Download a PDF version of this guide by filling out this form, or keep scrolling to read the full guide.
Health and wellness are your passion. You know that there is more to healthy living than diet and exercise—stress, relationships, and sleep all impact personal wellness. Take action and turn your passion into a career you’ll love while helping others achieve their optimal health by becoming a Holistic Health Coach.
At a time when half of all Americans have chronic diseases and one in four have multiple chronic conditions, the role of health and wellness coaches is more important than ever.
What is the source of the chronic disease epidemic? Habits.
of people make New Year’s resolutions to jump-start healthy habits
actually keep them
Without the right support system and tools to change harmful behaviors, the cycle continues—and usually worsen.
By 2030, chronic diseases could cost as much as $47 trillion in healthcare spending, and although 45 million people are planning to go on diets this year, 97 percent of those people will regain everything they’ve lost and then some within three years. Now is the time to put your passion for health and wellness into practice.
Although many worry that their health woes are the result of genetic predisposition, the truth is that an estimated 85 percent of chronic diseases are caused by factors other than genetics, including diet, exercise, and stress. If you see yourself supporting people in initiating lifestyle, diet, and behavior changes, now is a critical time to launch your career as a Holistic Health Coach.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything there is to know about being a Holistic Health Coach in today’s booming wellness industry.
Take action and turn your passion into a career you’ll love while helping others achieve their optimal health by becoming a Holistic Health Coach.
Holistic Health 101 | What is a Holistic Health Coach?
Holistic Health Coaches use an integrative approach to diet and lifestyle changes in order to improve their clients’ health. A Holistic Health Coach moves one step beyond simple health coaching by recognizing that there is more to overall health than just diet and exercise. A Holistic Health Coach evaluates their clients’ physical, social, psychological, and spiritual well-being to come up with lasting plans to change behaviors and boost their clients’ overall health. A Holistic Health Coach has the unique ability to promote:
Health coaches have the power to improve client health outcomes, and one review of health coaching found that it proved effective for individuals battling obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
The Global Wellness Institute—a research firm that focuses on areas such as healthy eating, fitness, and anti-aging efforts—reports that while the pharmaceutical industry is a $1 trillion business worldwide, the wellness industry is more than triple that with a $3.7 trillion market.
On an average doctor’s office visit, a patient spends only about 10- 12 minutes actually speaking to their doctor. A patient often leaves the doctor’s office with information, but information doesn’t translate into behavior changes. Doctors and nurses are trained in delivering an expert model of care, but not necessarily in explaining and encouraging long-lasting behavioral changes in order to lower stress or increase daily sleep. Beyond that, it’s predicted that, by the year 2025, there will be a shortage of 52,000 primary care physicians. With so few doctors available, physicians must be focused on lab results, proper diagnoses, and treatment plans—not on empowering their patients to adopt healthy, preventative habits. Holistic Health 101 Holistic Health Coach Guide 8
Additionally, more and more people are looking at their health not as the absence of disease, but as the ability to live the most vibrant life possible. The rise in interest in local food, plant-based diets, yoga, alternative medicine, fitness, and meditation is representative of a changing tide toward holistic, healthy living. It also means the trillion-dollar health and wellness industry is expected to see a growth of 17 percent in the next five years, because individuals and corporations alike have begun assessing and recognizing the work-life imbalance in today’s world. Holistic Health 101 “Most consumers are more interested in staying out of the doctor’s office than they are about scheduling their next physical.” Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company Holistic Health Coach Guide 9 Holistic Health Coaches have the ability to empower their clients to make serious behavior changes in order to alter their health outcomes. According to the CDC, preventing chronic disease can be achieved by: Unfortunately, only about 6.3 percent of Americans engage in all five of these behaviors, which is why chronic disease is plaguing us all. This is why the role of a health coach is so crucial. Helping clients change their physical, spiritual, psychological, and social habits is difficult, but with the right training, tools, and experience, things can turn around.
Holistic Health Coaches have the ability to empower their clients to make serious behavior changes in order to alter their health outcomes. According to the CDC, preventing chronic disease can be achieved by:
Unfortunately, only about 6.3 percent of Americans engage in all five of these behaviors, which is why chronic disease is plaguing us all. This is why the role of a health coach is so crucial. Helping clients change their physical, spiritual, psychological, and social habits is difficult, but with the right training, tools, and experience, things can turn around.
You’re passionate about health and wellness, and you love spending time one-on-one with clients, helping them see how they can make lasting, meaningful behavioral changes to enhance their lives. How do you know health coaching is right for you? If these benefits of being a Holistic Health Coach excite you, then you’re in the right place: Is Holistic Health Coaching Right for Me?
There are many paths that could lead you to a Holistic Health Coach certification. If your corporate job is no longer fulfilling and you want to make a career change, a Holistic Health Coach certification could be just the thing you’re looking for.
Although experience in health and wellness is a plus, great Holistic Health Coaches come from diverse career backgrounds and life experiences.
