Hey everybody, and welcome to PT Pioneer, your ultimate destination for all aspects of the health and fitness profession.

I aim to give you the most in-depth and comprehensive information on the academic and career side of personal training and other pursuits in health and fitness.

I will give you a rundown on a potential wellness coach’s salary in this article.

I’ll be touching on the following topics to give you a better perspective:

  • Factors that influence salary
  • Average Wellness Coach Salary in America
  • Earning potential with online wellness coaching

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

What wellness coach certification is right for you?

We developed this critical quiz to help you find the best certification for you and your goals.

This will help you determine which certification is best for you since certification is the necessary first step toward becoming a health and fitness professional.

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

Wellness Coach Salary

What is a Wellness Coach?

In a different article, I’ve gone into full detail about what a wellness coach is. Still, to sum it up briefly, a wellness coach is an educator, mentor, and well-being facilitator.

Your role as a wellness coach is to provide a guided approach by which your clients can decide what course of action to take and what habits to develop for a healthier lifestyle.

The broad, all-encompassing focus of wellness coaching can make for a lucrative career opportunity regarding income and salary potential.

That’s because the services of wellness coaches are often called upon by the upper-middle class or high-income brackets of society.

This high earning potential is also often the result of the different corporate and commercial entities that use health and wellness coaching.

With that considered, let’s look at the full scope of factors influencing salary in wellness coaching.

What Factors Influence a Wellness Coach’s Salary

Salary and income are often standardized or regulated to an extent, but these boundaries often have limited reach and jurisdiction.

In most cases, income prospects are influenced by various ever-shifting variables.

1. Location

Location is probably the biggest factor influencing what you could earn from a job or career path.

Location and geography play important roles from a micro to a macro scale.

On a micro-scale, let’s look at a single city.

Each city is subdivided into different districts and suburbs, usually with a central commercial area and some outlying industrial areas.

It’s possible to have drastically different income scales and socio-economic profiles across different suburbs, neighborhoods, and districts.

Identifying and targeting the more affluent or high-income zones is one of your best strategies for netting a high income.

On a macro scale, you’d look at city-to-city, state-by-state, international, and intercontinental variance.

From a city-to-city perspective, you can have two cities in the same state having vastly different wage profiles.

This variance becomes more prominent when you up the scale of location separation.

But what about different locations that cause income potential to vary so widely?

Local Economy

Each location has its commercial makeup. 

This is determined by the nature and scale of business conducted there.

A port city, for example, might have a big hand in the fishery industry as well as cargo and shipping, while a town in a mountainous region might have a robust mining economy.

These are just stand-out examples, but you get the point.

The economic activity in a location affects how businesses are supported and how much disposable income the population has to spend.

The local economy also determines the infrastructure available such as:

  • Transport
  • Communication technology
  • Utility services
  • Emergency and rescue services
  • Healthcare system

All these things contribute to the ease of doing business, the employment available, and the disposable income of consumers who could be your potential clients.

Population Health

Population health is important in determining the market profile, especially in the health and wellness industry.

That’s because the health of a population correlates with the likelihood of its members buying into wellness services like the ones you offer.

This is determined by looking at two crucial factors.

These are disease prevalence rates, but mainly concerning metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity, and gym access.

These are good indicators of how healthy or health-conscious a population is, and the more health-conscious, the more likely they include health and fitness services as part of their lifestyle investment.

With obesity and diabetes prevalence, we can see how a population prioritizes healthy habits, which would include hiring the services of health and fitness experts such as yourself to get them on track and keep them there.

When it comes to gym access, we see another metric that contributes to the viability and income prospects of a career as a wellness professional.

The more gyms people have access to, the more people will use them, and the more people use gyms, the more they are likely to use personalized health and fitness services.

Population Size

The size and density of a population determine the number of prospects and the scale of the market.

As obvious as this may come, it’s important to differentiate between size and density.

Population size means the total number of people in a given location, while density is the number of people per unit of area in a given location.

