How to become a health coach in 2020 – PTP’s Guide

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    Hey guys and welcome to my article on how to become a health coach.

    Here you will learn all of these necessary steps one needs to take to start their career as a health coach.

    If at the end of the article, you decide that this is something you want to try out, check out one of the more popular health coach certifications here. Some other helpful related certifications are fitness nutrition certifications as well as group exercise certifications. I recommend checking out both those articles!

    If you’re wondering which certification is right for you, take the quiz to find out! The menu at the top of this page will answer any question related to personal training 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 promise you that this article satisfies the quest for how to become a certified health coach every step of the way.

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      How to become a health coach

      Introduction to being a health coach

      Health coaches are becoming a very popular profession in recent years. These new types of health instructors combine a lot of essential knowledge such as fitness and diet with habit development.

      In my article, I will be explaining what a health coach does and why you should consider becoming one. I will be talking about some of the most popular health coach certifications so that you can decide which will be the best for you if you choose to go for it.

      You will learn about the differences between personal trainers and health coaches. It is never a bad idea to combine your personal training knowledge with other knowledge in the health industry. If anything it only makes you a more diverse personal trainer.

      I think every personal trainer should have some nutrition certification. In the end, you only become more qualified at your job. You are not yet a personal trainer you should check out my extensive guide on starting your career as a trainer as well as my article on my favorite certifications.

      You can make a lot of money in the fitness industry as a trainer or health coach!

      What exactly does a health coach do?

      Another good word for a health coach is a “wellness” coach. They cover so many topics about health under a large umbrella. They don’t necessarily completely focus on exercise routines (like personal trainers do), nutrition or diet (like nutritionists to) or the mental aspect of wellness (like therapists do).

      They take a well-rounded approach by dipping slightly into each of these categories when they help their clients. It is a very well-rounded approach to wellness! They try to find the root of people’s problems and start there.

      They focus on habit formation as well as essential lifestyle changes that individuals need to make to live healthy and happy lives. The reason why so many people in this world have chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and chronic pain is that from a very young age they have had horrible lifestyle habits.

      It is the job of the health coach to help these individuals change their way of thinking and living so that they can fix their problems. The pharmaceutical industry and prescription drugs are a short-term fix for these people’s chronic conditions. These “magic pills” will only cover up the symptoms but not fix the actual problem.

      Health coaches use a holistic approach by getting their clients active, starting to eat healthily and learning to develop the mental ability to make the right choices and build better habits such as quitting tobacco, alcohol and junk food.

      Soon, health coaches, personal trainers, and nutritionists will work very closely together for the health of one client!

      Is a health coach certification the right thing for you?

      Often this is a difficult question to ask regarding most certifications in the industry. In my opinion, if you are already a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, this would be a fantastic addition to your business.

      New credentials or certifications always add a fresh new perspective on health and fitness that you can benefit your clients. Do you consider yourself more of a wellness expert or more of a fitness expert?

      Sometimes people get the definitions of these two confused, and it can be difficult to answer. Working as a personal trainer for so long I am interested in fitness, but personal training can be so much more than performing the exercises.

      You need to coach your clients through healthy habits and building the right mindset to get in shape and get healthy. Often my clients come to me with questions that are and not related to exercise because they often see me as a mentor.

      In a way, every personal trainer acts as a health coach in some way or another. I think that most personal trainers would benefit significantly from a health coach certification.

      The most significant difference is that you will learn how to systematically teach your clients about habit formation and lifestyle changes. With this system in place, you can be much more useful!

      If you have clients that you cannot change their habits they will make very little progress in the gym. That is why they need both to be truly successful!

      All the info than you need if you are curious about how to become a health coach!

      Now let’s get into the main part of the article where you learn how to become a health coach! From the research I’ve done I have found a few certifications.

      Out of all of whom, I could only find one health coach certification that was accredited by the NCCA. If you have read my article on “how to become a personal trainer” you will see all of the steps very similar.

      Let’s jump right into it!

      How to become a health coach: Sign up for your health coach certification of choice

      First, there are two ways of getting your health coach certification; it can either be strictly an online health coach certification program, where all your studying and your tests will be done online or you opt for the one-on-one. Whichever one you can sign up for just be sure that it is accredited and well recognized in the health and fitness industry.

