Why Become a Health Coach?

You are goal-oriented and always have a detailed, organized plan of attack to reach your goals. You care about maintaining your own health, striving to eat right and exercise and encouraging others to do so as well. As an important member of the patient’s healthcare team, a health coach fulfills a vital mission: educating patients, staff and the community on living healthier lives.

A career as a health coach (also called a health educator, community health worker or wellness coach) might be right for you, if:

  1. Internet Research: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in what type of work environment can a health coach (educator) expect to work?

  2. Internet Research: What is the job outlook for a health coach (educator)?

The Journey to Becoming a Health Coach

There are many different educational paths to becoming a health coach (educator), including:

  1. Obtaining a license as a nurse, dental hygienist, physician assistant or other healthcare professional, followed by studying and passing the National Society of Health Coaches exam.
  2. Obtaining a four-year degree in Health Education, followed by studying for and becoming a certified health education specialist (CHES).
  3. Obtaining a four-year degree in Dietetics that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE), completing a six to twelve month CADE internship and passing a licensing exam. Followed by completing the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching exam and certification.
  4. Becoming a certified personal trainer, obtaining 2,000 hours of experience in personal training, then registering and completing the wellcoaches® School of Coaching course and exam.

Regardless of your educational path, coursework will include:

  1. Internet Research: Research a local college/university/school with a health education or community health degree program. Provide the following information:
    • Entrance requirements (GPA, PCAT score, essays)
    • Tuition costs (per credit hour or per semester)
    • School location
    • Length of program/degree
    • Courses/classes required to graduate

  2. Internet Research: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, what is the current median pay of a health coach (educator)?

The Responsibilities of a Health Coach

As a member of the healthcare team, you are extremely important to each patient and to other members of your team. You are proud of the many things you do, including:

  1. On Your Own: Using the list above, identify which responsibilities benefit the patient and which responsibilities benefit other members of the healthcare team.