Hello everyone, and welcome to PT Pioneer.

In this article, I’ll provide your ultimate guide to a nutrition coach’s earning potential.

To give you a good idea of what your income could be like, I’ll look at the following:

  • What a nutrition coach is?
  • Factors that Influence a Nutrition Coach’s Salary and Income
  • Salary Statistics of Nutrition Coaches in the US

I’ll cover all your burning questions and provide a nifty FAQ for a quickfire glance.

I also highly recommend that you take the quiz and find out which nutrition coach certification is best for your career goals.

What type of Certification are you looking to get?

And with that said, let’s jump right into it.

Nutrition coach salary

Introduction

What is a Nutrition Coach?

I go over the job description and scope of practice of a nutrition coach in a separate article which you can read here.

By now, you probably have a decent understanding of what a nutrition coach is, but just as a refresher, a typical nutritional health coach’s job description includes the following:

  • Assessing clients’ nutritional situation and goals
  • Creating a comprehensive program within realistic parameters to achieve those goals
    • Meal planning and scheduling
    • Meal prepping
    • Supplements guide
    • Shopping list
    • Food Journal
  • Tracking, follow-ups, and feedback
  • Modification of the program where the need arises

What Factors Influence Salary

Before I understand what figures you can expect to pull, I want us to review what factors affect salary stats.

Understanding what factors are at play will help you optimize your career towards the upper percentile of the income bracket while avoiding common pitfalls.

1. Location

Location is one of the most well-understood factors that influence income.

For generations, people have traveled across borders and continents to ply their trades in more lucrative markets.

Economic migration is a testament to the power of location regarding salary and income potential.

Nutrition coaching differs from any other job title and is subject to location-based fluctuation.

But how exactly does location play a role?

Local Economy

The local economy of a geographic location is probably the leading sub-factor for the influence of location on salary.

A strong local economy means an active consumer base and more disposable income.

This means more people will be able to afford your services, and let’s face it; a nutrition coach isn’t a typical feature on many people’s monthly budgets.

That means to succeed and pull in the big bucks, you’ll want to situate yourself in areas with a strong economy, strong middle class, and a sizable luxury market.

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This would mean locating yourself in affluent areas and cities, states, or countries with strong economies, allowing you to optimize your pricing.

Not only do the populations in such areas have more to spend, but they will also likely have adopted a hands-on attitude towards their general wellness, which brings us to the second sub-factor.

Population Health

Population health measures how healthy and fit the general population in a given location is.

Population health stats are usually measured based on key health indicators such as obesity and mortality rates and the prevalence of certain diseases.

Diseases such as heart disease, type II diabetes, and certain cancers all impact how healthy and health-conscious a population is.

Your best bet is to situate yourself in areas with a decent public health profile as a nutrition coach.

This indicates that the population is generally health-conscious, which translates to being willing to spend on their health and fitness.

That increases your odds of success.

Credentials

A nutrition coach doesn’t need credentials, although I highly suggest you get some form of qualification. 

We’ll go more into that later.

Your credentials can elevate your status by the mere virtue of having them.

The higher your credentials, the higher your regarded, and the more credible people will presume you are.

Regardless, higher-level credentials such as a university degree will generally open your eyes to a deeper understanding of practical and scientific nutritional principles.

You will have a wealth of knowledge and skills that will put your cut above the rest, and this very fact is something you can take to the bank.

However, taking on a degree program is quite a massive decision, and if your goal is to work as a nutrition coach, I suggest something a little more down-to-earth.

A certification specializing in nutrition coaching is a good way to go.

My top picks are:

  • ISSA Nutritionist Certification
  • Precision Nutrition Levels 1 and 2
  • NSAM CNC
  • Fitness Mentors CNS
  • NCSF SNS
  • ACE FNS
  • AFPA Nutrition and Wellness Certification
  • NESTA Fitness/Sports Nutrition Coach

I go into more detail on these in my “8 Best Nutrition Certifications article.

Regarding nutrition credentials, an important thing to consider is the business aspect of nutrition coaching.

