If you’re all about healthy living and you want to help others do the same, then becoming a health coach may be a good career option for you. Not only will you be doing something that you love to do, but you will also stand to earn from it. But before you can put out your business cards or website, there are some things you need to do to when getting started as a health coach.
On Being a Health Coach
Before anything else, you need to know what a health coach is. True, being a stickler for a healthy lifestyle can give you some edge when starting out in this profession, but that only gets your proverbial foot in the door. To become an effective health coach, you need to be compassionate and patient and to have strong listening skills.
A health coach is someone who helps clients set up and accomplish health goals. Remember, you will not be focused solely on yourself. You will have clients who have different needs that you’ll help them address. In essence, health coaching is being a motivator and an agent of change for other people. You will help your clients start new habits that will allow them to achieve optimum health.
As an expert in your field, you are a mentor who’s expected to know the latest trends in nutrition, physical fitness, and other health strategies. That’s why if you’re already into a healthy lifestyle, you have a better chance of becoming an effective coach. If you want to make it out on your own, you also need to have that entrepreneurial spirit when putting up your own coaching business.
How Health Coaches Earn Money
Just like any other practitioners, health coaches can earn money in two ways:
- Working for a health coaching company
- Setting up your own coaching business.
If you work for a company, you’ll earn a good salary or even commissions and you won’t have to worry about the nitty-gritty of setting up your own business. Having your own practice, on the other hand, means you need to manage your business, but the income potential is virtually limitless. When you have more clients, you also earn more.
You can also choose to focus on a specific niche, like weight management or stress management. One thing is for certain—the demand for health coaches is steadily growing and the earning potential is good, no matter which of these methods you choose.
5 Steps to Getting Started as aa Health Coach
Now that you have an idea about what a health coach can do and the job’s earning potential, you can turn your attention to how you can become one. Here are the steps you can take to start your health coaching career.
Research Training Opportunities
Leading a healthy lifestyle and keeping abreast with all the latest techniques in fitness and motivation can surely give you an edge. But these are not enough to become successful in this business—you need to get professional training.
Part of your research should be about the costs involved in the different certification programs. You may also check out scholarships available for health coaches. Lastly, whatever certification opportunity you choose, make sure it is accredited and recognized by the major health coaching associations. Having said that, there are many types of certification courses. Most schools provide a list of online health coaching programs they offer. Be sure to consider your ultimate goals as a health coach when choosing your training program.
If you already possess a degree in any of the various medical fields, then you can pair your degree with some form of continuing education programs that lead to certification as a health coach. If you are totally new to the health industry, you may choose to enroll in longer programs.
Talk to People in the Business
Like any other business or profession, you need to spend some money to make your dream of becoming a health coach a reality. For one thing, you need to spend on your certification training. So, before you open your wallet, it is important to know what it’s like to be a health coach. While you’re at it, try to learn what makes a great coach. This will give you some tips on how to succeed in your field.
Ask people who are already in the business about what steps you need to take to join the profession. Inquire which programs to take. Tell them upfront that you’re asking questions because you, too, want to become one of them. This step will allow you to determine if the life of a health coach is for you.
Your credentials are important if you want future clients to trust you. After you chose what school or program to take, make sure to enroll and finish your health coaching education. You get valuable training by undergoing certifications and it can boost your practice since authentic training programs are accredited by recognized industry associations. In fact, many programs also carry automatic memberships into such organizations, so you also get access to community support.
Practice Your Skills
As you work to obtain your certification, you will have several opportunities to practice in actual scenarios what you have learned—do not waste these opportunities. Make sure to complete all practice modules. Remember, as a health coach, you are no longer working solely for yourself. You will have clients who will depend on you. By practicing what you have learned, you will be more comfortable to deliver your work in the real world.
Get to Work
After you get certified and have enough practice hours, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start working as a professional health coach. If you plan to work for an organization, you can start sending your résumé. If you want to establish your own independent practice, then start building your client base. As a startup, you should network with other practitioners and become more visible in your community. Sooner or later, you will be serving your first clients.
Being a health coach can be a rewarding profession. On top of your earning potential, you help people achieve their health objectives. As a newbie, there are some steps you need to take to ensure you become a respected health coach. Certification is important in this industry, so you need to take training programs. Ultimately, health coaching is about inspiring people and helping them become the best versions of themselves.