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How Can I Get Health Coach Certification?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill

There are a number of institutions and organizations where you can get health coach certification. These are often professional organizations which each have their own set criteria for student graduation and certification. For many coaching careers, there are no government mandated requirements. If you want to become a licensed dietitian or holistic practitioner, you will need to check the requirements in your area.

Health coaching refers to guiding clients in healthy living. The goal is to help patients or clients lead better, healthier lifestyles through nutrition, exercise, and sometimes even spiritual growth. Health coaches offer planning and guidance in all of these areas, and they check in with clients routinely to chart progress and help with overcoming obstacles. Some coaches learn aspects of all of these steps, while others specialize in one specific area of healthy living.

Doctor taking notes
Doctor taking notes

If you want to become a generalist, you can get health coach certification by attending classes either online or on campus. Some offer weekend conferences where students obtain training. The duration of each course will depend on the individual course and the organization offering it. On average, most health coach certification courses are between six months and one year in length. Some are also self-paced, so you can move at the speed you are most comfortable with.

There are many more strenuous health coach certification courses you could also take. These are more often government-mandated, although this will depend on your location. One example is a registered dietitian, or someone who plans meals for patients of certain diseases, or just those who need to get healthier. To become a dietitian, you will need to obtain a four-year degree, followed by coursework offered by a national dietitian organization. These requirements may vary depending on the country in which you live.

Since most health coaches are self-employed, you may also require additional licensing to operate your own business. Be sure to look into this before completing the program. If you want to work with doctors or other health care professionals, you may need to attend further classes to become licensed in a particular health coaching area. This isn't always the case, as many independently operating health coach professionals work with other health care workers to better enhance patients' lives.

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      Doctor taking notes