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The 6 Best Health Coach Programs – Everything you need to know!

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    Hey everybody and welcome to my article on the best health coach certifications.

    With various options to choose from, it can be challenging to select the health coach program that fits you the best.

    After this article, you will have a much better feeling about which one you should pursue! Afterward, I recommend checking the article on how to become a health coach! I also recommend my article on the best nutrition certifications as well as the greatest corrective exercise certifications.

    The menu at the top of this page will answer any question related to personal training/health coaching that you have. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment here (I’ll respond within 24 hours). Also, visit the home page for the most recent and popular articles.

    I’ll try not to beat around the bush, let’s get right into the top health coach certifications! 🙂

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      Best Health Coach Programs

      The Top health coach certifications in 2020

      First, you may ask, who is a health coach and what does a health coach do?

      A health coach is a professional that guides, enhance and manage the client’s overall health. They determine the area that needs enhancement by carrying out different tests on their clients and they go on to help set realistic health goals and follow through with the implementation to the point of achieving those goals.


      These goals are mostly in the area of diet, physical health and so much more.
      The health coach makes an overall change in the lifestyle of their clients in the best way possible.

      To becoming a health coach, you are required to go through some steps which also include writing the health coach certification exams with a recognized organization and having a strong background in health and fitness is a must before taking any of the exams.

      I am here to help you with information about the various organization out there that can help you fulfill your goals of becoming a certified health coach.

      1. The ACE (American Council on exercise) health coach certification

      The ACE (American Council on exercise) health coach certification

      ACE health coach program is a course that helps you to understand the basic behavior-science and healthy lifestyle. This ACE health program will help you develop the practical skills and strategy needed to enable you to transform the health, lifestyle, and wellbeing of your clients for good.

      The health coach certification from the American Council on Exercise is geared more towards fitness professionals such as personal trainers certified nutritionist.

      General information on being an ACE health coach

      There are two separate packages available from ACE, and they both contain slightly different study material to prepare yourself for the test.

      The Basic bundle includes:

      • The primary textbook for the health coach certification
      • Entrance to the exam
      • The ACE Academy select ( video series, custom progress tracking, exam review and practice tests)
      • Access to their resource Center support

      The Plus bundle includes everything that the Basic does with the addition of:

      • The option to finance your certification over four separate payments
      • The e-book format of the health coach manual (in addition to the hard copy)
      • ACE Academy premium (audio text, three practice tests, seeing a health coach in action)
      • A “master the manual” booklet

      All of this material is self-study material. You can study for the ACE health coach certification in your own time at your own pace. When you are ready to take the exam finally, you can register at one of their 500 testing locations.

      The only requirements are that you are at least 18 years old, have a valid CPR/AED certification, and have a valid and accredited general personal training certification (or the work experience equivalent).

      ACE health coach certification cost

      The Basic option was $599 but is presently brought down to $419.30 on their website.

      The Plus health coach certification usually costs $749, but I frequently see it brought down to $524.30

      Requirements for becoming a health coach with ACE

      • You must have an Associate’s degree (or equivalent) in fitness, health care, nutrition, wellness, and other related fields, from an accredited college or university.
      • A completed health coach training recognized by NBHWC
      • A minimum of two years of hands-on experience in health coaching
      • An NCCA accredited certification is fitness, nutrition or any related field
      • Lastly, you must be at least 18years with a current CPR card and a valid Identification, which is a standard practice in the health and fitness industry.

      My overall opinion of the ACE health coach certification

      My overall view of this certification is magnificent. When I went through the process, I enjoyed their helpful interactive study materials that the program comes with. You will learn a ton of information on how to change the habits of your client. In turn, helping to prevent obesity, depression, and tons of other societal problems.

      The American Council on exercise his overall a very well recognized certifying agency in the health and fitness space. They have a very popular CPT certification and work hard towards continuing evolving in the area of health and fitness.

      It is also the only health coach certification that is NCCA accredited. This means that is the Institute of credentialing excellence has recognized the ACE curriculum and certification as providing very competent and professional information.

      You are required to write the exam within six months of purchasing. It will take you about 80hours+ to study for the exam.

      2. The NSHC (National Society of Health Coaches)

      The NSHC (National Society of Health Coaches)

      This is probably the most prestigious health coach certification in the industry due to such strict standards of entry.

      The NSHC designed a strategy for a health coach program and it is called evidenced-based health coaching. This evidence-based involves the skill needed for a conversation with your clients, clinical strategies and interventions to effectively and safely engage clients on health behavior change and lifestyle to better self-manage their health and general well being.

