Is Health Coaching A Good Career

Is Health Coaching A Good Career?

Healthcare is in crisis. There’s a massive rise in chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, a problem that’s compounded by escalating medical coverage costs. Where conventional medicine has failed, a health coach can step in to help.

A health coach is a wellness expert who helps clients feel healthier through nutrition and lifestyle shifts. Health coaches work one-on-one to create holistic wellbeing programs for their client’s specific needs and to guide them toward reaching these goals.

As chronic diseases spike and more and more people seek a healthier lifestyle, the demand for health coaches has skyrocketed. It’s a lucrative career with many employment opportunities. You can work independently or in a commercial setting. Salaries are competitive and increase as you advance your education. The health coaching market is expected to grow substantially in the next three years.

Is health coaching a good career? Read on to find out how health coaching may be perfect for you.

What Does a Health Coach Do?

A health coach helps educate and inspire people to acquire healthy, sustainable behaviors that optimize their wellbeing. The health coach isn’t a physician. He/She is a practitioner whose holistic approach focuses on the entire person, rather than an isolated symptom or behavior. Health coaches assess many aspects of your life in relation to a specific health goal. They don’t provide one-size-fits-all solutions.

For example, if you’re overweight, the health coach won’t merely concentrate upon your weight or level of exercise, itself. Instead, the coach evaluates your relationships, nutrition, environment, and even your spirituality and how these factors all intertwine.

A coach may discover that you’re in an unhappy relationship, have few friends and feel too listless to cook. A Western doctor may simply give you several suggestions about changing your diet. The health coach will, instead, help you address the core issues, not merely the symptoms. The coach may discover that you need to build your confidence or strive for healthy relationships. These are targeted as the real goals necessary for you to lose weight.

Although health coaches don’t make medical diagnoses, they focus upon three things when addressing a health issue:

  1. Physical activity
  2. Nutrition education
  3. Behavioral change

Behavioral change is the foundation of a health coach’s job. First, the coach will help you find a starting point for your goal. Then the coach will encourage small, manageable mindset changes that will eventually produce a big result.

In addition to facilitating changes in behavior, health coaches help clients in many other ways…

  • Health coaches fill the void created by the healthcare system. Appointments with traditional doctors are notoriously brief. You’re deprived of quality time and are made to feel as though you don’t matter. In contrast, health coaches devote a significant amount of time to each client.
  • A health coach helps you understand the link between what you eat and how you feel. Although there’s a vital connection between food and health, many physicians are poorly versed in nutrition, particularly whole foods. A coach knows that instilling healthy habits and changes isn’t just related to physical health but also to emotional and mental soundness.
  • A health coach will hold you accountable. The coach won’t pressure you to achieve immediate, dramatic results. However, they will expect you to follow through and reach bitesize goals within an allotted timeframe. If you misstep, they won’t criticize you but will help you get back on track.

This highly supportive, holistic approach to wellness opens up many opportunities for health coaches…

Is There a Demand for Health Coaches?

Yes! There’s an ever-increasing demand for health coaches, and the job outlook is bright. Previously drawing some skepticism, the health coaching market reached $6 billion in 2017, a 15 percent increase from 2014. The market is forecast to reach $7.85 billion by 2022, with 121,000 practicing coaches.

The subspecialty market of weight loss coaching alone is worth $738 million. This market is expected to vault to $1.05 billion by 2022.

The breakdown of our nation’s healthcare system is primarily responsible for the demand for health coaches. Some of these factors include:

  • Brief, mechanical doctor appointments. These time constraints are driving people to seek more comprehensive, personable care, which fosters the growth of health coaching.
  • Health coaches spend a considerable amount of time with you, to get a bigger picture than doctors do. Additionally, their in-depth attention to your nutrition, emotional wellness, diet, and exercise can improve your health, leading to fewer doctor visits.
  • Physicians aren’t trained to assist patients in changing their behavior. Health coaches mentor clients to change their root behaviors and make more health-conscious decisions.
  • Doctors diagnose and treat illnesses, but health coaches can proactively teach preventative habits so that visits with a doctor become unnecessary.

Health coaches are at the forefront of holistic wellness. This has resulted in an unprecedented demand, making them highly employable…

Is Health Coaching a Good Career

What Job Options are Available for Health Coaches?

There are many career paths you can follow as a health coach:

  • Private coaching – As a private coach, you will interact one-on-one with clients. You’ll be guiding people who can’t make progress on their own to make healthful changes in their lives.
  • Group coaching – If you enjoy personal interaction with a group, then group coaching may be a good fit for you. With group coaching, the group chooses a health topic they want to address, such as obesity. You can connect with health food stores, churches, wellness centers, and other organizations to offer workshops or ongoing events.
  • Hospital or doctor’s office – More and more doctors and hospitals are recognizing the benefits of health coaching and its holistic approach to wellness. You may be able to provide your services as a residential health coach.
  • Resorts and day spas – As awareness about integrated health approaches grows, resorts and day spas have begun to make these services available. Besides fitness classes, massages, and organic food, these establishments seek health coaches to enrich the experience.
  • Gyms – Gyms are seeking ways to distinguish themselves from competitors and are expanding their services beyond personal training. They’re partnering with health coaches to give them this distinction. Some gyms that have fitness coaches include LA Fitness, Anytime Fitness, and Snap Fitness.
  • Corporations – As large corporations become more devoted to their employees’ wellbeing, health coaches are being brought on board for one-on-one sessions and group coaching. In this setting, a coach will assess everything from what’s served in the cafeteria to forming weight loss support groups.

Find out how to get a job as a health coach in our dedicated guide.

