Beginner’s Guide to Becoming a Wellbeing Coach
Wellbeing Coaching is trending to be a unique career option for many. Because of the robust increase in the Health and Wellness industry, the importance of a Wellbeing Coach is felt in the lives of many people from guiding through life decisions to improving their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
Being a Wellbeing Coach is certainly challenging and requires wide knowledge about counselling, psychology, health, nutrition and a stronghold on verbal and written communication.
This guide is bound to help you out in your journey to becoming a Wellbeing Coach.
Before we understand who a Wellbeing Coach is and what they do, it is important to get the picture of the word ‘wellbeing’ itself.
What is Wellbeing?
Wellbeing is the physical and emotional state of being happy, healthy and satisfied.
It’s the outcome of various factors in life, both external and internal.
These factors include materialistic comforts, maintained and balanced physical health, satisfied work-life, healthy personal relationships, self-satisfaction and finally, a stress-free, healthy and stable mental state.
The concept of Wellbeing itself is so subjective that the process towards the final attainment is different for different individuals.
This is because people are dynamic and possess different needs.
They have a completely different personality, wants, choices and requirements.
Because people are constantly changing, a Wellbeing Coach who is learned and experienced assists in attaining the wellbeing of the physical and emotional state.
What is a Wellbeing Coach?
A Wellbeing Coach is someone who is professional and learned with the ability to guide and assist anyone who is seeking for mindfulness, a healthy lifestyle, mental stability, happiness and finally, emotional satisfaction.
They’re often confused and integrated along with a Health Coach.
No doubt, they indeed are similar in a couple of ways they function but however, are different in a lot more ways.
One of the similarities being that both Health and Wellbeing Coaching involves assisting with the physical aspects of health.
A Wellbeing Coach does not limit their counselling to workouts, eating healthy and following a diet.
Inclusive of all these aspects, both Health as well as Wellbeing Coach guide on management of stress, maintaining a healthy weight and incorporating a healthy lifestyle through various different ways.
Moreover, apart from just physical health, Wellbeing Coaches pay higher attention to mental and emotional eudaimonia.
A learned and experienced Wellbeing Coach is able to offer you in-depth guidance and extensive directional counselling about emotional and mental health, personality development, mindfulness and time management.
By this time you must be wondering if this is what a Life Coach also does. Allow us to crystalline the two concepts.
A Life Coach, as the name suggests, fosters overall life development from guiding relationship decisions to financial factors.
Life Coaching is more inclined with career management, social relationships, family, relationships and financial decisions.
As you can comprehend by now that some of the areas are overlapping and ultimately interlinked.
Therefore, there are different experts to guide you on different aspects.
What Areas Can You as a Wellbeing Coach Help With?
A Wellbeing Coach can help with various aspects of physical health and majoring in mental and emotional wellness.
Wellbeing Coaches mostly come with expertises and selected proficiencies. According to your area of focus, knowledge and competence, you can help someone by assisting with guiding and assisting in the following aspects:
- Nutrition; following a proper diet and eating well
- Losing/gaining weight; proper weight management
- Stress management techniques
- Trauma therapy; getting over a past trauma that may cause symptoms of anxiety and depression from getting worse
- Coping up with lifestyle changes due to a recent medical condition e.g. diabetes.
- Sleep management and dealing with insomnia
- Lifestyle change in quitting habits like alcohol and smoking
- Counselling and therapy; even during medications prescribed by a prior psychiatrist
- Build better relationships with oneself as well as others
- Balancing professional and personal life well.
According to The Institute of Integrative Nutrition, becoming a Wellbeing Coach requires dedication to encourage and foster a positive outlook about health and lifestyle in other people’s lives.
If you love talking about health and wellness, encourage people to prioritize self-care, counsel and therapize people, help people accomplish goals in life, then you can certainly reach out to a huge lot of people as a Wellbeing Coach.
Is Wellbeing Coaching the Right Choice for You?
Initially, being sceptical and unsure about choosing Wellbeing Coaching as a right career option is normal.
As per Vogue, the health and wellness industry boomed up to a net worth of $4.2 trillion in 2019.