      I have been asked which is the best health coach certification available out there but my reply will always be the ones that are NCCA accredited.

      That being said, out of all of the certifications available my favorite is the ACE  health coach certification. and the reason is obvious, it is NCCA accredited. ACE offers you two main packages for the health coach program.

      The Basic option costs $599 (presently on sale at $399) and includes the digital copy of the study companion, the ace Academy, and entrance to take the exam.

      The more expensive Plus bundle costs $749 (but presently on sale at $499) and contains everything that the Basic package with the addition of a voucher to retake the test and a booklet to master the primary textbook.

      I have seen the retest voucher come in handy for people that do not end up passing the test on the first go around.

      If you are the type that wants that comfort and less pressure, the AFPA health coach certification and Health Coach Institute is the best for you.

      AFPA gives you the choice of writing your exam for a maximum of 28days. You can write start your exam and pause it to be continued some other time. You have two study options:

      • The $649 study package is 100% online and
      • $799 package for also online and a digital copy of your textbooks

      Health Coach Institute health coach program cost $6,450.

      How to become health coach: Study your butt off for the test

      The next obvious step is to study your butt off for the test! This study process should take approximately six months to absorb all of the information in the manual. When I was studying for the test, I felt that the “master the manual” book was beneficial in forcing the information to stick in my head.

      It all depends on how you like to study and how your brain learns the best. Some people can simply read the textbook and memorize everything. Other people need a lot of visual learning tools.

      The ace Academy was also extremely helpful because it gives you access to e-mail chat one-on-one with experts from ACE. Both bundles include the ace Academy.

      Set a date to take the exam

      You need to make sure you are leaving yourself plenty of study time when you set the dates to take the exam. You should also have a “day before” and a morning of study session to help solidify any information.

      What I like to do is go over my notes the night before as I’m laying in bed to go to sleep. Make sure you either go over the most challenging parts or any critical areas that you have highlighted. You also need to get lots of rest so that you can think straight during the test.

      I recommend getting at least eight hours. In the morning you need to re-study these problematic parts that are highlighted as you’re eating breakfast. Make sure to get a good amount of protein and carbohydrates to fuel your brain.

      Once you can pass the exam with the required grade, you are on your way to becoming a health coach.

      Make sure to the confident and relaxed. You will do great!

      How to become a health coach: Find a place to work as a health coach or have a compliment your personal training business

      Once you are certified as a health coach, you need to find work as one! If you are already a personal trainer, then you can skip this step because all you need to do is incorporate what you have learned into your work with your clients.

      If you are looking for work, make sure that you build a fantastic resume to hand out to potential employers. Be confident during your interviews and just be yourself!

      When you finally get a job or you decided to be an entrepreneur, endeavor to invest in a good health coach software to compliment your work and make you exceptional in the field.

      Health Coach Salary

      Yes, I know you must be wondering about how much do health coaches make. The health coach business is quite lucrative and can be a good source of income for you once you are certified and have gained the requisite experience.

      In the USA presently, a certified health coach salary can be as much as $65k. In any case, it depends on the state where you are practicing. I have heard of health coaches earn between 51k on the lower rung of the ladder and as much as 75k.

      In other words, it is subjective – but very lucrative as you can see. It all depends on if you have a health coach certification duly accredited by a health coach institute.

      Conclusion on How to Become a Health Coach

      Being educated as a personal trainer as well as a health coach is invaluable to your clients, and you will see their results skyrocket! Whether you call yourself a health coach or a personal trainer, it doesn’t matter as long as the result of your clients is excellent.

      If you are looking for some extra continuing education credits for your personal trainer certification, this would be a fantastic addition to your knowledge Arsenal. I hope you guys liked my article let me know if you have any experience with health coaches or have any other comments.

      If my article on how to become a health coach was helpful, please like it or share it on social media or with your friends and family!

      Some other articles that might be helpful for you guys are personal training marketing ideas, personal training insurance as well as my fantastic workout template for personal use or to use with your clients!