Since health coaches are highly in demand in these settings and many more, they can make a very nice living…

What is the Average Health Coach Salary?

Working as a private coach and working for a company are both viable ways of making a living. However, when working as an independent coach, many more salary variables determine how much you’ll make…

According to certified health coach Kathleen LeGrys of Health Coach Solutions, the following is generally the pricing breakdown for private health coaches:

  • Most private health coaches conduct two sessions per month at 45 to 60 minutes. (Of course, you’re free to take longer.)
  • New coaches charge between $50 to $75 per session. Experienced coaches charge $100 to $200 per session. Since change takes time, numerous sessions will probably be necessary. Multiple sessions will increase your earnings.
  • Most coaches charge by the package (three or six months), ranging from $1,200 to $2,400 per package.

If you’re working for a company, the numbers are typically fixed…

  • The median base pay for health coaches employed by a corporation is $45,116, with salaries ranging from $32,000 to $68,000.
  • Different parts of the country are more lucrative for health coach careers than others. New York surpasses the national average by 27 percent, Pittsburgh by 45 percent and Houston by a whopping 49 percent.

Health coaching is a noble profession. You’re enriching other people’s lives and, consequently, enriching your own. It’s a very fulfilling way to earn a living…

What Kind of Job Satisfaction Can You Expect as a Health Coach?

There are many ways that health coaching can be a richly rewarding career:

  • You’re helping people make a positive difference in their lives.
  • It gives you a sense of purpose.
  • You can be your own boss.
  • You can create financial freedom.
  • You’ll be doing what you love – and getting paid for it!

So long as you have the right personality traits, and are willing to invest in yourself, health coaching just might be the career for you.

Care to see some websites of health coaches who’ve successfully turned their passion into a career? We’ve compiled a list of 30 successful entrepreneurs.

Conclusion

Health coaches are revolutionizing healthcare. Almost half of all Americans – 45 percent or 133 million – have at least one chronic illness, a byproduct of a seriously flawed health system. A health coach’s work is to help people avoid becoming one of these statistics.

Is health coaching a good career? Absolutely.

So, what are your thoughts about health coaching as a career? Leave your comments below!

Sources

  1. https://www.marketdataenterprises.com/get-this-marketdata-report-for-a-complete-analysis-of-the-healthy-coaching-market-see-table-of-contents
  2. https://www.healthcoachsolutions.net/about-kathleen-legrys
  3. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Health_Coach/Salary
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5876976

12 Comments

  1. Hello,

    This sounds like a very interesting career. What kind of education do I need to become a Health Coach?

    I live in Colorado, and I could see this becoming a very big thing here, I have not checked into this as I did not know it was a potential career. 

    This sounds like it is more of psychology mixed with medicine, which means to me I would need some kind of degree to be able to get into this field. 

    Would it be worth my time at 46 years old to go through the required education for obtaining such a position?

    Thanks for this article.

    Stacie

  2. Doychin Paunov

    Hello, Debbie. I have 15 years experience in the health care industry, specifically as a professional massage therapist and fitness instructor. During my practice, I have met hundreds of clients with health problems. Some were overweight (because they did not know what a healthy diet was) and others suffered because they had reduced their muscular activity to zero. Many of them had very harmful habits. I came to the conclusion that people just forgot how to live healthy lives. That is why I think there is a great future for health care teachers.

    Best Regards!

  3. Having a health coach is important in a number of ways. Its helps reduce stress and some hidden chronic diseases. Its helps stay motivated and build ones self-esteem too. I am always on the move with my health coach and have been doing well so far so good. Just give it a try.

  4. Hello, Debbie. I enjoyed reading your post and although I don’t think this would be a good fit for me as a career, I DO think I could benefit from the advice of a good health coach. In fact, I think we could all benefit. I mean, who doesn’t need a little advice from time to time?

    Something learned… food and exercise are important but I wouldn’t have thought about the other issues that can cause health problems, but I can see how they would have an effect. Stress and other things (like the foods we eat) in our life do cause the release of chemicals in our body that can lower our immune system and cause other problems like high blood pressure, resulting in heart attacks.

    These are all things that we fail to take into account that a good Health Coach could help us with. Yes, they are not diagnosing illnesses but I can see how they can help us avoid being sick in the first place.

    No pun intended but, this has given me plenty of food for thought and could be something even someone as old as me could benefit from.

    Thanks,

    Wayne

  5. Hello, thanks so much for sharing your valuable facts and opinions. You represented all the points of health coaching very clearly, so much so that I now feel very inspired to pursue this. I love the idea of being able to help others with their health on a personal level. Actually, I already know a few people who I would love to coach and who would be open to the idea. Thanks again for your insights!

  6. Hi Debbie,

    I’ve been reading your website. Great resource for people exploring the field of health coaching. A question for you… I’ve read and seen that many if not most professional health coaches have a Bachelor’s in a related field like Nutrition or Psychology, etc., and then go on to obtain health coaching certification.

    I do have a Bachelor’s but it is in Spanish Language and International Relations. I have over 10 years experience working in healthcare as a Spanish interpreter, though. I am trying to gauge if I would need to get more education in order to truly have a successful career as a health coach. Most likely I would like to go the route of having my own business to coach people one on one.

    I also am open to working at a natural food store or chiropractor or something similar to obtain clients. I don’t want to spend the time and money on the certification only to find I don’t have enough education to be respected and give job prospects. What are your thoughts about these things?

    • Hi Melissa, thanks for the kind words. There are plenty of successful health coaches without prior health-related experience, so definitely don’t let that hold you back. Programs like Health Coach Institute and AFPA Health Coach have no prerequisites. You can learn about these programs and other ones in this post. Hope that helps. 🙂

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