While most certs offer a good curriculum around the science of nutrition and the practical applications of nutrition programming, few give proper attention to things’ business side.

Your income depends on your business savvy, which means learning how to operate as an effective entrepreneur.

Therefore, I highly recommend ISSA Nutrition or Fitness Mentors Certified Nutrition Specialist.

That’s because these two nutrition certs get down to business (no pun intended) when it comes to guiding you through the entrepreneurial requirements of running a successful nutrition service.

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Level of Experience

Another important factor in optimizing your income as a nutrition coach is your experience level.

This means how much time you’ve spent working as a nutrition specialist in the trenches.

The more time and experience you have, the more money you can make as you move up the salary range.

Firstly, the maturity of your presence and that of your brand in the industry increases in value over time.

That is, of course, if you’ve been building a positive, results-driven reputation in your career.

Having a lot of skin in the game also lets you dignify yourself as an expert or authority. 

You can place a premium on your level of expertise, and you’ll also have the opportunity to apply for higher, more lucrative positions if you’re going the employment route.

At about 3 to 5 years of experience, most people in the fitness space begin to see rewards and big returns.

This, of course, depends on commitment and consistency while implementing effective business and marketing strategies.

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

How Much Does A Nutrition Health Coach Make in America

Now let’s break down the actual numbers, and when it comes to salary, a nutrition coach in America can expect to earn an average of $40,638 per year.

As I previously mentioned, salary is location-dependent, so I’ve taken the time to break down figures for each state according to salary.com.

StateState CapitalAverage Salary
AlabamaALMontgomery$38,476
AlaskaAKJuneau$45,198
ArizonaAZPhoenix$40,036
ArkansasARLittle Rock$36,689
CaliforniaCASacramento$45,961
ColoradoCODenver$41,097
ConnecticutCTHartford$46,165
DelawareDEDover$43,288
DCDCWashington DC$45,238
FloridaFLTallahassee$39,562
GeorgiaGAAtlanta$40,199
HawaiiHIHonolulu$42,126
IdahoIDBoise$42,095
IllinoisILSpringfield$40,638
IndianaINIndianapolis$37,433
IowaIADes Moines$38,241
KansasKSTopeka$39,895
KentuckyKYFrankfort$39,740
LouisianaLABaton Rouge$37,785
MaineMEAugusta$41,935
MarylandMDAnnapolis$45,184
MassachusettsMABoston$45,787
MichiganMILansing$41,333
MinnesotaMNSt. Paul$39,411
MississippiMSJackson$36,374
MissouriMOJefferson City$38,395
MontanaMTHelena$40,638
NebraskaNELincoln$37,707
NevadaNVCarson City$41,512
New HampshireNHConcord$38,421
New JerseyNJTrenton$46,758
New MexicoNMSanta Fe$34,542
New YorkNYAlbany$48,888
North CarolinaNCRaleigh$38,566
North DakotaNDBismarck$35,847
OhioOHColumbus$39,017
OklahomaOKOklahoma City$37,001
OregonORSalem$42,190
PennsylvaniaPAHarrisburg$39,406
Rhode IslandRIProvidence$42,588
South CarolinaSCColumbia$38,592
South DakotaSDPierre$36,481
TennesseeTNNashville$37,286
TexasTXAustin$39,968
UtahUTSalt Lake City$37,028
VermontVTMontpelier$40,016
VirginiaVARichmond$45,238
WashingtonWAOlympia$41,062
West VirginiaWVCharleston$39,785
WisconsinWIMadison$40,219
WyomingWYCheyenne$37,295

These salary figures show that most states do not deviate too far from the national average.

That means working as a nutrition coach presents similar salary potential no matter where you are across the United States.

It’s also important to remember that your salary’s dollar value doesn’t always translate to overall value.

You’ll also need to consider the cost of living in your area.

You’ll often find that areas with a low income average also have a proportionately lower cost of living, while high-income areas will have a disproportionately high cost of living.

Always consider how much you will need to spend your money and how much you stand to make.

