5 Steps to Becoming a Successful Wellness Coach

In this comprehensive guide, you'll share the top 5 steps to becoming a successful health and wellness coach with a lucrative career

Updated on January 28, 2024
5 Steps to Becoming a Successful Wellness Coach

Studies have shown that wellness coaching is now a lucrative career. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll share the top 5 steps to becoming a successful health and wellness coach.

Market research by GlobeNewswire revealed that wellness coaching dominated the field of health coaching in 2022 because of demand. Wellness coaches earned a decent amount, too. According to Payscale, they earned an average of $44,090 for the year.   

So, if you’re looking to become a wellness coach, it’s safe to say that you’re on the right path.

In this article, we’ll show you how to become a wellness coach in five crucial steps. First, let’s explore what it means to be a wellness coach…

What Does a Wellness Coach Do?

A wellness coach guides clients toward achieving their health and wellness goals. The coach does this by helping clients set goals and ensuring that they achieve these goals through consistent support and follow-up. Some goals clients may have include losing weight, overcoming addictions, eating healthier, doing more exercise, or getting better at stress management.

As a wellness coach, you’re more likely to pay attention to your client’s overall physical, mental, and emotional well-being. You may also focus on helping clients identify and address behavioral patterns that may hinder them from reaching their health goals. For instance, a client who wants to lose weight might have a habit of eating junk as opposed to healthy meals. Your role is to empower them to replace this unhealthy eating habit with healthier options. 

That’s just one instance, though. In the line of duty, you may have to take a more personalized and holistic approach with each client based on their unique personalities or needs.

For more clarity, let’s highlight what you’d do as a wellness coach:

  • Help clients set healthy goals
  • Highlight patterns or factors that hinder these goals from being achieved
  • Help clients develop a system for overcoming these hindrances
  • Use positive client motivation to support long-term practices that improve wellbeing

Overall, the main focus of wellness coaching in healthcare is to encourage and empower clients to adopt positive and healthier lifestyles.

5 Steps to Becoming a Successful Wellness Coach

Now, let’s discuss how to become a wellness coach in five steps.

1. Make a Commitment to Pursue Wellness Coaching

When you commit to achieve something, you ensure you stay focused and do what’s necessary to get to your goal. So, it makes sense that you start your journey to becoming a wellness coach by committing to it. 

As you go through this process, understand that wellness coaching may not be an easy dream to achieve. You’ll have to go through ups and downs and devote a lot of time and resources. Once you understand these and yet decide you still want to push through with the plan, then you can say you’re 100% committed.

Your commitment helps you create a solid foundation for pursuing your goal. That’s how you go from merely wishing to making a plan and sticking to it. By making a commitment, you’re promising to yourself that you’ll become that person you want to be whatever happens.

2. Earn a Degree for Becoming a Successful Health & Wellness Coach

Earning a degree isn’t necessarily a requirement for becoming a wellness coach, but it can help boost your credibility as a wellness professional— especially if you’re seeking to start your coaching career in an institution like a school, hospital, or health company. 

Some universities now offer online degrees in health and wellness like Kansas State University, University of Arizona, and Eastern Michigan University. You can also go for a Bachelor’s degree. 

A Bachelor’s or associate degree program in other health-related areas can also give you a strong foundation for a successful career in wellness coaching. Courses like behavioral science, for instance, can help you understand the factors that influence the actions or decisions that people take. Biology or anatomy help you understand the human body. Psychology helps you understand the human mind.

If you already have a degree in a non-health-related field, you need not worry. You can devote yourself to learning more about areas related to psychological and physical health. You’ll find helpful educational resources on sites like schedule maker. You can also opt for mini-courses on platforms like Udemy or Coursera. The goal is to ensure you’re fully armed with the knowledge you need to become an efficient coach.

3. Get Certified 

BetterUp suggests certification as one of the important things that people should look out for when seeking a wellness coach. So, getting certified is another way to boost your credibility as a wellness coach. 

Remember that in your line of work, people may have to disclose personal information, or show their vulnerability during coaching sessions. That’s why you must do your best to show them that they can trust you.

Getting a Health and Wellness Coaching certificate is also recommended if you’re looking to change your career path and can’t afford to go through the process of earning a different degree. 

Preferably, go for a certificate that’s recognized by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). An ICF credential or certification indicates that you have met the required standards when it comes to coaching skills. The certification also indicates that you are committed to adhering to ethical behavioral principles in coaching. 

Here are some wellness coach certification programs that are accredited by the ICF: In this comprehensive guide, you’ll share the top 5 steps to becoming a successful health and wellness coach with a lucrative career.

  • Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Training Program
  • Duke University’s Integrative Health Coach Training
  • Cornell University Online – Wellness Coaching Certificate
  • Emory University’s Health and Wellness Coaching program

Each of these programs varies in cost, depth, and also duration. For instance, Mayo Clinic’s program is a 12-week course that costs about $4,900, while Duke University’s training program costs $5,500 and spans ten weeks. 

There are a lot more professional certification programs out there. Run a Google search for “ICF-approved wellness coaching programs” and you’re sure to find some relevant certification programs. Your choice will pretty much depend on your budget, time, and other personal factors. Whichever platform you choose, do your due diligence to ensure that you’re getting an accredited certificate. 

Instead of the ICF, you can also apply to become a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC) — do this by completing the training program and taking the certification exam. While the ICF sets a global standard for general coaching practices, the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching sets the standards that are specific to the wellness coaching profession. 

4. Focus on Gaining Experience for Becoming a Successful Health & Wellness Coach

Here’s our number four tip in our guide on how to become a wellness coach: gain experience. Real-world experience allows you to explore the practical aspect of how the coaching process works. 

So, how do you gain your experience? For a start, consider doing an internship so that you can put your skills to work. You can also consider taking entry-level positions for a limited time. Working in an organization with well-experienced wellness professionals can give you access to expert guidance. 

Platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, and even Google Jobs are great places to search for wellness coaching job opportunities. See this job listing on Google for instance:

search for wellness coaching job opportunities

Over time, you will be able to improve your skills and build your confidence as a coach. As a result, if you want to start your independent practice, you can easily do so. Your experience and track record can also help you easily get coaching clients.

Once you start your private practice, take advantage of social media platforms like Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), or LinkedIn to reach more potential clients. Write informative posts and publish video content showcasing your vast knowledge and experience to further promote your services for becoming a successful wellness coach.

5. Continue Your Education

Your journey to becoming an excellent wellness coach doesn’t end when you start getting clients. Even when your coaching business has grown to the point you already need a schedule maker to ensure coordination among your many employees, it’s important to understand that wellness coaching is quite dynamic—we don’t exactly get to a point where we know everything about human behavior. So, it’s a brilliant idea to continue your education.

Getting a graduate degree, studying relevant resources, or attending industry events in your niche can help you grow in your capacity as a coach. You’d be able to keep up with new research or practices that could improve your wellness coaching sessions. 

Before you know it, you may also find yourself passing down knowledge to others who want to become wellness coaches themselves.

Conclusion

A wellness coach plays an important role in the lives of their clients. These coaches help them live well by helping them maintain a positive and healthy lifestyle. 

If you’re passionate about helping people this way, then the wellness coach path may just be for you. You learned how to become a wellness coach with this article.

First, make a commitment to pursue wellness coaching, then work towards earning a degree. Get certified by taking an accredited wellness coaching program.

Additionally, focus on gaining experience through internships and entry-level positions. Finally, continue your education to increase your prospects and stay updated on the newest studies or practices in your field.

Now it’s over to you. With perseverance and dedication, you’ll soon reach your dream to become a successful wellness coach. Good luck!