Over the years, people have begun inculcating meditation, healthy eating and mental health tips into their lives more than ever.
Becoming a Wellbeing Coach requires academic knowledge as well as instilled key traits.
It is suggested that you must determine your area of expertise considering your interests and skill set.
The best part about being a Wellbeing Coach is that it involves a variety of different fields you can professionalise yourself in. Some of the areas of expertise are explained below:
1. Physical Health Knowledge
It starts from individual requirements whether they want to achieve a particular health goal, for instance, losing weight, wanting to start eating healthy, lifestyle changes due to a recently discovered, working out and exercising often, maintaining an active lifestyle and preparing for a sports competition, wanting to quit an unhealthy habit like smoking or alcohol.
Knowledge and interest in weight management, different types of workouts and knowledge about habits and traits must be kept in mind if you are planning to expertise in this field.
2. Nutrition and Diet Based
If you are interested in diet planning, nutritional knowledge and healthy eating, you can choose to expertise in this area.
You can help clients who require nutritional guidance, medical condition based diet plans and who simply want to incorporate healthy eating into their lifestyle.
3. Mental and Emotional Coaching
This part of the field includes psychological therapies, techniques in managing stress and anxiety, assisting in moving on from past trauma, counselling, behavioural changes, lifestyle change, work-life balancing techniques and guidance in bracing mental and emotional wellbeing.
Traits Required for Becoming a Wellbeing Coach
Along with good academic and technical knowledge, a Wellbeing Coach must possess some important traits and skills which you can complement with the traits you already own.
Following are the traits that are required to be instilled in a good Wellbeing Coach:
- Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
- Alertness and mindful listening skills
- Motivational and convincing skills
- Coaching techniques
- Welcoming and kind nature
- Patience and composure
- Problem-solving skills and critical thinking
- Proper organisation of work and time management
- Up-to-date schedule and always planning ahead of time
- Adaptable in providing to clients of different backgrounds
- Different techniques of coaching like positive psychology, GROW model and motivational interviewing
- Desire to continue learning and updating existing knowledge and skillset
- Finally, dedication and great amounts of hard work
If you believe that you get along well with people and can influence and motivate a lot of people with your motivational counselling and brilliant knowledge and skills, becoming a Wellbeing Coach might be just right for you.
Benefits of Being a Wellbeing Coach
Now that you might have decided to opt for Wellbeing Coaching as your ultimate career option, you will be pleased to know that it comes with a great number of benefits.
1. In Demand
There is an increasingly popular demand for Wellbeing Coaches owing to the boom in the Health and Wellness industry’s net worth being $4.2 trillion in 2020 according to The Global Wellness Summit.
This increasing demand opens up opportunities for aspiring Wellbeing Coaches and will pave a way for you if you are planning to enter this industry.
2. Self-Resilience and Flexibility
Being a Wellbeing Coach means standing on your own abilities and being confident about what you do.
Being a Wellbeing Coach rewards you with flexibility at work including setting your own goals, preparing your own schedule and fixing work timings keeping your convenience in mind.
3. Comprehensive Opportunities
Being a Wellbeing Coach does not limit you to just one field of practice.
There are various opportunities and growth options in the fields of healthcare, community health programmes, freelance writing and corporate wellness.
It also paves a way for opening up your own clinic as a certified Wellbeing Coach.
4. Flexible Work Timings
Becoming a Wellbeing Coach means flexible working hours to ensure personal convenience and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Once you begin your work as a Wellbeing Coach, you may want to invest long hours and address as many clients as possible.
However, working for long hours continuously may cause stress and burnouts.
Moreover, you can decide whether you want to coach full-time or part-time as well.
This provides you with additional time to pursue a short-term course and increase your qualifications.
How to Become a Wellbeing Coach
As far as academic qualifications are required, there is no specific degree to become a Wellbeing Coach.
A bachelor’s degree along with a certification in related fields of health, psychology, counselling, wellness coaching and nutrition can be pursued according to the field of expertise you want to opt.
You can also seek diploma courses in more than one subject of expertise.
Daily tasks of a Wellbeing Coach can be challenging and must require organisational and time management skills.