      General information on the NSHC

      The NSHC program is only available to professionally licensed healthcare individuals.

      This includes physicians, nurses, certified nutrition specialists, pharmacists, psychologists, physicians, athletic trainers, dental hygienists, it certified clinical counselors, ACSM certified acupuncturist, ACSM licensed exercise psychologist as well as many other credentialed professionals.

      The overall NSHC program will take 85+ hours to complete. The online study package includes all of the study materials that are necessary to learn the material and pass the exam. Some of these study materials include:

      • A hard copy and e-book copy of the manual
      • A quick reference pocket guide
      • webinars
      • Articles
      • Online interviewing skills in motivational practice
      • Multiple online case studies and concept applications
      • Online quizzes
      • Self-assessments of your coaching style

      With purchasing the national Society of health coaches certification, you also receive a one-year NSHC membership. This membership comes with free support online or over the phone, access to live webinars, the most recent articles from NSHC, online tools and much more.

      If you would like to get this certification that is not a licensed health care professional, they have the option to take the test and receive what’s called a certificate of completion credential.

      This is different than their full certification. It just lets people know that you have learned the material on the health coach certification but are not as qualified as a healthcare professional.

      NSHC cost

      The NSHC allows organizations to do bulk orders, so the pricing depends on how many registrations. For the sake of this article, I’m guessing that you are not an organization looking to certify all of their employees.

      The cost for one year NSHC certification this $595. This includes the one-year membership that will need to be renewed after 365 days. The yearly renewal fee is $50.

      Requirements for becoming a health coach with NSHC

      To take the Certified Health Coach exam with HSHC, you are required to have strictly the credentials listed on their website. NSHC does not petition any credentials that are not part of the ones listed on their website.

      If you do not have any of the credentials you can still take the exam but you will only get the certification of completion.

      HSHC health coach certification lasts for 5years, after that you are required to renew your certification.

      Endeavor to visit their website to see the list of the credentials that are required before you can apply for CHC.

      My overall impression of the NSHC certification

      This is a very highly regarded certification in the health coaching industry. They have a rigorous and standardized approach to health coaching with every aspect being evidence-based and research-driven.

      Any healthcare provider will recognize this certification and respect it. Unfortunately, for those that are not already a licensed health care professional, will not be able to get the full certification. The “certificate of completion” is only available.

      3. The Wellcoaches School of Coaching

      The Wellcoaches school of coaching

      Founded in 2002, the Wellcoaches school of coaching have been collaborating with ACSM (the American college of sports medicine) to be a primary influence in the health coaching field.

      General information on the Wellcoaches certification

      The general certification takes approximately 18 weeks to finish and ends with a written and oral test that one needs to pass to get credentialed. This is only the first part of the certification; the second part is a 10-month program. The initial certification is needed to start this 10-month curriculum.

      There are also two forms of certification that they offer.

      The first is called their “certified health and wellness coach” and is for licensed health professionals who wish to integrate health coach training principles with their patients.

      To be allowed into their full certified health and wellness coach program, you need to hold a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field with the addition of an NCCA accredited certification and a minimum of 2000 hours of work experience. Tons of other eligibility requirements can be seen here.

      The second certification option is for nonlicensed professionals and is called the “certified personal Coach” certification. This option is more for fitness professionals such as personal trainers.

      This gives you the overall knowledge to work with your clients and improve their well-being and outlook on health and fitness.

      The general form of study materials that they provide is live workshops and interactive online classes. There are also three individual mentoring sessions and the general textbook for the program.

      You are required to recertify every three years with continuing education.

      Cost of the Wellcoaches certification

      The overall cost of the Wellcoaches certification the $650.

      Requirements for becoming a CHC with Wellcoaches School of coaches

      To qualify to write the wellcoaches School of Coaching certification exam, you are required to have either of the following;

      • An Associate’s degree (or equivalent) in holistic nutrition, dietetics, physical education, and other related fields, from an accredited institute of higher education with 2,000 hours of practical experience in health-related fields.
      • Current Clinical License
      • Any personal trainer fitness certification from a recognized certifying agency and an ACSM Exercise Is Medicine Credential
      • A Certificate of Completion from American College of Lifestyle Medicine for coaches

      My overall thoughts on the Wellcoaches certification

      The Wellcoaches program is a very good one overall. I like how they have two options, one for licensed health care providers in one geared towards individuals in the health and fitness space.

      Overall they have a unique approach to the study materials that they provide. There’s a ton of information on how to combat essential problems such as the obesity epidemic, sedentary lifestyles, stress, and depression.

