Should You Be A Holistic Health Coach? Costs & Training For This Trendy New Career

August 21, 2017

If you have ever helped a friend break their sugar addiction, or talked your mom through the difference between vegan and gluten free, or found yourself doing yoga while watching a documentary, wondering why doctors don’t have enough nutrition training…chances are you could make a great Holistic Health Coach. It seems like this term is showing up in more and more Instagram bio’s depicting girls with flexible lifestyles and glowing skin. Helping other people live healthy lives while living fulfilling lives on our own terms? Yes, please.

How to Become A Holistic Health Coach

But what does “Holistic Health Coach” mean exactly? How does one achieve this title? Where does one even start?

Here’s the breakdown. Holistic is the operative word here, and in this scenario, refers to a whole human being more than a sum of parts. A Holistic Health Coach is a trained professional who uses an integrative approach to both diet and lifestyle changes to improve their clients’ health. Working as a guide towards an overall healthier life, they will look at their clients’ nutrition patterns, relationships, physical fitness, spirituality, and more. Any life factor that is relevant to health and well-being is fair game.

Given that each patient is different and each coach is different, there is never going to be one way to solve a given puzzle. For example, a client could ask their coach to help improve their self-esteem, and the coach could use nutrition therapy to help the client build confidence. Or, a coach with a background in yoga could use customized workouts to help relieve stress and work on a binge eating issue. Every client-to-coach interaction will be different based on the client’s needs and the coach’s various expertise.

Likewise, in terms of schooling, there is no one size fits all path. A bachelor’s degree in nursing, dietetics, or psychology certainly will help you in this field, although the argument could also be made for marketing or management if you are looking to start your own health coach business. A person who decides to forgo a traditional college experience for world travel and culinary expertise could ultimately be just as successful as a person who becomes a registered dietician and then explores alternative medicines. Hopefully, you find this information empowering rather than confusing. A trailblazing attitude is the one quality that all potential Holistic Health Coaches should possess since you will have to figure things out as you go.

However, there are a few new age schools that have been established to give you at least a few of the tools necessary to become a Holistic Health Coach.

Institute of Integrative Nutrition 

$5,995 for a one-year online Integrative Nutrition Program 

IIN is for students who want to achieve a holistic health coach certification and gain both business and dietary theory experience. IIN is accredited by the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching (ICHWC) as an Approved Transition Program. Students can also earn up to 40 undergraduate college credits at over 1,500 colleges and universities through their partnership with the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS). This certificate can be applied towards a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree, or advanced standing in several master’s degree programs.

How to Become A Holistic Health Coach

Health Coach Institute 

$5,950 for the 6-month online “Become A Health Coach” program

HCI emphasizes the importance of habit change rather than only nutrition to help people achieve healthier lives. The program covers psychology, nutrition, coaching tactics, and business systems. HCI is CCE (Continuing Coach Education) Accredited from the International Coach Federation (ICF). HCI also offers a Holistic MBA program for graduates who would like to achieve certification in their Transformational Coaching Method.

Holistic Nutrition Lab

$5,997 for the 10-month online Full Body Systems program

Holistic Nutrition Lab explores anatomy and physiology using nutrition as the focus. This means case studies, protocols based on specific medical conditions, and systems biology. Holistic Nutrition Lab graduates are eligible for 30 Category 1 CEU’s (continuing education units) upon completion of an exam. The school also offers a graduate Digestive Intensive.


Now, let’s chat numbers. Depending on your services and clientele, you can charge anywhere from $30-$500 an hour. According to reports from Forbes and, a certified health coach can expect to make about $60K per year. Master’s and graduate degrees, clinical experience, and related specialized certifications such as yoga or physical therapy can help boost your salary options.

While there are no set growth predictions for the Holistic Health Coach field, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that Health Educators and Community Health Workers can expect to see a 13% increase in job opportunities between now and 2024. As our society shifts towards a more health-conscious outlook, the demand for those with a wide range of wellness-related experience will increase significantly.

If there is any doubt in your mind about pursuing this career, think about your life for a moment. If you are looking back at a laundry list of mentoring, customer service, wellness, leadership, risk-taking, or personal growth experiences, a career as a Holistic Health Coach is only one step away. These skills may seem unrelated at first, but a Holistic Health Coach is truly a jack of all trades. Combining your talents is what will ultimately help your future clients, and the world, live healthier, happier lives.

Have you ever considered becoming a holistic health coach?

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Johanna used to say she wouldn't marry a man unless he ordered his steak medium rare. Now she is a plant-based chef and health coach in Los Angeles. She holds certificates in plant based nutrition from Cornell and raw cooking from Matthew Kenney Culinary. She believes that happiness can be achieved through conscious eating and dancing like everyone is watching. Follow Johanna on her Instagram @thisgalthrives to see her culinary adventures and current projects.


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