How to become a health coach in 2023: 8 steps to follow

How to become a health coach in 2023: 8 steps to follow
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Transforming your interest in health and wellness into a thriving business may seem like a dream. But health coaching is on the rise, and learning how to become a health coach is easier than you think.

Hundreds of coaches have built successful health coaching businesses, and many use Teachable to create and sell their coaching services.

The health coaching industry is growing at 7.4% year-over-year and could be worth $34 billion by 2031. If you’re interested in how to become a health coach, this blog will cover everything you need to know.

Health coaching explained

A health coach guides and empowers individuals to achieve better health and well-being. Your primary responsibility is to provide clients with personalized support, motivation, and education. The goal is for clients to make sustainable lifestyle changes they can maintain independently.

Health coaches perform assessments, create unique action plans, and offer ongoing guidance to keep clients accountable. In addition, you connect with clients through online or in-person meetings.

As a coach, you get to impact your clients’ lives positively. You’ll also enjoy a flexible work schedule while exploring various career paths and opportunities. Health coaches can specialize in nutrition, weight management, stress reduction, or another area.

If you don’t have an area of specialization in mind already, here are some fields you can explore:

person filming a workout video

What are the benefits of health coaching?

As a health coach, you get to help your clients achieve meaningful goals that could potentially transform their lives for the better. However, there are more reasons than that to become a health coach. Here are a few to consider:

  • Financial rewards: Health coaching can be a financially rewarding career, especially as awareness and demand for holistic health guidance grow. While the average health coach’s salary is $23.49 per hour, some coaches charge between $100-200 per hour.
  • Career flexibility: Many health coaches work independently. This allows for flexibility to set your work hours, client base, and location.

8 steps to become a health coach

To help you get started, we’ve compiled eight steps to become a health coach.

1. Understand education requirements

You don’t need any specific degrees or certifications to become a health coach. Some health coaches transition into coaching after they’ve had a career in a health field like:

  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise science
  • Midwifery
  • Nutrition

So, they may have a Bachelor’s degree and licenses from their previous work experience.  A degree may help give you a deeper understanding of human anatomy, physiology, and nutrition principles to use as a coach. However, it’s not a dealbreaker.

Many successful health coaches build their expertise (and business) through certifications, workshops, and practical experience.

2. Consider an accredited health coach training program

Health coach training programs may also help you learn coaching skills. There are countless coaching certification and training programs, and they can be expensive to enroll in. If you do a certificate program, make sure it is accredited.

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) and National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) accredit programs. To start, you can search for approved coaching programs on their website. Also look at reviews, networking opportunities, and additional resources each offers, before committing to a certification.


Keep in mind that you can forego certification, especially if you’re only getting started or have previous experience. When it comes to health coaching, clients tend to trust coaches with credentials and real experience.

3. Apply for certification

If you go the certification route, you’ll need to meet these requirements. You can apply for certification from the ICF or NBHWC. For the ICF, there are four steps for a health coach to apply for accreditation:

  1. Evaluate education and experience
  2. Complete the Education Path survey
  3. Create and submit an application
  4. Take the ICF exam

The steps to apply for certification through the NBHWC differ slightly from the ICF. To apply for certification, you’ll need to complete these steps:

  1. Complete an NBWHC training program
  2. Conduct 50 health and wellness coaching sessions (written log)
  3. Hold an associate’s degree or higher or 4,000 hours of work experience (any field)
  4. Take the NBWHC exam

What to look for in a health coaching program

All health coaching programs aren’t created equal. When searching for a program, there are several factors to look out for:

  • Client-centered approach: The program should encourage and emphasize meeting patients’ needs and goals.
  • Effective communication: Look for programs that teach coaches how to foster good communication skills, which is vital in health coach training.
  • Client empowerment: You’ll want to learn the skills and tactics needed to empower your clients to take control of their health.
  • Leadership support: Does your program offer leadership support where you can ask questions and get personalized help and feedback?
  • Accreditation: Check that a recognized organization like the NBHWC accredits your program.

Health coaching certification examples

Here are three popular accredited health coaching programs:

  • Health Coach Institute: Its Health and Life Coaching program covers holistic nutrition and habit-change life coaching. The course lasts six to 12 months and is online only.
  • Duke Health and Well-Being: The program is eight to 10 months and is a mix of live instructor-led training at Duke University and an online curriculum. To qualify for this program, coaches must hold a bachelor’s degree or have three or more years of experience working in a medical-related field.
  • Mayo Clinic: Led by various Mayo Clinic experts, the training and certification program is an all-inclusive training. The online course features a virtual workshop with four-day interactive training that covers neurobiology, building coaching relationships, and coaching ethics.

