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Life as a ...
Published: June 8, 2024

Life as a Health Coach

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What Wellness Coaches Do

Wellness Coaches work with clients to help them achieve health-related goals and make changes in their lives by providing guidance and accountability. Coaches can work with clients to improve relationships, transition into new careers, meet fitness and wellness goals, and improve financial well-being.

Wellness Coaches work with clients one-on-one or in group settings in person or virtually. Wellness Coaching serves as a complement to services provided by more traditional wellness professionals, like nutritionists, physicians, dietitians, therapists, and personal trainers. The goal is to act as a support system, provide accountability, and empower clients to curate a personalized blueprint for success, keeping holistic health in mind the entire way.

Wellness Coaches emphasize wellness beyond what’s on the plate. One of IIN’s core concepts is primary food – the areas of your life that impact your short- and long-term health just as much as the food you eat, including relationships, career, and physical activity. When these areas are in balance, the food on your plate becomes secondary!

Responsibilities of a Wellness Coach

The responsibilities of a Wellness Coach vary from day to day and coach to coach. Your responsibilities as a coach will also change depending on your clients’ goals and your niche. According to the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC; the organization that established standards of education and practice for health and wellness coaches), Wellness Coaches work with clients who are “seeking self-directed, lasting changes aligned with their values, which promote health and wellness.”

Wellness Coaches work with clients to make sustainable shifts in their lives by:

  • Meeting with clients online or in person individually or in group settings to discuss and set achievable short- and long-term goals
  • Providing safe, supportive spaces to explore clients’ goals and intentions
  • Empowering clients to take their health into their own hands
  • Helping clients understand their motivations and create behavior change
  • Supporting clients in developing sustainable meal, exercise, or other wellness plans tailored to their goals
  • Encouraging mindfulness in all aspects of their clients’ lives

Required Knowledge and Skills of a Wellness Coach

People interested in pursuing a career in health and wellness typically enroll in degree programs that focus on a particular area, like nutrition, biology, or physical therapy. While many Wellness Coaching programs do not require one, earning a bachelor’s or higher-education degree can help set Wellness Coaches up for success in assisting clients with nutritional and other wellness or fitness goals.

Before enrolling, make sure you know what your program requires. During the training program, coaches will study how to best facilitate positive behavior change as well as how to run a Wellness Coaching business. IIN’s Health Coach Training Program™ gives wellness coaches the knowledge and skills they need to be an effective coach, from nutrition knowledge to coaching expertise.

When it comes to specific experience and education, the requirements and recommendations vary by state and country. Generally, Wellness Coaches have:

  • A passion for health and wellness
  • Effective online and in-person communication skills
  • A desire to continually update their knowledge and skills, and embody coaching best practices
  • An interest in supporting others live healthier, happier lives

Where Wellness Coaches Work

Wellness Coaches work in doctor’s offices, hospitals, gyms, wellness centers, spas, schools, and corporate offices. Many Wellness Coaches choose to become their own employers, opening private practices in the form of online businesses or as consultants to larger businesses.

As an increasing number of people recognize the benefit and value Wellness Coaches bring to improving well-being, contributing to lower healthcare costs, and reducing the rate of chronic disease, the demand for Wellness Coaches is on the rise.

Salary and Job Outlook

Looking to help others live their healthiest lives while being your own boss? Wellness Coaching might be right for you. Coaches are entrepreneurs with opportunities to take charge of their own futures and careers while developing personal and financial independence.

In addition to the rising popularity of becoming a self-employed Wellness Coach, the hiring of Wellness Coaches is also increasing. People are more conscious than ever of their health and are looking for guidance on how to improve their diet and lifestyle. While it was once difficult to find businesses employing Wellness Coaches, it’s much easier now – physicians and insurance companies are looking to bring on Wellness Coaches to help improve client care!

Wellness Coaching is becoming an industry estimated to be worth more than $7 billion, which means there is plenty of work for Wellness Coaches to find!

Where do Wellness Coaches Work?

In IIN’s Health Coach Training Program, students receive all the tools they need to start their own Wellness Coaching practices and earn income, but it’s up to individual coaches to determine what services they’ll provide. Below are some examples of how Wellness Coaches can utilize their expertise to support people looking to improve their well-being:

  • Facilitating group sessions
  • Blogging and building brand partnerships
  • Leading programs at schools, universities, and businesses
  • Running retreats and wellness workshops all over the world
  • Teaching healthy cooking classes
  • Partnering with other health practitioners

What is it Really Like to Be a Wellness Coach?

The day-to-day responsibilities of a Wellness Coach depends on several things, including if they’re working with clients, if the clients are new or returning, and what wellness goals that client has.

IIN alum Jasmine Graham specializes in working with women over 40 whose main focus is usually weight loss. “When it comes to onboarding new clients, it’s important that they understand my scope of service so that there aren’t any expectations that I can’t deliver,” Graham explains. “I schedule a 15-minute discovery session to discuss their wellness goals and what they need support with.” After that initial meeting, Graham reviews her policies and how her program works, explaining how her skills can empower her client as they make positive lifestyle changes.

Wellness expert and yoga instructor Kelly de Martin partners with local health care professionals to build relationships that then act as client funnels. “As their coach, you become the agent of change for your clients, supporting the healthy behavior modifications as prescribed by the health care professional.” Wellness coaches often work in tandem with doctors and other medical professionals to ensure clients are receiving care that aligns with their specific needs.

How Can You Become a Wellness Coach?

If you’re looking to become a Wellness Coach, there has never been a better time to invest in yourself to become the kind of health professional who can help fill the void in our current healthcare system.

Although the job market fluctuates, the trend of employment for Wellness Coaches is on the rise – Wellness Coaching is one of the fastest-growing professions in healthcare! IIN alone has trained more than 155,000 students and graduates in 175 countries, and our global community keeps growing with people passionate about spreading the ripple effect of health and happiness.


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