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Top 9 ​​Best Health Coach Certification Programs

Last updated on June 3, 2024

After comparing numerous certification courses, we picked out the best health coach certification programs with the most comprehensive training that will equip you to start a career in this field. 

Qualified health coaches are more sought after than ever, so this is the perfect time to start a career in this field. To become a certified health coach, you’ll want to enroll in a trusted certification program to ensure you know the best coaching practices and to build credibility with your potential clients. 

Here are our top picks for the best health and wellness coach certification programs:

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What Is a Health Coach?

A health coach is an expert in the fields of health, exercise, and well-being. They work with clients individually or in groups to support and guide them through making health-related changes. They also motivate their clients to maintain a healthy lifestyle that will improve the overall quality of their lives. It’s important to emphasize that health coaches shouldn’t diagnose medical conditions or treat them.  

Health coaches can focus on numerous health-related issues, or they can choose a niche, such as:

  • Diet and nutrition
  • Physical activity
  • Stress management
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Addiction
  • Weight loss

How Do I Start a Career as a Health Coach?

Enrolling in the best health coach training is a good place to start. You’ll meet fellow health coaches, get insight from experienced instructors, and learn how to confidently manage your practice.

Some of the best health coach schools and organizations include business advice in their curriculum as well. Besides robust knowledge in health coaching, you can learn how to organize your coaching sessions, communicate with clients, market your products, and much more. 

Is Getting a Health Coach Certification Worth It? 

You can find innumerable free resources online; however, a certification program will lead you to a professional coaching level much faster—not to mention the competition is growing rapidly, and certification from a reputable program can help you woo prospective clients. 

The programs will provide you with the necessary knowledge and techniques and help you these hone key skills for successful life coaching:

  • Confidence in your coaching capabilities
  • Listening skills
  • Communication skills
  • Motivational speaking
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Organizational skills

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Health Coach Programs

The pursuit of the best health and wellness coach certifications can be difficult. Here’s what can help you with the decision-making process. 

Program Cost

Are you working on a budget, or are you ready to go all out? Programs come at a variety of price points, and some training can even cost over ten thousand dollars. If you have a budget in mind, this can help you reduce the number of possibilities and find the right program faster. 

Course Length

Another key factor is the time commitment. Some programs demand in-person attendance and can last for over a year. If you have a busy schedule or you simply don’t feel like traveling back and forth, online courses are the best choice. Many online courses can be done at your own pace, which is great if you want complete flexibility. 

Accreditation

Coaching programs can be accredited by reputable entities that verify the curriculum and ensure that the content and procedures respect their ethics and standards. The gold standard of coaching is the International Coaching Federation (ICF), but there are other well-known entities like the Continuing Professional Development Standards Agency (CPD) and the Health Coach Alliance (HCA).

Top Health Coaching Certification Programs

Want your program to be featured on this list?

Best Overall: Health Coach Institute

Health Coach Institute provides a well-structured and robust curriculum for training coaches. It can help you transform into a confident and knowledgeable coach in 6 months.

Health Coach Institute – Health & Life Coach Program

The Health & Life Coach program consists of 4 pillars: Holistic Nutrition for Coaches, Habit Change Coaching Method, Personal Growth & Life Coach Certification, and Launch Your Coaching Career.

The program is offered in two tiers, with a base-level and master-level program. 

Full review here.

  • Course Length: 6-9 months
  • Program Cost: $5,950 with occasional promotions
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Best Integrative Health Training: Nickerson Institute

Nickerson Institute offers a variety of health-related courses and programs with a robust curriculum, interactive exercises, engaging activities, and practical tools. Their Integrative Health Coach Training covers quite the variety of content, from anxiety strategies to the effects of trauma to substance usage.

Nickerson Institute – Integrative Health Coach Training

The program takes the bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach to health coaching, meaning that it encompasses mindfulness, cognitive-behavioral techniques, neuroscience, health psychology, positive psychology, energy psychology, and behavioral nutrition in its teachings. The course is very hands-on, so you’ll learn to develop a personalized integrative health coaching toolbox, practice interviewing skills and techniques, conduct mock integrative health coaching sessions, and more. 

If you’d like to specialize in workplace health coaching, they have a corporate version of the same program. You can review their course catalog if you’d like to explore more courses. 

Wellness Option: Natural Wellness Academy

If you want your niche to be wellness, then we suggest the Natural Wellness Academy. They offer a practical approach to learning and teach cutting-edge coaching techniques. 

Natural Wellness Academy – Holistic Health & Life Coaching

Our primary recommendation for wellness coaching is their Holistic Health Coaching program, but if you’d like to see more options, you can check out the Mind-Gut Guru program or browse through their expansive catalog of courses. The Holistic Health Coaching covers This course teaches you how to motivate others to improve their health through nutrition and change in mindset and control their weight naturally. You’ll also learn practical things like how to facilitate a wellness workshop, create a healthy living program, and come up with original recipes. 

  • Course Length: Self-paced
  • Program Cost: ​​$1,495
  • Accreditation: American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP)
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Business Option: Primal Health Coach Institute

Primal Health Coach Institute can set you up with knowledge and skills for both health education and how to successfully be your own boss. They have a huge variety of courses, including Primal Health Coach, Primal Health and Nutrition Expert, and Primal Fitness Coach

Primal Health Coach Institute – Primal Health Coach Certification

If you want to boost your business skills, there’s a Launch Your Coaching Business program. That’s why we recommend PHCI to those who want to take a deeper dive into developing a business. 

