Last updated on September 26th, 2023.
Wanting to become a health coach is an admirable goal, considering the growing rate of obesity in the United States. The demand for health coaches is consistently growing as the populations in the U.S. and other countries around the world struggle with their weight loss and health goals.
If you’re thinking about becoming a health coach, then you’ll want to take a look at the best health coach certifications you can earn online. What are the eight best health coach certifications that you can earn online?
The 9 Best Health Coach Certifications Online
So, what are the eight best health coach certifications that you can earn online? We’ll cover that in more detail below. And if you are interested in learning about what does a health coach do? This article explains everything there is to know about the topic.)
1. mindbodygreen: Health Coach Certification
Become a National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach with the mindbodygreen Health Coach Certification program. It combines live lessons, online videos, and real-time practice to maximize 20 weeks of intensive curriculum. Graduates of this program are eligible to apply for the HWC Certifying Examination.
The course begins with an engaging introduction to Motivational Interviewing, laying a foundation for effective coaching techniques.
Throughout the course, students will
- Form an in-depth understanding of lifestyle factors influencing health, such as stress, sleep, nutrition, and addiction, enabling you to guide clients towards a holistic state of well-being
- Learn to harness the power of mindfulness tools and mindful coaching to create deeper connections with clients
- Be equipped with the skills to communicate compassionately and focus on clients’ strengths and positive solutions
- Develop expertise in setting SMART goals and effectively measuring progress
- Gain valuable insights into addressing difficult conversations, conflicts of interest, and boundary management
- Learn foundational skills to inspire intrinsic motivation in their clients
- Explore how to ask powerful questions and using the OARS model, enabling facilitation of productive communication and meaningful coaching interactions
Ethics and legal considerations remain paramount in this course, with students learning about the NBHWC Code of Ethics and HIPAA regulations to ensure the utmost privacy and security of their clients’ information.
Students are armed with the knowledge and expertise to make a lasting impact as a skilled and compassionate health coach. Don’t miss this opportunity to transform your career and empower others on their path to well-being! Unlock your potential as a health coaching superstar!
2. ISSA: Certified Health Coach
The Certified Health Coach certification program from ISSA is tailored for individuals who have undergone their own personal health transformation and aspire to empower others. With virtually unlimited potential for meaningful careers in the field of health and wellness, this course offers the opportunity to play a critical role in reversing the chronic disease epidemic and addressing global health-related challenges.
- Understand the principles of holistic health and wellness and their impact on overall well-being.
- Acquire the essential coaching techniques and skills to guide clients effectively towards their health goals
- Implement evidence-based health coaching strategies to promote behavior change in clients
- Explore a wide range of health and wellness topics, covering physical, mental, and emotional aspects
- Gain the necessary tools to identify individual client needs and tailor personalized health plans
- Prepare for the ISSA Certified Health Coach examination to achieve professional certification
Choose the Health Coach Certification program that suits your goals
- ISSA certified health coach textbook
- Robust Video Lectures
- Unlimited support from a dedicated success team
- Study at your own pace, or follow their 10-week guided schedule
- Pass the open-book, untimed final exam from anywhere!
Rooted in evidence-based practices, this program instills students with the necessary confidence, skills, and knowledge to effect positive changes in health and disease by guiding clients towards optimal well-being and longevity. Sign up and explore your options today!
3. ACE Fitness
ACE Fitness offers another excellent Health Coach Certification option. ACE Fitness’s Health Coach Certification option is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), this is the highest standard in the health and fitness industry. So, if you want to become an ACE Certified Health Coach, you can achieve this with ACE Fitness’s training.
ACE Fitness focuses on behavior-changing science as well as lifestyle medicine. In the training program, students learn essential core competencies that factor into health coaching during their learning process. Students are also taught about strategies that are both effective and practical and can be easily used to motivate another’s lifestyle change. This results in a positive impact.
ACE Fitness’s training program works well for exercise professionals as well as individuals that work in a clinical setting. This program will teach you how to
- actively listen
- interview individuals
- learn how to set goals for clients
ACE’s Health Coach Certification provides students with several digital and print materials that allow students to learn at their own pace. You’ll be able to learn online from the comfort of your own home, but you’ll still undergo a comprehensive training program that will help you pass the certification exam to become a health coach.
The price for the ACE Health Coach Certification Exam is included when you pay for your study program. You do need to register for your test within six months of receiving your materials from the school.
4. Primal Health Coach Institute
This Primal Health Certification Course was founded by Mark Sisson who is considered one of the pioneers of the ancestral health movement. Mark Sisson wrote the wildly successful book, the Primal Blueprint, which started an entire primal movement. The health, fitness, and nutrition coursework is based on Mark Sisson’s books focusing on what our bodies are naturally designed to do:
- Living and thriving
Primal is a nutrient-dense, whole-food, low-inflammatory approach to food choices. The primal diet centers around the foods we have evolved to eat which are nutrient-dense whole foods including plants, animals, and healthy fats. Our bodies are designed to eat real food from plants and animals raised in natural conditions, grass-fed, and free of hormones and antibiotics.
