Deciding to become a Health Coach is exciting stuff! You have a life-changing journey before you, where you’ll learn how to use your passion for health and wellness to help others change their lives for the better. Not only that, you’ll learn how to improve your own health and well-being in the process and you’ll be able to create a work schedule that gives you the freedom to live life on your terms.
But the act of choosing a Health Coach training program can be tough work! There are a lot of schools out there—each of them uniquely different—and a lot of factors to consider before making a decision. To help make this often overwhelming process feel a little easier, here are 12 things we recommend looking for in a Health Coach training program.
12 Things to Look For In a Health Coach Program
- Comprehensive Curriculum. We harp on this one a lot, but that’s because it’s so important. Your training curriculum will provide you with your coaching foundation. It will be the basis upon which your future career success is built. That’s why we strongly urge you to analyze each training program’s curriculum with a fine tooth comb and make sure it seems robust and comprehensive. How will you know it’s comprehensive? There are 4 key ingredients you should look for: nutrition training, coaching training, personal growth work, and business and marketing training (more on that later).
- Qualified Instructors. Who will be teaching you is just as is important (if not more so!) as what you’ll be learning. If you’re planning on turning your Health Coaching education into a lucrative career, it makes sense to learn from others who’ve experienced solid career success. So find out who will be teaching each training you’re considering. If your instructor is a seasoned and successful coach in their own right, chances are good they’ll be able to prepare you for own professional success as a Health Coach.
- Accreditation. Selecting a training program that has been accredited by the International Coach Federation (the gold standard in coaching accreditation) is a great way to ensure that the education you’ll receive has undergone a rigorous vetting process and is top-notch. If the program you’re considering has ICF’s stamp of approval, you can feel confident you’ll graduate with the tools, training, and expertise you need to hit the ground running as a Health Coach.
- A Hands-On Learning Component. Again, we can’t overemphasize this one enough. Book learning is only one part of the equation when it comes to preparing yourself to become a successful Health Coach. The other critical part of the equation is real-life, hands-on practical application. The training program you choose should include work with practice clients so you can finetune your coaching skills with actual people and build your coaching confidence. If it doesn’t, we say move on!
- Community. Don’t underestimate the power of community! Surrounding yourself with a group of like-minded individuals who are on the same journey as you can completely up-level your learning experience and open doors. (Not to mention up the fun factor!) At Health Coach Institute, our heart-centered tribe is one of the things we’re most proud of and excited for our students to experience. So definitely check out each school’s community and get a feel for what it’s like. Does it feel uplifting, connected, encouraging, and supportive? Great! Then let’s move on to the next important thing on the list…
- Support. Adequate support is key as you train to become a Health Coach—especially if you choose to go with an online training program (more on that later in this article). Look for a program that explicitly states the level of support you’ll receive as a student. Here are some examples of great program support: frequent office hours, personal mentorship, group coaching calls, access to peers via a closed Facebook group or other communication platforms, in-person and virtual learning opportunities, and career services support.
- Resources. As you’re learning the ropes of Health Coaching, it will be infinitely helpful to have access to resources that can help you cement your knowledge, boost your confidence, get clients, and build your business. Look for a training program that includes resources like checklists, templates, coaching demos, marketing materials, and done-for-you Health Coaching Programs to help set you on course for your most successful future.
- “Fit”. Coaching programs can differ in philosophy, tone, and even focus. So it’s important to know what it is YOU want out of your training and then identify schools that match up with your dreams and desires. Check in with yourself and get really clear on what your motivation is for becoming a Health Coach and then find a school that speaks to that motivation.
- Satisfied Grads. So the school you’re scouting looks great on paper…but do its grads agree? Be sure to take your research a step further and look for the social proof. Are there grad testimonials or reviews you can read? Videos featuring grads you can watch? Are there opportunities to connect with a grad directly to ask all your burning questions? Getting the inside scoop from students who’ve gone through the program will give you a really clear picture of what you can expect and if it’s in line with what you’re looking for.
- Proof of Results. On a similar theme, look for a training program that can offer proof that their curriculum WORKS. Do grads share eye-opening client success stories or talk about their own personal transformations as a result of what they’ve learned? This is a good indication that you’ll be able to help others transform their lives once you’ve been through the training as well.
- Business and Marketing Training. There is an art, science, and business to Health Coaching. Unfortunately, many schools don’t teach the latter…or if they do, they don’t go into enough depth for their students to put their learning into practice after they graduate. Business and marketing training is super important! You can be the best trained coach in the world, but if you don’t have a clue how to market yourself, get clients, or run a business, you won’t thrive. So be sure to scope out programs that offer comprehensive business and marketing training alongside their coaching training.
- Flexibility. Last but definitely not least, look for Health Coaching programs that offer learning flexibility. Does the program offer the option for self-paced study so you can progress through lessons at your own pace? Does it offer multiple study formats so you can tailor your learning to your tastes? If it offers a mentorship component, do you have the freedom to choose dates and times that work for you? Training flexibility will set you up for a positive education experience and will help make it easier for you to fit your studies into your busy life in a way that works best for you.
Are Online Health Coach Programs Worthwhile?
Now that we’ve touched on the top 12 things to look for when selecting a Health Coach training, let’s talk about online certificate programs. Can you really learn everything you’ll need to know to launch a successful Health Coaching career online?
Yes! In fact, online training programs can be a fantastic way to get schooled on all things Health Coaching. In today’s world of evolving technology and education, you do NOT need to enter a physical classroom to receive a world-class learning experience.
There are some amazing programs right at your fingertips, many of which offer perks that out-rival their brick and mortar counterparts, including:
- Self-paced study
- Interactive curriculum
- “Live” office hours
- 24/7 access to classmates
- Personal mentorship
- Coaching demos and other priceless resources
- Virtual & in-person training and networking events
Of course, it’s still important to research online options carefully to be sure you fully understand what each program offers and promises to deliver (since they can vary in a number of key areas). But online programs are a wonderful and convenient alternative that many, many of today’s Health Coaches are opting for. In fact, we’ve had well over 10,000 grads pass through our virtual doors since opening—and they’ve gone on to make exciting, game-changing waves in the field of healthcare!
Health Coaches are revolutionizing the healthcare landscape in some incredible ways, and reaching more and more people since they have the benefit of working with clients in person and virtually. Wondering what it takes to become an online Health Coach? Click here to learn more.
Next Steps: Select Your Health Coach Training Program
We hope this article gave you some helpful pointers to make the best decision for you, your training goals, and your future. And remember: there are many different paths to becoming a Health Coach. Choose a training that speaks to you and your passion, and the rest will fall into place!
Join Health Coach Institute and Become a Health Coach
Coaching is a great career that you can help others, while also learning how to help your own personal growth. Health Coach Institute is a top health and wellness coaching certification program. Join our Become a Health Coach program and begin coaching in 6 months! If you are already a coach and want to advance your skills, check out HCI’s Coach Mastery program. Feel free to get in touch with with one of our clarity coaches directly, by calling 1-800-303-2399.