Last updated on November 18th, 2023.
Even though the term “health coach” sounds like something only influencers and the rich can afford, that’s not the case. A health coach brings you into your life when you need support and help in ditching bad habits and adopting new and better ones. More people are looking to live healthier lifestyles that will support them for years to come; this concept helps bring health coaches into the picture. Health coaches are great at helping people get into a healthy lifestyle and keep it that for a long time, hopefully forever.
A health coach isn’t someone who comes into your life to dictate how you live, what you eat or workouts you do. That’s a big misconception. A health coach is more like a partner, personal cheerleader, and health guide. A health coach will help you get into your wellness journey and succeed. You won’t have to go “cold turkey” when hiring a health coach. They will help you create a healthy lifestyle out of your existing one.
A health coach can help you with these six areas of wellness in your life; stress, nutrition, smoking, activity, sleep, and time management. Most of these areas of our lives are intertwined. For example, if you can’t manage time properly, you’re probably not physically active, stressed, and not getting enough sleep.
If you need to change any habit in your life, a health coach will help you get into a lifestyle that is better for you and your health. Their job is to ensure that you adapt better habits that will help you grow out of old bad habits that won’t serve you in the long run.
What qualifications do you need to be a health coach?
There are many viable health coaching credentials with various levels of training from established institutions. According to the National Board for Health and Wellness (NBHWC), many viable institutions offer health coaching certifications. You can choose between public or private institutions. What varies between all institutions is the syllabus, content, contact hours, and other overall requirements. Otherwise, all have the goal of facilitating sustainable change and positively affecting others’ health and wellbeing.
When studying to be a health coach, it would be best to have another course at hand that will help boost your area of understanding and practice. You can pair health coaching with other fields like psychology, nutrition, fitness coaching itself, counseling, nursing, and healthcare. When studying for health coaching, you can pick to do a certification or degree. But, when it comes to hiring, people with a higher education level and experiential learning will also be in luck.
There are many different topics a health coach can help people achieve. Find the 7 main things a health coach covers to have an idea of what to focus on as a professional health coach.
How much money can you make as a health coach?
According to the Kresser Institute, health coaches can earn between $25 to $100 per hour, translating to $50,000 to $100,000 per year. This price range is merely an estimate since most health coaches with a private practice can adjust how much they charge a client. Health coaches who get the best pay mostly work in local, state, and private hospitals. No other institutions or industries pay as much.
What kinds of jobs can you get as a health coach?
Health coaching is quite new in the job market and is still finding its way. But, you can work in various governmental and private institutions as the need for a health coach keeps rising. Although, the industry is undergoing a steep rise since the increase in the number of employed health coaches from 2012 to 2022 is expected to rise by 21%.
As a health coach, your role includes;
- Assessing your client’s health condition
- Coming up with health goals for the client
- Providing counseling services
- Documenting how your client progresses
- Conducting behavioral health screenings
- Coming up with a client’s treatment plan
When committing to such roles, there are many places you can get employment or establish your practice. You can work in industries like; government, hospitals, religious, grantmaking, professional, civic, ambulatory health care services, social assistance, and similar organizations.
The common places to find employment as a health coach include;
- Day spas
- Natural health food stores
- Wellness centers
- Medical centers
- Physician offices
7 types of jobs you can get as a health coach
As a health coach, you have various places you can choose to work—these work areas depending on your desires and the specialty area you’ve chosen to focus on.
1. Running private coaching
Starting a private coaching business would be a grand opportunity to showcase your skills and help others if you are an entrepreneur. A private coaching business offers a lot of flexibility. But that does mean that it doesn’t come with its responsibility because it has lots of responsibility. As a private coach, you can choose how you work with clients, how many clients you partake, and the types of problems you help your clients deal with. You can choose to work with groups, create workshops, or do online coaching. As a private coach, you can also choose to niche down and deal with a specific area of focus.