Primal fitness is appropriate for all levels. Primal exercise stresses movements that mimic those of our primitive ancestors: lifting heavy things, running fast, walking, and working out in short intense bursts. Our well-being depends on what we eat, how we move, and our lifestyle. Every choice we make affects our health and wellness.
Living and thriving mean spending time in nature, nurturing relationships and social connections, balancing work and play, and sleeping well.
What You Will Learn
Primal Health Coach Institute provides the most in-depth and up-to-date ancestral health education in the world that provides you with tools to become an expert coach and a successful entrepreneur. It contains 20 chapters of multimedia educational resources including audio, video, text, webinars, and supplemental eBooks.
During this course, you will learn how to:
- Coach clients toward fitness, lifestyle, and dietary choices that support their goals
- Get the tools to start and run your own health business
- strengthen your coach to client bond
- The craft of intuition, collaboration, and mentorship
- Understand health sciences and how the body works
Primal Health Coach grads and students have access to the Business Resource Center where they find practical tools to help them get their businesses up and running. Grads also have access to webinars, live events, and masterclasses on coaching and how to run a successful business and live monthly webinars to keep your skills sharp.
5. Health Coach Institute
One of the top certification programs in health coaching is offered by the Health Coach Institute. The Health Coach Institute was created by two experienced health coaches, Cary Peters and Stacey Morgenstern. Back in 2010, Morgenstern and Peters also designed a graduate-level Health Coach training program, which comes in the form of a Holistic MBA. That program rapidly became one of the top graduate business programs offered in health and personal development.
Even with the success of their Holistic MBA, Morgenstern and Peters realized that there was a problematic gap in the way most Health Coaches were receiving their education. So, these two health coaches compiled the knowledge they had learned during their progress as health coaches and then released the fundamental “Become a Health Coach” (BHC) program in 2015.
The BHC program offered by the Health Coach Institute spans for six months and teaches students how to become effective health coaches. Their program helps students learn how to effectively coach clients and create their own successful health coaching business. Plus, the BHC program is also CCE-accredited by the International Coach Federation.
Students report that the online course content provided by the Health Coach Institute is easy to follow and well-paced. The BHC program makes it easy for students to work through modules. All the student needs to do is commit to finding a certain amount of weekly time to complete their modules. The time commitment for many of these courses is about five hours per week.
The content in the BHC program is reportedly so high-quality that many students find that it changes their lifestyles. Part of this comes from Peters encouraging students to remember that they can only go as far with their clients as the students are willing to go themselves. That means students focus on personal development, too, and have plenty of opportunities to push themselves to the next level.
Students in the BHC program are assigned a weekly skills lab, and they work with a partner to complete that skills lab. The skills labs help promote student confidence so that they realize they can successfully help their clients. Students further participate in “Success Calls” with BHC’s Success Coach team, which provides real-life guidance from those already working as health coaches.
At the Health Coach Institute, the two famous co-founders, who are both successful Health Coaches that earn over six figures yearly, teach the class. They offer a lot of valuable information and plenty of guidance from their personal experiences. These two health coaches teach students proven methods that are guaranteed to work. This strategy helps students personally relate to both health coaches.
These courses are also very flexible and designed to be completed from the comfort of your own home. The material is broken down into pieces that are easy for students to complete, no matter how busy they are.
The Health Coach Institute offers an outstanding level of support and a great community for students. Students are encouraged to be themselves within the Health Coach Institute’s active community. If students can’t find the answers to certain questions, they can access the private Facebook group, email support, or seek help on their Success Calls. Plus, the students in the private Facebook group are very active and happy to help each other.
Students are also invited to come to the Health Coach Institute’s HCl Live event, which is usually paid for when students enroll. The experience spans three days and allows you to meet the students and teachers at the Health Coach Institute. The three days are spent learning about Health Coach instruction and provides students with the ability to network with each other.
6. Pre Kure
Another excellent option for your health coach certification online comes from Pre Kure. Pre Kure’s certificate is designed for individuals that want to coach other people and apply the most recent scientific evidence of both lifestyle and prevention medicine. The instructors at Pre Cure include some of the most well-known world experts and academics that utilize evidence-based data to construct their education.
Courses at Pre Kure focus on behavior change, which includes:
Learning these tools assists students with learning how to teach people to make behavioral changes that stick.
Pre Kure also uses science-based nutrition information to build the students’ knowledge and confidence. By ingesting the experience at Pre Kure, students will be able to sustain educated conversations about nutrition by knowing what will work, and for whom.