Online Nutrition Coaching

We live in an age where society and economies are increasingly present online. The digital landscape is open for business, from shopping to education to ride home from work.

Regarding health and fitness, the online world is a goldmine if you’re a professional.

Online fitness is one of the most lucrative digital industries; nutrition is part and parcel.

I would strongly urge you to get yourself a digital platform to supplement part-time or even create a hybrid model of your existing in-person nutrition and personal trainer services in this day and age.

With online coaching, you can increase the number of clients you can access, thus increasing your income and revenue stream.

To have a successful online nutrition coaching business, you must invest time and money into building up your digital real estate.

That means creating a website, social media channels, digital marketing assets, and creative content.

Conclusion

A nutrition coach career is a great way to supplement your existing services as a fitness or wellness coach. 

However, on its own, nutrition coaching is a very narrow approach, and the income potential is relatively low compared to other sectors in professional health and fitness.

Therefore, I don’t see it as the most lucrative full-time job opportunity.

With a national average of sound $40k, you’re not exactly laughing to the bank. 

Still, if you’re using nutrition coaching with other more lucrative aspects of health and fitness, you’ll have an easier time lining your pockets.

For example, a health coach’s salary and the added value service of nutrition coaching would be a great combination.

I hope this article has provided the right amount of insight.

If you have any more questions, please drop a line in the comment section below, and I’ll get right to it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much money can you make as a nutrition coach?

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

How do you become a certified nutrition coach?

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

Do you need a degree to be a nutrition coach?

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

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

How do nutrition coaches make a living?

A nutrition coach can work within a practice or organization such as a clinic, hospital, care home, or health and fitness business.

A nutrition coach can also start a business or private practice and deliver online coaching services.

What Does a Nutrition Coach Do?

A nutrition coach offers guided assistance and mentorship to clients wishing to change their behavior toward a healthy lifestyle.

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

What is a Health And Wellness Coach?

A healthcare provider with the knowledge and scope of practice needed to help people form healthy habits for healthier lifestyles.

What are the benefits of being a nutrition coach?

The first benefit is working in a field that offers much versatility in engaging with clients, from fitness to clinical intervention.

The second is the income potential.

Regarding health and fitness, nutrition coaching is one of the most lucrative career paths.

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

Where is the best place to open a nutrition health coaching business?

Major metropolitan regions or big cities with thriving populations and economies. Examples include New York or Los Angeles.

Citations

  1. “5 Steps to Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist,” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, https://www.eatrightpro.org/about-us/become-an-rdn-or-dtr/high-school-students/5-steps-to-become-a-registered-dietitian-nutritionist.
  2. “What is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist?” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/about-us/what-is-an-rdn-and-dtr/what-is-a-registered-dietitian-nutritionist.
  3. “Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist,” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, https://www.eatrightpro.org/-/media/eatrightpro-files/career/become-an-rdn-or-dtr/becoming-a-registered-dietitian.pdf.
  4. “Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,” http://www.eatright.org/.
  5. “Dietitians and Nutritionists,” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm.
  6. “Commission on Dietetic Registration,” https://www.cdrnet.org/.
  7. “New Graduate Degree Eligibility Requirement Effective January 1, 2024,” Commission on Dietetic Registration, https://www.cdrnet.org/new-graduate-degree-eligibility-requirement-effective-january-1-2024.
  8. “Health and Wellness Coach Salary Calculator,” Salary.com, https://www.salary.com/tools/salary-calculator/health-and-wellness-coach.
  9. “Certify,” Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists, https://theana.org/certify.
  10. “CNS Candidate,” Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists, https://theana.org/certify/CNScandidate.
  11. “Apply – CNS Candidate,” Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists, https://theana.org/certify/CNScandidate/nutritionpros/apply.
Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read


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2 thoughts on “Nutrition Coach Salary – How much can you make in 2024?”

    • Hey, you are very correct. Dieticians and nutritionists with degrees are slightly more educated and able to give more specific advise on nutrition.

      Reply

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