      Also if you are not yet certified as a personal trainer make sure to check out some comparison articles such as ACE vs NASM, NASM vs ACSM and ISSA vs NASM!

      Happy wellness coaching!

      Aske me any questions you might have in the comment box down below the FAQ section!

      How to become a health coach FAQ

      What does a health coach do?

      A health coach is a trained professional that mentors individuals or groups of people to achieve health goals through food and other physical activities.

      Can I be an online certified health coach?

      Yes, you can be an online certified health coach by getting certified through one of the accredited health coach certification organization. You can also work with your clients online.

      Can a personal trainer also be a health coach?

      That is a bit tricky to answer. A personal trainer focuses more on exercising the physical appearance of a client so that he/she will look healthy and fit, while the health coach will focus more on the client’s general well being through food intake and much more.

      How do I become a certified health coach?

      You can become a certified health coach by passing the health coach certification exam. To write this exam you are required to:

      • Be 18 years and above
      • Have a valid identification
      • Have a degree or diploma in a related field
      • Choose a certification organization
      • Register for the program
      • Choose the date for the exam
      • Have a current CPR/AED
      • Pass the exam

      How much is the salary of a health coach?

      The health coach salary in the United States is within the range of $51k to $65k on average annually.
      You can also earn above that depending on the state you choose to work.

      Are there free health coach certifications?

      Sure, there are free health coach certifications online but many of them are not accredited.

      How long does it take to become a health coach?

      It takes a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 12 months and a maximum of 12 months from the day of your registration to the exam.

      It all depends on you.

      Where do health coaches work?

      You can find health coaches working in the hospital, nursing homes, training centers, fitness centers, and insurance companies.

      Which is the best health coach certification in the industry?

      There is no one best health coach certification program but I would advise that you choose ACE because it is the only one accredited with the NCCA and the study materials and textbooks are rich with information.

      What is holistic health coach certification?

      A holistic health coach certification is simply a course that combines diet and nutrition with health coaching.

      Do I need a health coach software to become a health coach?

      No, it is not a must to have a health coach software to become a health coach but it is a necessity that you have it and use it to make your work seamless.

      What is the differene between a health coach and a wellness coach?

      There are no major differences between a health coach and a wellness coach. A health coach is also a wellness coach.

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      8 thoughts on “How to become a health coach in 2020 – PTP’s Guide”

      1. Hi!
        I foud your website on google while trying to get comparison reviews between NASM Nutrition Specialist certification an ACE Health Coach certification. Your page is great by the way, congratulations.
        I’m a NASM Personal Trainer, AFAA Group Ex Instructor and WEFNA Basic Nutrition and Sports Nutrition Advisor.
        Alhough as a Nutrition Advisor I’m able to coach clients with their diets, I’m not able to provide meal plans which is something my clients ask for. I noticed with NASM Nutrition Specialist certification you get access to client handouts and meal plans. I wonder if with the ACE Health Coach cert I would be able to provide meal plans as well.
        Can you please advise on this?
        Thank you so much for your time!

        1. Hey Gabriellla,
          Honestly the health coach certification is very broad and covers lots of topics on wellness not just diet in particular like the NASM nutrition specialist certification does. If you want to help your clients with the meal prep I would definitely go with the nutrition specialist certification over the general health coach certification from ACE. I hope this helped

      2. Hello Tyler,
        I would be very interested in starting a career in health coaching in Europe (I am Italian, currently living in the Netherlands).
        I’d like to ask you 2 questions:
        1) Is the ACE valid also in Europe?
        2) My background is in Business and Marketing (bachelor + master degree). I am a fitness, nutrition and personal growth enthusiast but do not have any certification so far. How would you advise to proceed to start my career as health coach from scratch?

        Thank you

        1. Hello Davide,
          it’s great to hear that you want to do health coaching in Europe. Most of my information is tailored towards people working in the United States or even Canada with only a few people in Europe. For people that have specific questions on whether a specific certification is valid in their country or region, I typically recommend that they contact their local health clubs or gymnasiums to see which personal training certifications or healthcare certifications they accept and which ones they prefer. That is the best advice I can give you.

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