If you’re a physician, nurse, yoga instructor, personal trainer, or chef, training as a Holistic Health Coach certification can help you round out and complement your experience and skills. Additionally, if you’re a health coach who wants to take a deeper dive beyond just diet and exercise to help others understand that their health is dependent on a holistic approach to nutrition and meal planning, supportive relationships, meaningful work, work-life balance, spirituality, and more, then you’re a Holistic Health Coach in the making. As a Holistic Health Coach, you can expect to:
As a Holistic Health Coach, there are endless career paths—and the options continue to increase. Thanks to technology, Holistic Health Coaches are able to offer their services any time, day or night, from the comfort of home. This flexibility means more opportunities for clients who aren’t local, which means a greater reach for your business. Using the phone, email, social media, video conferencing, or countless other means of communication, you can create a robust, rewarding career as a Holistic Health Coach. Some of the spaces you could find yourself in as a health coach include:
It’s not uncommon for a Holistic Health Coach to charge $100-$150 per session or as much as $200-$500 an hour. In fact, according to Glassdoor.com, health and wellness coaches can earn upwards of $87,000 per year doing what they love. It’s important to note that your salary can vary according to any number of factors, including:
Here are some other ideas for how you can use your Health Coach certification:
If you’re ready to dive in and get started, here are some simple steps you can take to become a Holistic Health Coach:
The first step to become a health coach is to do your homework and find a program that will provide the skills and knowledge to achieve your specific career goals. Some considerations:
Once you’ve chosen a program, you’ll study when you want, at your own pace, in your own space. Follow the suggested schedule to study just 7-10 hours a week and you’ll be certified within 12 months. Or complete the program sooner if you’re truly motivated to get your career going.
Getting certified is just one part of the path toward a successful career as a Holistic Health Coach. You should consider obtaining some practical experience, whether through practice sessions with colleagues, friends, or family members or by shadowing another professional in the workplace. These real-life experiences will help to build your confidence, skills, and resume.
Whether you work for yourself and coach clients around the world or decide to pursue a career as a corporate health coach, getting hired in today’s fast-paced health and wellness industry is a full-time job in itself. Keep your resume up to date, and use health industry career resources and job boards to find the right gig for you.
Long after you’ve become certified and landed the perfect job helping others see how powerful behavior change can be, you must keep your certifications current. Additionally, it might be worth exploring complementary certifications, such as fitness or nutrition, to round out your health coach chops.
Now that you’re ready to launch a Holistic Health Coach career, explore our Holistic Health Coach certification program course overview.
Module 1: Health and Wellness
Module 2: Health and Lifestyle Coaching Skills
Module 3: Holistic Nutrition Science
Module 4: Nutrition Consultant Skill Development
Module 5: Holistic Health Research Presentations
The Health and Wellness Module explores the many facets of personal health and self-responsibility, while focusing on the basic principles of physical, mental, and spiritual health. It provides students with the tools they need to make informed health decisions that promote lifelong wellness for themselves, their families, and their clients. The lessons encourage readers to be responsible for their own health-related behaviors and outline how to improve overall health through nutrition, fitness, stress management, and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle.
The Health and Lifestyle Coaching Module will show you how to have realistic coaching conversations with your clients and how to address issues such as the timing and types of questions to ask, how to provide feedback effectively, and how to facilitate robust action planning. You will learn how to engage in well-designed communication strategies to motivate, guide, inform, and support clients’ processes toward personal change with a holistic approach.
The Holistic Nutrition Science Module covers basic anatomy and physiology, describing each major system of the body and how they interrelate. Also presented are the models of health and disease, both traditional and holistic. You will discover which whole foods, herbs, and spices have been scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease. You will also learn what to eat in order to help treat the top 15 causes of death, foods we should consume every day, and those that we need to avoid.
The Nutrition Counseling Skills Module provides you with a step-by-step guide to the fundamental skills of counseling strategies and protocol, complemented by action-based worksheets and practical case studies. Included are practical examples and first-person accounts of case studies that show how to execute various approaches, counseling strategies, and common nutritional assessments in a variety of settings. The worksheets and questionnaires teach students to document and assess counseling sessions. In addition, forms and checklists are provided for beginning practitioners.
In the Holistic Health Research Presentations Module, you will learn the most current research to date, including practical advice on how best to feed ourselves and our families to prevent, treat, and even reverse chronic diseases. Note: Content listings for each presentation have been abbreviated.
AFPA’s Holistic Health Coach certification program is the only educational program of its kind that provides a comprehensive training course in health coaching and holistic nutrition, as well as board certification for holistic health practitioners. Getting certified with AFPA will provide you with the instruction, tools, and knowledge to facilitate behavior change that will lead your clients—and you!—to a natural, happier, healthier lifestyle. Our program emphasizes vital healthy living practices, including:
Through a holistic approach to diet, relationships, mental health, stress, disease prevention, physical fitness, and spirituality, you’ll have the skills and ability to help your clients find the right foods and lifestyle to help them feel their best—for good.
Our Holistic Health Coach program is a self-paced, self-study program that you can complete from the comfort of your home in 12 months or less. You can complete the course 100 percent online, or you can choose a hybrid learning program with physical textbooks and online testing.
Successful graduates who meet the additional eligibility requirements of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP) may become Board Certified Holistic Health Coaches, and AADP Board Certification is included with our course once all requirements have been met. Additionally, AFPA is a recognized organizational member of the Association of Coach Training Organizations (ACTO).
One of the best things about an AFPA certification is that our program won’t break the bank. If you’re on the fence about whether you truly want to pursue a career as a Holistic Health Coach, our curriculum is very affordable. With payment plans that fit your budget, the AFPA Holistic Health Coach certification costs less than the tens of thousands you would spend on a four-year degree program. You can put your passion into practice faster, too.
Holistic Health Coaching is a fast-growing, booming business. With a certification from AFPA, you’ll not only be a part of the solution to the current healthcare crisis, but you’ll also be engaging in an exciting career move and doing something you love.
Since 1994, AFPA has offered some of the most highly regarded
nutrition, wellness, personal trainer, group fitness, yoga, pilates, and sports conditioning certifications—at a price you can afford—online or through distance education. With more than 25 different nationally and internationally recognized certification programs, we also offer many specialty credentials in medical wellness, as well as more than 200 continuing education courses to keep you on the cutting edge of what is happening in our industry—and to help you maintain your credentials.
Ready to take the first step toward a new career? Sign up for a program: