With the growing awareness and appreciation of embracing a healthier lifestyle, the demand for health coaches has skyrocketed.
According to Precedence Research, the global health coaching industry is projected to hit nearly $26 billion by 2030.
It’s safe to say, this fast-growing industry has opened up a new world of money-making opportunities for health coaches.
They’re no longer confined to traditional health coaching business models of in-person, one-on-one coaching sessions or group sessions.
This article aims to inspire the:
- Aspiring health coach trying to get a feel for potential career paths
- Certified Health and Wellness Coach interested in creating multiple income streams
We will explore just a few examples of the different ways today’s health coaches are making money—beyond providing in-person health coaching sessions.
Can You Actually Make a Living as a Health Coach?
Is health coaching a financially viable career?
In other words, can a health coach income pay your bills, fund your lifestyle, and help you prepare for retirement?
Step One: Take Stock of Your Personal Finances
The answer to the previous question depends on your personal finances. How much are you currently spending per month on the following categories?
- Necessities: These include fixed expenses, such as mortgage or rent, taxes, car payment, gas, auto insurance, health insurance, out-of-pocket medical costs, utilities, debt repayment, and groceries.
- Wants: These include things like new clothing, dining out, gym membership, travel expenses, cable or streaming packages, and other optional expenses.
- Savings: This includes deposits to a savings account, retirement fund, emergency fund, and investments.
Now that you have a pretty good idea of how much money you need per month, it’s time to see how that figure compares to the average health coach’s salary.
Step Two: Compare Your Figure with the Average Health Coach Salary. How Much Do Health Coaches Make?
According to Glassdoor, the average base-level salary for a certified health coach ranges from $61,000 to $100,000 a year, potentially earning $125,000 or more annually. This generally translates to an average monthly income of between $5,083 and $10,417.
Will that be enough for you?
If it is, great! But what if it’s not? Does it mean you’ll have to give up your dream of helping people improve their health? Well, not necessarily.
Those numbers are averages of what a health coach who works for a company makes. They are not a definitive guide to your earning potential as a certified health coach.
In fact, many health coaches see an increase in income as they accumulate more coaching experience and specialized knowledge in health and wellness.
As you’ll soon see, working for a company isn’t the only career path health coaches can take.
There’s also the option of running your own health coaching business, which could potentially help you earn more money. A lot more money: up to $240,000 annually.
It’s Not an Either-Or Choice
Work for a company. Run your own health coaching business. These aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive options.
Provided you’ve worked out a suitable arrangement with your employer, you could diversify your income streams by working part-time or full-time for a company, then spending your own time running your private health coaching business.
Learn How to Set Yourself Apart as a Board-Certified Health Coach
Where Can You Work as a Health Coach?
Many companies—some of which don’t even belong to the health and wellness industry—hire certified health coaches. Here are just a few examples of employment opportunities available to most health coaches.
Gyms, Fitness Studios, and Sports-Specific Training Centers
There’s a growing awareness that one cannot simply “out-exercise” an unhealthy lifestyle (e.g., inadequate sleep, poor stress management, and improper nutrition).
As more people show interest in adopting a holistic approach to their health and wellness, fitness companies have increasingly begun to add coaching services to their offerings to boost client retention, help their members achieve better well-being, diversify their income streams, and stand out against their competitors.
Six in ten adults in the United States currently live with a chronic disease such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes.
While many chronic conditions can be managed with medications alone, taking active steps to live a healthier lifestyle—like exercising and dietary changes—will often lead to improved health outcomes.
So, who can help guide individuals diagnosed with chronic conditions into adopting and sustaining healthy behaviors?
Doctors already have enough on their plates; according to a 2022 study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, nearly two-thirds of physicians in the United States are experiencing at least one symptom of burnout.
It turns out, many health coaches are hired to complement medical professionals across various healthcare settings, from hospitals to clinics to nursing homes.
Take this 2019 study published in Frontiers in Public Health, for instance.
Researchers found that individuals with diabetes who received six months of health coaching reported greater self-efficacy, metabolic control, improved knowledge, and better clinical outcomes than those given usual care.
Schools and Universities
One in five children and adolescents in the United States is affected by childhood obesity.
Overweight and obese children and youths tend to stay obese in adulthood and are at higher risk of developing obesity-related health conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and joint problems.
Childhood obesity is also associated with psychological problems, including anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and self-reported lower quality of life.
As part of their obesity prevention initiatives, schools can hire health coaches to educate children and youths about achieving and sustaining good health.
Preventing obesity isn’t the only reason educational institutions hire health coaches. Universities may also seek trained health coaches to help students stay healthy as they navigate their college experience, which is typically characterized by alcohol use, stress, poor sleep quality, and lack of physical activity.
Employers who care for employee health and well-being see numerous measurable benefits.
According to a 2022 Gallup Survey, when compared to other employees, those who strongly agree that their employer cares about their overall well-being are:
- 69% less likely to actively search for a new job
- 71% less likely to report experiencing burnout
- 36% more likely to be thriving in their overall lives
- 3 times more likely to be engaged at work
- 5 times more likely to strongly advocate for their company as a place to work
So, for small and large organizations seeking higher productivity and lower turnover rates (note: the cost of employee turnover is often 1.5 to 2 times the amount of the exiting employee’s salary), health coaches will be at the top of the list.
