Updated: April 16, 2021 // Originally Published: April 29, 2019
The health coaching industry is now forecasted to be a $7 billion service market, according to Marketdata LLC. There are an estimated 128,000 health coaches and health educators already in the workforce, advising and motivating clients to make lasting lifestyle and behavioral changes.
It has become clearer than ever that the world NEEDS health coaches.
In the current fast-paced medical environment, promoting long-term healthy behavior change is nearly impossible. For most individuals, learning to change health habits requires a significant change of mindset.
Lifestyle changes are difficult to implement because they require an individual to stop and make conscious, in-the-moment decisions, concerning many aspects of life that were once habitual. This can be very difficult for an individual to do on their own, and this is where the health coach steps in. Health coaches help bridge the gap between what an individual knows they need to do to be healthy, and the action and motivation needed to get there.
Additionally, the focus to reduce health insurance premiums and medical costs is driving a shift away from repeat medical caretoward less expensive sustainable care that doesn't require a prescription or hospital visit. Larger, self-insured companies are using health coaches to improve employee health and cut claims costs. In addition to the new Health Care Provider Taxonomy Code Set and the AMA’s Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes to bill insurance, this progress will play an important role in the growth of the health coaching field.
Outlook on Health Coaching as a Career
Making health coaching a career can happen in a few different ways. Coaches may provide one-on-one or group sessions offered through their own private health coaching business or in collaboration with doctors or other wellness providers. Their role includes, but is not limited to:
- Providing a positive relationship that empowers the client to make lasting changes for better health and well-being
- Offering clients support, accountability, collaboration, education, and resources
- Translating a practitioner’s or doctor’s plan of care into a plan of action
- Assisting with dietary changes, food plans, and physical activity protocols
In 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted a growth of 16% for health educators and community health workers between 2016 and 2026, a faster rate than average across industries. The health management and wellness coaching field is expected to experience an annual growth rate of about 13%.
In a recent report, LinkedIn identified health coaching as one of the fastest-growing job areas over the past year, ranking them based on a combination of growth in demand and number of jobs available. Health coaching is a career on the rise, with hiring growing by 53% since 2019, according to LinkedIn.
Top employers of health and wellness professionals, including general medical and surgical hospitals, individual and family services, outpatient care centers, and government support organizations, are projected to grow 7-18% over the next decade. This further suggests positive growth for health and wellness jobs.
As of 2021, ZipRecruiter reported that the average annual pay for a personal health coach in the United States is $48,227 per year. Advanced certifications, internships, and cross-training in other healthcare specialties could improve a health coach’s chances of securing rewarding employment and earning higher wages.
The growing societal need for whole-person treatment and holistic healthcare is driving the demand for health coaches. The heath and wellness coaching career outlook is strong and growing. From fitness-focused health coaching careers to corporate wellness planning, job trends within the industry are constantly changing and developing. Are you ready to join the growing health coaching movement?