Hello everybody, and welcome to another PT Pioneer career insight article.

I use this platform to help passionate fitness pros find their feet in the industry while also helping them grow and maintain successful businesses.

One of the most important things I try and inform people about is the income potential for fitness professionals.

This time, I’ll be looking at a health coach’s income and salary prospects.

I’ll discuss the following:

  • What a health coach is
  • A health coach’s scope of practice
  • Necessary and recommended qualifications
  • Factors that influence salary and income
  • Salary Statistics of health coaches in the US

Make sure you take this quiz. It will help you determine which career and certification options are best for you.

Health Coach Salary - How much can you make in [year] 3
Health Coach Salary - How much can you make in [year] 4

With that said, let’s get right into it.

Health Coach Income and Salary


What is a Health Coach?

Before we take a step further, learning and appreciating what it is to be a health coach is important.

I’ve written a full in-depth breakdown of what health coaching entails, so please check that out for the full scoop.

Once you grasp what the role implies, you’ll already have an impression of what sort of income bracket a health coach can expect to be in.

What Factors Influence Salary

Another important consideration I’d like us to consider is the factors that affect how much you can earn as a health coach.

As with any career, the income potential is a sliding scale, and where you land is influenced by several things. 

Let’s take a look at some of those.


Location is one of the most influential factors affecting how much you can earn in a specific career field.

The same job in your current location will always earn you extra income in a different location.

This is especially true when comparing two international locations.

But even a state-by-state comparison will greatly contrast what you can earn.

I did a series on personal training careers in each state, including salary stats for each state, and you can check it out here.

But what is it about the location that influences income?

Local Economy

The local economy is the location-based sub-factor that will determine your earnings. Each country, state, and even city has its local economy.

The size and stability of that economy influence the types of wages residents can expect.

The more stable the economy, the higher the income stats for that area.

The local economy also influences how much money the general population spends.

Population Size and Density

Another great influence on salary and income potential is the size and density of the local population.

Size is the number of people in a specific location, and density is the number of people per unit of physical space.

You’ll often find it more lucrative to be in a less populated area with a dense population than a large, well-populated area with a low density.

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That’s because close-knit communities are often very influential on their members.

This extends to consumer habits.

That means you’ll quickly gain recognition as a valuable health coach in a more densely populated area.

Population Health

This is not a universal factor across all types of careers.

It is, however, very applicable to the health and fitness sector.

That’s because, as a health coach, your income depends on people investing in their wellness.

People who do this tend to have a health consciousness level that also lends itself to having generally healthy lifestyles.

One quick way of determining the healthiness of a location’s population is by looking at the obesity statistics, as well as the size and growth of the local fitness industry (gyms and fitness facilities)


Another fairly obvious influencing factor is your credentials.

To even be considered a health coach, you will need some qualifications.

health coach certification is a fundamental requirement.

This usually means you’ve attended college or university and have a degree.

This is all good, but having basic qualifications will earn you a basic salary.

Going for the big bucks, aim for more advanced qualifications such as master’s or doctoral, and add other specialist credentials to the pot.

These specialist credentials might include the following:

  • Nutrition Coaching
  • Transformation specialist
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Sensitive population group specialist

I’ve gone into full detail in a separate article about the various qualifications, so here’s a brief roundup of some of my top-rated health coach certifications:


From the American Council on Exercise, ACE CHC, or Certified Health Coach, is an entry-level certification that most fitness professionals can easily obtain.

That is to say, it doesn’t have any stringent prerequisites aside from requiring candidates to hold a PT cert.

This prevents you from having a full scope of practice as far as being a certified health coach is concerned.

You won’t have the authority to intervene medically with just this cert unless you already have a degree in a healthcare-related program.

Regardless, ACE is one of the top health and fitness credentialing institutions, so you will have the recognition and resources that go with a top-tier cert.


NSHC is regarded as the most prestigious qualification in health and wellness coaching.

It is the most well-established and has a strict entry policy.

You must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in a relevant healthcare-related field and have several years of experience working as a healthcare professional.

3. Wellcoaches School of Coaching

Wellcoaches is an institution that offers health care certification for licensed and unlicensed professionals.

This allows you to qualify as a health coach whether or not you have a certification as a licensed healthcare practitioner.

Wellcoaches is associated with ACSM, a leader in health and fitness-related research.

That means you can expect a curriculum covering all the necessary bases on your journey to becoming a health and wellness coach.

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4. Duke IHC

Duke University provides the integrative health Coach or IHC, one of the most comprehensive and recognized health coach programs.

As you can imagine, the fact that a university administers it means you’ll have access to some top-notch infrastructure and resources.

The catch is it’s also quite expensive, but a fair tradeoff, in my opinion.

You must undergo an extensive foundation program before getting to the main certification program.

5. Dr. Sears Wellness Institute

Dr. Sears is an institution that offers a diverse array of health coaching options. 