      4. The Duke Integrative Health Coach Program

      The Duke Integrative Health Coach Program

      The Duke integrative health coach program is unique in the way it teaches its students about wellness coaching principles.

      General information on the Duke Integrative medicine program

      To obtain the certification from Duke integrative medicine, you first need to complete their full foundational course.

      Foundation course (certificate of completion)

      Overall, there are various modules that you need to take and pass to get certified.

      There are two different options for the in-person opportunity at their university or the online foundation course.

      The in-person foundation course is eight overall days at the Duke University. There will be two separate four-day modules 6 to 8 weeks apart.

      The online foundation course is 16 live webinars that are three hours each and once a week. The overall duration is 18 weeks long.

      The certification course (certified integrated health coach)

      This park can only be completed once you have done the foundation course with Duke. This course is done entirely online through virtual classes and conference calls.

      One needs to provide evidence of having a minimum of four clients and 100 hours of coaching experience. In the end, there is an oral exam as well as a written exam that you need to pass.

      The prerequisites to apply for the Duke health coach certification is a bachelors degree or higher, or approximately 3 to 5 years of full-time experience in a health-related field such as physical therapy, exercise physiology, nutrition, medicine or many others.

      How much does the Duke health coach certification cost?

      The foundational course is free (both in-line and in-person) costs $4,440.

      The cost of the certification course is $1,440.

      The overall cost for both the foundation course and the certification course is $5,880.

      Requirements for becoming a health coach with Duke health institute

      Those that are qualified to write this exam for this certification course must have;

      • Must be 18years and above and a valid identification
      • Have a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree(higher learning) in nursing, exercise physiology, and other related fields with 3 to 5 years of practical experience.
      • You must have completed the IHCPT foundation course

      You can visit their page for more details on the curriculum.

      My take away from the Duke health coach program

      Overall, the Duke integrative medicine program is very in-depth and one of the hardest health coach credentials to obtain.

      This is an excellent certification for individuals that have been working in the health and wellness industry for a while and would like to obtain training in behavior modification therapy for their patients.

      Different, yet valuable information is contained in both the foundation course as well as the certification course. It is a very valuable credential coming in close to $6000 can be difficult for most people to swing.

      Also, if you would like to get your name up on the official list of certified Duke health coaches that are on their website, you need first to purchase professional liability insurance. I thought this was silly.

      5. Dr. Sears Wellness Institute

      Dr. Sears Wellness Institute

      The last wellness certification program on this list is also one of the most complex with three different health coach certifications being offered.

      General information on the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute

      If you are going for one of their three available health coach programs, look to spend approximately six weeks completing each one.

      This program takes between 6 to 36 weeks to complete the full program up to the Advance course.

      The certifications follow Dr. Sears popular LEAN system. LEAN stands for lifestyle, exercise, attitude, and nutrition.

      In addition to getting certified, the program also encourages its certified health coaches to teach their seminars and workshops.

      There are no prerequisites to apply for the Dr. Sears health coach certification.

      Let’s talk about the six different health coach certifications.

      1. Adults and seniors coach: This curriculum is composed of information that will help change the lives of senior citizens and adults. You’ll learn behavior modification, healthy lifestyle choices, cognitive function practice and stress reduction techniques.
      2. Pregnant and nursing coach: This certification is targeted towards pregnant women and post-pregnancy women. Focuses on the importance of eating right, reducing stress, getting back in shape and how their spouse plays a vital role in a positive pregnancy experience both during and after.
      3. Family coach: The health coach certification for families is aimed at strategies to motivate and educate families as a whole. A strong focus on lifestyle choices and preventing childhood obesity.

      There are also packages to purchase to do to health coach certifications at a time. For instance, you can do the pregnancy and families certifications together, the adults and families certifications together or all three of them together if you would like.

      Dr. Sears Also has a master health coach certification. This super certification lasts approximately 30 weeks long and is an online-based program.

      This master health coach program is mostly designed for individuals that would like to pass the ICHWC (international consortium for health and wellness coaching) exam.

      Study materials

      Your the study materials that are provided you with the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute certification.

      • Online courses that are available 24 hours a day
      • The physical books and course materials will be sent to you.
      • Peer interaction: The ability to express your ideas and learning concerns over conference calls and discussion forums.
      • Interactive learning including videos and e-learning segments
      • Life support – whenever you need a question you can contact the live support team.

      How much does this certification cost?

      Each of the three health coach programs costs $895 each. If you would like to get two programs for a combined price you will be spending approximately $1250. If you would want to get all three together, it will be $1550.

      If you are trying to obtain their master health coach certification, the cost will be approximately $3000.

      In addition to the initial cost of the certifications, there is also a yearly recertification fee of $145.

