substance-use disorder last year.

The state also has the 3rd highest opioid overdose rate in the country.

So the need for qualified addiction specialists in Pennsylvania has never been higher.

One of those areas of need is for recovery specialists, or coaches.

Basically, a recovery coach is a trained professional that is in recovery, and acts as a role model, mentor, and advocate for those in the beginning stages of recovery.

They help their clients to map out goals and objectives for a recovery plan; education, housing, employment, and whatever else may be needed.

A recovery coach needs to be a great listener, be able to take excellent notes, be patient, and have great communication skills.

Recovery coaches can work in many settings, including emergency rooms, treatment centers, detox facilities, and halfway houses.

If this all sounds interesting, and you think you’d enjoy helping others the way you were helped, read on for some important information on becoming a recovery coach in Pennsylvania.

Steps To Becoming A Recovery Coach In Pennsylvania

In order to practice as a recovery coach in Pennsylvania, the following steps must be completed.

  1. Obtain your high school diploma or GED
  2. Have at least 18 months of sustained sobriety.
  3. Write a 1000-word statement describing your loved experience with addiction and recovery.
  4. Complete a 78-hour certified recovery specialist training course.
  5. Apply to the Pennsylvania Certification Board after successful completion of the certified recovery specialist exam.
  6. Sign the ethical code of conduct.

Schools That Offer Recovery Coaching Programs In Pennsylvania

1. Penn State – Lehigh ValleyPenn State - Lehigh Valley

About The School

Part of the greater Penn State family, the Lehigh Valley campus offers associate degree and certificate programs in a more intimate atmosphere.

This allows for more academic assistance and smaller class sizes.

The school offers 11 degrees on campus and over 275 options online.

Students are offered a variety of activities, including clubs and community outreach opportunities.

Financial aid is available to most students.

About The Program

Penn State at Lehigh Valley offers a recovery coach program that includes instruction on the history of recovery, substance-use disorder, communication skills, motivational interviewing, stages of change, ethical responsibilities, substance use knowledge, co-occurring disorders, recovery planning, and advocacy.

The tuition price is $995.

Address: 2809 Saucon Valley Rd.

Center Valley, Pennsylvania 18034

Phone: (610)2855000


2. Northampton Community College Northampton Community College

About The School

Northhampton College was started in 1967 as a way for the surrounding community to develop workforce skills, earn degrees, and receive academic enrichment.

Today they offer over 140 degree and certificate programs and are known as the largest, most diverse college in the region.

About The Program

The recovery coaching program at Northampton is a 60 hour course which will prepare students to take the state certification exam and work as a coach in a variety of settings.

Topics of instruction include effects of addiction on the brain, identifying cravings, stressors, and triggers.

The course also covers empathy, ethics, solution based coaching, cognitive behavior therapy, recognizing relapse, and documentation.

The price of the course is $1100. Financial assistance may be available.

Contact the school for more information.

Address: 3835 Greenpond Rd.

Bethleham, Pennsylvania 18020

Phone: (610)8615300


3. Villanova University Villanova University

About The School

Founded in 1842, Villanova is a prestigious Catholic University, about 12 miles outside of Philadelphia.

They offer a vast array of bachelor, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

The emphasis is not only on academics at Villanova, but also ministry, social justice, and helping the surrounding communities.

About The Program

Villanova offers a recovery coaching program that consists of 10 classes.

Each class is held on a Saturday and runs from 9 am to 5 pm.

The classes cover everything students need to know to pass the certification exam as well as become successful recovery coaches.

Some of the topics covered include addiction and the brain, mentoring, ethics, peer coaching and support techniques, and communication skills.

The cost of the program is $1,000.

Address: 800 Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Villanova, Pennsylvania 19085

Phone: (610)5194500


Recovery Coach Representative Schools in Philadelphia – Summary Table

Top 3 Schools in Pennsylvania

School NameAddress
Penn State - Lehigh Valley2809 Saucon Valley Rd.Center Valley, Pennsylvania 18034, USA
Northampton Community College 3835 Greenpond Rd.Bethleham, Pennsylvania 18020, USA
Villanova University 800 Lancaster, Pennsylvania Villanova, Pennsylvania 19085, USA

Salary For Recovery Coaches In Pennsylvania

The average salary for a recovery coach in Pennsylvania is $34,368 per year.

This is just slightly below the national average of $34,337 per year.

However, depending on experience, location, and type of facility, coaches in Pennsylvania can make upwards of $40,000 per year.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Professional Recovery Coachs in Pennsylvania

City NameSalary
Upper Darby$36,438
West Chester$35,985
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Pennsylvania

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ640$45,100- NA -$78,530$21,020
Altoona, PA90$51,480- NA -$101,680$16,250
Chambersburg-Waynesboro, PA80$37,650- NA -$65,640$17,240
East Stroudsburg, PA110$46,280- NA -$86,000$21,710
Erie, PA190$45,800- NA -$80,540$17,810
Gettysburg, PA60$57,400- NA -$88,030$17,790
Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA480$48,290- NA -$83,340$20,590
Johnstown, PA120$54,480- NA -$95,720$20,090
Lancaster, PA360$52,300- NA -$86,650$22,330
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD4,290$63,720- NA -$98,070$24,020
Pittsburgh, PA1,590$57,140- NA -$94,960$21,750
Reading, PA260$53,070- NA -$96,530$22,440
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre--Hazleton, PA380$46,870- NA -$80,550$18,300
State College, PA180- NA -- NA -- NA -- NA -
Williamsport, PA120$45,090- NA -$77,200$16,110
York-Hanover, PA190$44,980- NA -$79,510$21,830
* 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 renew my certification as a recovery coach in Pennsylvania?


The certification needs to be renewed every 2 years.

You must complete a minimum of 20 hours of training and send proof of it along with $100 for a new certificate.

What cities in Pennsylvania pay recovery coaches the most?

The cities of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Allentown, and Reading pay recovery coaches the most in the state.

What are some of the ways in which a coach supports their clients?

A recovery coach provides emotional support, informational/educational support, and companionship (accompanying the client to meetings, getting together for lunch to check in, etc).

What do recovery coaches NOT do?

Recovery coaches do not diagnose or provide mental health treatment for their clients.

That is the job of a licensed therapist.

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