4. Build a client base

Running a successful coaching business starts with landing your first paying client. Then, you’ll need to build and maintain a steady client base

Follow these steps to attract health coaching clients:

  1. Perform client research: To understand your ideal client’s demographics, needs, and wants, conduct research. What are your client’s goals? What kind of health challenges are they facing? What kind of coaching services do they value the most? Answer these questions to find your target audience.
  2. Leverage discovery calls: During discovery calls, you can discuss a potential client’s health goals, your coaching style, and how your services will benefit them. In addition, these calls will help you determine whether or not you’re a good fit for one another.
  3. Use the power of social media: Sharing useful content on platforms like Instagram establishes your expertise and connects you with potential clients. For instance, you could post a series on healthy meal-prep techniques on Instagram. Engaging with comments and maintaining authenticity will build trust and appeal to prospective clients.
  4. Attend networking events: You can meet potential clients, other coaches, and healthcare professionals who may provide referrals.

5. Create a website

Before offering your services, write down what prospective clients need to know to sign up. This will act as a rough draft for your website and sales page copy. For health coaching, for example, you’ll want to answer these questions:

  • Will you offer health coaching online or in-person?
  • Why should clients choose you over other health coaches?
  • How long will each session be?
  • When can clients enroll?
  • How many clients will participate in each session? Is it personal or group coaching?
  • When can clients book sessions with you and can they do it right from your site?
  • How much will you charge for each session?

It will also help you identify the products and services that you’ll offer clients. For example, Rachel Jesien teaches online yoga courses but also offers private coaching sessions.

health coaching example

6. Build your health coaching page

To book clients, you’ll need to create a sales page for your services. With Teachable, you don’t need to worry about coding or any of the technical aspects of creating a webpage for your coaching services.

After you sign up for Teachable, all you need to do is click “Coaching” and add basic information like:

  • Coaching program name and a thumbnail image
  • Your coaching bio and image
  • Calendly integration (optional for easy scheduling)
  • Client intake form (optional)

Once you’re happy with your health coaching page, hit Publish. Remember, it doesn’t need to be perfect to go live. Most coaches revise their website and sales pages continuously to reflect their experience, client results, value, and more.

make money coaching online

7. Continuously learn

The journey to becoming a successful health coach doesn’t end with certification or after you have a few clients on your roster.

The health and wellness field constantly evolves, and you need to change with it. Adopt a growth mindset and continue to educate yourself on health and coaching to improve your client’s overall experience.

Here are a few ways to do it:

  1. Attend conferences: In-person or online conferences and workshops can help you learn from industry leaders and network.
  2. Read professional literature: Subscribe to health journals, read books by industry experts, and follow reputable health blogs and newsletters to learn the latest research and trends.
  3. Join networking groups and forums: Many of these groups provide access to webinars, resources, and discussions on current health coaching topics. They could also lead to referrals and word-of-mouth marketing for your services.

8. Build your business with online courses and other products

You can diversify your coaching income by offering online courses, digital downloads, and more.

health coaching teachable

Packaging your expertise into an online course allows you to sell your knowledge to a wider audience.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Identify in-demand topics: For example, imagine you’re a nutrition coach for busy professionals. You might focus on problems like lack of time to prepare healthy meals, relying on takeout or fast food, irregular eating habits, or high-stress levels.
  • Brainstorm solutions: Your course could include effective meal planning and prepping to reduce reliance on less healthy, convenient food options.
  • Create lessons: Once you have your course content, turn your knowledge into digestible lessons. For example, use video lectures, written content, worksheets, quizzes, or a mix.
  • Choose a platform: You’ll need a platform to host your course. Teachable offers a user-friendly platform to create and sell your online course. You can build a custom course website, handle payment processing, and track your course performance.

Launch your health coaching business with Teachable

As a health coach, you can impact your clients’ lives positively. Launching your coaching career is easier with tools like Teachable.

Teachable makes it simple to create and sell coaching services as well as other digital products. You can start with the free plan or chat with a Teachable expert to see how it can benefit your business.

Health coach FAQs

How much money do health coaches make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a health coach in the United States is $48,860 annually.

Earnings vary widely depending on specialization, experience, and pricing strategy. However, certified, experienced health coaches often earn more than beginners in the field.

You can price your services in various ways. For example, some coaches charge clients per hour, while others charge per session. You can also create and sell online courses for a one-time fee that your client pays upfront.

Consider your experience, niche, and target market when determining the price of your services.

How long does it take to become a health coach?

The time it takes to become a health coach can vary depending on the program and level of education. For example, certification programs can take anywhere from three to 24 months, while bachelor programs can take up to four years.

What credentials do you need to be a health coach?

There is no specific degree required to become a health coach. However, you can complete health coaching programs approved by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC). This will establish you as a certified health coach in the field.

How do you get health coaching clients?

You can get coaching clients by offering discovery calls or using social media to promote your services. You can also attend networking events or perform client research to identify your ideal clients.

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