This allows you to specialize in one or a few aspects.

It also means you can consolidate multiple aspects of health coaching into one practical approach.

The concept of a health coach is quite broad and maybe even a bit vague.

I like Dr. Sears because he breaks down health coaching into its subcomponents for a more comprehensive curriculum.

6. Health Coach Institute

Health Coach Institute offers an easy-to-comprehend health coaching program.

It’s broken down into what they refer to as the four digestible pillars.

Those pillars are as follows:

  • Nutrition
  • Transformational Coaching Skills
  • Personal Growth
  • Business and Marketing.

It’s the most expensive program on this list, but the value is worth every penny.

For a full breakdown of these health and wellness programs, check out this article on the best health coach certifications.

Level of Experience

Last but not least is your experience level.

The amount of time you’ve put into a craft or profession will inevitably translate into the value awarded to your work.

So if you’re starting as a health coach, you should naturally expect a lower income than if you’ve been in the game for several years.

Your experience will allow you to elevate to an authority figure’s status with enough time.

You will gain opportunities for more lucrative positions or leverage your experience for higher rates.

Average Salary For A Health and Wellness Coach in America

As a health and wellness coach in the US, your average annual salary is approximately $59,821.

The salary range is determined by the factors I spoke about previously, so expect the annual salary to vary significantly in this career path.

One of the keys determining factors for income and salary is location, as I mentioned.

So I’ve taken the liberty of breaking down the salary averages for each of the 50 states.

That will help you determine what to expect in your current location or if you should relocate altogether.

StateState CapitalAverage Salary
ArkansasARLittle Rock$55,260
DCDCWashington DC$66,473
IowaIADes Moines56,190
LouisianaLABaton Rouge$55,621
MinnesotaMNSt. Paul$63,733
MissouriMOJefferson City$58,666
NevadaNVCarson City$68,973
New HampshireNHConcord$61,735
New JerseyNJTrenton$68,973
New MexicoNMSanta Fe$56,004
New YorkNYAlbany$71,964
North CarolinaNCRaleigh$54,891
North DakotaNDBismarck$52,768
OklahomaOKOklahoma City$54,646
Rhode IslandRIProvidence$63,024
South CarolinaSCColumbia$55,813
South DakotaSDPierre$53,701
UtahUTSalt Lake City$56,848
West VirginiaWVCharleston$58,564

Note that I’ve only focused on the large metropolitan cities in each state.

Not only do these give a more accurate reading based on the level of industry and commerce, but they also have the largest populations and present the most lucrative opportunities.

New York offers the highest average income, with a figure of $71,964 annually.

This is a great salary average to look forward to, but there is a catch.

New York, and in this case, New York City, is one of the most expensive places to live in America.

The cost of living plays a huge role in the value of your income.

For that reason, it’s always good to measure the dollar value of your income against all likely expenses.

By doing that, you might find that an area with a lower income average affords you more lifestyle options simply because of a lower cost of living.


Working as a certified health coach presents many opportunities and a lucrative income.

Since most instances of working in this field require qualifications as a licensed healthcare provider, your salary potential is relatively high.

Always remember the factors that influence salary and the cost of living in your area of residence.

Tax is also a big consideration, so remember to keep that in mind when approaching a career as a health coach.

The figures I’ve sourced are all averages, so remember, your income depends on your input.

Please comment below if you have any comments or suggestions, and I’ll get right to it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much money can you make as a Health Coach?

Salary figures vary tremendously based on multiple factors, but the national average salary for a health coach in America is $59,821

How do you become a certified Health Coach?

To become a certified health coach, you must complete a certification program at one of the institutions I mentioned in the “Credentials” section. 

Health coach training can be rigorous, with strict entry requirements.

Do you need a degree to be a Health Coach?

In most cases, you need a degree to meet the entry requirements for health coach certification.

A few health coach certs don’t require a degree in a healthcare-related field.

How do health coaches make a living?

health coach can work within a practice or organizations such as health centers, wellness centers, hospitals, care homes, or health and fitness facilities.

health coach can also start a coaching business or private practice and even deliver online coaching services.

What Does a Health Coach Do?

health coach offers guided assistance and mentorship to clients seeking behavior change toward healthier lifestyles.

This may include fitness coaching, nutrition coaching, wellness advice, or clinical intervention.

What is a Health And Wellness Coach?

healthcare provider with the knowledge and scope of practice needed to help people form healthy habits for healthier lifestyles, including dealing with fitness goals and healthy weight loss chronic disease.

What are the benefits of being a Health Coach?

It offers much versatility in engaging with clients, from fitness to clinical intervention.

As far as health and fitness are concerned, health coaching is one of the most lucrative career paths.

The purpose and fulfillment of providing real benefits to the population groups you work with.







  • https://www.salary.com/tools/salary-calculator/health-and-wellness-coach



Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read

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