How to Become a Wellness Coach?

So you’ve been giving friends and family free advice for years, and you’re wondering how to become a wellness coach for real? It just so happens that wellness coaching is one of the largest and fastest-growing opportunities on the planet! With preparation, planning, and perseverance, you can make a highly successful career out of helping others live their healthiest, most energized, and most actualized lives.

Health Coaching
Health Coaching

What is a Wellness Coach?

Let’s start with a brief look at what it means to be a wellness coach.

A wellness coach specializes in one or more areas related to personal performance.

Top niches include:

  • Corporate Wellness Coach
  • Health Coach
  • Fitness Coach
  • Beauty Coach / Image Coach
  • Emotional Well-being Coach

A health coach, for example, might assist a client with understanding patterns and meeting goals related to nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management.

As a wellness coach, you can choose your work environment. Perhaps you run your own online coaching business from home. Perhaps you work as part of a corporate wellness team. Maybe you coach in fitness centers or medical facilities, if you have the proper requirements. Wherever and however you work, strong written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills are a MUST!

How much money does a wellness coach make?

The average salary of a wellness coach in 2016 was $46,732.

However, many experienced coaches make well into the 6-figure range.

How to Become a Wellness Coach? – Training Needed

Basic Training and Certification

While there is no industry requirement for a college degree, a bachelor’s in a related field is often preferred by employers, and can stand in place of work experience when applying for that first job.

If you intend to pursue a bachelor’s degree to support your health coaching aspirations, consider coursework in

  • Counseling
  • Social Work
  • Health Sciences
  • Exercise Science
  • Nutrition
  • Psychology

Some schools actually offer a minor in wellness coaching.

With or without a college degree, you’ll want to become certified by a life coach training or wellness coach training program. This is valuable to you in your health coaching career… even if you are already a licensed healthcare or fitness professional.

There are many training programs available, online and off. Some issue a certificate after 30 hours of study and a multiple choice exam. Others take several years and multiple levels to complete.

Here are some of the best routes for coaching certification:

  • The American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) and National Society of Healthcare Coaches provide online, accredited programs with VA funding and military education benefits. They have been an accredited member of DETC (Distance Education Accrediting Commission) since June 2003.
  • The Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) offers an online, one-year course focused on health, lifestyle and nutrition with some business training to boot. They also provide an optional second year that goes deeper into the business side of coaching.
  • The Spencer Institute offers holistic, nutrition and wellness life coach training as well as sports psychology training programs.
  • Often favored by employers, The American College of Sports Medicine endorses a popular training program called Wellcoaches. Certification through this 18-week training includes a written exam, an oral assessment, submission of goals, and proof of existing clients. You’ll need to recertify every three years.

Building Experience with Real Clients

Once you’ve been trained and certified, you’ll have the credentials–and hopefully the confidence–to start marketing your expertise in one-on-one and small group settings. Even without a bachelor’s degree, a solid wellness coaching certification should open the door to many entry-level opportunities. Get out there and start changing lives!

Target the people who are ready to pay you for excellent coaching:

  • Health: People struggling with acute or chronic health issues will pay for coaching if they believe you can assist in their healing.
  • Fitness: People will pay for coaching to help them stay motivated and achieve their fitness goals.
  • Corporate Wellness: People will pay for coaching if you can enhance employee productivity and reduce healthcare costs to employers.
  • Beauty: People will pay for coaching to help them get a desired look… this kind of coaching could include image consulting, body sculpting, personal shopping, etc.
  • Emotional Wellness: People will pay for coaching to help them feel better overall, from stress management to addiction recovery.

The more time you spend working with clients, the better you’ll get, especially when it comes to navigating critically sensitive areas such as boundaries and expectations. You’ll develop an intuitive touch when it comes to knowing what to say, when to say it, and to whom. These are real-life coaching skills that can’t always be taught in school.

As a coach, your biggest marketing tool will always be word-of-mouth. This happens when one of your clients tells his or her personal network (friends, family members, colleagues) about the great results of working with you.

Continuing Education

As with any dynamic industry, you want to stay in the loop when it comes to new research and emerging trends in your field. This includes following other coaches and wellness professionals, attending workshops and seminars, and reading a lot! Keep expanding your own knowledge base, as well as your own personal wellness practice, to best assist your clients.

Your wellness coaching certification most likely needs to be renewed every so often, so be sure to stay on top of that too. Many organizations expect that you get recertified after a certain time depending on your job requirements.


Before you stick your coaching neck out too far, check the laws in your state to see if there are any legal requirements relevant to your work. Above all, do not overstep your training and begin giving clients medical advice–as this could result in a nasty legal battle.

We’re Here for You!

Now that I’ve told you how to become a wellness coach, the next step is yours.

If you’d like to learn how you can get started in Wellness Coaching quickly, check out this FREE step-by-step “Life Coaching Business Blueprint” video toolkit. Just go HERE now to get your life coaching business blueprint videos.

Dana Bosley
Spiritual Growth Coach
Writing team, Coaches Training Blog Community

Activist, Advocate, Artist, Author
Writing Team, Coaches Training Blog Community
FREE Video Course: How to Build a High Paying Coaching Business

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