Students are taught the most recent trends and research at Pre Kure with a focus on exercise and health. Students will learn from the most current techniques for encouraging optimal health as well as a long life. Plus, students will also obtain a complete comprehension of fitness as a science.
Students will also learn how to form a lifestyle that
- Optimizes performance
- Optimizes brain activity
- Optimizes wellbeing
Features of the Course
Pre Kure’s health coach certification provides twelve two-hour coaching labs that are live and online. During that time, students learn from the expert teachers at Pre Kure via a live online setting that’s interactive. That means students can try out what they are learning in a safe space, allowing them to develop the confidence they’ll need when they start working with real-world patients and clients.
Once you become surrounded by other health coach students, you’ll feel their inspiration and motivation. That’s one of the other important goals of these live, interactive sessions. Inside this safe space, you can practice and discuss your experiences with other students as you train for your successful career.
You can also study online, at home, anytime you want with this program. All of the classes offered by Pre Kure can be easily accessed from your smartphone, tablet, or computer while you are at home. You’ll be able to learn on your own time and at your own pace.
7. Institute for Integrative Nutrition
Integrative Nutrition offers another excellent certification online for those of you seeking to become a health coach. Integrative Nutrition’s website asserts that they founded the field of health coaching almost three decades ago. Since then, Integrative Nutrition has risen to become the most massive health coaching and nutrition school. Integrative Nutrition has educated more than one hundred thousand students and boasts of having graduates in 155 different countries.
At Integrative Nutrition, the school attempts to utilize a holistic approach when it comes to wellbeing and health. The school educates students not just about the food that they are eating, but also about how nourishment can be found in other aspects of life. Those aspects include things like:
- Physical activity
The holistic approach used at Integrative Nutrition has allowed them to develop one of the most well-known Health Coach Training Programs. The curriculum emphasizes three different topics, which are:
By combining those three topics, Integrative Nutrition provides students with an approach that’s integrated, while focusing on holistic health and developing an attractive health coaching business. Integrative nutrition uses a method that features live coaching sessions so that students can practice and learn how to interact with their clients. By participating in these live coaching sessions, students gain the confidence necessary to assist their clients in the future.
Plus, Integrative Nutrition has more than eighty-five experts on hand that are experienced in all forms of
- Public health
- Integrative health
- Health coaching
Students learn from a many different experts that help them to obtain the skills they need to build their confidence. As a result, they can successfully handle their clients and coach themselves and their clients in the future.
The curriculum at Integrative Nutrition uses the best standards and receives regular reviews from the New York State Department of Education. Students receive the most recent, accurate information to help make their own health decisions and the health decisions for their clients. The curriculum focuses on building confidence, and the high-caliber quality of the education offered by Integrative Nutrition guarantees the students success.
Students can also access all of their learning materials easily online via the Learning Center. So, students never have to purchase books or other costly materials. That allows students to learn on any device they own, anyplace at any time, as long as they have an internet connection. There is also a lot of flexibility with Integrative Nutrition’s program. You can earn your certificate
- in one year
- in six months through the accelerated program, or
- in the Spanish-supported program
8. Dr. Sears Wellness Institute
Another excellent program in health coaching comes from Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. At Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, their health coach certification has been offered online since 2008. So, this school has been around long enough to have established an excellent reputation. The program at Dr. Sears Wellness Institute was created by Dr. Bill Sears and a panel of other experts. The focus of the courses is on:
- holistic health
- science-based health
- coach training
At Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, students learn about what Dr. Sears considers the four pillars of health. Those pillars include:
Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is both approved and accredited by reputable organizations. The health coach certification program at this school provides you with everything you’ll need to become a successful health coach. As you train, you’ll take part in a beautiful online learning experience and enjoy plenty of flexibility so that you can learn at your own pace. You’ll also take part in training sessions from expert instructors who are there to give you plenty of support and assistance.
Once you’ve completed your certification, you’ll still receive support from the team at Dr. Sears Wellness. You’ll also keep your access to your Certified Health Coach online portal. You can continue to receive education on the most recent nutrition and lifestyle topics. You’ll learn how to become an entrepreneur and encourage healthier lifestyles in both yourself and others.
Dr. Sears Wellness Institute also provides students with the opportunity to find jobs as a Health Coach by merely being a part of their organization. They help students find employment from organizations that are looking for Certified Health Coaches. Their connections include
- doctor offices
- insurance companies
- fitness centers
- virtual coaching organizations
Dr. Sears Wellness Institute will also instruct you how you can become an established speaker if that’s a passion of yours. By becoming a health coach speaker, you can become the voice of health and inspire others to live healthier lifestyles. You’ll also be able to reach out to both vast and small audiences, providing them with the knowledge to improve their lives.