Professional Development Option: American Council on Exercise (ACE)

Do you have a background in health and fitness and want to develop your reputation as an expert in the field? Then the American Council on Exercise is likely the best training provider for you. They offer two health coach programs: Health Coach Study Program and Health Coach Advanced Study Program, depending on your experience.

American Council on Exercise (ACE) logo
American Council on Exercise (ACE) – Health Coach Programs

To enroll in their courses, you need to submit at least one of the following: NCCA-accredited certification in fitness, nutrition, healthcare, or a related field; an Associate’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university in a related field; a minimum of two years of documented relevant work experience (lifestyle coaching, nutritional coaching, and similar). 

Choose your Level Option: International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)

With ISSA, you can choose a program based on your interests and broaden your health coaching skill set. Three levels are available: Health Coach, Health Coach Elite (prepares you for a health coach, nutritionist, and online coach career), and Health Coach Master (adds to the previous content exercise recovery, transformation, yoga instructing, and weight management).

International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) logo
International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) – Certified Health Coach Programs

Beginner Option: Dr. Sears Wellness Institute

You don’t need any prerequisite or previous knowledge in the health industry to enroll in the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute Health Coach Program, so we recommend this to students, recent graduates, and beginners looking to make a career change. The program’s holistic, science-based health coach training will educate you on the four pillars of health: lifestyle, exercise, attitude, and nutrition.

Dr. Sears Wellness Institute Health Coach Certification Program

Multiple Niches Option: Transformation Academy Master Wellness Life Coach Certification

Do you want to specialize in several health niches at once? Transformation Academy’s Master Wellness Life Coach Certification bundle comes with 4 niche coaching certifications. You’ll be certified as a Health & Nutrition Coach, Diet Coach, and Mindfulness Coach, and for the fourth niche, you can choose between Yoga Coach, Ketogenic Diet Coach, and BellyCore Fitness Instructor.

Transformation Academy – Master Wellness Life Coach Certification
  • Course Length: Self-paced
  • Program Cost: $497 (Get 50% off using our link. Discount applied at checkout.)
  • Accreditation: Continuing Professional Development Standards Agency (CPD)
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Budget Option: Transformation Academy Health and Nutrition Life Coach Certification

For a high-quality certification course on a budget, you can choose the Health and Nutrition Life Coach Certification by Transformation Academy. What stood out for us is that they teach you practical knowledge like how to design a custom health-coaching package and how to screen clients successfully. Plus, the course materials include customizable assessments to gauge client health and progress, and proven tools for managing a coaching business. 

  • Course Length: Self-paced
  • Program Cost: $197 (Get 50% off using our link. Discount applied at checkout.)
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Core Energy Coaching Option: Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)

iPEC’s life coach certification is the whole package for those looking to get their coaching training and specialize in their chosen niche. iPEC offers a robust program that includes 3 certifications: Certified Professional Coach (CPC), Energy Leadership™ Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP), and COR.E Dynamics™ Specialist in one of four niches (including health and wellness).  

Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) – Health and Wellness Coach Certification

Core Energy Coaching is a style of coaching that incorporates clients’ core beliefs, perceptions, values, and blocks into the coaching practice. If you want to apply this method in your own sessions, iPEC has a Health and Wellness Coach Certification program that will train you to become a COR.E Wellbeing Dynamics Specialist (CWDS).

  • Course Length: Phase One: Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP) – 7-8 months; Phase Two: COR.E Dynamics Specialist certification – 3-4 months 
  • Program Cost: $13,995
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Alternatives (non-niche)

Before becoming an expert in a life coaching niche like health and wellness, you can enhance your coaching capabilities with a more general life coaching certification program

Our top pick for a hands-on and comprehensive life coaching program is Coach Training Alliance. You can learn the reasons behind our choice and compare CTA to many other well-known life coach training programs in our review

FAQ

  • How much does a health coach make?

The average yearly salary for a health coach in the US is $49,376, according to GlassDoor.

  • Do you need a certification to be a health coach?

Rarely will a client put their health in the hands of an uncertified coach. So even though a certification or a degree isn’t required, it does help you to demonstrate expertise and knowledge in this field.

  • How much does a health coach certification cost?

A health coach certification program can cost between $100 and $15,000.

  • Does accreditation matter in a health coach certification program?

You can become a certified health coach even if you enroll in a program that isn’t accredited. Accreditation can be valuable if you want to be certain that a program respects the standards of a reputable accrediting body in the health and coaching industry. 

  • What is the most recognized coaching certification? 

If you want recognition, you should focus on accreditation rather than the name of the certification program. Certification programs are numerous, and clients can’t be familiar with all of them, but well-known accrediting institutions like ICF and CPD hold clout in the coaching world.

Conclusion

With the plethora of health coach certification programs to choose from, a list of the best health coach programs can save you a lot of time and help you with your decision. Whether you want to target a wider audience by covering several health and wellness niches or you want to focus on one area like wellness, you can easily find a course that is a good fit for you among our top choices. 

Still not sure if health coaching is for you? Get a taste of health coaching principles without making a big commitment with the brief Health Coaching Conversations course from Coursera.

Take the Coach Certification Quiz

Need help choosing a coach training and certification program? We created this short quiz to help you find the best program for you.

Take the quiz

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