      Requirements for becoming a health coach with Dr. Sears

      There are no basic requirements for registering to write the exams. It is an institute that offers you training programs at various stages in the space of 2 to 9months.
      All the training and practicals needed will be covered during the program.

      My opinion on the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute

      Overall, a very in-depth course. I like how you can do one certification at a time or three all at once if that suits your needs. It allows you to pick and choose and specialize in each area of health coaching.

      It’s excellent for those non-health or fitness professionals that would like to get started in health coaching due to they have no prerequisites. I like the study materials that they provide and the support that comes with each certification.

      One thing that I did not like is the yearly maintenance fee of $145. Most certifications require this every two or three years.

      6. Health Coach Institute

      Health Coach Institute (HCI) is an online certification that teaches the science of habit change, nutrition, intuitive listening, and how to manage the business side of health coaching.

      General Information on Health Coach Institute

      HCI designed a four training module which is also known as the four digestible pillars;

      • The nutrition for health coaches
      • The transformational coaching skills
      • Personal growth
      • Proven marketing and simple business systems

      With this four step-by-step curriculum that lasts for six months, you will be well equipped in the field of health coaching.

      Study material

      This HCI health coach program is strictly an online program so the study materials are online.
      When you register for the program you will have access to training lessons. These lessons are available in video, mp3 and pdf format. You can choose the one that suits your daily lives and learning style.

      You need up to 5 to 7hours of study time per week to be able to digest the materials properly.

      Requirements for becoming a health coach with HCI

      There are no requirements for this program. All you need to do is to register and make payment and you then have access to your materials and write the exam.

      How much does this certification cost?

      This six months program costs $6,450. You can also get discounts for referrals and also get a 20% discount for paying in full.

      My opinion on Health Coach Institute

      The Health Coach Institute is well-grounded on training learners on habit change, communication skills, and business skills.

      These business skills will help you start out well on your own. They also offer a 3-day event after graduation where you can meet your fellow graduates and health coach masters to rub minds and discuss more about health coaching.

      So this certification is good for those people that have no prior knowledge about health coaching. They can just take this program and get the certification.

      Conclusion on the Top health coach programs

      Top health coach programs

      Well, that’s about it ladies and gentlemen for my best health coach certification article.

      Overall I would have to give the winner to the ACE health coach certification because it is a relatively cheap option, has fantastic study materials and is widely recognized as a great certification both by employers as well as the NCCA.

      If you have been working as a licensed health care practitioner, I think that the NSHC certification is a great option as well as it has comparable prices and excellent study materials to the ACE health coach certification.

      Let’s pass this conversation over to you guys and gals. Which health coach programs have you guys come through? What were your experiences with them?

      If you have any other questions or recommendations for this article, please don’t hesitate to share in a comment down below after the FAQ section!

      Best health coach program FAQ

      What is health coach certification?

      You acquire the certification after studying the materials and passing the tests, as well as training sessions provided by an accredited health coach certifying organization.

      Which is the top health coach program?

      For me, the best health coach program goes to ACE. This health coach program provides a comprehensive guide for the learners and they are well recognized in the health and fitness industry.

      How tough is the health coach certification exam?

      The health coach certification exam is not a walk in the park. This exam is for professionals, that is why you are required to have a strong background in health education, physiology, fitness, and many others to qualify you to write this exam.

      So you can only do well in the exam if you have prior knowledge of health and fitness.

      How do I become a certified health coach?

      This a tricky question. You can become a certified health coach by following the steps provided by the certifying agency of your choice. Basically, the requirement is that you have an associate’s degree in a related field and pass the certification exam.

      What is the cost of health coach certification?

      Each certifying agency has different prices and packages for this. I know none of the health coach programs is less than $500. You can look this up on my page for various prices for different organizations.

      Are there study materials to prepare for the health coach certification test?

      Yes, after you register and make the necessary payments then you can have access to the study materials.

      As for ACE, you can pay just for the exam and source for study materials yourself.

      How much is the health coach salary?

      According to the United States Department of Labor, a health coach make an average of $50k to $75k per anum. If you ask me, that is a good income for a well-done job.

      What is requirement for health coach certification?

      Most of these organizations have similar requirements when it comes to health coach certification.

      The basic requirement is that you are 18 years and above, have a valid Identification, and a current CPR/AED and prior experience in the field.

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      79 thoughts on “The 6 Best Health Coach Programs – Everything you need to know!”

      1. Thanks! This was very helpful. I’m a physical therapist and found this overview great as I’m looking into starting to be a health coach.