The Responsibilities of a Wellbeing Coach
- To be able to provide practical and achievable suggestions and guidance on health and fitness matters.
- Provide one-on-one and group sessions to clients and be regular in scheduling sessions.
- Ready to go an extra mile with a client if required.
- Provide flexible and convenient means of appointments; online as well as face-to-face sessions.
- Maintain client’s health records for references that include the client’s basic personal information, medical history, ongoing medications (if any), diet and improvement records.
- If a client is identified of a medical condition, suggest and guide the client on how to move forward with diagnosis by a professional doctor.
- Maintain a close and regular relationship with the client and check up on them from time to time.
- Maintain a record of vital signs like blood pressure, height, weight, body temperature and heart rate.
- Be prepared in providing resources and alternative methods as well as techniques in alternation to medications.
- If you are a personal health mentor turned Wellbeing Coach, recommend workouts and activities to support your clients in reaching their fitness goals. Also, include holistic approaches which assist them with relieving stress and balance work and life altogether.
- Receive your clients with a smile and in a friendly manner that carries out positive vibes around them.
Salary of a Wellbeing Coach
Wellbeing Coaches are paid handsomely in many parts of the world.
The salary and job package also depends upon their experience, qualifications, certifications and whether you decide to coach full-time or part-time.
According to PayScale, the hourly rate for a Wellbeing Coach in the United States can range between $17 to $58 which is pretty remunerative.
On a yearly basis, you can earn up to $46,000 as an average salary. Base salary can start from $33,000 in the initial years and go up to $68,000.
If you are looking to build a client base, you may decide to keep your hourly rates low.
Once you become well-established, update your educational portfolio and gain a good amount of experience, you can undoubtedly raise the fee.
Training and Certifications Required to Become a Wellbeing Coach
The training programs involved in becoming a Wellbeing Coach includes various key topics in nutrition, fitness, mental health, emotional wellbeing and community health, effective communication, coaching skills, relationship building, psychology and many more.
A specific educational degree is not required for this career field.
However, accredited certification is recommended as it automatically increases your chances of better employment in schools, hospitals, fitness centres and corporate companies.
Some of the internationally accredited programs by the top institutes and universities that offer a course in Wellness Coaching are listed below:
1. Mayo Clinic
School of Continuous Professional Development offers a 12-week Wellness Coach training for professionals.
- Candidates must hold a minimum of bachelor’s degree. Existing healthcare workers accompanying health licensure are an exception. Physicians, nurses and health staff can also apply to this programme.
- Candidates must also submit their Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores.
- The candidate must hold a good command over written and spoken English.
Online as well as onsite training modes.
The resources will be provided through online sessions, conference calls, peer-coaching sessions and webcasts.
A 4-day mandatory onsite workshop usually takes place on the campus of Mayo Clinic situated in Rochester, Minnesota.
This course is approved and accredited by the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching.
On completion, participants receive a certificate from the same.
For more information about fees and registration, visit here.
2. Cornell University
Cornell University, New York offers a Wellness Counselling Certificate with a training period of four 2-week courses completing over the course of 2 months.
This course is for healthcare professionals, therapists, fitness trainers, nutritionists and health coaches.
- Fluency in written and spoken English.
- A minimum bachelor’s degree is required.
The course will carry on in 100% online mode with approximately dedicating 3-5 hours per week.
$3600 for the entire course.
On completing the course, students will earn a Wellness Counselling Completion Certificate by The Cornell College of Human Ecology.
For more information about the course and enrollments, visit here.
3. The Holistic Coach Academy
The Holistic Coach Academy created the training certification course of Holistic Health and Wellness Coaching on Udemy for providing the best professional and personal knowledge and building your skillset as a Health and Wellbeing Coach.
This course is for a duration of approximately 16 hours.
The course comes with interesting, practical based assignments which are graded.
No prior degrees required as such. However, if you are a professional from the field of Health and Wellness, this course will be worth it.
This course is 100% online. The 135 downloadable resources can be accessed anytime via any device.
$13.99 for the entire course.
Accredited by the Holistic Coach Academy.
