Peer Specialist Compensation Webinar

The peer support specialist workforce has been growing and expanding since Medicaid established funding for these services in 2007. Absent from much of the research on the peer support specialist workforce has been a detailed national review of wages and compensation. The genesis for this study began at The College for Behavioral Health Leadership during an annual summit, with the recognition that leaders in the peer support services field did not have any reasonable benchmarks for compensation standards. In order to address the focus of this study two surveys were constructed. One was designed for peer support specialists to report their current compensation, the other developed as a comparison for organizations who employ peer specialists. Non-probability sampling methods were used and three lead consumer organizations (DBSA, iNAPS, NYAPRS) promoted and disseminate the surveys. The findings of this study illustrate the diversity among the current national structure for the wages of peer specialists, including significant differences in average compensation rates. There are different wage rates among the types of that organizations that employ this workforce, the regions in which the peers work, the shifts or hours work, as well as inequalities between male and female compensation. The implications for the findings of this study are discussed and include the need for greater attention and focus on the wages of the peer specialist workforce.