How to Become a Health Coach: Finding Your Niche

Brandi Glass
5 min read
Two women exercising

Health coaches are increasingly in demand, as awareness grows of the importance of looking after our minds and bodies. More and more people, from all walks of life, are looking for support in improving their fitness, decreasing their stress levels and reducing the likelihood of injury.

As a health coach, you’ll be able to work in many places: offices, gyms, spas, your own studio, people’s homes and healthcare centers. Your clients could be workers struggling to balance their job and their health, people with disabilities, athletes, older Americans, children, pregnant people, schools, corporations, the government… There’s no limit when it comes to your career.

However, honing in on what niche you want to work with — if any — will help you progress quicker in your career and make the right business decisions for you. Let’s explore how to become a health coach, if you need a niche and how to get work as a health coach.

Do You Need a Niche as a Health Coach?

You do not need a niche as a health coach. However, many coaches strongly advocate for selecting one.

If you don’t have a niche, you’ll work with anybody on any health concern or ambition. As an all-rounder, you might think it will be easier to get a long list of clients or find a job. After all, you’re not ruling anybody out from the get-go.

With a niche, however, you can specialize and often charge higher rates. Your marketing can be focused around your niche, which in turn, will help you catch the eye of potential employers and clients.

Perhaps the most important consideration, however, is if you want a niche. Is there an element of health coaching that particularly appeals to you? Or do you enjoy the diversity of working in different ambits?

Perhaps you won’t know, at first, if you want a niche or what it should be. That’s okay: with time and experience, you’ll work out what you find most satisfying.

How to Become a Health Coach and Find Your Niche

  1. Qualifications and Certifications You don’t, strictly speaking, need a degree to become a health coach. However, you should have some qualifications and training.

If you decide to go to college for a degree, you have several options. You could opt for nutrition, psychology, fitness, nursing, pediatrics, counseling, physiotherapy or similar degree paths.

There are also numerous certifications you can opt for. The American Council on Exercise (ACE), the National Society of Health Coaches (NSHC) and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) are just a few of many institutions offering certification.

Each course will be different, so review them carefully to see which is the best fit for your needs. What topics will they cover? What is the teaching style? Are they full-time, part-time, in-person or online? Who are the teachers? What do online reviews say?

Finally, don’t forget to check state requirements for certification and insurance. For example, you might be required to have first-aid certification. Even if it’s not mandatory, insurance will be extremely important if you work as a freelance health coach.

  1. Decide Your Career Direction and/or Brand Do you want to work as a freelancer or an in-house employee? What is your niche? Which style of coaching do you prefer: tough love, kind, goal-oriented, forgiving…? What types of clients and/or employers do you want, and what price point do you want to operate at?

These are tough questions, but knowing the answers will help you make career decisions and better market yourself.

In your first couple of years as a health coach, expect the answers to these questions to rapidly evolve. With time, however, you’ll have a firmer idea of what kind of health coach you are.

  1. Market Yourself Now you’re all set to start working as a health coach, and the only thing left to do is find work. To set yourself up for success in your job or client hunt, it’s worth creating an online presence, i.e. social media accounts and a website. Don’t overlook the value of networking events, either, both in person and online.

Marketing yourself will help you discover new opportunities and can also lead to in-bound work. Once you’ve made contact with a potential client or employer, it will help them learn more about you, too.

Although we’ve listed these three points in order, your career might look different from this. For example, you could become certified, gain experience and then discover what you want to specialize in and return to college for a relevant degree. You will also likely review your career direction multiple times throughout your career.

There’s no one route to becoming a successful health coach, so as long as you have the certification and any insurance that you need, you can find your own path.

15 Health Coach Interview Questions You Should Prepare For

No matter your path to becoming a health coach, it’s important to be prepared for interviews. Here are some common questions you might get asked:

  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Why did you go into health coaching?
  • Tell us about your specialism.
  • What is your coaching style?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • How would your clients describe you?
  • What achievement are you most proud of?
  • Tell us about a time you made a mistake.
  • How do you motivate clients?
  • What would you do if a client was unhappy with their progress?
  • How do you ensure client safety?
  • How would you handle a client with multiple, complex needs?
  • How do you keep improving as a health coach?
  • What would you do if you felt you were a bad fit for a client?
  • What are your career goals?
  • Build a Health Coach Resume Perfect For Your Niche

No matter whether your niche is pregnancy or athletes in training, all your promotional materials should help you attract the right clients and employers. This includes your social media presence, your website and, of course, your resume.

Even if you’re a freelance health coach, your resume deserves to be on your website: it will help potential clients get an at-a-glance understanding of your expertise and background.

Meanwhile, if you’re applying for health coach jobs, your resume needs to immediately stand out from other applicants’. It should be attractively laid out and customized for the role and company in question. Additionally, it needs to be machine-readable and keyword-optimized so your application won’t be automatically discarded by applicant tracking software.

Fortunately, just like improving your health, building a great resume doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Here at Rocket Resume, we have dozens of health coach resume templates that you can use. They are all machine-readable and easy to adapt to your niche.

Our resume builder will also help you by suggesting the best resume structure based on your experience and qualifications, along with recruiter-suggested phrasing. It takes just 10 minutes to craft a compelling resume, so get started now.