If your good intentions for eating well or following your fitness plan don't seem to be getting you anywhere, you could benefit from working with a health coach. Health and wellness coaches work with people who want to lose weight, get or stay physically fit, or or manage health conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol. In addition to working on the physical component of your wellness, health coaches also partner with you to help you improve your emotional well-being, reduce stress, and make positive, lasting changes in your diet and lifestyle. Instead of struggling to take on physically and emotionally challenging changes by yourself, you can work one-on-one with a professional to create a tailored plan that will help you set and meet your goals.
Most health coaches offer ongoing wellness coaching and support to keep people on track toward their goals. You may want help with a targeted issue, such as weight loss, or you may need holistic help bringing together a variety of elements such as self-care, healthy eating, physical fitness and stress reduction. Whatever your challenges and goals, a health coach can help identify a strategic and safe plan of action and lead you to success.
The cost of a health and wellness coach depends on the extent of your personal goals as well as the coach's background, credentials and approach. Nationally, health coaching prices per hour can range anywhere from an average of $30 to over $200 per hour, with the variance reflecting factors such as location and the coach's education and training. Since health coaching is an ongoing relationship, not a one-time service, most coaches offer 3 month programs, 6 month programs or monthly plans that feature cost reductions the larger the coaching package you purchase.
When you are hiring a health coach, find someone with experience and training in your area of need. For example, if you have cancer and want to work with a health coach to create a structured way to stay positive through all your medical treatments, look for someone who understands your illness. If you want to change your eating habits, work with a health coach who has nutrition training. If you want someone to motivate you to meet your workout goals, find a high-energy coach who has great customer reviews. There is no governing body that regulates the health coach industry, so meet for an in-person or video call consultation to determine personality fit. Read reviews by former clients and make sure the health coach is someone who can help you. Many health coaches will work with clients to develop a plan that fits their budget and goals.
If you are ready to take control of your health and wellness, here are the factors that affect the national average cost of hiring a health coach.
Initial, one-time consultation
If it's your first time with a new coach, many coaches offer a free initial consultation so you can meet them, learn about their approach, discuss goals and generally get a feel for whether the coach is a good fit for you. Experienced coaches use this opportunity to find ideal clients who also fit their expertise. If you don't have a positive experience with coaching business in your free consultation, find another health coach you can work with. Changing your health and wellness patterns can be challenging and sometimes uncomfortable, so it's important to work with a pro you feel safe with. Some health coaches also offer online coaching and initial online consultations, which is useful for executives who travel often and want to start and sustain their coaching program even on the road.
If only getting in shape were as easy as a movie montage! But as everyone knows, achieving health and wellness goals requires sustained effort. If it were as easy as a one time meeting to get the results that we wanted, we wouldn't need a health coach in the first place. This is why most health coaches offer monthly packages to keep their clients on track and headed toward success. Packages include tiered pricing with a monthly rate, a package price for three months of coaching, and a package price for six months of coaching. Purchasing packages or three-month programs is often more economical than paying per month, and the larger the package size the lower the cost per session. The customer gets discounts, the health coach gets ongoing business, and both get the opportunity for a prolonged working relationship.
After a free initial consultation, Hall Health, Marisol Ballaro Health Coaching and Prairie Health Companion all offer their clients monthly packages. In general, three-month programs have higher monthly rates than six-month programs. Monthly packages include regular check-in meetings with the coach, in person or via video call. The average package price for three months is $125-$275 per month and $100-$225 per month for six months. Here are some examples of package pricing and services included.
- Prairie Health Companion owner Mary Battista charges a flat fee of $1,500 for her six-month program. Services include two 60-minute sessions per month, email check-ins, healthy recipes, handouts specific to the client's goals, a tour of a natural food store, and a two-hour cooking class.
- Marisol Ballaro Health Coaching offers a flat fee of $1,200 for her six-month program if paid in full upfront. This results in a rate of $200 per month, compared with $220 per month for clients who pay as they go. Package clients save a total of $120 by purchasing all at once. Services include a biweekly check in via Skype or in person, email correspondence, nutrition education lessons, and a pantry makeover.
- Hall Health offers a monthly rate of $120 (totaling $720 for six months). Services include email throughout the six-month program for support, questions and encouragement, a biweekly check-in, and recipes and grocery shopping help.
