How to Become a Professional Recovery Coach in Iowa

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How to Become a Professional Recovery Coach in Iowa

Recovery coaches play a crucial role in providing invaluable non-clinical support to individuals on their journey to overcoming addiction.

The main objective of professional recovery coaches is to offer guidance and assistance to individuals undergoing addiction treatment.

Your responsibility is to motivate and empower patients, equipping them with the necessary tools to overcome substance dependency and achieve long-lasting recovery.

This article explores the field of recovery coaching, so let’s delve into it!

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Job Description of a Professional Recovery Coach in Iowa

Recovery coaches do not engage in diagnosing or treating individuals, as their role differs from that of therapists.

Their primary focus is to provide unwavering support and guidance to clients, helping them improve their lives and successfully overcome addiction.

Recovery coaches can work with individuals struggling with various forms of addiction, including:

  • Substance abuse,
  • Alcoholism,
  • Food
  • Sex
  • Shopping
  • Gambling

Some of the key responsibilities of a recovery coach include:

  • Educating clients on essential life skills, like cooking and cleaning
  • Collaborating with clients to establish goals and develop actionable plans
  • Conducting regular safety and wellness checks
  • Monitoring clients’ progress and holding them accountable
  • Facilitating access to additional recovery resources
  • Ensuring client confidentiality
  • Adhere to HIPAA guidelines
  • Meeting with clients and their families to provide comprehensive support

Steps to Become a Professional Recovery Coach in Iowa

If you aspire to become a recovery coach in Iowa, here are the necessary steps to follow:

1. Obtain a High School Diploma

Having a high school diploma is a fundamental requirement for pursuing this profession.

If you haven’t completed high school, you can obtain a GED certificate.

A GED can be obtained from many institutions offering alternative learning options.

2. Become Certified

The Iowa Board of Certifications (IBC) is the body offering certifications for Peer Recovery Specialists, another term for a professional recovery coach.

The certification criteria are:

  • Having a high school diploma or GED
  • 500 documented coaching hours as a volunteer, employee, or practicum student under approved supervision
  • 25 hours of work under direct supervision
  • Pass the IC&RC Peer Recovery test
  • Have a certification of completion

Regardless of the chosen training program, 46 hours of training must be dedicated to the four domains of peer coaching:

  • Advocacy
  • Mentoring/Education
  • Recovery Support/Wellness
  • Ethical Responsibility

3. Be Sober

There are individuals who decide to embark on a path as recovery coaches, drawing from their personal experiences of triumphing over addiction.

In Iowa, it is imperative for these individuals to have at least one year of sobriety under their belt.

Even if one hasn’t personally battled addiction, it remains vital to uphold the same standards and principles as the clients should.

Options for Professional Recovery Coach Training in Iowa

Let’s have a look at the approved training programs offered by:

  • The University of Iowa
  • The Georgia Model training program (IPSTA)
  • Life Connections

University of Iowa University of Iowa seal.svg

The University of Iowa provides the Peer Workforce Collaborative program, which delivers training for:

  • Peer Support Specialists,
  • Family Peer Support Specialists
  • Peer Recovery Coaches.

The program is a result of collaboration among various groups, including:

  • The University of Iowa National Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice (UI-NRC),
  • Life Connections Peer Recovery Services,
  • The University of Iowa Department of Pediatrics,
  • Division of Child and Community Health (UI-DCCH),
  • Child Healthy Special Clinics (CHSC).

Funding for this program is supplied by the Iowa Department of Human Services.

Georgia Model Training Program

The Georgia Model Training (IPSTA) is based on the work of Larry Fricks, the founder of the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network and Georgia’s Peer Specialist Training and Certification program.

This model trains aspiring recovery coaches and assists them in finding employment.

However, it does not offer ongoing continuing education, so recovery coaches will need to seek opportunities to earn continuing credits independently.

The curriculum of the Georgia model covers four main topic areas:

  • Clinical Supervision
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Basic Diagnoses and the DSM
  • Basic Communication Skills

To be eligible for enrollment, applicants must self-identify as being in recovery.

Supervision in a Georgia Model program is provided biweekly by an individual from the mental health organization where the trainee is employed or placed as a volunteer.

Life Connections Peer Recovery Services is a peer-owned and peer-run organization with a focus on providing support services to individuals experiencing mental health and substance addiction issues.

Life Connections

Recovery coaches at Life Connections operate the Wellness Recovery Center and a peer respite facility known as Rhonda’s House.

They also assist in developing wellness plans and support individuals on their ongoing journey toward health and wellness.

School Name Address
Georgia Model training program (IPSTA) online
Life Connections 3625 Utica Ridge Rd suite f, Bettendorf, IA 52722
Life Connections 215 4th Ave SE STE 300, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
Life Connections 240 N Bluff Blvd Suite 206, Clinton, IA 52732
University of Iowa 201 S. Clinton St. Iowa City, IA 52242
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Salaries for Professional Recovery Coaches in Iowa

It’s only natural to have an interest in the potential income opportunities in this field.

In Iowa, the projected annual income is approximately $32,860.

Acquiring practical experience holds immense value alongside training and acquiring the requisite licenses.

Volunteering at a recovery center emerges as the most straightforward approach to gaining hands-on experience.

Additionally, securing two recommendations can bolster one’s qualifications even further.

If you are looking for cities that provide higher salaries, please consult the table below.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Des Moines $33,160
Ankeny $33,160
Urbandale $33,160
Cedar Rapids $32,854
Ames $32,851
Linden $32,851
Afton $32,851
Davenport $32,588
Iowa City $32,586
Council Bluffs $32,464

Regional Salary in Iowa

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Cedar Rapids, IA40$52,830$25.4$71,840$35,420
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA210$62,840$30.21$85,760$38,810
Iowa City, IA40$51,480$24.75$82,200$35,260
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Health Education Specialists, OCC Code 21-1091, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Must professional recovery coaches in Iowa hold a license?

Yes, professional recovery coaches in Iowa must hold a certification.

While they’re not therapists and can’t diagnose their clients, they still need certain skills to properly perform their duties.

The certification is proof of them having those skills.

What skills do I need to become a professional recovery coach in Iowa?

Here are some of the most important skills you’ll need:

  • Communication
  • Active listening
  • Empathy
  • Interpersonal

What’s the outlook for people who work in this field in Iowa?

There’s always a need for professional recovery coaches in Iowa, but also across the nation.

In some parts of the state, the demand for these coaches may be steady while in other parts it might increase.

USA Professional Recovery Coach by State

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