Webinar 24: A Report on the
National Survey of Compensation Among Peer Support Specialists
February 12, 2016
12:00 noon – 1:00 PM EST
Presenter: Allen Daniels
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. Building on earlier work done by iNAPS, two surveys were developed. These include peer support specialists reporting on their current compensation (response rate = 1,608), and organizations who employ peer specialists (response rate = 271). The findings of this study illustrate that there is diversity among the current national structure for the wages of peer specialists. This includes significant differences in average compensation rates between those who work all different hours ($15.42) and only full-time ($16.36). There are also different wage rates among the types of organizations (consumer and peer run organizations; community behavioral health organizations; health care provider organizations; inpatient psychiatric facilities; and, health plan and managed care organizations) that employ this workforce.
An analysis of the wages of peer specialists in the 10 US Department of Health and Human Services regions also demonstrates geographic differences in compensation rates and compares regional and national averages. Inequities in compensation rates are also noted between male and female peer specialists, with men receiving on average in excess of $2.00 more per hour than women. 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.
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