It’s all too easy to neglect our wellbeing in our busy (and often very stressful) world. Between work, personal commitments, relationships, and longer-term goals, we’re often stretched so thin that we pick up unhealthy habits.
If you’re passionate about helping others get more active about their mental and physical health, this article will show you how to become a health coach with the right courses and certifications.
Whether you’re an aspiring or experienced health coach, Quenza contains all you need to share digital exercises, worksheets, surveys, or forms with clients and monitor their performance. With Quenza’s $1 30-day trial, you can start designing professional health coaching interventions for your clients instantly, so we recommend working along with your trial as you read this article!
How To Become A Health Coach
Health coaching is hugely in demand, making it a rewarding, fascinating niche to be in as a practitioner.
Like other types of coaching, specialists in the field use a variety of approaches to help clients solve health-related problems or achieve wellbeing goals, working alongside them to create a healthier lifestyle and supporting them on their journeys.
Specialists in the field use a variety of approaches to help clients solve health-related problems or achieve wellbeing goals, working alongside them to create a healthier lifestyle and supporting them on their journeys.
A wide range of career paths exist for health coaches, including:
- Working directly with private clients
- Working full time with a clinic, hospital, or organization
- Offering health coaching as part of a broader program, e.g. life, wellness, or mental health coaching, or
- Starting a wellness or fitness business that includes other solutions, such as books, training resources, or courses.
Because there are so many employment opportunities for coaches, there is also a range of routes into the field.
Generally, however, getting started as a health coach requires the following:
- Researching courses and training. While the health coaching industry is unregulated, practitioners need specific skills, techniques, and experience to help others safely and effectively. Specialist health coaching courses are fantastic opportunities to learn these essentials and gain the knowledge you need to start practicing professionally.
- Enrolling and completing your course. Of course, you’ll need to attend your chosen training program to learn and apply the health coaching skill set! Make sure you choose a learning solution that you can realistically dedicate yourself to in terms of hours and how it’s delivered; in the next section, we’ll review online options that require a few hours weekly and full-time intensive courses for those who are balancing other commitments.
- Gain experience. Learning the theory is one thing, but applying it in practice is another. Many reputable courses will require you to complete some practice sessions or certified coaching hours as part of your program, so that you can get a better sense of how health coaching works with real clients.
- Create a business plan. If you’re hoping to work directly with your own clients, you’ll need a strategy for your practice. While your chosen course may cover a few of the basics, we recommend looking into How To Start An Online Coaching Business for more detailed insight into the specifics of starting up.
- Practice. There are many different ways to create value as a health coach, and one-on-one coaching is only the start. With the right tools and experience, practitioners can easily expand into packages, group coaching programs, learning modules, and other solutions that meet a range of client needs.
4+ Qualifications and Requirements
Unlike medical providers, health coaches don’t need a license to start working with the public. There is no single governing body in the field, which means it’s up to coaches to choose the differentiation points that will make them stand out as credible and reliable.
If you’re looking for ways to convince potential clients that you’re reputable and dedicated to health coaching, consider the following list of optional qualifications:
- Personal training certifications can be helpful if you’re specializing in fitness, exercise, or sports-related health coaching
- Nutritionist certifications may be useful for nutrition-focused practitioners or dieticians
- Life coaching training can be valuable if you’re practicing as a holistic health coach, which is a broader field covering broader wellbeing factors such as stress, time management, and anxiety
- ICF coaching certifications are the industry gold standard for coaches who want an official credential such as ACC, PCC, or MCC beside their name.
Depending on what your chosen specialty is, these additional qualifications can be a practical way to acquire expertise in a specific area as a supplement to your health coaching course.
3 Best Certification Options, Courses, and Training
The following certifications include a flexible array of learning formats for experienced and first-time coaches.
|The National Society of Health Coaches (NSHC) EBHC® offers a perfect training option for licensed healthcare providers such as GPs or physical therapists who want to add health coaching to their arsenal. |
This 85-hour course integrates self-study with practice and includes a year of free NSHC membership, and the society also offers training options for non-clinical practitioners who want to use health coaching knowledge and skills in their organization.
|Name||Evidence-based Health Coach Certification|
|Institution||National Society of Health Coaches|
|Good For||Licensed medical professionals, Organizational teams|
|For first-timers and aspiring coaches with no existing qualifications (yet!), this accredited, science-based program offers various course options for different specialties.|
There are no prerequisites, and the program includes live coursework, virtual interactions with other classmates, and feedback from a qualified instructor.
|Name||Health Coach Certification|
|Institution||Dr. Sears Wellness Institute|
|Good For||New coaches|
|This ICF-accredited course is in-depth, spread out over 98 hours of in-person training with ICF coaches.|
Continued professional training is also offered for registered nurses, fitness instructors, registered dietitians, and other licensed professionals.
|Name||Certified Coaching Professional Program|
|Institution||Well College Global|
|Good For||All levels and professionals|
3 Courses and Training Programs
Here are a few more health coaching courses and training programs to consider:
- AFPA Health Coach Certification Program: a holistic health coaching program from the American Fitness Professionals Association, an Association of Coach Training Organizations (ACTO) member
- Real Balance Wellness & Health Coach Certification: an ICF pathway that includes 48 ACSTH hours, including 40 hours of interactive in-class learning and 6 buddy coaching hours
- ACE Fitness Health Coach Study Programs: The American Council on Exercise (ACE) certification combines video lectures, video coaching sessions, and practice tests into an affordable and flexible course.