Sometimes you’ll find an area with a large population but a low density will present less opportunity than a place with a smaller population but one more tightly packed.

2. Credentials

Your credentials play a massive role in your earning potential.

Without qualifications, you wouldn’t have much of an opportunity to work as a wellness coach.

But even after having made the grade with the bare minimum credentials, the quality and quantity of your qualifications still influence your income potential.

Firstly, the reputability of the institution(s) you obtained your credentials can sway prospective employers and even some diligent clients.

Always ensure you get qualified or certified through well-recognized, accredited organizations with a proven track record.

Second to this is the level of your qualifications.

While certification in health and wellness will get your foot in the door to open up the prospects this career path presents, gaining a degree in a health or wellness-related degree program will give you a guaranteed leg up.

It’s also important to remember, specifically with wellness coaching, that the broad array of health and wellness aspects it tackles all have specialist credentials.

Qualifying in several can set you apart from other wellness experts, naturally opening you up to higher salary prospects.

3. Level of Experience

Regarding experience, two things allow you to earn more with more experience.

First, you’ve been in the game long enough to learn how to exploit it for your benefit.

Not in a nefarious way, of course, but just from the perspective of learning the industry and how to operate within it for better access to opportunity.

The second thing experience gives you is the status of an authority figure.

As an authority figure, your name and reputation have an inherent value associated with them, making them bankable assets.

This sense of authority and trustworthiness becomes something people are willing to pay for in itself.

Your level of experience doesn’t automatically guarantee success and a higher income.

You have to work on cultivating a good reputation over time to enrich the value of your time in the industry.

There’s no use in having decades’ worth of experience while, at the same time, those ten years were spent getting bad reviews and inconsistent results.

4. Employment Style

Another factor in how much you make is how you choose to make it.

There are three distinct models of employment across most career paths, and they also apply to wellness coach jobs.

The first is full-time employment, where you work under an employee in an established business with the wellness specialist job title.

For a wellness coach, this could be at a health club, spa, holiday resort, or as a corporate wellness specialist in a company’s HR department.

This form of work has its pros and cons. 

Regarding the advantages, you have a fixed monthly income, little to no overhead costs, employment benefits, and limited admin responsibilities.

The only drawback of employment is your potential average earnings tend to be the lowest.

This, however, depends on your level or position within a company or business. Employment often allows for growth and elevation as you gain experience and prove your value.

In this way, you could rise into a managerial or executive position, and with that comes a boost in income.

The second method of employment is freelancing or private contracting.

This is where you hire out your services as a private individual, working with clients and organizations on an ad hoc, part-time basis.

Freelancing is far less stable than having a fixed job, but the advantage is that it allows you more freedom and control.

You can essentially set your rates, but to improve your odds of stable and consistent revenue, you should operate within the industry standards regarding pricing.

Being a freelancer also brings a lot of admin responsibilities, such as filing your taxes, insurance, accounts, and legal.

You also won’t have access to any employment benefits.

Despite this, freelancing usually comes with limited operational expenses, allowing you access to more of your profits.

Lastly, you can be self-employed.

This is similar to freelancing in that you work for yourself, but it also runs parallel to being employed in that you work for a registered business, your business.

Self-employment, in that sense, is the same as having a regular job, with the only difference being that you are the job creator and your employer.

As a registered business, you would implement the same standards as you would expect from being hired by a company.

Employment benefits, a fixed income, and structured operation.

The only drawback is the hefty administrative responsibility.

Operating a business requires a lot of time, attention, and sacrifice to make it a success.

You might have to forego an income for some time in the initial phases, but the payoff in revenue can be massive if you build your business correctly.

How Much Does A Certified Health and Wellness Coach Make in America?

According to salary.com, health & wellness coaches in America make a national average of $60,035 annually.

This is lower than what personal trainers in the US make on average yearly, which is $62,477 per year based on the same data sampling.

Of course, this is just an average figure, and things get interesting when you look at the upper percentile earning bracket.

The top earners in wellness coaching earn an average of  $170,391 per year compared to the top earners in personal training, who rake in a relatively meager $89,755, almost half of what wellness coaches take home.

Wellness coaches also earn a much higher average hourly rate of $66/hour compared to personal trainers in the US, who make just $23/hour on average.

To understand the income potential a bit better, I’ve compiled a table explaining how income deviates state by state.

That’s because, as I’ve mentioned, location is one of the most, if not the most, influential factors when it comes to determining salary prospects.

StateState CapitalAverage Salary
AlabamaALMontgomery$56,841
AlaskaAKJuneau$66,771
ArizonaAZPhoenix$59,306
ArkansasARLittle Rock$60,035
CaliforniaCASacramento$67,898
ColoradoCODenver$60,713
ConnecticutCTHartford$68,200
DelawareDEDover$63,949
DCDCWashington DC$66,831
FloridaFLTallahassee$58,300
GeorgiaGAAtlanta$59,386
HawaiiHIHonolulu$62,232
IdahoIDBoise$54,575
IllinoisILSpringfield$57,209
IndianaINIndianapolis$55,301
IowaIADes Moines$57,977
KansasKSTopeka$58,936
KentuckyKYFrankfort$56,613
LouisianaLABaton Rouge$59,390
MaineMEAugusta$58,072
MarylandMDAnnapolis$61,716
MassachusettsMABoston$67,641
MichiganMILansing$61,950
MinnesotaMNSt. Paul$63,961
MississippiMSJackson$55,550
MissouriMOJefferson City$56,721
MontanaMTHelena$52,050
NebraskaNELincoln$56,486
NevadaNVCarson City$61,326
New HampshireNHConcord$61,476
New JerseyNJTrenton$72,222
New MexicoNMSanta Fe$56,733
New YorkNYAlbany$72,222
North CarolinaNCRaleigh$54,338
North DakotaNDBismarck$56,325
OhioOHColumbus$57,640
OklahomaOKOklahoma City$54,842
OregonORSalem$62,087
PennsylvaniaPAHarrisburg$64,309
Rhode IslandRIProvidence$63,250
South CarolinaSCColumbia$57,012
South DakotaSDPierre$52,104
TennesseeTNNashville$55,793
TexasTXAustin$59,645
UtahUTSalt Lake City$57,052
VermontVTMontpelier$59,116
VirginiaVARichmond$66,831
WashingtonWAOlympia$62,167
West VirginiaWVCharleston$53,623
WisconsinWIMadison$59,416
WyomingWYCheyenne$54,464

This table shows that New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut post the highest average salary for wellness coaches.

States such as Massachusetts, Hawaii, California, and Colorado also show strong income prospects.

These are all states with strong local economies that play into one of the sub-factors when it comes to location: the local economy.

Based on that, you would probably consider moving to any of these locations as a smart career move, correct?

Well, the thing is, what you earn is only as good as what you end up spending.

Sometimes high wages act to offset a high cost of living.

If you’re paying loads of taxes, housing, utilities, and general living, having a high income might be more necessary than a privilege.

And these top income locations prove that very point since they are amongst the most expensive places to live in America, according to data from worldpopulationreview.com.

With that in mind, reviewing the expenses you would potentially be subject to when looking to relocate for better-paying options is important.

You might discover that a state with a lower average income might have a significantly lower cost of living, so you’re saving more money even if you’re making a bit less.

Online Wellness Coaching

The world and how we interact and exchange in it are now digital, and this reality progresses daily.

A digital marketplace dominates entire economies and some of the wealthiest corporations in given sectors.

Fitness is one of those industries whose worth and revenue are catapulted every year thanks to online services.

Online health and fitness are one of the most lucrative internet-based industries today. Wellness coaching can easily be applied through any successful online business model.

It is generally understood that health and fitness professionals with an online presence and service offering net an average higher income.

