Health and wellness coaching is an incredibly valuable set of skills that can help individuals, families, and communities alike. With an increasing number of creative and unique work environments that demand the services of health counselors, it's no wonder that health training is becoming an integral part of the allied health continuum. From pain management clinics to human resources offices, group training environments, insurance companies, diabetes prevention programs, and skilled nursing facilities, there are a variety of out-of-the-box opportunities for health counselors to explore. Before investing your time and money into becoming a certified health coach, it's important to understand why you want to pursue this career path.
A certificate from a health and wellness training program can prepare you for entry-level positions that emphasize the central role of a coach who partners with clients to help them achieve their health goals. The International Institute of Health Coaching (IIN) curriculum integrates more than 90 of the world's leading experts in health and wellness, combining the scientific and the spiritual to create comprehensive and immersive health education. What sets health coaches apart from other professionals in the health and fitness industry is their approach to achieving a more optimal and healthier lifestyle. Health coaches can be found in private practices, at health insurers, or through corporate wellness programs.
Chris Gagliardi, ACE Science Education Content Manager, attributes this growth to an expanding body of research that reflects the benefits of health training as a practice, a growing number of job offers, improvements in educational efforts, greater public knowledge and a more defined scope of practice. One popular technique among many successful health coaches is taking customers to a grocery store and re-teaching them how to buy food based on their unique needs. Health coaching roles are becoming so prolific that there are now many training programs to choose from; however, not all health coaches are created equal. Taking a test without receiving education on new material (as you would with a 6-month or one-year health training program) would leave you at a disadvantage as a health coach and would not provide you with the tools you need to succeed and impact.
It's important to note that health and wellness coaches are NOT dietitians, clinical nutritionists, or doctors. While clinically experienced health counselors may find more opportunities in traditional healthcare organizations or health insurance companies, a health coach can provide services in virtually any setting that emphasizes well-being. You can establish ongoing relationships with local organizations, health food stores, wellness centers, churches, or other entities to hold regular events.