Stacey Morgenstern and Carey Peters here taking over the blog today. In case you don’t know us, we’re Health Coach Institute’s co-founders and primary instructors of the Become a Health Coach program.

We’ve been Health Coaches ourselves for a combined 24 years now (and training coaches for 14 of those years), and we’ve learned A LOT during that time about what it takes to create a successful Health Coaching career.

If you’re considering becoming a Health Coach, first of all, welcome! We’re so glad you found your way to HCI! Our school is honored to have trained thousands of healers, helpers, and health enthusiasts around the world in the art, science, and business of Health Coaching so they can create the career of their dreams helping others thrive in health and wellness.

13 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Health Coach

Second, we want to share 13 things we WISH someone had told us when we were getting started as Health Coaches all those years ago. We hope they’ll give you the information and inspiration you need to take a courageous leap into the best career ever!

  1. The Health Coaching profession will change your life in profound and unexpected ways.
    One thing many of our graduates are pleasantly surprised to discover is that in becoming a Health Coach, they embark on an empowering journey of self-discovery and personal growth—and they use the knowledge they gain to develop personal habits and practices to improve their health. Health Coaching will give you the tools, confidence, and self-awareness to help others live their best lives and to live YOUR best life too.
  2. You’re never too old to start over. You Can Become a Coach at Any Age!
    If you’ve ever thought, I’d love to do this Health Coaching thing…but I’m afraid I’m too old…we’re here to tell you you’re never too old to pursue your passion! Just take it from BHC grad Bobbi Smith, who stepped into her new coaching career at the young age of 78! Don’t let the fear that you’re too old stop you from doing anything that makes your heart come alive.
  3. You don’t have to be perfect to be a Health Coach.
    Contrary to popular belief, you do NOT need to be 100% healthy, thin, or “all together” to be a Health Coach. If there are areas of your life that you feel are a bit messy (and who doesn’t feel that way?!), then you need to know this: becoming a Health Coach is not about being perfect…it’s about being on the PATH. All you need to become a successful Health Coach is the drive to be the most inspired version of yourself and to inspire others. And we’ll let you in on a little secret: clients don’t actually want a “perfect” coach. They want a human being who’s relatable! That’s what creates the trust and connection that makes for an amazing coaching experience.
  4. You don’t need a degree to be a successful coach.
    The beauty of Health Coaching is that there are many paths you can take to launch a career. You don’t have to have a degree in health sciences or even need to set foot in a traditional classroom. In fact, many coaches are opting for online certification for the convenience and flexibility these types of trainings provide. Some do opt for an academic degree program, while others opt for a program that drives them toward taking a national certification exam. Still others choose a state-licensed program. We encourage you to give some thought to your goals for your future career and to choose a training path that aligns with those goals.
  5. You don’t need an office. Coaching can offer you freedom to work anywhere!
    Health Coaches
    are making a living all over the world working with clients in creative ways that suit them and the way they work best. For some, that may be an office. For others, it may be a backyard, a beach, or a park bench. The bottom line is: it’s completely up to you what type of work environment you choose to work in. If you have a phone and a WiFi connection, you can work pretty much anywhere. (Bali, anyone?)
  6. Coaches don’t need to know all the answers.
    Another common misconception is that Health Coaches are problem-solvers who advise their clients on what to do. In actuality, Health Coaches get to know their clients intimately by listening intently to their challenges and asking illuminating questions. It isn’t a Health Coach’s job to give answers. At HCI, we hold the premise that the client already holds the answers. A Health Coach’s job is to ask the right questions that empower the clients to bring those answers to light.
  7. You need solid business training just as much as you need coaching training.
    While it is, of course, important to learn how to coach clients in a way that will help them make needed change and get the results they desire, it’s equally important to get schooled in current business and marketing practices. You might be the best-trained coach in the world, but if you don’t know how to market your services, attract clients, close deals, or run a business…you won’t thrive. Plain and simple. So before you select a training program, be sure to confirm that it covers all the bases so you’re completely prepared to hit the ground running once you graduate.
  8. You can create nearly any career you can dream up.
    Health Coaches
    are increasingly in demand among consumers, businesses, schools, and other institutions. Beyond traditional one-on-one coaching, there are many growing career opportunities for Health Coaches to put their expertise to good use. They can work in corporate wellness, author books, lead workshops, work in health advocacy, become health bloggers, train other coaches, lead group coaching programs, work in gyms, chiropractic offices, and Functional Medicine practices, to name just a few.
  9. You are the only thing standing in the way of your success.
    What do we mean by this? We mean that there’s no limit to the success you can create as a Health Coach if you jump in with your whole heart. Carey is an avid mug collector and one of her very favorites reads: PROCEED AS IF SUCCESS IS INEVITABLE. That’s how we encourage all of our students to think. Mindset is everything. Stepping out of your comfort zone is where the magic happens. Fear is the only thing that will limit your success. So, be the biggest champion for yourself there ever was! Manifest the success you desire!
  10. You don’t have to be a nutritionist to be a good health coach.
    Not only do you not need to be a nutritionist, this is actually not the biggest area of opportunity for Health Coaches to effect change with clients. Yes, having a solid understanding of nutrition is important. But simply giving your clients nutrition information won’t work if your clients don’t do anything with it. That’s why at HCI, we train our coaches to become Masters of Habit Change™. The key to real transformation lies in helping clients break destructive and unhealthy behaviors, and teaching them how to replace them with healthy habits that serve them for life. As a Health Coach, you’ll help clients create new thought patterns and behaviors and work with them over time until they become automated. So, you see, to be a truly effective coach, you don’t need advanced nutrition knowledge, you need to understand the art and science behind habit change.
  11. Coaches are revolutionizing healthcare.
    Health Coaches
    are at the forefront of a massive paradigm shift in the way we approach healthcare. In fact, we believe they are the FUTURE of healthcare. Health Coaches are helping to shift the current medical model from reactive to preventive, and creating a movement around habit change and healthy lifestyle design. As a Health Coach, you won’t just be helping your clients improve their health, you’ll be helping elevate the consciousness of the planet and reverse the global crisis of chronic disease. Pretty amazing, if you ask us!
  12. You’ll be part of a global, heart-centered community.
    Wanna know one of the things we love MOST about our job? It’s the fact that we’re part of a passionate tribe of like-minded individuals who share a bigger-than-us mission to create positive change in the world. As a Health Coach, you’ll be part of that global community of changemakers—a community that inspires, stretches, and uplifts one another to be their best and to help their clients be their best.
  13. Good coaches never stop learning. 
    As a Health Coach, you’ll always be in a learning mindset. The best coaches make it a point to be students first. They invest in training, networking, and mentorship, and they’re always current on the latest research and industry updates. They know that their capacity to help their clients and enjoy career success can always be expanded. They seek to constantly evolve and grow, both professionally and personally.

And there you have it! Thirteen things to know if you’re thinking of becoming a Health Coach. Did any of them surprise you?

Become a Coach with HCI’s 6 Month Health Coach Program

We hope this post inspired you and helped you get clearer on whether Health Coaching is the right career for you. If you’re ready to take the next step and become a Health Coach, we’d love to tell you more about our how our Become a Health Coach program can help you launch a rewarding career in just 6 months. To learn more, just click the button below to schedule a time to speak with one of our amazing Clarity Coaches.

Stacey & Carey


Health Coach Institute provides aspiring Health and Life Coaches with the tools, training, and support to make a great living transforming lives.