        1. I’m also a PT and looking at health coaching. I’ve been bombarded by calls by IIN and The Health Coach Institute and I don’t like the feel of that. I think Duke would be great but too costly, the NSHC sounds like a good fit.

          1. Hello Jessica,
            I didn’t know that these people made so many sales calls. All of these are pretty decent options and I would definitely check out each of their individual health coach websites to see which one resonates the best with you before you make a decision.

        1. Hello Lisa,
          I am not too familiar with the health coach to to that you are talking about. I will definitely have to look more into it and included in the information on my website in the future. Thanks for the heads up!

          1. Hi! I am also wondering about the Heath Coach Institute. I like that you get dual certified as a Life and Health Coach, but am concerned that they are only accredited by the International Coach Federation. Will that be limiting?

            1. Hey Erica,
              the health Coach Institute is something I definitely need to look into more. I want to do a full in-depth review article on just the certification. Until I do, I do not want to give you recommendations on this particular certification or not.

        2. So far my impression of both of these is that they are very strongly based on marketing. I think marketing is key in this profession but I also want to have the right education. Still researching…

          1. Hello Jessica,
            All of these have fantastic study materials in education that are backed by scientific studies. In terms of one company marketing their product differently than the next, that may be true. Either way, all of these are great health coach certification options that will really add to your knowledge base.

      2. Hi Tyler,
        Thanks for your overview! Have you come across the Integrative Institute of Nutrition or the Health Coach Institute. Would be interested in your thoughts on these two programs vs the 5 above. Thanks!

        1. Hey Jules,
          I am not too familiar with that health coach program but I will definitely take a look at it and see what they are all about. Thanks for your input as I am always trying to make my website better!

        2. hi I have a lot of friends who did it and are very happy , it more nutrition thats why i don’t think it works for me i am more into fitness

          1. Is definitely a legitimate option Maria, it’s great that you have done your own research as well as having other friends that have gone through the process themselves. That is always one of the most helpful things!

          1. Hey Mira,
            Yes absolutely, they can become health coaches. It’s great to expand outside into other areas of health and fitness as well and becoming a health coach is one of the most beneficial things towards helping clients understand nutrition as well as behavioral change psychology. This combination is absolutely fantastic for making strong lifestyle changes.

      3. Fantastic advise thank you < for me i don't have any background so i guess the best is Dr. Sears i saw it in another website and i like what they offer< i am 45 and have become obsess with health and fitness so i think its my best approach < what do you think ?

        1. Hey Maria,
          This is a very legitimate health coach certification. Personally, coming from a personal training background I thought that ACE was the best option for me. Be aware that NASM also just recently released a nutrition certification called the NASM CNC (certified nutrition coach) certification. This combines a lot of information on nutrition but has a superstrong focus on behavioral change as well. For that reason, I am basically considering a health coach certification that has a very strong emphasis on nutrition as well. I highly recommend checking that out if you are interested. Good luck becoming a health coach!

        2. Hello! I can shed some light on the Dr Sears program because I have just finished the 6 week course! (I am now onto the other stages – pregnancy and seniors) But after the six weeks I am now officially a health coach! Cost was ridiculously cheap compared to the others. It is scientific-based, holistic, and you learn a heck of a lot in six weeks! Not only that, but they have ongoing support, tons of free material to extend education and it is a very positive environment! Hope this helped!

          1. Great to hear that you enjoy that the doctor Sears program so much. It’s definitely a legitimate health coach certification. Good luck with your health coaching career I know that you were going to crush it.

      4. Hi 🙂 Great article! I just signed up for IIN (Institute of Integrative Nutrition). I put down a deposit but I am hesitant to do the whole program. I love the spiritual and holistic approach, that is already how I coach- but I am wondering for $5000 if it’s really necessary if I can get certified for less $500- $1000 and a lot faster. I honestly just want a certification that can help me grow my business and work with companies that pay their employees better and maybe offer benefits. Any thoughts?

        1. I do like the holistic approach as well. In terms of the job opportunities you would get between $5000 certification and a $500 certification are probably not too different from one another. On the other hand, if you do want a nutrition certification that does have a specific focus like you’re talking about, it seems like you are on the right path.

        1. Hello David,
          No I have not heard of the primal health coach Institute. I will have to look into it and do a full review thanks for pointing this out for me and have a good day.

        1. Hello, do you mean personal training software? There are definitely a few great programs that I have used including virtuagym, Totalcoaching and trainerize. I hope this helps answer your question!

      5. Tyler – Thank you so much for such an indepth look into the different options. I was initially looking into IIN, but was/am hesitant because of the steep cost.

