Whether you’re an aspiring coach looking for a training program that will prepare you for future career success, or an established coach looking for ways to enhance your practice, you may be wondering if you should become a National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC). 

While you don’t have to have the credential—unless you want to work in healthcare—there are several ways taking the national board exam can enhance your career as a coach. At Health Coach Institute, we offer world-class training programs to support you at every stage of your coaching career. Our Pathway program is for you if you want to obtain your NBC-HWC credential and be the most effective coach you can be. 

But first, let’s talk a bit about why you should consider national board certification and how the NBC-HWC credential can set you up for long-term success in your career.

7 Reasons Why You Should Become a Board Certified Coach

The NBC-HWC credential was developed by the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) in an effort to take the lead on establishing professional standards for the coaching industry. To date, there are more than 5000 board certified coaches and growing everyday—with more and more employers looking to hire them. Here are a few of the top reasons to consider, as you determine the next steps on your coaching career path.  

  1. Be Ahead of the Coaching Curve

Over the past several years, the coaching industry has become increasingly regulated, and the NBHWC has more plans to continue to create standards that will support the integration of coaches into mainstream healthcare (woo-hoo!). Everyone from wellness companies (FitBit, for one) to insurance companies to VAs and other hospitals are now beginning to make becoming board certified a requirement for employment, and it looks like this is the direction the industry is headed in for good. By taking the board exam now, you can be ahead of the curve and get an edge over the competition. 

  1. Legitimize Your Services to Clients & Other Stakeholders

Although there’s currently no requirement to be board certified if you want to build your own practice, clients do want to feel confident that they’re working with a trained professional who can help them with the challenges they’re facing. Just as we all like to see evidence of education completed in doctor’s offices, being able to showcase your board credentials to prospective clients can help add to your credibility and give clients the extra reassurance that you know your stuff. Taking and passing the Health & Wellness Coach Certifying Examination (HWCCE) provides evidence to clients and other stakeholders that you have the foundational knowledge to be effective as a health & wellness coach. This can also make you a more attractive candidate for potential speaking engagements, media outlets, and other industry-related opportunities that may arise.  

  1. Increase Your Coaching Opportunities 

Earning your NBC-HWC credential expands your career possibilities and enables you to apply for positions in healthcare, where being board certified is now a requirement. Many other organizations now also prefer to hire coaches who hold the NBC-HWC credential, and the NBHWC lists this information as it becomes available on a private social media page so NBC-HWCs are in the know and can take action. By taking the national board exam, you can secure your place as an in-demand coach and ensure that you have the requisite education and experience to work anywhere you desire.

  1. Learn The Core Competencies of Effective Health & Wellness Coaching 

The NBHWC worked painstakingly to create an evaluation process for approved health & wellness coach training programs in order to ensure that the curriculums taught by these programs would provide coaches with the knowledge and skills they needed to be competent and effective in their role. The core competencies these approved programs cover provide coaches with a robust, academic understanding of the profession and how to empower clients to become the experts of their own health and wellbeing. Whether you’re completely new to the profession or a seasoned coach with years under your belt, there is undoubtedly new information that can benefit you. 

  1. Get Listed in the NBHWC’s Exclusive Online Directory

Once you take and pass the HWCCE and obtain your NBC-HWC credential, you’ll have the opportunity to be listed in the National Directory of Board Certified Health & Wellness Coaches. This reputable, exclusive directory offers you another avenue for prospective clients to find you and reach out to work with you.

  1. Build Your Professional Network 

Another benefit of becoming board certified is that you’ll have access to connect and network with the entire NBC-HWC community. The NBHWC offers regular opportunities to connect in person each month via regional “Meet & Greets”, giving board certified coaches the chance to network, exchange information and ideas, share learnings, and support one another in their professional pursuits. 

  1. Access to Continued Learning Opportunities for Coaches

Learning should be a continuous journey for coaches, as there are always opportunities to grow and evolve as a coach. By obtaining your NBC-HWC credential, you’ll get ongoing access to free learning opportunities from industry experts via the NBHWC. This will enable you to keep a pulse on new trends in the industry, cutting-edge research, and more to expand your expertise and increase your knowledge base. 

Learn How You Can Get On the Path to Becoming a National Board-Certified Coach with HCI

Interested in learning how Health Coach Institute can get you on the path to national health & wellness board certification? Learn more about how our three-month Pathway program can uniquely prepare you for the national board exam and position you for future success as a National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach. 

Become a Health Coach in 6 Months with Health Coach Institute

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. Feel free to get in touch with with one of our clarity coaches directly, by calling 1-800-303-2399.


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