On your quest to get certified as a health coach you’re likely starting with some of the same questions many prospective students have.
Which health coach certification should I get? How much does a health coach certification cost? What kind of jobs can I get with a health coach certification and how much can I make?
The questions go beyond the above, so we wanted to provide this in-depth guide on the best health coach certifications available dissected by four important factors:
- Primary focus of education
- Program prerequisites
- Program duration
We’ll be taking a closer look at these popular health coach certifications:
- ACE Health Coach Certification
- Institute of Natural Health Science
- ADAPT Certified Functional Health Coach
- AFPA Health & Wellness Coach Certification
- Duke Integrative Medicine Health Coach Professional Training Program
- Primal Health Coach Program
Before we dive into the above four criteria let’s discuss what a health coach is and how to get a health coach certification:
What is a Health Coach?
Health coaches are credentialed healthcare professionals who provide support and mentorship to clients through personalized food and lifestyle recommendations to help them accomplish health goals.
How to Become a Certified Health Coach
Step 1: Determine Your Prerequisites
Unlike many other health and wellness certifications, certified health coach bodies have varying requirements for their prerequisites. For example, ACE requires their students to be 18 or older, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and a CPR/AED certification. The Duke Integrative Medicine Program requires a bachelor’s degree or 3-5 years of experience in a medical or allied health field. The AFPA only requires that participants are 18 or older.
In short, there are no uniform guidelines to become a certified health coach; each body will have its own prerequisites that should factor into your decision.
Step 2: Find the Best Health Coach Certification for YOU
The “best health coach certification” does not exist. The decision is an individual one as there is no best option for everyone. Each certification has its pros and cons, education focus, and elements that make the best option different for everyone.
Step 3: Prepare for Your Exam & Pass!
We recommend setting a realistic deadline for your exam date and scheduling it in advance. Students who don’t set a date may suffer from long term procrastination and never end up taking the time needed to prepare. Further, some certification bodies require that you schedule your exam in a certain time period after your initial registration.
Once your exam is complete and you earn your certification, you are ready to start working with clients!
Step 4: Start Working with Health Coach Clients
Once certified, you have the credentials and knowledge needed to take on clients. You can now focus your efforts on marketing your brand or landing a job as a certified health coach and helping others achieve their health and wellness goals.
Now that you know what’s needed to enter the health coach industry, let’s look at some important considerations of each health coach certification to learn the best one for you!