How to Become a Health Coach without a College Degree
A recent survey showed that most Americans are concerned about their health. For example, in 2018, More than 45 percent of American citizens made a resolution to keep fit or to lose weight. Another 25 percent said that they wanted to have a happier sex life, while about sixteen percent resolved to quit smoking.
This is a clear indication that there is no better time to be a health coach than now. The fact that the number of people looking for ways to stay healthy is on the rise also means that the demand for health coaches is on the rise.
However, before you jump into helping people learn healthy habits, it is a good idea to gain relevant qualifications and learn the blueprint of success from others that have been successful.
There is a popular belief that you need a college degree to become a health coach, however, anyone with passion and the right education can qualify to become a health coach with or without a college degree.
Before looking at what you need to become a health coach, let’s take a look at what tasks are typically performed by health coaches. A health coach performs various duties aimed at improving the overall health and wellness of a client.
Some of the things a health coach does are:
- Helping clients to identify issues that are affecting their health and proposing ways of tackling them
- Assisting clients to set realistic goals in terms of achieving desirable health behavior
- Examining the behavior of clients and pinpointing things that are preventing them from achieving their goals
- Providing continuous education and guidance to clients
- Suggesting new techniques and exercises that can help improve their health
- Encouraging clients to maintain a healthy living style
- Maintaining a positive attitude with clients during all interactions
Below are some qualities you need to become a health coach:
- Have a passion for healthy living- People choose careers for different reasons. Some choose careers because they were influenced by their parents, some because of money while others because of circumstances and/or passions. There are others who work just to pass time.Regardless of the reason you want to be a health coach, one thing is essential – passion. Without passion, it will difficult to be successful as a health coach.How will you be able to teach people to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle when you are not practicing it? No client will take you seriously if don’t practice what you teach.When it comes to health coaching, you should walk the talk. That’s the only way you will build confidence among your clients.
- Nurture the necessary skills to succeed as a health coach- Having the right skills is one of the first steps towards succeeding as a health coach. Passion alone is not enough. There are certain skills that you will require to build confidence among your clients. Such skills do not come without adequate effort and proper training.Most of these skills are not learned from a traditional school. For instance, having strong interpersonal skills is necessary to blend and communicate effectively with your customers. You don’t need a degree to learn how to communicate with people sociably.Another important skill you will need is time management. If you can’t manage your own time, how will you manage your clients? Remember you will be handling clients from all walks of life as a health coach and/or life coach. Some clients can easily be turned off if they notice you are a poor time manager.Last but not least, goal setting is another skill that is critical to anyone who aspires to become a health coach. This is because clients will often come to you with goals – some realistic and some unrealistic.If you have a good grasp of goal setting, then you will be able to look into those goals and advise your clients accordingly.
- Patience- You can have all the education in the world, but if you don’t have patience, you won’t succeed in the field of health coaching. Considering the fact that you will be dealing with people from different backgrounds, you need to learn how to be patient with every client.Some clients may not know how to handle certain situations and might become frustrated during training sessions. It is your duty as a health coach to calm them down and explain to them politely how things should be done for their own benefit. Impatience can make you lose a lot of clients.
- Employment and experience- After gaining the required skills, it is time to hit the road and put those skills into practice. Try looking for employment in different places to gain experience. Some of the places you can check out are fitness centers, hospitals, community centers, nursing homes among others.Employment is important because it can potentially arm you with the necessary experience to start your own business in the future. You should try to seek employment in established institutions or fitness centers to gain build your CV and portfolio. If you would like a definitive resource for finding a job as a health coach, be sure to check out our page on finding a health coach job!
- Health Coach Certification- Health coach certification is one of the most important considerations as far as being a health coach is concerned. After gaining enough experience, the next step is to work on becoming a certified health coach.Most institutions that offer certification to health coaches require that you meet some qualifications before certifying you.If you meet all the requirements and complete the Become A Health Coach course, you will receive both a Health Coach and Life Coach certificate from HCI. After being certified, you can open your own fitness center or health coach business where you can employ other health coaches as well.However, this is a journey that requires patience and persistence. The most important thing is to have focus, passion, and dedication. There is nothing superhuman about successful health coaches. They had the blueprint for success as a health coach. If they managed to go that far, then it proves that you can do the same with the right blueprint!
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