14 Pros and Cons of Being a Professional Recovery Coach

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Addiction, of any kind, is like a savage beast out to destroy a person’s life.

Recovery coaches work with people struggling with addiction problems.

As a recovery coach, you’ll help people establish and implement a plan to overcome their addiction habits.

You’ll develop close relationships with others and be a strength and support in their time of need.

If this life of service appeals to you, a professional recovery coach could be a good career choice for you.

Understanding the pros and cons of being a recovery coach will help you decide if you’re cut out for this profession.

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Pros of Being a Professional Recovery Coach

Pros of Being a Professional Recovery Coach
By helping others, recovery coaches can make a positive contribution to their local community.

It’s one of the biggest perks of the job.

Other pros of this career choice include:


As a recovery coach, you have a greater say in establishing your career.

You can work part-time or full-time, establish your own work schedule, and choose clients as you wish.

You can work from home, meet clients in an office, or travel to different locations to offer your services to those in need.

Some clients will prefer meeting in person while others may give you the freedom of coaching over the phone or online.

There are ample opportunities to grow your business and succeed.

Job Openings

The demand for professional recovery coaches is high, and it’s expected to grow by 23% by 2026.

This is due to the increasing number of people struggling with addiction problems.

Recovery coaches can find work in diverse settings, such as doctors’ offices, hospitals, rehab centers, sober homes, child welfare agencies, and other institutions.

You can also work with individual clients on a personal one-on-one basis.

Over the last few years, recovery coaching has become a valuable asset to the addiction recovery industry.

Rewarding Field

As a recovery coach, you can make a major impact on the lives of people in need.

A job that helps people overcome addiction and live a healthier, more productive life can be very rewarding.

You can have the satisfaction of knowing you’re making a valuable contribution to your community.

Your services will not go unnoticed and your time and efforts will not be in vain.

Although success is not guaranteed in this line of work, you can take heart in knowing that your work can make this world a better place.


A career as a recovery coach can be challenging and exciting.

As addiction is a widespread problem, you’ll work with people from all backgrounds and walks of life.

As a recovery coach, you’ll help people overcome addictive habits that are holding them back from living happy, fulfilled lives.

This will take conviction, optimism, confidence, dedication, and selflessness on your part.

If you want a job that challenges your abilities and skills to the max, a career as a recovery coach could fit the bill.


As no two people are exactly alike, your role as a recovery coach will vary from one person to the next.

By establishing a close relationship with your clients, you can better understand and meet their recovery needs.

You’ll help clients create plans and strategies that will help them move forward in reaching their recovery goals.

You may need to adapt your approach to different clients in order to help them succeed.

You’ll work with people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life, helping them overcome the hold that addiction has on their lives.


With recovery coaching, you have a great deal of flexibility in how you do your job.

You can work from the comfort of your home, from your office, from your client’s office, or on the go.

Your coaching sessions may be one-on-one, with groups, or with families.

As addiction is a worldwide problem, you may even travel to other countries to help people in need.

In whatever setting you choose, your experience and skills as a recovery coach can be put to good use.

Hone People Skills

Recovery coaches need strong people skills to succeed.

Working directly with people gives you ample opportunities to hone the soft skills you need.

These include communication and listening skills, empathy, patience, problem-solving skills, and perseverance, just to name a few.

Recovery coaching requires that you have faith in others and be willing to go the extra mile to help your clients succeed.

You’ll learn how to form relationships with others built on mutual respect and trust.

Establishing good working relationships is an essential part of the job.

Cons of Being a Professional Recovery Coach

Cons of Being a Professional Recovery Coach
The job of a recovery coach isn’t easy.

There will be ups and downs in your career.

You’ll face difficulties that will challenge your resolve.

How you deal with difficulties will determine your aptitude for the job.

Some negative aspects of recovery coaching include:


Recovery coaching can be a stressful career.

If you take on too much responsibility, you can easily succumb to the stress and pressure of your client’s problems.

Progress in overcoming addictive habits can be slow in coming, and sometimes there’s no progress at all.

Lack of progress can be discouraging after putting so much time and effort into a client’s coaching program.

The physical and emotional demands of the job are great and could lead to burnout.

Knowing your limits and setting healthy work boundaries can protect you from the pressures of the job.

Compassion Fatigue

Recovery coaching is a caring profession that exposes you to the trauma of others.

In your quest to help others struggling with addiction, you may become exhausted and overwhelmed.

This state of stress, tension, and exhaustion is known as compassion fatigue.

Sacrificing your needs for the needs of your clients can put you at risk of compassion fatigue.

The secret to successful recovery coaching is setting a healthy work-life balance that meets your and your clients’ needs.

Difficult Clients

As a recovery coach, you’ll meet people who are easy to work with and people who are not.

Bad attitudes, resentments, resistance to change, and pride are typical qualities of difficult clients.

You may get clients who say they want help but aren’t willing to put forth the effort to change and make progress.

This may cause you to doubt your abilities to help them.

Sometimes a client simply isn’t the right fit for you and would do better with another coach or therapist.

Setbacks and Losses

With recovery coaching, you can expect victories, setbacks, and losses.

These are real-life hazards of the job.

A client may be making excellent progress and out of the blue, experience a major setback by returning to his addictive habits.

Although setbacks don’t have to be permanent, they can leave you emotionally exhausted.

There’s also the risk of losing a client permanently to his old habits or having him meet an early demise.

Learning how to deal with losses is a vital part of the job.

Lack of Work-Life Balance

Recovery coaching takes time, effort, and energy to do a good job.

If you’re not careful, you can wind up focusing so much on your clients’ needs that you neglect your own.

This can lead to an imbalanced work-life lifestyle.

Over time, your work may bleed into your personal life, keeping you from relaxing or enjoying time with friends.

Establishing boundaries from the start is important to creating a healthy work-life balance.

Separating your work from your personal life will keep you from burnout and help you stay motivated in your career.

Insufficient Pay

On average, the hourly wage of a professional recovery coach is approximately $20 an hour.

If you’re single and live a frugal lifestyle, you could get by on this salary.

If you have a family, you may find the wages insufficient to meet your family’s needs.

As you hone your skills and gain experience in your field, you can expect increased pay and opportunities for advancement.

Your location, place of employment, and educational background can also impact your earnings for this career path.

Health Risks

Recovery coaches help people who struggle with addictions such as alcohol or drug dependency.

If you have a weakness in these areas, there’s always a risk of falling back into your old habits.

You could bond with a “toxic” client who slowly pulls you into his world instead of you pulling him out.

Along with strength and conviction for the job, you need guardrails to protect you from the risks that come with the territory.

Should You Become a Recovery Coach?

Should You Become a Recovery Coach
Recovery coaching can be a promising, challenging, and gratifying career.

It’s a selfless job that requires conviction, strength of character, and compassion.

Your work helps people overcome addiction habits, so they can live healthier, happier, more meaningful lives.

Your input can help save lives, reunite families, and protect others from going down the path of addiction.

If this sounds like something you’d like to dedicate your life to, then recovery coaching could be a good career path for you.

Pros and Cons of Being a Professional Recovery Coach Summary Table

Pros of Being a Professional Recovery CoachCons of Being a Professional Recovery Coach
Job OpeningsCompassion Fatigue
Rewarding FieldDifficult Clients
ChallengingSetbacks and Losses
DiversityLack of Work-Life Balance
FlexibilityInsufficient Pay
Hone People SkillsHealth Risks

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