Published:
February 16, 2021
Last Updated:
February 17, 2021

What Is a Holistic Health Coach and What Do They Do?

The term holistic is sometimes construed as “unscientific,” but that couldn’t be more untrue. Taking a holistic approach to health and healthcare means addressing how all aspects of a person’s life affect their well-being – not just the food they eat, but their exercise routine, relationships, work-life balance, and much more.

Health coaching is one of the fastest-growing professions in healthcare. Since its beginning, IIN alone has trained more than 100,000 students and graduates in 175 countries. That’s a lot of Health Coaches!

What Do Holistic Health Coaches Do?

Holistic Health Coaches are mentors and wellness experts who help others feel their best through personalized lifestyle changes that meet unique dietary, emotional, and physical goals and needs. These coaches work with clients to help them discover how to fuel their bodies, live a healthy lifestyle, and find the best wellness and health routines that work for them.

Health Coaches also emphasize holistic health beyond what’s on the plate. One of IIN’s core concepts is primary food, the idea that there are areas of your life that impact your short-term and long-term health just as much as the food you eat, such as your relationships, career, spirituality, physical activity, and environment.

Whether advising clients one-on-one or in groups in their own coaching business, working with a physician, or embarking on an entirely different wellness path, holistic Health Coaches contribute to improving health outcomes and spreading the ripple effect of health and happiness.

Why Should You Become a Holistic Health Coach?

While dietitians and nutritionists can recommend specific dietary plans and supplements, holistic Health Coaches mentor clients on how to integrate changes into their lives the best way possible, including how to take recommendations from these health professionals and make them a reality. In addition, there are many benefits to becoming a holistic Health Coach, including:

  • Earning an education and understanding the many aspects of health and wellness and how to coach clients to gain this understanding
  • Creating a flexible career on your terms
  • Supporting the larger healthcare system and filling the voids of traditional healthcare
  • Learning how to equip your clients (and yourself!) with all the tools needed to sustain long-term lifestyle changes

How to Become a Holistic Health Coach

Generally, people interested in pursuing a career in health and wellness enroll in degree programs that focus on a particular area, like nutrition, biology, sociology, nursing, food science, or physical therapy. Earning a bachelor’s degree in one of these fields lays a solid foundation for any future courses you take or certifications you complete and expands your knowledge of how to improve and maintain health and well-being.

While earning a bachelor’s or higher-education degree will be helpful in your journey to becoming a holistic Health Coach, many health coaching programs do not require a degree to enroll. If you have an interest in health and wellness, and love connecting with others about it, any degree can lead to a career in holistic health coaching!

Certification is not required to become a holistic Health Coach, but as the health coaching profession moves toward more regulation, that may change. Certification also allows Health Coaches to maintain a competitive edge in their field as it demonstrates their dedication to the practice as well as competency in their profession.

The Cost of Training

The cost of health coaching programs varies widely depending on the type, platform (online or in person), support offered, study materials provided, program duration, and much more. Depending on your personal goals, career aspirations, and budget, cost is something you’ll consider when deciding whether to pursue holistic health coaching as a career.

How Long It Takes to Become a Health Coach

Most health coaching programs range from six months to one year. While completing coursework quickly sounds great, you should consider whether you’ll be getting the well-rounded, complete education you deserve to set you up for success after graduating.

Where Holistic Health Coaches Work

There are a number of fields holistic Health Coaches can enter, with opportunities depending on things like focus, previous degree(s), and personal passion.

Health Coaches can work in doctor’s offices, hospitals, gyms, wellness centers, spas, schools, and corporate offices. Many Health Coaches choose to become their own employers, opening private practices in the form of online businesses or providing add-on services as Health Coaches at one of the aforementioned spaces.

As an increasing number of people recognize the benefit and value Health Coaches bring to improving well-being, contributing to lower healthcare costs, and reducing the rate of chronic disease, the demand for Health Coaches is on the rise. Holistic Health Coaches with additional specialties, certifications, and education – like IIN’s advanced courses and Specialty Courses – are even more in demand because they can demonstrate more advanced competencies in the settings that require them.

How Much Do Health Coaches Earn?

For people excited about the idea of being their own boss while helping others get healthier, becoming a holistic Health Coach may be a great career choice. Holistic Health Coaches are entrepreneurs, giving them the opportunity to take charge of their own futures and careers and forge personal (and financial) independence.

At IIN, students are provided with all the tools they need to start their own health coaching practice and earn income, but it’s up to each individual to decide what services they’ll provide to clients. Below are some examples of services commonly provided to those looking for help on their wellness journey:

Private Coaching

Whether in person or virtually, students are trained to earn a salary offering one-on-one coaching. Integrative Nutrition teaches graduates to lead clients through a 6-Month Program, consisting of two 50-minute sessions each month where clients are guided to make incremental lifestyle and diet changes that will take root to create sustainable behavior change. The typical cost for these sessions is about $100 per session, but some IIN graduates charge almost five times that amount. What you charge will depend on your experience, location, and services offered.

Group Sessions

Many holistic Health Coaches teach live classes and seminars on different nutrition subjects. At Integrative Nutrition, we support you to get started offering classes by providing handouts and talking points for workshops on topics like managing sugar intake, women’s health, and eating for energy. These classes can be held in a variety of settings, like yoga studios, gyms, doctor’s offices, libraries, and corporate offices. Coaches can also teach classes online through webinars and streaming services. Payments are unique to the coach based on the topic, location, and number of students in attendance.

Blogging and Product Recommendations

Blogs are a great way for a holistic Health Coach to build an audience and gain momentum online. Once their blog is up and running, a Health Coach can seek advertisement or sponsorship opportunities. They can offer companies product reviews, blog posts, or ad space on their website. If you are interested in becoming a Health Coach, research your favorite blogs to see how Health Coaches are carrying out their work and create a plan that feels good to you. Aligning with like-minded brands and inspiring services that offer affiliate programs on your blog or website is a great way to create an authentic experience for visitors as well as provide additional income.

Other ways to earn money as a Health Coach include:

  • Leading wellness workshops
  • Running retreats
  • Providing tours of health food stores
  • Teaching healthy cooking classes
  • Starting a juice bar, café, or restaurant
  • Partnering with other practitioners

If you’re looking to become a Health Coach, there has never been a better time to invest in yourself and become the kind of health professional who can help fill the void in our current healthcare system. Experience a taste of IIN for yourself by taking a free Sample Class today!

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Author Biography
Katy Weniger
,
IIN Content Writer

Katy holds a bachelor’s in English with a concentration in creative writing and advertising from Rider University. After jobs in the field of finance, she wanted to transition to an industry that focused on helping others be their best selves, and discovered IIN.

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