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Here’s how much you can really earn as a health coach

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Thanks to a growing self-care movement, as well as rising interest in holistic and sustainable approaches to health, the field of health coaching is gaining popularity. 

“As the healthcare industry continues to embrace integrative and preventive health approaches, the demand for skilled health coaches is set to rise,” said Laura Barrera, certified health coach and founder of Journey, The Antidote Within.

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In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), careers in health education have an expected job growth rate of 7% between 2022 and 2032, which is faster than average. “This trend not only opens up diverse career opportunities, but also places health coaches at the forefront of a healthcare revolution, making a significant impact on the well-being of individuals and communities alike,” Barrera said.

If you’re a health nut who likes to help others, health coaching could be a great career to pursue. But before you invest too much time and money into your education, one of your most pressing questions is likely: How much does a health coach make? 

There are many factors that can affect your earnings as a health coach. Here’s what you should know about this career and how much a health coach can really make.

What is a health coach?

A health coach is essentially an authority on wellness who also acts as a mentor. They help others feel their best through individualized lifestyle changes that meet their unique needs and health goals. 

Unlike medical professionals who may prescribe treatments or specific diets, health coaches focus on the broader concept of wellness. They consider various aspects of their clients’ lives, from nutrition and exercise to stress management and emotional health.

By offering guidance, support, and accountability, health coaches assist their clients in making step-by-step changes to their food and lifestyle choices. The goal is to gradually improve their health and happiness and to develop a deeper understanding of the foods and activities that best support them.

Health coaches can work in private practice, wellness centers, gyms, and in conjunction with other health professionals such as nutritionists, doctors, and therapists.

What kind of training does a health coach need?

The training and certification process for becoming a health coach can vary widely depending on your area of focus and where you work. However, there are some common elements across most health coach training programs.

Although not always mandatory, a degree in a health-related field (such as nutrition, fitness, nursing, psychology, or public health) can help give you the necessary background to make you an effective health coach. 

Next, becoming certified will help you stand out as a legitimate expert and open up employment opportunities. Organizations such as the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) and the International Coach Federation (ICF) are among the well-respected certifying bodies in the field.

Certification usually involves a combination of coursework completion, hands-on coaching hours, and passing a comprehensive exam. You can often complete certification within a few months to a year, either as a standalone program or embedded in a broader degree program. 

To maintain certification, health coaches are usually required to complete continuing education units (CEUs) on a regular basis. This ensures that they stay up-to-date with the latest health and wellness research, trends, and coaching techniques.

How much does a health coach make? 

“The earnings of health coaches can vary widely depending on several factors, including their level of experience, education, location, and the type of clients they serve,” said Carey Peters, founding partner at Health Coach Institute. She provided some general factors that can influence health coach earnings:

  • Experience and expertise: Health coaches with more years of experience and specialized expertise may command higher fees.
  • Education and certification: Those with advanced degrees, certifications from reputable institutions, or specialized training may have the opportunity to charge higher rates.
  • Clientele: The type of clients a health coach serves can impact their earnings. Working with individuals or corporate clients, for example, may have different financial considerations.
  • Business model: Health coaches may earn income through one-on-one coaching, group coaching sessions, online programs, or a combination of these. Each business model can have different income potentials.
  • Market demand: The demand for health coaching services in a particular area or niche can affect pricing. In high-demand markets or for specialized services, coaches may be able to charge higher fees.
  • Marketing and branding: A well-established brand and effective marketing strategies can attract more clients and justify higher fees.

On average, a health coach earns $56,062 annually, but the salary range typically falls between $46,077 and $62,275, according to Salary.com. 

As Peters mentioned, your location can impact your earnings. Coaches in major metropolitan areas tend to be able to charge higher rates. For example, health coaches in Los Angeles earn an average of $78,884 annually, or $82,559 in New York City. 

On the other hand, providing services virtually may be more convenient and allow you to serve clients just about anywhere, but it could stunt your earning potential. Salary.com finds that the average virtual health coach salary is $47,444. 

The takeaway 

The budding field of health coaching can be a promising career path for those passionate about wellness and helping others achieve their health goals. While earnings can vary widely based on experience, education, clientele, and location, health coaches have the potential to earn a comfortable income, especially in major metropolitan areas or through specialization in high-demand niches. 

Ultimately, the role of a health coach is not just about the potential earnings but about making a meaningful impact on individuals’ lives by guiding them towards healthier, happier lifestyles.



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