What is Wellness Coaching?
“Wellness” means something different to everyone. It might mean losing weight, getting in shape, managing disease, overcoming stress, improving mental health, implementing healthy habits…the list goes on and on! No matter what a person’s personal goals, having the right support and guidance is vital in any wellness journey. Wellness Coaches can play a vital role for people trying to improve their health and wellness.
Wellness Coaching is holistic—it takes into account how a person’s values, history, goals, and motivations work together. Wellness Coaches are trained professionals who want to help their clients achieve optimal wellness in all areas of their life: physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. They are committed to providing support in the form of information, resources, and accountability so their clients can make positive changes.
As more and more people begin to recognize the benefits of preventative care and achieving health in all areas of life, this exciting industry is experiencing amazing growth! According to a 2018 study, the personal coaching industry was worth $9.9 billion in the United States. The market’s value is expected to reach $1.34 billion by 2022—that means a 6.7% average yearly growth rate from 2016 to 2022. In short—now is a great time to become a Wellness Coach!
If you’re passionate about helping others achieve optimal wellness and you love self-improvement, then Wellness Coaching might be a great career path for you!
Read on to find out more about this exciting career and learn what it takes to become a Wellness Coach.
Why Does Wellness Coaching Matter?
It’s no secret that people are unhealthier than ever before. People are stressed, tired, sick, and overworked more than they have ever been before and lifestyle diseases like heart disease, obesity, and diabetes are rapidly increasing. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 6 in 10 American adults are battling a chronic disease and of those, 4 in 10 have two or more. The World Health Organization believes that by 2020, lifestyle choices will lead to a 57% increase in chronic disease.
As a result, health care spending is growing at an alarming rate. In fact, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that U.S. healthcare spending reached $3 trillion dollars in 2014. This equates to about $9,523 per person. Between 2015-2025, these numbers are projected to rise at an average rate of 5.8 percent per year. And the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 86% of health care dollars are used to treat chronic disease.
Now for some good news. As a result of these complicated issues, health care systems in the U.S. and around the world are changing. It’s becoming more and more clear that there is a vast need for professionals who are trained and certified in providing coaching that helps people achieve their health and wellness goals. Traditional medical practitioners typically don’t have the time or resources to follow up with patients about follow through on their medical directives or talk about their habits and how to change them.
Emphasis is shifting to modifying lifestyle and habits. In fact, it’s estimated that approximately 75% of ALL disease could be prevented with better nutrition and habits. Coaches will be a vital part of any person’s long-term health and wellness plan. At Health Coach Institute, we believe that coaches are a vitally important part of this shift in the health care landscape. We believe that in ten years’ time everyone will have a coach in their corner, helping them achieve their goals and become the healthiest version of themselves.
What Do Wellness Coaches Do?
Whether someone wants to address chronic illness or simply implement healthier habits, coaches are there to support them and can have a lasting impact on the lives of their clients. Wellness Coaches take a very individualized approach to working with clients, promoting overall health and wellness. Wellness Coaches offer unconditional support for their clients and a belief in their ability to change their habits and change their life.
Wellness Coaches work with people in all stages of life. They will work with clients to identify their goals and any obstacles that might stand in their way. Working together, they create a plan and then work diligently to achieve those goals.
Wellness Coaches might help people address:
- Weight loss
- Healthy eating and nutrition
- Heart health
- Smoking cessation
- Disease management
- Overcoming addiction
…and much more!
Now that you understand what Wellness Coaching is, it’s important to also understand what Wellness Coaching is not.
Wellness Coaches work in close partnership with their clients to address their overall health and well-being through the power of habit change and lifestyle improvements. A Wellness Coach is not a doctor, nutritionist, or pharmacist. They cannot make diagnoses or prescribe treatments or medication. Wellness Coaches play their own important role in health and wellness.
How Do You Become a Certified Wellness Coach?
Becoming a Wellness Coach requires a dedication to helping others and a passion for health and self-improvement. Beyond that, you’ll want to receive the right training.
There are a number of training opportunities available to future Wellness Coaches.
When choosing a training program, it’s important to look for a few specific things. We recommend choosing a school that has:
- A robust curriculum that will teach you all of the different aspects of Wellness Coaching.
- Flexibility in the schedule or a schedule that works for your individual needs.
- Extensive support in all areas including instructor office hours, technical support, community support from fellow students, and resources you can use in your training and in your career.
- Experienced instructors who are bringing their own vast knowledge of coaching to the program.
- Hands-on experience working with real or practice clients so you’re ready to jump into coaching when you graduate.
In addition, we recommend choosing a certified or accredited training (look for trainings accredited by organizations such as the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC)). An accredited training lets you know that the program has been thoroughly vetted and will provide everything you need to begin working with clients.
After your training, you’ll be ready to step into your career by either applying for jobs, building your own business, or getting your feet wet with an internship.
By now, you may be wondering, what are the Certifications for a Wellness Coach?
Certification is not a mandatory requirement to become a practicing Wellness Coach. However, certification shows clients and potential employers that you have successfully completed your training and you’re prepared to work with clients and help them succeed.
When researching training programs, be sure to ask what certifications they offer. Some are more extensive than others, so be sure to choose the one that best fits with your goals. You can also look to resources such as your local community college or the Wellness Council of America for additional opportunities.
Wellness Coaching Jobs
Wellness coaches work in a variety of environments. Many start their own businesses, working with clients in person or over the phone, Skype, or email. Starting a Wellness Coach practice allows coaches to have career flexibility, create a business on their terms, working with specific niches of clients (if they so choose).
Other coaches work in partnership with other established businesses in the industry such as insurance companies, health care organizations, or fitness centers. Still other coaches work at medical practices, hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. Businesses like these are employing wellness coaches to provide phone and in-person wellness coaching to their clients, focusing on preventative health care and helping to ensure patients follow up on health directives like diet and medication.
The day-to-day responsibilities of a Wellness Coach include administrative duties such as marketing and updating records, meeting with clients, creating plans for clients, and completing research.
What Is a Wellness Coach Salary?
According to Payscale, the average pay for a Wellness Coach is $17.64 per hour, with an average yearly pay of $48,595 per year. There are additional earning opportunities for Wellness Coaches who have an advanced degree, who have an existing set of skills (such as nursing training), or coaches who start their own business and find success.
Now that you have a better idea of what a career in Wellness Coaching looks like, we’d love to tell you more about our program at Health Coach Institute! Click the button below to schedule an appointment with one of our amazing Clarity Coaches!