        One thing i noticed when I went to Dr. Sears’ website is that the first year renewal is 145, second, 95, third 75, and after that you are a lifetime “member” with access to all the materials.

        After reading i was convince ACE would work until I looked more into their requirements.

        One question – i know this is just your opinion, but does it really matter if the program is accredited?

        Lots to consider. Thank you, again!

        1. Hello,
          Yes every certification or program should be accredited by some sort of legitimate accrediting agency. If that were not the case, anybody off the street could create a certification and start charging money for it. These accrediting agencies make sure that the study materials and exams are legitimate. This is both in terms of accuracy of the information as well as that their testing procedures are difficult enough so that not anybody can get certified. They want to make sure that the people coming out with the certifications actually know what they are getting certified for. I hope this makes sense to you and good luck with all the studying.

      6. I am not a health professional nor in fitness or personal training but I would lime to be a health coach! I want to know if there is one course to get certified without being a health professional ! Thank you

        1. Hey Katia,
          You do not need to have a personal training certification for some of these. In fact you can get the ACE health coach certification right now if you wanted. I feel like that is right now the best option. The NASM CNC is a nutrition certification but it also covers a lot of health coach topics such as habit formation training and other tidbits. That is another certification that I recommend. I hope this helps answer your question in some way

      7. Great article! I’m looking into becoming a health coach and with accreditation being so important, I’m assuming everything you listed here is accredited by a legit and recognized organization? I’m leaning towards Dr Sears or Ace but need to learn more about each first. Thank you!

        1. Hello Nicole,
          Yes all of these are very legit certifications. Good luck with your search and I hope you find the health coach program that is right for you!

      8. Midnite Kimberly Townsend

        This is very helpful, thank you! Do you know about/ have any opinions on The Institute of Transformal Nutrition, https://transformationalnutrition.com?
        Like someone else mentioned before I really like the holistic approach this program offers. Does ACE or any of the programs you listed delve into the spiritual and psychological aspects of health coaching much? Thank you!

        1. Hello midnight,
          These certifications are not necessarily holistic certifications. Some of them do however dive slightly into the spiritual side and definitely talk a lot about the psychological aspects of health coaching. That is what habit formation is all about anyways. I’m not sure exactly what you’re looking for, but a purely holistic certification might be something that’s more up your alley.

          1. What are your thoughts on the Institute of Transformational Nutrition in terms of being a legitimate certification……seemed to me like a quality program that was backed by quite a few professionals in the industry. Also saw that it was on the list of approved programs for the health coach alliance

            1. Hey Tristan,
              Thanks for pointing this out to me. I will take a look at the Institute of transformation nutrition and do a full review of it here on my website. There are so many certifications in so many new ones coming out every year that it is hard to keep track. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

              1. I am a nurse, I am curious if the Duke one is the best due to my background or if they other ones are just as good??

      9. I’d like to add a couple more options: Functional Medicine Coaching Academy. This link will save you an additional $500: https://4ulc84ge.pages.infusionsoft.net/

        Also, when you are done with your basic certification, consider learning more clinical knowledge at SAFM. http://www.schoolafm.com

        I talk to a lot of coaches (I run a Facebook group of 12,000 coaches) and I truly believe these are the best options. Here’s the link to my group if anyone is interested: https://www.facebook.com/groups/895786757176944/

        1. Hey Jodi,
          Thanks for the information. I will definitely check out these health code programs to see what they are all about. Don’t hesitate to stop by again and leave more comments!

      10. Hi! I went through the Wellcoaches program in 2012, prior to the division/addition of two options. The cost of certification is separate from the cost of the class (which is very good – loved the Motivational Interviewing) and am considering a career change from tech back to a caring profession. Info to know:
        18-week, teleclass program fees:

        Full fee: $1295 (does not include certification fee)
        Payment Plans: 3-month or 5-month includes additional processing fee per month
        Early Bird Discount: $100 discount, applied immediately when paying the full fee, or divided over the course of each payment with both the training registration and bundled purchase payment plan

        4-day, residential program fees:

        Full fee: $1645 (does not include certification fee)
        Payment Plans available; please view specific course for details
        To ensure registration, invoices for corporate accounts must be paid in no later than 7 days prior to the course start.
        Early Bird Discount: $100 discount, applied immediately when paying the full fee, or divided over the course of each payment with both the training registration and bundled purchase payment plans.

        For those who have already completed the program yet did not complete the certification, there is a reduced course price.

        1. Hey Jami,
          Thanks for stopping by and leaving this valuable information about the wellness coach program. I will definitely look into this and thanks so much for leaving such a detailed comment.