More information about the course is available on Udemy’s website.
4. International Association of Professions Career College
IAP Career College offers a part-time Wellness Coach Certificate for a course length of 6-weeks.
This course includes compulsive learning about what a Wellbeing Coach does, how you can improve your skills, how you can find jobs as a Wellbeing Coach and what is the scope of starting your own clinic as a Wellbeing Coach.
A minimum bachelor’s degree is suggested to pursue before opting for this course.
The course is 100% in online mode and the resources can be accessed anywhere, anytime.
The course is priced at $149.99 with the new batch starting from 01 February 2021.
On completion of the course, a certified professional certificate is provided by the International Association of Professions Career College.
For more information about enrollment, do visit the website here.
5. National Exercise Trainers Association
The NETA established in Minneapolis offers an extensive and well-accredited Wellness Coach Speciality Certification programme for advancing your career.
NETA offers resources and its syllabus covers essential topics related to Wellbeing Coaching such as interpersonal communication skills, the theory of behavioural change, relationship building concepts and more.
The duration of the course depends on the student.
Usually, NETA suggests 30-45 days of dedicated preparation before appearing for the final examination.
- Health and fitness-related certificate which is NCCA-accredited.
- Minimum of bachelor’s degree in the related field of psychology, healthcare, nutrition or counselling.
- Valid proof of license as practising health professional.
The course is 100% online along with computer-based examination.
The course fee is $249 for the entire course inclusive of the registration fee.
On passing the examination with 20 NETA credits or more, you will be awarded NETA’s Wellness Coach Certification which is valid for up to 2 years from the date of issue.
For more information about the course, feel free to visit the website here.
Types of Insurance Required as a Wellbeing Coach
Once you have undertaken and completed your academic qualifications, make sure you are aware of the types of insurances and legalities required as a Wellbeing Coach.
Insurance not only secures you but also your own clinic. It manages risk involved in the business and pays off any compensation claims.
It safeguards you and your business and manages the day to day risks in your profession.
1. Wellness Coach Insurance
Procuring a Wellness Coach insurance is valuable especially if you have your own business set up.
It secures the business assets and liabilities and pays off compensation claims.
Alternative Balance has an A+ insurance policy at affordable rates.
2. Professional Indemnity Insurance
The Professional Indemnity Insurance (PIA) protects the legal costs and expenses due to claims of negligence by dissatisfied clients.
The PIA can also be claimed against such complaints where the customer professes a poor service or management.
Any loss of documents, defamation, accidental infringement of copyrights or contract privacies can also be secured through this insurance.
3. Public Liability Insurance
If you are running your own business as a Wellbeing Coach, then it is definitely wise to consider this type of insurance.
A Public Liability Insurance protects your business from any kinds of claims and allegations of negligent advice, defamation, discrimination on any basis, contract violation, forgery of qualifications and more.
This type of insurance covers costs and expenses in your defence. For effective risk management, it is advised to undertake a PLI.
It is always advised to go through the terms and conditions of the insurance contract as there are cases of fraud and forgeries by insurance companies.
Make sure you are approaching a recognized and trustworthy company.
Wellbeing Coaching Vs Counselling
While wellbeing coaching and counselling are often used interchangeably, there are similarities as well as certain areas where they differ from each other.
First, when we talk about Counselling, it is often comprehended with Psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy or Counselling is the process of dealing and providing solutions to one’s personal problems affecting their mental and social health in adverse ways.
These conditions are most often depression, anxiety, panic attacks, bipolar disorders, stress, eating disorders, personal relationship issues, post-traumatic stress and psychotic disorders.
The therapy is performed through talk sessions, group chats, cognitive behavioural therapy and in several other methods.
Second, Psychotherapy and Counselling do contradict in two ways.
One, that counselling is a short-term therapy method whereas Psychotherapy is a much longer treatment.
Two, counselling usually discusses current problems which are easy to resolve quickly on a cognitive level.
In contrast, Psychotherapy studies the entire psychological condition of a person intensively.
Counselling and Wellbeing Coaching also contain similarities and differences in their concepts. Let us start by understanding the similarities between both.