That’s because online wellness coaching allows you to convert and manage more clients than in person.

You can also streamline your services and client management, making keeping track of and sustaining a healthy revenue stream easier.

Online wellness also allows you to make money through multiple ventures.

Aside from just consulting, programming, and providing advice, you can also create information products such as ebooks which can be monetized for somewhat of a passive income.

Another great way to boost your income through online wellness coaching is through virtual consultations.

This benefit is that you can work with clients regardless of location.

Your clients can be halfway across the planet, and you’ll still be able to provide a valuable service.

This improved reach and capacity is a doorway to optimized revenue and income prospects.

Conclusion

So that’s it, folks, your ultimate guide to your income prospects with wellness coaching.

As you can see, a successful wellness coaching career promises a decent salary song with a profound sense of fulfillment, considering the nature of your role and duties.

Just remember the major factors influencing salary to maximize your income over time.

I hope this article helps, but if you have any questions or suggestions, comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much money does a health and wellness coach make?

Health & wellness coaches in America make an average of $60,035 annually.

What does a wellness coach do?

A wellness coach takes on the role of a guidance counselor who helps people achieve a sense of well-being.

Is it worth becoming a Wellness Coach?

If you are passionate about helping people understand wellness in a way that allows them to form healthy habits, then yes.

What degree do you need to be a wellness coach?

A bachelor’s degree or higher is recommended but not necessary. If you do go down that route, a program in a healthcare-related field is your best option.

How do you become a wellness coach?

Through gaining the necessary credentials and qualifications, which include certifying as a wellness coach, gaining a degree in a healthcare-related field, and specializing in any specializations such as nutrition or fitness.

References

  1. “Health and Wellness Coach Salary.” Salary.com, https://www.salary.com/research/salary/posting/health-and-wellness-coach-salary.
  2. “What is a Wellness Coach Salary?” Health Coach Institute, https://www.healthcoachinstitute.com/wellness-coach/what-is-a-wellness-coach-salary/.
  3. “Remote Health and Wellness Coach Salary.” ZipRecruiter, https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Remote-Health-and-Wellness-Coach-Salary.
  4. “Most Expensive States to Live In.” World Population Review, https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/most-expensive-states-to-live-in.
  5. “Life and Wellness Coaches.” WebMD, https://webmd.com/balance/guide/life-and-wellness-coaches.
  6. “What Is a Wellness Coach, and When Do You Need One?” Verywell Fit, https://www.verywellfit.com/what-is-a-wellness-coach-when-do-you-need-one-4175824.
  7. “What Is Wellness Coaching?” Wellness Coaching Australia, https://www.wellnesscoachingaustralia.com.au/What-is-wellness-coaching/what-is-wellness-coaching.
  8. “Wellness Coaching Initiative.” Global Wellness Institute, https://globalwellnessinstitute.org/initiatives/wellness-coaching-initiative/.
  9. “What Is Wellness?” Pfizer, https://www.pfizer.com/health-wellness/wellness/what-is-wellness.
  10. “What is a Wellness Program? Definition, Examples, and Tips.” WellSteps, https://www.wellsteps.com/blog/2020/01/02/what-is-wellness-program-definition/.
  11. “The Concept of Wellness.” Physiopedia, https://www.physio-pedia.com/The_Concept_of_Wellness.
  12. “What Is Wellness?” University of South Dakota Wellness Center, https://www.usd.edu/student-life/wellness-center/what-is-wellness.
  13. “Wellness Coach Job Description.” La Clinica, https://www.careinnovations.org/wp-content/uploads/Wellness-Coach-Job-Description_La-Clinica.pdf.
  14. “Health Coach Job Description.” Betterteam, https://www.betterteam.com/health-coach-job-description.
  15. “Health Coach Job Description Examples.” Great Sample Resume, https://www.greatsampleresume.com/job-description/examples/fitness-nutrition/health-coach.
Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read


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