Spas, Wellness Resorts, and Integrative Wellness Organizations
These are organizations known to take a holistic approach to health—with a strong and balanced emphasis on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness.
It is easy to see why health and wellness coaching would be in demand in these companies.
You Can Also Start Your Own Health Coaching Business
Interested in running your own health coaching business? Check out the following examples to see what excites you.
Become an Online Health Coach
Forget geographical constraints.
When you become an online health coach (offering one-on-one coaching sessions, group coaching sessions, or a combination of both), your pool of potential clients significantly expands.
In fact, with a stable Internet connection, you could provide coaching services to someone as far-flung as Australia or Japan when physically located in the United States.
Open a Brick-And-Mortar Health and Wellness Business
No, the brick-and-mortar store is not dead.
That said, when you start a physical store offering health coaching services, you’ll need to really think about how you can justify spending money on a retail space when you have the less financially taxing options of offering:
- Online coaching services
- In-person one-on-one coaching and group coaching
For example, you could collaborate with other health and fitness professionals, like certified personal trainers, nutritionists, and licensed therapists, to position your business as an “all-in-one” wellness center for clients.
Conduct Short Corporate Wellness Coaching
Some smaller companies may not have the necessary budget to hire a full-time health coach.
You could help fill the gap by offering short wellness seminars educating employees about actionable tips (e.g., five-minute relaxation exercises, taking frequent breaks from their workspace, and staying adequately hydrated) that they could implement to help create a healthier lifestyle.
Also, consider offering recurring seminars or creating corporate wellness programs to make a bigger impact and ensure recurring income.
Create Digital Health and Wellness Products
Condense your health coaching knowledge and expertise into online courses, eBooks, and resources teaching people how to effectively adopt and sustain healthier lifestyle changes.
You could also explore creating nutrition plans or fitness plans if you hold additional relevant certifications.
While they can initially be time-consuming to create, the great thing about digital products is that you only make them once—but can sell them again and again.
They’re passive income streams that could help you stop trading time for money.
Speak at Health and Wellness Events
Think you’d do well at public speaking?
Good news: you could get paid to speak at consumer-focused events, like wellness festivals, health expos, trade shows, and conferences.
Beyond getting paid, speaking at these events can also help improve awareness of your business, attract more health coaching clients, and earn more speaking engagements.
It’s a win-win.
Sell Physical Products
Finally, though it’s less common, you could sell physical products as part of your health coaching business.
You could sell apparel or journals, or you could even come up with a new line of healthy foods, supplements, or wellness products.
Tips That’ll Help You Get Started with Your New Career or Income Stream
Bottom line? There are many ways to make money as a health coach.
Whether you’re an aspiring health coach or certified health coach who’s been around the block, taking the first steps to start a new career, diversify your income streams, or start something completely new can be daunting.
These tips may make the process easier (and potentially more profitable) for you.
Find Your Niche
Your niche refers to your market segment or the place in the market your health coaching services (or products) specifically target.
For example, your niche could be in helping pregnant and breastfeeding individuals feel their best throughout pregnancy, postpartum, and new motherhood.
Beyond helping you stand out from other “generic” health coaches, niching down could also help you charge more for your services and products—if you want. Click here to learn how to find your niche as a health coach.
Sign Up for Marketing Training
You know the value you can bring to your target clients. But do they?
Remember that your ideal clients cannot say yes to your health coaching services or products without knowing they exist in the first place.
Consider signing up for a digital marketing training course to learn how you can effectively reach, engage, and nurture prospects into happy paying customers/clients.
Experiment with Different Pricing Strategies
Don’t know what to charge for your new health coaching services or products?
Take a page from the books of the most successful health coaches. Many are known to have gradually increased health coach salaries over weeks, months, and years.
In general, they increased their rates the more clients, experience, and education they gained. So, start with a rate you’re comfortable charging , then increase it when appropriate. You decide how often and how much you wish to increase your pricing. Just be sure to periodically assess your pricing strategy to be certain it lines up with what your target client is able and willing to pay.
Ask for Referrals
If you’re a certified health coach launching a new product or service, don’t be afraid to try to land those first dollars by selling to existing clients or asking them for referrals:
“Hey, I’m working on something new. If you know of anyone who’d benefit, I’d appreciate it if you could put in a word for me.”
Just so you know, word-of-mouth marketing is known to bring in five times more sales than paid marketing.
Unlock a Fulfilling and Financially Rewarding Health Coach Career with AFPA
If you’re ready to help change lives and grow your impact as a health coach, AFPA’s comprehensive, world-class accredited, and affordable certification programs are well-positioned to help you become the next leader in the health and wellness industry.
For aspiring health coaches, check out our health coaching programs:
- Health & Wellness Coach Certification
- Certified Master Health and Wellness Coach (NBHWC-Approved Training Program)
- Holistic Health Coach Certification
And for you certified health coaches interested in growing your business and revenue, consider becoming a board-certified health and wellness coach, or enrolling in these programs:
Learn How to Stand Out as a Top-Tier Health Coach in 5 Steps