Reviewed by Toni Bauer, PN2, NBC-HWC
People ask: “;What”;s the average health coach salary?”;
But what most folks really want to know something else:
Can you make a good living doing this?
In other words, should you:
Invest in a nutrition- or health-coaching certification?
Launch a part-time coaching business on the side?
Quit your job in another field so you can focus 100 percent on coaching?
Here, you”;ll find answers, so you can make these important career decisions with confidence.
For this article, we tapped the expertise of some of the most successful coaches who”;ve earned our Level 1 certification, which, by the way, is recognized by many as the industry”;s leading certification.
You”;ll hear from:
Someone who left a six-figure corporate executive job–;and then found a way to make even more as a health coach. He shares exactly what he did to get where he is today.
Several founders of expanding health-coaching companies who hire full-time coaches. You”;ll learn what they look for in job candidates.
A man who netted more than 50 regular clients during his first two years of coaching by finetuning his niche and raising his rates.
Thanks to their insights, industry reports, and our own internal survey data, you”;ll discover:
Health coaching: Is it a viable career?
Let”;s get real: This economy isn”;t great for some job seekers.
But if you type “;health coach”; into a job search site, you”;ll end up with thousands of results. It”;s no wonder that, this year, LinkedIn listed health coaching as one of the fastest growing careers.
Driving this growth: the healthcare industry, which increasingly taps health coaches to motivate patients to practice a range of habits, saving between $286 and $412 per patient per month in insurance costs.1
(FYI, throughout this article, we quote pricing in US dollars.)
But medical practices and insurers aren”;t the only people looking for health, nutrition, and wellness coaches. Others include:
Healthcare practices, such as physical therapy and chiropractic offices
Lifestyle companies that offer coaching as part of a larger package of options
Fitness centers and spas
Established coaches who have more clients than they can serve on their own
In other words, now”;s a great time to break in.
Even better, the pay is more than decent.
Your health coach salary, however, will depend on whether you run your own business or work for someone else. Let”;s start with self-employed coaches.
What”;s the average self-employed health coach salary?
We calculated these yearly rates based on data collected from hundreds of coaches. Keep in mind, these numbers are averages: Some coaches make less; some make more.
A lot more.
Estimated yearly income: $40,000 to $240,000+
Okay, that’s obviously a huge range. As with any business, the amount of money you make depends on many factors, including how much you charge each client, your levels of interest and motivation, the time you can commit, and the results you can deliver.
To see all the possibilities for how much you can make as a coach based on your unique circumstances, check out the calculator below.
✓ You”;re the boss. You set your rates, hours, niche, packages…; everything.
✓ You”;re in charge of your earning potential. The more clients you take on, the more you can earn. And if you attract more clients than you can handle? You have the option of hiring coaches to work for you.
What”;s the average health coach salary if you work for a company?
If self-employment isn”;t right for you, there”;s another option. You can work for a company that employs health and nutrition coaches. And while you won”;t have as much control over your earning potential, you can still make a great living.
The salaries listed below are based on industry reports, our internal data, and interviews with several coaching companies. Know that these ranges are averages. Some companies pay more; others less.
Full-time salaries: $40,000 to $75,000
Part-time salaries: $20,000 to $40,000
✓ You can focus completely on what you love: coaching. “;It”;s incredible for people who love the coaching side of coaching, but don”;t love the entrepreneurial or administrative side, such as billing, lead generation, and marketing,”; says Molly Galbraith, founder of Girls Gone Strong and author of Strong Women Lift Each Other Up.
✓ You”;ll usually use already-developed protocols and lessons to guide you through the coaching process. “;If you”;re a coach who isn”;t quite ready to go out on your own, it can function like training wheels,”; says Galbraith.
✓ Real, restful, 100 percent work-free vacations exist. Because you”;re often not the only coach on staff, you have others to cover for you when you want to put your phone on silent.
What companies look for when hiring new health coaches
Below you”;ll find what several hiring managers told us they like to see in job candidates. Ideal candidates:
✓ Possess a nutrition or health coaching certification (or are willing to get one).
✓ Have a passion for helping people.
✓ Exude the qualities of a “;good”; coach, such as emotional intelligence, empathy, active listening, professionalism, and communication skills.
You may wonder: Do you need coaching experience?
For some companies, yes.
Others, like Stronger U Nutrition, are willing to hire and train new coaches, especially if they”;re coming from a complementary career such as the service industry, human resources, or organizational leadership, says founder Mike Doehla, PN1, a former human resources manager.
“;This was me,”; he says, “;I was in another career before I became a coach. People can break into this later in life and have a fruitful career.”;
Want to earn six figures? Use this calculator to estimate your health coach salary.
If you’re a self-employed coach, our Health Coach Salary Calculator uses your income goals to help you determine:
How many clients you can maintain in the time you have available to coach.
How much time you can spend with each client based on the type of coaching you want to provide.
What you”;ll need to to charge each client per month to meet your income goals.
Here”;s the really cool part: The calculator will estimate everything else you need to take into account (expenses, taxes, extra cash goals) and how they affect your bottom line.
Once you get your results, feel free to tinker with the numbers. Want to have fewer clients? Bump up your price per client. Think you could charge a little more and keep your client numbers the same? Go for it!
Bottom line: This calculator will help you wrap your head around what needs to happen in order to make your health coach salary dreams a reality.
Health Coach Salary Calculator
How much money can you earn? Let’s find out.
© Precision Nutrition
Health Coach Salary Calculator
Coaching income goal
Minimum price per client
How much money do you want / need to earn from coaching each month?
MONTHLY COACHING BUSINESS EXPENSES
These are purchases that are necessary to support your coaching business.
These expenses are important to track because:
they impact your final take-home pay from your coaching business, and
they”;re deductible from your taxable income.
For more specific guidance on eligible business expenses, consult your government business tax regulations (e.g., the IRS).
Estimate for me
Branding / marketing / ads:
Business operations / legal filings:
Total monthly business expenses
These expenses tell you how much it costs you to live your life each month.
For example, food, rent, gas, clothes, and costs for your home. These expenses are important for estimating how much additional income you”;ll want/need to earn from coaching.
If you don’t want to include Living Expenses into your coaching business calculations, you can enter 0 in this field.
What are your monthly living expenses?
This is income from any other source(s) besides coaching.
For example, income from another job (or multiple other jobs), rental, or investment income.
Enter the gross number here (i.e., your other income pre-tax).
If you”;re entering other self-employment income, enter your taxable income amount (i.e., your income after removing business expenses).
If you don’t want to include Other Income into your coaching business calculations, you can enter 0 in this field.
What’s your gross non-coaching income?(if applicable)
COACHING BONUS CASH GOAL
This is the total amount of additional cash on hand that you”;d like to have each month. This is extra cash after covering your business and living expenses.
How much extra money would you like?
This rate could be anywhere from
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