- Both Wellbeing Coaches as well as Counsellors help you in dealing with personal, mental and emotional issues by providing effective guidance and suggestions.
- They both are responsible for creating a positive and non-judgemental space.
- They both go through your medical history, take down your vital signs and study your problem intensively.
- Wellbeing Coaches and Counsellors identify your problem, recognize your potential and help you reach your goals.
- They both inhibit professional techniques, methods and resources.
However similar, there exist contrasting variations that separate the two.
- Wellbeing Coaches will help you set goals and provide suggestions to achieve them while Counsellors will guide you in moving on with your problem.
- Wellbeing Coaches are extensive as they cover all aspects of physical, mental and social well being. Counselling usually imbibes the mental and social health factors. They do not help you with nutrition and diet.
- Wellbeing Coaches are generally self-employed and once licenced and certified, are not accountable to a higher authority, whereas top management supervises top counsellors.
- Wellbeing Coaching is typically action-oriented whereas Counselling is overcome-oriented.
Can You Make Money as a Wellness Coach?
Yes, of course. Wellness Coaching is certainly a very rewarding career option. Moreover, Wellness Coaching does not only involve generating profits through one-on-one coaching. Other ways of producing a higher income as a Wellness Coach is by scheduling group sessions, conditioning corporate-based clients, offering additional online courses, freelance counselling as a writer, participating and speaking in conferences and health events and launching an audiobook, podcast or a self-help book.
Is Wellness Coaching a Good Career Option?
Certainly, due to the rise in health and fitness resources and prioritisation of self-care and mental health, the demand for health and wellness coaches are rising. It is a fruitful career option for those who wish to inspire and help people with their skills and interests.
What is the Salary of a Wellness Coach?
According to PayScale, an average Wellness Coach earns about $48,000-$50,000 a year. However, these figures are speculative. The salary of a Wellness Coach most certainly depends on 4 major factors. Them being, your educational qualifications, experience, coaching hours and the mode of the workplace. You can work as a part-time coach or a full-time coach and also decide your working hours. Where you work, i.e, in a corporate house, in an educational centre, in a gym, in the healthcare field or even be self-employed. These factors play a huge role in deciding your income as a Wellness Coach.
How Much do Integrative Health Coaches Make?
An Integrative Health Coach is someone who can influentially motivate and guide people in achieving personal health and wellness goals, therefore, promoting a healthy and fit lifestyle. According to Zip Recruiter, an Integrative Health Coach makes around $50-$70 on an hourly basis and up to $63,383 on a yearly basis. The top US states that highly demand Integrative Health Coaches are California, Connecticut, Alaska, New York and Washington.
Is there a Demand for Health Coaches?
The health industry has emerged as a $2,612 billion as of 2020 which is why Health Coaching is one of the well-paid, lucrative career options that are undergoing a high global demand. According to Transformational Nutrition, 60% of Americans would like to work or consult a Health Coach. Schools, corporate companies, insurance companies, physicians and fitness centres are readily hiring Health Coaches.
Do You Need a Degree to be a Health Coach?
Typically, becoming a Health Coach does not require a degree as such. However, it is always suggested for candidates to pursue a minimum of bachelor’s degree in health and related fields in order to assure employment. Most schools, health institutions and fitness centres require a certification from national or international associations. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) is the most valued and recognized accreditation. It is suggested to undertake a program issued by ACE Fitness which is an NCCA accredited course.
Overall, Wellbeing Coaches overlook not just the physical aspects of health, but wellness in general.
“When the knowledge of wellness is combined with coaching, the concept becomes entirely client-oriented which unfolds the fulfilling sentiment of helping others achieve their goals,” says Isabelle Polzin, a lawyer and wellness expert.
We hope this guide provided you with a clear insight into what a Wellbeing Coach is and how to opt for this career option.
Wellness is a fast-growing sector in these times so surely, the demand for Wellbeing Coaches cannot be less.
If you are a good motivator with the passion and ultimate desire to motivate and help others around you, this position will surely be a fruitful one for you.
Anushka is a passionate writer and works at F and B Recipes. She loves poetry and is currently pursuing a degree in media and communications.