          1. You’re welcome! I’ve decided to go back to finish my certification in August, and am seriously considering ACE because of your review. Personally, I used dietary and lifestyle changes to go from a pre-diabetic condition to very good health, and maintain it over the years. After looking into the human genome project and learning how the DNA works for type-2 diabetes, I made these changes and know how difficult it can be. It would be much more satisfying knowing I am helping people rather than staring at a computer for 8-hours daily at a tech company. So, yeah, really glad I found this article. Thank you!!

      11. I have been doing tons of research on health coaching programs and I’m curious to know if you know anything about the AFPA Holistic Health Coach certification as that seems to be the direction I’m leaning towards but I’m just hesitant given that it’s also a financial investment. Any opinions are appreciated!

        1. Hey Jackie,
          AFPA is definitely an investment. That being said, they are a fantastic organization that have really gained the trust of the entire industry. This is especially true if you are looking to go specifically holistic. In my opinion is a great program and clearly the biggest drawback is trying to balance whether or not it is worth it for the money.

        2. Hello can I ask you for some advise.. I have a bachelors in community health and have not worked in the past 12 years , now since my kids are all grown up I am looking to go back to work … I was thinking to take one of these certifications that way I refresh my memory again and get a recent certificate as well when applying to a job … what would you recommend I apply for which program ? Can you please advise me 🙏🏼Thank you so much and I hope to hear from you soon…😍

          1. Hello, I feel like you are the same person that left another comment on this post. All of these will be fantastic for refreshing your memory on what you need to know in order to become a health coach. That being said, what experience with health coaching do you have in the past? What type of coaching do you want to do in the future? All of these factors are important when trying to decide on which healthcare certification to choose for your current situation.

            1. I have worked with health insurance company before improving the overall lifestyle of individual with diabetes, cardiovascular diseases basically improving and providing better health choices to improve health and reduce risk….. this is what I like to do … I am in between Ace or NSHC’s certification…. just been reading reviews about how hard the Ace test is…. your opinion and insight on this is greatly appreciated 👍

              1. Hey Raula,
                I would say that the exam from the American Council on exercise is a little bit harder than the rest but I think that’s a good thing overall. They really test your knowledge of what you learned during the healthcare certification and how you can apply it in a real-world setting. For me, this is the choice to go with but all of these options are pretty good to be honest.

      12. Hey Tyler! Love this site and the info you have provided. I have been looking into Health Coach Institute, do you have any feed back on them? I do know they aren’t cheap, so I’d hate to go with the more expensive option if they aren’t who they say they are!

        1. Hey Romi,
          I will have to do some further investigation into this institute before I can say for sure. Are they accredited by any legitimate organization? That is a good quick way to tell if they have gone through the hoops they need to in order to provide a great certification.

      13. I Tyler love the valuable information… My question for you is I am a certified Special Ed teacher, who is looking to diversify. I am looking for a program where I could teach my students and students parents about health, including supplements for behaviors, food, and exercise. Which program would you recommend? I also wonder if I meet the condition to be in related health care field?
        Thank you,
        Michelle

        1. Hey Michelle,
          Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. If you are looking for a combination between nutrition as well as health coaching I would definitely look into the certified nutrition coach by the National Academy of sports medicine. Is not technically a health coach certification but it touches upon a lot of the same topics such as behavior and habit changing techniques. On top of that it has a lot of information on nutrition obviously. I hope this helps you resolve your question and don’t hesitate to leave me any more comments or questions if you have them.

      14. IIN Integrative Nutrition
        I looked into this, but I’m so new to this whole nutritional health coaching. The money isn’t so much of an issue if I’m earning the credentials that I need. I’m not interested in being in a gym. I’d rather work with families, children, and adults, be it nursing, pregnant, post partum, seniors and so on, but from my own office at home. I don’t want to end up spending thousands and finding that I didn’t get the proper certification. In IIN,

        1. Hey Tracy,
          It sounds like you have a very good idea about which type of people you want to train in the health coaching industry. Working out of your own home and working with individual clients that way is a lot more profitable than working in a gymnasium situation. The hardest part is getting clients that I believe you will do a great job!

      15. Hello
        I like working with people , changing habits, educate people on any disease they might have and get them to make lifestyle changes and motivate them to better living …. Having a bachelors in community health degree what other certifications I can add to look good on my resume and increase the likelihood of getting a job …. I am just hesitant to pay for a certification that’s no accredited or it’s not considered a good institution…. please advise me …thank you

        1. All of these are great questions and all of these certifications on the list for the top health coach programs would be a good addition to your bachelors degree. They all have slightly different focuses in slightly different curriculum though depending on what exactly you are looking for, those of the factors you should think about. Probably out of all of these, the healthcare certification from the American Council on exercise is one of my go to certifications.

