Summary. We reviewed real candidate profiles to learn the best path to become a peer counselor. We'll guide you through the education, experiences, and skills hiring managers look for in a peer counselor.

  • Most companies require a peer counselor to have a bachelor's degree degree in a related field, such as psychology or business.

  • It's important to have relevant work experience, with typical job requirements ranging from 2-4 years in related fields.

  • Common job titles before becoming a peer counselor include internship, volunteer, and cashier.

  • Hiring managers expect a peer counselor to have soft skills such as analytical skills, listening skills, and speaking skills.

  • Once you have all the required skills and experience, it takes an average of 6-12 months of job training to become a peer counselor.

  • Getting a certification as a Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) will help you to earn more as a peer counselor.

How to become a Peer Counselor in 5 steps:

  • Step 1: Explore peer counselor education
  • Step 2: Develop peer counselor skills
  • Step 3: Complete relevent training/internship
  • Step 4: Research peer counselor duties
  • Step 5: Prepare your resume

Key Steps To Become a Peer Counselor

  1. Explore Peer Counselor Education

    If you're interested in becoming a peer counselor, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 61.4% of peer counselors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 7.7% of peer counselors have master's degrees. Even though most peer counselors have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

    Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a peer counselor. When we researched the most common majors for a peer counselor, we found that they most commonly have psychology, business and sociology.

    Peer Counselor Degrees


    61.4 %


    16.5 %

    High School Diploma

    9.4 %

    Peer Counselor MajorPercentages
    Criminal Justice6.20%
    Other Degrees50.90%

  2. Develop Peer Counselor Skills

    It'll be a good idea to develop peer counselor skills before applying for a job. Here are some skills commonly requested in peer counselor job descriptions:

  3. Complete Relevent Training/Internship

    Peer counselors spend an average of 6-12 months on post-employment, on-the-job training. During this time, new peer counselors learn the skills and techniques required for their specific job and employer. The chart below shows how much time it takes to gain competency as a peer counselor based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and data from real peer counselor resumes.

    Average Amount Of Time At Training


    Less than 1 month

    1-3 months

    3-6 months

    6-12 months

    1-2 years

    2-4 years

  4. Research Peer Counselor Duties

    When you decide to become a peer counselor, It's important to know what duties and responsibilities are required for this position. Some common responsibilities are a part of most peer counselor jobs. Here is a list of the main duties that define the role:

    • Conduct group check-in and co-lead group psychotherapy sessions to help clients identify and manage problems associate with psychiatric conditions.
    • Refer clients (as needed) to inpatient or outpatient substance abuse rehabilitation programs and assist them in qualifying for services.
    • Formulate and edit nutrition education materials and monthly newsletters for WIC participants.
    • Counsele and enroll people in ACA and ABE.
    • Work with multiple groups of undergraduate students to improve GPA's.
    • Present information via PowerPoint and hand-outs to students on the dangers of poor credit decisions.

  5. Prepare Your Resume

    Finally, when you already have checked the skills and responsibilities for this role, you can start creating your resume. Everything that goes into creating a perfect resume can take hours, days, or even weeks. No worries, we created a resume builder to make this process as easy as possible with tips and examples of skills, responsibilities, and a summary.

    Choose From 10+ Customizable Peer Counselor Resume templates

    Build a professional Peer Counselor resume in minutes. Browse through our resume examples to identify the best way to word your resume. Then choose from 10+ resume templates to create your Peer Counselor resume.

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  6. Apply For a Peer Counselor Job

    With your ready resume, it's time to start searching for a new job. Consider the tips below for a successful job search:

    1. Browse job boards for relevant postings
    2. Consult your professional network
    3. Reach out to companies you're interested in working for directly
    4. Watch out for job scams

    Peer Counselor Jobs

  7. How To Become a Peer Counselor
    How To Become a Peer Counselor Career Overview