Becoming An Online Health Coach: 3 Tips
Most certification programs, of course, are designed to give you a deep understanding of health coaching theory and how you can put it all into action. Once you’ve graduated, however, it’s down to you to run your business.
If you want to become an online health coach, you’ll need to be able to manage the ins and outs of acquiring new clients, delivering programs, and evaluating the success of your solutions digitally. Here are a few tips that will help you get started and grow your practice sustainably:
- Use health coaching software. Running a virtual practice is much easier than managing a brick-and-mortar business, especially with today’s specialist software.A program like Quenza can help you with marketing, documentation, file-sharing, and resource development, while also simplifying how you run group programs and engage your clients. It’s always possible to coach others using a variety of ad hoc apps for different functions, but an all-in-one specialist solution is by far the most efficient and effective way to provide personalized, engaging health coaching solutions while scaling up your client list.
- Expand your value offers. There are myriad potential revenue streams for a qualified health coach, and they’re all easy to offer with Quenza. Think beyond one-on-one billable hours and consider how you might offer packages, employee training, group coaching programs, or information products such as e-courses that may reach a much wider audience than you’re used to.
- Build scalable solutions. Then bring your ideas to life! Online coaching is a unique opportunity for you to help even more clients at scale, and that’s easy when you start with a signature program and build on it. Quenza’s Pathway Tools are the perfect way to create uniform products such as learning modules or workshops that can be personalized in a few minutes to an infinite number of clients across the world. In the next section, we’ll show you how.
Health Coaching with Quenza: An Example
Want to create personalized virtual programs from digital resources that you use in personal health coaching sessions?
With Quenza, you can not only design and build completely unique activities, exercises, and homework for one-on-one use, but you can also reconfigure them in endless ways. This allows you to create standardized products to sell as they are or customize into personalized solutions as a premium service!
You can start by designing health coaching tools such as exercises, lessons, and assessments using Quenza’s Activity Builder, shown below.
With unique features such as the editable Wheel of Life template, your drag-and-drop Activity Builder is an easy way to craft digital solutions for sharing through Quenza’s free client app–rather like a private coaching portal.
Once you’ve saved an activity, you can then use it as a step in an infinite range of programs, packages, or courses using Quenza’s Pathway Tools as we’ve done.
Sharing your solutions with clients is as straightforward as automating the delivery of each step in your Pathways; this allows you to offer courses and coaching journeys on a schedule with minimal effort.
You can even collect your clients’ results automatically using Quenza’s real-time results tracking, as pictured:
It’s easy to keep track of your clients’ progress and tweak or improve your programs based on feedback!
5 Unique Tools Included In Quenza
Developing, sharing, and evaluating your solutions isn’t all you can do with Quenza. Here are a few more tools that can take your health coaching to the next level while helping you grow a profitable practice:
- Quenza White Label: Add your own logo to activities, tools, and PDFs that you create, and customize your clients’ Quenza apps with unique brand colors
- Quenza Notes: Document your sessions with private client notes, or invite your clients to share their thoughts and experiences with you using annotations and comments
- Group Coaching: You can organize and run team or group programs by bulk importing clients, sending coaching materials on a schedule, and bulk exporting results while staying on top of your program through private, in-app group chat
- File Sharing: Store all your files in Quenza’s HIPAA-compliant platform and share them with clients easily through the app to save time on email back-and-forths
- Quenza Expansions: Your subscription comes with free access to a huge library of customizable activities, assessments, and lessons, giving you an efficient way to cut down your prep time by working from digital templates.
There’s no one path into health coaching, which puts you in the driver’s seat with regard to how you get started and specialize.
However, a good certification can certainly give you a head start in the field by providing you with knowledge, skills, and experience. We’d love to know whether a specific health coaching course or certification has helped you in your career, so do leave a comment and share your experiences with your peers.
We hope this article helped you get started on your coaching journey. Don’t forget to start your 1 dollar, 1 month Quenza trial to create your first health coaching solution!
Our all-in-one health coaching app will help you build engaging, unique, and personalized programs based on your clients’ precise needs, and manage your practice from anywhere with an internet connection.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, there is a growing demand for health coaches as people become more interested in improving their health and preventing chronic diseases. Health coaches can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, gyms, and private practices. As the demand for preventative healthcare continues to increase, the need for health coaches is likely to grow.
There is no one set of credentials that all health coaches need, as requirements can vary depending on the state and employer. However, many health coaches hold certifications from organizations such as the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching or the International Coach Federation. Some employers may also require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a related field, such as nutrition or exercise science.
Becoming a certified health coach can be worth it if you’re passionate about helping others improve their health and well-being. Certification provides credibility and shows that you have the skills and knowledge to help clients make positive changes. It can also increase your earning potential and open up more job opportunities.