Hourly private coaching
If you have a general idea of the goals you want to achieve and feel confident you have the discipline to execute them but just need a structured plan for getting there, hiring someone who does one-on-one coaching by the hour might be more economical than partnering with a coach for three to six months. Hourly coaching services are best suited to clients who have a clear vision, but need a pro to create a schedule with milestones they can target independently over time. Battista of Prairie Health Companion charges $110 per hour for health coaching and $95 per hour for personal training. Jenny Berk of Jenny Eden Coaching's standard hourly rate is $115, but she offers a sliding scale based on a client's financial situation. If private coaching is too expensive over time, ask if your health coach's services include online programs or group coaching sessions, which can often be more economical than in-person private coaching.
All the health goals in the world can fall short if you're not also stepping up your fitness game. If you need major motivation or just want some support for completing your steps for the day and doing your stretching, many coaches offer both personal training and health coaching on an hourly basis. Finding a two-in-one provider is a great choice if you have limited time, or if you will benefit from your health coach being highly involved in your fitness regime. If you plan to combine your personal trainer and health coach, choose someone you feel safe with and who will also push you to take on new challenges. In one example of pricing, Battista of Prairie Health Companion charges $95 per hour for personal training.
Experience and background
Health coaches' training background affects their rates. Personal trainers who provide custom exercise or training regimens, for example, often charge less than health coaches who generally also design a plan that includes custom nutrition and diet recommendations such as which foods to eat and which to avoid, along with meal plans, recipes and instructions for preparing healthy meals.
Many health and wellness coaches have received specific training and certification from organizations such as the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. Others may be certified as dietitians or athletic trainers. Berk of Jenny Eden Coaching focuses on the psychology of eating and helps clients lose weight and improve their health by changing their relationship with food. Battista of Prairie Health Companion offers health coaching and personal training services, and teaches private cooking classes for $60-$65 per hour for two-hour classes. Sarah Williams of Sarah Williams Nutrition, a certified athletic trainer and fitness nutrition specialist, offers 50-day ($249), 150-day ($399) and 1-year ($699) weight loss programs as well as private nutritional consulting, which she packages in programs of varying lengths:
- Seven weeks: $499
- 14 weeks: $799
- Six months: $999
- One year: $1,499
Improving your health and wellness is life-changing. If you are hiring a health coach you will want someone you can work with over time to help you implement major changes in your approach to diet, self-care and exercise. For this reason, most health coaches offer packages that offer a discount on hourly rates. Many coaches also offer discounts for prepayment. If you are experiencing financial hardship and are struggling to take control of your health, there are health coaches who offer scholarships and rate reductions. Ask possible coaches about any discounts and reductions they have available.
Hiring a health coach
If surmounting health and wellness challenges has historically been a challenge for you, it's important to find the right coach. Take advantage of the complimentary initial session most coaches offer. This allows you connect face to face and gauge whether you feel they understand your goals and can help you reach them by designing an achievable plan tailored to your needs. Look for a relationship that will be mutually respectful, one in which you might feel comfortable discussing vulnerable topics such as emotional health and body image. Check the credentials of the health coach to make sure they have the appropriate background and education to meet your needs. Read reviews from current and former clients and look for someone who gets good results. Finally, before you hire someone, make sure you are committed to making the lifestyle changes necessary to reach your goals. Think carefully about whether you are ready to take on a challenge and commit to three to six months of working with someone. Only then should you sign on to work with a health coach.
If you want a health coach to help you with your nutrition needs, it is helpful to understand your state's legal requirements for practicing nutritionists. This is particularly important if you have specific medical needs and dietary requirements.
Not all states regulate the use of the title "nutritionist." All states regulate the use of the title "registered dietitian" (RD). In Louisiana, for example, people working legally under the title of nutritionist have completed at least a bachelor's degree in a nutrition-focused area of study and completed 900 hours of supervised work-study such as in an internship. Louisiana also requires nutritionists to pass the dietitian-nutritionist licensure exam. In contrast, the state of California has no licensing body that tests and verifies the education and work training experience of nutritionists. This also means you may not be able to get insurance coverage for a nutritionist's services.
Learn more about the licensing requirements in your state for nutritionists; this interactive map provides specific information for each state. Decide whether you need to work with a trained nutritionist or simply need someone to help you identify healthy eating habits and healthy lifestyle and stay accountable in reaching them. If you have health challenges that require a medical understanding of nutrition, look for a health coach with the proper qualifications.
- Read client reviews and follow up with references to make sure you're choosing the right health coaching business for you. For more, check out our tips for smart hiring.