2. Fitness industry or
weight loss centers
Currently, most gyms need gym instructors who also have health coaching knowledge. So, if you’re an instructor, you could add health coaching to your list of skills and areas of expertise to ensure you provide more services to your clients and sell yourself more because of the extra expertise. Famous gyms like L.A Fitness require health coaching as an area of expertise for a gym instructor. This shows how much more institutions embrace the benefits of a coach for their customers. Weight loss centers have also realized that telling clients what to eat and avoiding cutting weight isn’t the only thing they can do for the clients They now need health coaches. Weightloss Centers consider health coaches as the key to changing a client’s lifestyle beyond weight loss.
3. Remote health coach
These days, most companies have transferred their jobs to enable people to work remotely, including health coaching. You can either work for a health company or your private company and do it virtually. The benefit of virtual coaching is the flexibility in hours. Most of these jobs also allow you to niche down and only deal with clients struggling with the same problems. For example, you could do addictions or weight loss. You can expect to interact with clients via an app when working with companies. Companies like BettrLife and Noom are amongst wellness companies that employ virtual health coaches. You will find more companies have realized the benefit of a connected personal adviser to consumers.
4. Corporate wellness firms
Corporate wellness is a growing field projected to grow to a $15 billion market by 2024. Such considerable growth will impact the demand for health coaches. Around 46% of businesses offer wellness programs employing many health coaches to lead these programs. Corporate firms try to help companies stay healthy, increasing the retention of healthy and happy employees and cutting down healthcare costs. Corporate wellness firms understand that a healthy employee is more productive, and they dont want their employees quitting because of an unhealthy work environment or because they are being overworked. You can check these firms for employment if that’s the niche you would love to work with.
5. Specialty healthcare companies and care coordinators
These companies focus on specif problem areas like habits like smoking or diseases like diabetes. These companies are booming right now, especially and creating an online presence. They mostly need health coaches to help their patients recover better. As a health coach, these companies would be a great place to work because you can then choose a healthcare company that focuses on your niche. For example, if you prefer dealing with people trying to quit smoking, find a specialty healthcare company that helps people deal with such habits, and you will most likely find they need a health coach. A care coordinator position exists in the medical community. Currently, these companies are expanding and needing their care coordinators to act as coaches creating a chance for Health Coaches to get employment opportunities.
6. Traditional and functional medicine practices
Traditional medicine is known for how short the patient and doctor interaction lasts, normally between 10 to 15 minutes. That is a very short time to dive deep into the patient’s eating habits and collaborate to help them change their habits to healthier lifestyles to prevent further damage to their health. Primary care providers working in private practices and hospitals have begun understanding the importance of resources to help patients stay on the right track in their health quests. Most of the time, they hire a health coach or clinician to help lead the patients in the right direction healthwise. Functional medicine practices are also looking to employ health coaches to help them further ensure their patients get on the right path and create better habits and lifestyles that support good health.
7. Creating a hybrid health coaching model
Health coaching isn’t locked into only one way of practicing, and as a health coach, you can choose how you will use your knowledge and skills to help others better their lifestyles. You can start off working closely with a clinician, then proceed to have one on one clients. If you want to, you can then pursue your private practice and choose a niche you wish to move forward practicing or employ other caches later on under your practice to help other people. You don’t have to exclusively work in a hospital for the rest of your life, and that’s why there are so many options to choose from for you to pursue.
More people today are looking to pursue healthy lifestyles and habits that stick for a lifetime rather than short-term diets and cutting off things from their lives that won’t last way because of lacking a mentor to help guide them through their journey.
If you are passionate about helping people pursue better lives through changing their lifestyles and habits, you can do this by pursuing a career in health coaching. As seen above, a lot of data shows just how much promise the industry growth holds. Suppose you are studying to become certified in anything wellness. In that case, you could add health coaching as a certificate or degree to boost your career in wellness, as health coaches are becoming a big thing with time.