You’re thinking about going to health coaching school, but you’re riddled with questions, fears, and possibilities of all kinds.
In today’s article, we’re diving into the top things to know about becoming a health coach so you can make the right decision with greater self-compassion and confidence going forward.
Check out the categories below, including What is a health coach?, What to consider when choosing a health coaching school, and What are the most common fears, aspirations, and sources of apprehension amongst individuals like you?
What Is a Health Coach?
1. Health coaches are:
- Behavior change experts
- Change agents
- Accountability coaches
- Wellness advocates
- Compassionate professionals
- Active listeners
2. Health coaches are *not:
- Dietitians or Nutritionists
- Meal plan creators
- Licensed practitioners
- Personal Trainers
*Some health coaches have earned additional credentials or licenses that allow them to practice various disciplines, offer a wider range of services, and operate within several scopes of practice.
3. Health Coaches range widely in expertise, pricing, and services.
Consider the following myth-busting facts to better understand how this profession can work for you:
- Some coaches offer cookie-cutter programs in order to scale their business or to comply with local scope of practice laws, while other health coaches offer personalized coaching that is more relationship-based and potentially transformative.
- Some coaches charge high prices while others are equity-centered, or even insurable (within a clinical setting, or in certain regions of the world).
- Some coaches specialize in a niche service or in a specific area of expertise, while others serve a broader audience and know a little about a lot of health-related topics.
Choosing a Health Coaching School
Here are some questions to ask yourself before choosing a health coaching school:
4. How do you like to learn?
PHCI’s multimedia course, for instance, is delivered via video, audio, text, webinars, and even supplemental eBooks. This means you can listen to chapters during a long commute, interact with expert instructors on live webinars, and read the educational content to accommodate various circumstances and styles of learning.
5. Is the curriculum self-paced or delivered as a cohort (with set start and completion dates)?
Further considerations about the pace of the curriculum:
- Are you prepared to set aside other pre-existing priorities, or create boundaries as needed in order to focus on your new education?
- Are you ready to show yourself compassion if things don’t go as planned and you need more time to reach your goals?
6. Will you be learning mostly nutrition concepts or is there more to the education?
Certified health coaches need a curriculum with a heavy focus on the art and science of health coaching, behavior change theory, and enough business-building content to help you enter successfully into this new career change.
7. Who is on the school’s board of advisors?
You want to look for experts with a wide range of qualifications, who also share an underlying philosophy so that you don’t feel inundated with dietary perspectives or health concepts that conflict with one another. Our board of directors, for instance, all share an appreciation for ancestral health, which means their health philosophies are grounded in evolutionary biology and time-tested influences on human health and well-being.
Furthermore, because we focus our course content on primal and ancestral living, you graduate as an expert in evolutionary science and behavior change coaching—both of which we view as essential for helping your health coaching clients succeed.
8. What sort of payment plans does the institute offer?
9. Do they offer a money-back guarantee?
10. Is the school accredited?
11. Is there a school representative available to answer your questions over the phone?
We understand you have lots of questions about what you can expect; that’s why our admissions team is always available for a one-on-one call to answer your most pressing questions from a place of compassion and reputable experience.
12. How much does the school prepare you to build a business as a health coach?
Some schools offer little-to-no business support, and you can end up feeling lost as a graduate when it’s time to turn your hobby of health knowledge into a career.
Imagine, instead, starting in week 1, you learn about building your business in between each health and nutrition module. Throughout the entire course, you’re slowly guided to brainstorm everything from your business name to a marketing strategy—and your very own signature coaching product.
13. Will they help you find work after you graduate?
For example, some schools have a free, high-traffic health coaching directory for graduates to be discovered by eager, prospective clients. We give grads access to mentorships, business masterclasses, a business resource library, and much more!
You also have access to an entire digital library, known as the Business Resource Center, for turnkey documents and PDFs to use behind-the-scenes in your business or to share with your clients. You have the support of the Primal Health Coach team forever, and that includes our active Facebook groups for PHCI students and working graduates.
Dealing with Apprehension
14. Is health coaching the right path for me?
People aspire to become a health coach for a wide variety of reasons. Some never plan to use the certificate for their career, and some use it to enhance their existing career and skillset—such as nurses, therapists, personal trainers, life coaches, nutritionists, and doctors—in order to help people in a more compassionate, non-clinical style that’s rooted in behavior change theory.
15. Am I doing this for the right reasons?
There is no right or wrong reason to acquire your health coaching certificate. As we’ve discovered, however, in our post-graduate health coach surveys, the top two reasons that students enroll in our health coaching school are: “To help others and make an impact,” and “To increase my knowledge for my own edification.”
16. Will there be enough business opportunities where I live?
As a certified health coach, you can work with clients from all over the world. It doesn’t matter if you live in a secluded area, move to a new town, or to a new continent. If you have access to the internet, and you have a computer, you’re all set.
17. If I don’t want to work for myself, how will I earn an income as a health coach?
The career possibilities are limitless for certified health coaches, and the number of options are growing—thanks to innovations in technology and collaborative healthcare models gaining momentum today.
As a health coach, you can work for yourself, coaching people one-on-one or in groups. Don’t want to be your own boss? Search for job opportunities on Indeed or LinkedIn, or collaborate with complimentary health businesses like gyms or physicians’ offices. Endless opportunities exist to earn money as a health coach.
18. Is health coaching a promising industry?
- Health Coaching has grown to a $7 billion industry and counting
- Healthy Eating, Nutrition, and Weight Loss form a $702 billion market
- Wellness Tourism is valued at $639 billion
- Fitness and Mind-Body markets are valued at $595 billion
Health coaches are seeing increased demand for their services likely due to the following observations (by Global Wellness Institute):
- The world’s population is growing sicker, older, and lonelier.
- Health systems are failing to keep up and economic burdens continue to rise.
- Consumer values and lifestyles are rapidly evolving with the changing demographics and population growth.
You’re not alone. It’s normal to…
19. …have fears, such as:
- “I haven’t been in school for decades. Will I be able to complete the course?”
- “How will I manage all the studying while juggling work and family commitments?”
- “I don’t always stick to my diet, so I won’t set a good example.”
20. …struggle with:
- your own health issues (at any stage of your journey).
- imposter syndrome (at any stage of your journey).
21. …to stall when it comes to:
- choosing which health coaching institute to attend.
- telling others about this passionate leap you’re taking.
- transitioning from your former job/life into a full-time health coaching career.
22. …feel pressured by:
- a self-appointed deadline to become certified…only to need more time and reappoint your deadline.
- the industry; to make more money.
- society; to help more people.
- yourself; to be perfectly healthy, or to be more successful.
As you can see, you’re not alone in your experience deciding whether or not health coaching is right for you. We have dozens of articles to support you in the decision-making process.
Here are a few to check out next:
- 7 top qualities of a great health coach
- 8 common fears health coaches face and how to conquer them
- 34 tips to get out of your own way and start your health coaching business now
- What’s the difference between health coaching and wellness coaching?
- How to manage work and study while becoming a health coach