Guide to Become a Health Coach + Is it a Good Match for You?


What is a health coach?

“A health coach is a wellness authority and supportive mentor” to guide patients to find their best path for health and wellness, which includes not only physical health, but social, mental, and spiritual health (Institute for Integrative Nutrition). Thus, a health coach does not only focus on exercise and diet, but also counsels all aspects of life.  A health coach may counsel through:

  • Referrals to special programs
  • One-on-one coaching on topics such as biometrics, healthy eating, exercise, stress, tobacco, weight, and more
  • Group coaching on topics such as biometrics, BMI, cholesterol, health assessments, healthy eating, physical activity, stress, tobacco, weight and more

What are the requirements to be a health coach?

So, I’ve discovered that there are health coaches who create their own practice, and thus, may only have a background in certified health and wellness coaching from an accredited school, but I’ve discovered that you could be a health coach through other practices, such as those that I’ve mentioned below. Health coaches may be integrated in doctor’s offices, spas, and gyms, so requirements will depend on where you are applying.

  • Bachelor’s degree in health promotion, health education, registered nurse with experience or dietician.
  • 3 years experience of health and wellness field
  • Certified Health Education Specialists successful exam completion
  • Experience conducting educational and support groups preferred
  • Experience in health education and wellness coaching
  • Smoking cessation is a plus
  • Diabetes experience is a plus
  • Master’s degree preferred

What health care providers have positions for health coaching?

  • Aetna
  • Humana
  • Healthways Inc
  • United Health Group
  • Cigna

What are the benefits of working with healthcare providers?

Although health care providers require more to become a part of their team, they offer stability, high pay, and many benefits. The national average pay is $44,000. Highest reported pay being $67,000, and lowest $31,000. The lowest is only paid by Omada and American Specialty Health, which isn’t listed above.

Benefits from these companies may include:  medical, dental, vision, long and short term disability, personal accident insurance, basic life insurance, life coaching, paid time off, and tuition reimbursement.

What compatible personality type works with a health coach?

If you haven’t already, check out your personality types through Holland’s Career Typology. There are six types: realistic, conventional, investigative, social, artistic, and enterprising.

  • Realistic: Realistic careers involve mechanics, operating machinery, construction, and physical skills. Those who score high in realistic are often attracted to law enforcement, construction,military, mechanics, and athletics.
  • Conventional: Conventional careers involve managing data, files, and processes. Careers best for those who score high are:  accounting, computers and information systems, administration, and office management.
  • Investigative: This type involves in research, analysis, and solving abstract or theoretical problems. Careers that match best are sciences, computers and technology, mathematics, and medicine.
  • Artistic: It is self explanatory, but artistic types enjoy careers that involve creative expression and imagination. Careers best matched for artistic types are performing or visual art, music, writing, and design.
  • Enterprising: Includes leading, influencing, and managing others. Careers in management, business, sales, and entrepreneurship are a great match for this type.
  • Social: Involves teaching, taking care of others, counseling, and assisting. Careers in education, counseling, health care, social services, and human resources are well fitted with social types.

(Personality type information gathered from:

A health coach falls largely under social, but also includes a bit of investigative and conventional. My highest score was social, artistic, and enterprising. I moderately scored for conventional; I was lowest in investigative and realistic. Thus, I think health coach is a great match for me because of the social and conventional factor.




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