            1. Hello Rola,
              It depends on which health coach certification that you are talking about. All of them have different rules and regulations regarding testing procedures and where tests can be taken. Some allow international tests to be taken outside of the states but you will have to check with your particular certifying organization to see if they do that, and if so, where they have testing facilities outside the United States.

      16. Hi!
        I have some time looking for different alternatives for courses on health coach.
        I am a dietitian, but I moved to the USA and I cannot use my license here so Im looking alternatives related with my career.
        I really liked your review, but there is none of the two courses I had been watching, I am worried about paying so much for a course that is really not worth it, or that is just as good as another one that costs half!
        I would like to know your opinion about Suzanne Monroe Integrative Nutrition and Wellness Coach Certification if you know them, and also the health coach from Integrative Nutrition.

        Thank you very much for your time and help.

        1. Hey Maria,
          That is so cool that you have moved to the United States to start your training here. It’s too bad that your health coach license and not transfer from another country. Honestly I have not heard of that specific integrative nutrition certification. In terms of the wellness coach certification, there are various wellness coach certifications out there, which one do you mean? Also when you say that you are a health coach from integrative nutrition, which integrative nutrition course have you taken as there are various as well. If you leave me links to each of them that could be more specific as I’m looking at them

            1. Hey Maria,
              awesome to hear that you are already a nutritionist. In terms of health coaching, these are the top pure health coach certifications as of right now but I am planning on doing a whole another article that talks about the best ballistic/integrative nutrition certification as well. That article will include both of the certifications that you mentioned above. Stay tuned for this but as of right now I do think that the integrative nutrition certification is top-of-the-line.

      17. Thanks for the information about the programs. I was wondering if you could provide a little insight/advice for me: I’m a physical therapist, but would love to move into health coaching independently. It seems that all of the healthcare systems I work for have so much red tape d/t such things as insurance and billing. I would love to build my own clientele and help them to move towards wellness from a multi-faceted approach (mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, nutritional), but was wondering if the NSHC program would help me meet those goals or if it’s purely focused on a clinical setting.
        Thank you for any advice!
        Katie

        1. Hey Katie,
          It’s great to hear that you want to become a health coach. His true that you can help your clients from a wide variety of angles not just fitness and nutrition. But like you said, emotional, mental, spiritual etc. Any of the certifications on this list will help you gain knowledge in order to help your clients in that way. Which one is catching your eye the most?

      18. I have a masters in counseling but do not hold a license. I am wanting to get into the health coaching field centered around behavioral health. Is there an accredited certification for people who do not have a license?
        Thank you,
        Laurie

        1. Yes most of these health coach programs are accredited and I think that any one of these would be a good option for somebody that does not have a license. All of these will help focus on behavioral change on a deep level. Good luck.

      19. Hi Tyler,
        I am a group fitness trainer but I don’t hold any NCCA accredited certification. ACE’s prerequisite states that the candidates should hold one. So, I’m torn between ACE and AFPA’s holistic health coach certification. Is AFPA recognised by employers internationally?

        1. In this regard I would definitely opt to go with the American Council on exercise as they are more recognized worldwide. Especially in the United States a lot of people prefer ACEcertifications. That is unless the AFPA certification has something very specific that you are looking for.

      20. Hi Tyler,

        Thank you for this post. It was very helpful! I am a Registered Dietitian and I have been interested in becoming a health coach as well. I am debating on doing either the ACE or the NSHC. I know from your post that you prefer the ACE but you mentioned that both are very great programs and have similar costs. I have a background in nutrition and so I don’t think the NASM CNC is necessary for me but I am just curious what your opinions are for which program is better suited for someone like me.

        1. Hey Jane,
          It seems like you already have the nutrition background. In that case, I would go for a Pure Health coach certification such as the American Council on exercise or the NSHC as you mentioned. Take a look at both programs and see which one resonates better with you as they are both great.

      21. Hi Tyler,

        What are in fact, the legitimate accrediting organizations?

        Have you done your research on the Health Coach Institute? And is it an MLM/pyramid scheme, or legit institute?

      22. Hi! Thanks for this article – very helpful! I am going into my sophomore year of college and am majoring in Exercise Science, and I would love to get certified to be a health coach! Do you have any recommendations of what program I should go through (that don’t need an associate’s degree)? I’ve been looking at NASM and ACE…let me know!

        1. I think that the health coach certification from the American Council on exercise is a great choice. I love your career path and good luck with personal training and health coaching.

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