9. Vibrant Living
Vibrant Living also offers a successful online health coach certification. Vibrant Living’s mission focuses on giving students the right skills and knowledge so that they can successfully heal:
By undergoing the health coach certification program at Vibrant Living, students learn how to apply health skills to their lives and then to their client’s lives. The Holistic Health Coaching Certification Program offered by Vibrant Living lasts for six months. The class is designed for individuals that want to learn more about health and how to mentor others so that they, too, can achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Vibrant Living breaks down their Holistic Health Coaching Certification into eight different modules, which they say is similar to the structure of a tree. Students are encouraged to complete their certification course within six months. However, the program will allow you up to one full year to complete your studies if you need extra time. You’ll also be provided with live ongoing mentoring during your year of training. The eight modules are:
- Purpose and Passion
- Sharing Your Gifts
1. Soil: According to Vibrant Living, the soil part of their program develops the foundational skills that you’ll need to grow as a health coach. You’ll be able to gain clarity and learn how to form a peaceful space. You’ll also be taught how you can improve your health and manage relationships well.
2. Body. The body part of Vibrant Living’s program features different health programs that offer:
- health tips
You’ll also learn about body image and how exercise and diet can improve the way people feel about themselves. Diet and exercise not only help to improve one’s physical looks, but it can also help to better a person’s mental health. You’ll learn new skills by performing health questionnaires with potential clients.
3. Heart. The heart segment of this program focuses on your emotional release processing and forming your belief breakthrough. You’ll be taught about heart health and how that’s one of the most important focuses of a better lifestyle. You’ll also learn how to help with emotional release breakthroughs when people finally commit to bettering themselves. At this stage, you’ll work with a peer coach one and one so that you gain practice with these skills.
4. Mind.The fourth segment of the certificate covers your mind. This section focuses on improving your power and using your old mind to develop affirmations as well as your life vision. You’ll also learn how to use positive psychology to help motivate and improve the lives of your potential clients.
5. Soul The fifth section of the certification focuses on implanting the tools you’ll need for success. That includes meditation and making spiritual connections.
6. Systems In the systems section, students are taught to set up systems in all parts of their lives, including:
The focus is on building a residual income and developing your own thriving business. You’ll also be taught how to find referral partners, clients, and how you can use websites for marketing your business successfully.
7 Purpose and passion. The seventh section of the health certification focuses on finding your strengths and developing them. You’ll also learn how to create an event, like a class or a webinar, that demonstrates that purpose.
8 Sharing Your gifts. The last section of the health certificate teaches students how they can share their:
How long does it take to get a health coach certification?
Most health coach certifications take about six months to complete. However, many of the programs allow you to study on your own time. So, depending on the plan and the amount of time that you put into your studies, you could wind up finishing the course faster than six months, or taking classes for longer than six months. Still, most certifications expect students to complete their programs within six months to one year. After that, you can start your practice and begin to make money as a health coach!
How hard is the ACE health coach exam?
Many people pursue ACE Fitness’s certification because they offer an exam that is included at the end of your studies. Also, AcCE Fitness provides a very well-rounded certification program. Since the American Council of Exercise accredits ACE Fitness, there is a lot of care and thought put into this program. Ace Fitness is the only program on this list that offers an NCCA-accredited certification in health coaching.
Because of the NCCA accreditation attached to ACE Fitness, students develop a detailed understanding of what it takes to be a health coach. That means you’ll be well-prepared for the Ace Fitness exam. After you obtain your certification, you’ll still need to maintain your certification by undertaking some professional development courses. You are expected to have progressed in your subject so that you know about new scientific research.
If you enroll at ACE Fitness, you’ll pick between either the standard or the premium program. The standard option is less expensive. However, selecting the premium program will provide you with more study materials as well as practice tests. You’ll also receive the ACE Health Coach Manual, which is what you’ll need to study from to past the test.
You’ll need to study your material for about eight to one hundred hours to learn the ace Health Coach Manual inside and out. If you do sign-up for the premium program, those extra study materials can give you the boost you need to pass your exam.
(For everything you need to know about the ACE Certification Exam, follow that link.)
Do you need a degree to become a health coach?
While you don’t necessarily need a degree to become a health coach, you do need certification and proof of training. If you do earn an associate degree in healthcare or some other field that is related to health coaching, that will suffice, but it isn’t necessary.
Obtaining a certification from a school that is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, which ACE Fitness is, is your best bet for securing employment with a health coach certification. However, certificates from the other health coach training programs listed above are also considered by the vast majority of organizations that seek to hire health coaches.
Most organizations also prefer that you have some experience in one of these fields:
Companies usually prefer that your experience focuses on making health plans for clients, and also that you can demonstrate leadership skills. However, the requirements for any health coach job will depend a lot on the company’s needs. It is typically expected that most health coaches should already have some experience in a similar field before they earn a health coach certification.