6 Steps to Becoming a Health Coach

Have you thought about becoming a health and wellness coach? We provide you with 6 Steps to Becoming a Health Coach to help you in your exploration of this exciting and rewarding career path. Did you know the US health coaching industry is expected to reach nearly $9 billion by 2025? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), healthcare jobs are projected to grow 15% — one of the fastest-growing occupational groups over the next decade. Our aging population is creating a higher demand for health and wellness-related services. This is opening the door for people like you to step into a dream job.

Read TCC’s 6 Steps to Becoming a Health Coach

At Take Courage Coaching, our goal is to help grow the health and wellness community by providing top-quality training courses approved by National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC). We believe the NBHWC professional standards are aligned with ours and are focused on the advancement of the health and wellness profession at large. If you are thinking about becoming a health and wellness coach, please read on for 6 Steps to Becoming a Health Coach.

1. Learn What Health and Wellness Coaches Do

First things first. What is a health and wellness coach?

According to the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC), “Health & wellness coaches partner with clients seeking to enhance their well-being through self-directed, lasting changes, aligned with their values. In the course of their work, health & wellness coaches display unconditional positive regard for their clients and a belief in their capacity for change, honoring the fact that each client is an expert on their own life while ensuring that all interactions are respectful and non-judgmental.”

It is helpful to understand what health coaches do and don’t do. Here is a summarized list:

Health coaches DOs and DON’Ts

Coaches DO:

  • Meet clients where they are today without judgment
  • Ask questions, listen and encourage exploration of what their clients value most
  • Guide clients towards mindful thinking
  • Empower clients to take personal responsibility for their own health
  • Provide clients with information, allow them to choose what they want to do
  • Challenge and inspire clients to accomplish more than they might do alone

Coaches DON’T:

  • Direct or tell their clients what to do or what changes to make
  • Provide medical advice of any kind
  • Diagnose, treat or manage any disease, chronic illness, or health condition
  • Make any specific recommendations
  • Run tests or interpret lab results

2. Determine What Kind of Training You Need

There are different training programs based on many different health and wellness coaching careers and specialties. Many training programs offer free information sessions. Currently, we offer a free monthly info session at Take Courage Coaching using the Zoom platform. Check for our next info session on our events calendar. Attend several different free information sessions and listen to what the training programs have to offer. Be curious and ask questions. Spend time thinking about your future career and work goals, then select a training program aligned with your goals.

Flow chart showing the 6 steps to become a health and wellness coach

Ready to take the 6 steps to become a health coach?

3. Research Training Programs and Specialty Areas

Take Courage Coaching recommends you select a training program approved by National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC). NBHWC ensures that training programs with their approval follow specific training criteria and guidelines to support the health and wellness coaching industry and the advancement of the health and wellness profession.

We offer small, intimate class settings, using the Zoom platform and our online student portal, where students have ample opportunities to ask questions during class and engage in active dialogue with instructors and other students.

There are several health coaching specialties:

  • Health and Wellness Coach*
  • Nutrition Coach
  • Fitness / Personal Training Coach
  • Holistic Health Coach
  • Pain Management Coach*

*Take Courage Coaching offers training in these specialty areas

4. Choose Your Training Program

Choose your program, complete the application process, and complete the course requirements. Take advantage of the resources available with your chosen program. For example, do they offer mentoring? Discussion groups in between classes? Information to help you start your own business? Group study sessions? Do they offer board exam preparation courses and resources? These are all things offered within the Take Courage Coaching Health and Wellness Coach Training program. 

5. Get Board-Certified

Most training programs issue a certificate of completion once you complete their program requirements. We recommend you also become board-certified. This extra step demonstrates your proficiency in health and wellness coaching. It also shows you are an expert professional with the knowledge and skills to deliver quality results to your coaching clients. NBHWC currently offers two board exam times per year. For more information, click here.

6. Go Out and Be a Coach!

Now that you finished your health and wellness coach training, you can go out and build your business or apply for a health coaching job in a variety of corporate or healthcare settings. We recommend you stay connected with your training program or school and your fellow students for additional networking, ongoing practice, job opportunities, and continuing education opportunities.

Want to know the best-kept secret in health coaching?

You don’t need any special skills or college degrees to be a good health coach. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you place a high value on health and wellness?
  • Are you a good listener?
  • Do you enjoy building long-lasting relationships?
  • Are you passionate about helping others thrive?
  • Do you consider yourself to be a life-long learner?
  • Does the idea of working from your home (really anywhere you have access to your laptop, phone, and internet service) sound appealing to you?
  • Can you envision yourself in a dream career, working at something you love?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you have what it takes to be a great health and wellness coach. Once you have developed a solid understanding of health and wellness coaching’s core competencies, your coaching improves over time with practice. Good coaches never stop honing their skills. You will get better over time with practice, commitment, and a regular habit of reading and learning to gain more knowledge.

Thank you for reading 6 Steps to Becoming a Health Coach. For more information on our health and wellness coach training, please start here.

Want to know more about how health and wellness coaches work with their clients to help them set and achieve goals? Watch this sample coaching session with Paul and Kendy as they demonstrate a coaching technique using motivational interviewing skills.

About the Author: Becky Curtis

After a horrific car accident nearly took her life and her own long and complex recovery journey, Becky has assembled a vibrant team of specially-trained coaches—healthcare professionals who have gained proficiency in teaching and coaching, many who live successfully with chronic pain. Becky travels extensively to speak about the role of health coaching in pain management and has been a regular speaker at PAINWeek®, and many other conferences, in addition to coaching and managing TCC’s program. She lives in Utah with her husband and dog, Quigley.
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