Saturday, March 6, 2021
No menu items!
Home Health & Fitness How to Become a Certified Nutritionist or Wellness Coach

How to Become a Certified Nutritionist or Wellness Coach


Table of Contents[Hide][Show]

If you’re like me, nutrition has become a big part of your life. It literally changed my health!

Becoming so passionate about something can easily make you think of doing more with your interest. Have you wondered about doing a nutrition program or getting nutrition education so that you can start a career in wellness?

I’ve rounded up some of the best fully online programs that you could use to launch a career in wellness. Doing your own research is important, but this should get you started and give you a realistic idea of what each program entails and how it could help you achieve your career goals.

What Do Nutrition Titles and Credentials Mean?

There are many different nutrition, health coaching, and other wellness credentials. They all mean different things, but the most important factor to know is how your state of residence defines them. Some credentials are accepted in all states, while others are not considered health practitioners in certain states.

Not all programs will give you credentials or letters you can use after your name. You don’t have to have these to be able to work in wellness or nutrition, but you need to decide what’s important for you.

When you’re thinking about credentials, ask yourself what job you want to end up with, and then pick a program that will get you there. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can also consider going to graduate school and becoming a dietitian, but those pathways tend to be lengthier and overall more expensive.

Still, it’s about what matters to you. You’re never too old to go back to school or to learn new things. I’ve proven that to myself over and over! For example, I’m more of an athlete now than I ever would have dreamed of. Intentionally challenge yourself to learn new things and see what happens!

How Much Can You Earn as a Certified Nutritionist or Health Coach?

While every job will be different, there is some information on the internet about what you might expect to earn as a health coach. In the US, according to the popular job search site Indeed, the average salary for a health coach is $36,000 per year or around $15 per hour. These averages will vary widely by state or location, and whether the job is at a smaller business or a larger company.

You can also have the potential to earn more money if you start your own business, although it may take time to work up to a part or full-time income.

The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities for health coaches and people with these credentials will continue to be in high demand for many years to come.

Is Becoming a Health Coach Realistic?

All of these programs are designed for adults who are working full-time, but some of them are more time-intensive than others. As online courses, they have some level of flexibility built-in but some have more “live” requirements than others.

If you’re looking to get your feet wet but not dive into a full program, see my post 11 Useful (and Fun) Skills You Can Learn Online for the resources that helped me.

The Best Holistic Certified Nutritionist and Coaching Programs

Healthy eating means different things depending on who you ask. A holistic nutritionist will answer differently from a clinical nutritionist, and so on. Some programs, like studying dietetics and becoming a registered dietitian, involve a lot more government-mandated protocols being taught. Find a program that agrees with your philosophy on nutrition and wellness so that you can really dig into the nutrition degree or program that you pursue.

While there are many different online nutrition courses and certifications, these are some of the best. Here is a breakdown of each program, the certifications they offer, the cost, and what you might expect to do once you’ve completed the coursework.

Note: None of the following programs are accredited by the US Department of Education and they do not accept federal student loans because they do not teach the government’s idea of nutrition.

Institute of Transformational Nutrition

I’ll start with my personal favorite, since I teach there! The Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach (CTNC) program blends holistic nutrition coaching, health coaching, and life coaching into a science-based system that focuses on nourishing all aspects of wellness: physical, mental, and spiritual health. You’ll work with clients well beyond eating habits alone, to create an entire lifestyle that supports their wellness goals.

Program details: Fully online with live coaching labs, a robust student support community, mentorship, and peer-to-peer coaching

Credential(s) offered: CTNC and eligibility to sit for two separate board exams with NANP or NBHWC.

Accreditation: Licensed as a postsecondary school with the State of Washington, and accredited by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals, the Canadian Association of Holistic Nutrition Professionals, and the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.

Cost of program: Between $9,497 and $10,692 depending on the payment plan selected, with scholarships offered for active and veteran military personnel.

Prerequisites: High school diploma

Average length of time to complete: 12-14 months

Weekly estimated workload: Flexible and at your own pace, with exams that can be tailored to your schedule

What graduates do: Graduates may run private practices or work in existing practices in a supporting role, with doctors, other practitioners, or fitness professionals.

Pros: Can start seeing clients after 3-4 months. The program can be completed entirely online and prepares graduates to have a fully set-up coaching business, including concepts like copywriting, time management, and building a “million dollar brand.” Eligible to order lab tests and supplements for clients, which few other coaching programs offer. Offers open enrollment, so can be started at any time.

Cons: Health coach scope of practice is limited and you should check with your state health board to understand what you are allowed to say and claim as a health coach. Requires certification exam before the certificate is awarded.

Get more information on ITN here.

Institute for Integrative Nutrition

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition trains health coaches in a holistic lifestyle and dietary wellness. Health coaches work alongside other healthcare providers, like doctors, naturopaths, nutritionists, dietitians, and more. They can also run their own health coaching business where they work directly with clients to support optimal wellness. Whether you want to help clients with weight loss or sports nutrition, you can create a business that specializes in your interests.

Program details: Fully online, no live instruction

Credential(s) offered: INHC (Integrative Nutrition Health Coach)

Accreditation: New York State Board of Education.

Cost of program: $6,795 with periodic in-house grants available.

Prerequisites: High school diploma, GED, or equivalent

Average length of time to complete: 6-12 months

Weekly estimated workload: 10 hours per week

What graduates do: Many health coach graduates run private practices or work in existing practices in a supporting role. Many are also personal trainers or other health professionals already.

Pros: Can be completed fully online and offers business coaching as part of the program, along with basic marketing set-up for a website and other marketing materials. Up to 29 credits can transfer into another degree program for a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctorate at qualifying schools. Qualified to start seeing clients once completing half of the program.

Cons: Health coach scope of practice is limited and you should check with your state health board to understand what you are allowed to say and claim as a health coach.

Learn more or get started with IIN here.

Kresser Institute for Functional and Evolutionary Medicine

The ADAPT Health Coach Training program by the Kresser Institute focuses on creating “change agents” who can support others in their health journeys. Their health coaching mentality is focused on functional wellness, enabling people to motivate change in others by asking the right questions and inspiring clients. The program specifies that it is not creating health experts and you aren’t practicing any type of counseling or care.

Program details: Fully online with live instruction, a robust student support community, mentorship, and peer-to-peer coaching

Credential(s) offered: A-CFHC (ADAPT Certified Functional Health Coach) plus the option of getting board-certified and receiving the NBC-HWC certification.

Accreditation: The ADAPT program is approved by the National Board of Health & Wellness Coaches.

Cost of program: Between $9,997 and $10,800 depending on payment plan selected, with a limited number of scholarships offered during each enrollment period.

Prerequisites: Automatic qualification is given to those with associate’s degrees, certifications, or higher in any health/wellness field or to anyone who has worked for at least 2 years in a health/wellness field. You can qualify for acceptance, however, as long as you have at least a high school diploma and have read Chris Kresser’s two books, The Paleo Cure and Unconventional Medicine.

Average length of time to complete: 12 months

Weekly estimated workload: 10-12 hours per week

What graduates do: Graduates may run private practices or work in existing practices in a supporting role, with doctors or other practitioners. Graduates of ADAPT are listed in a directory.

Pros: Can be completed fully online and offers community support. The program also has business materials and set-up tips as part of the program, with customizable handouts to use with clients so that you can launch a practice ASAP.

Cons: Health coach scope of practice is limited and you should check with your state health board to understand what you are allowed to say and claim as a health coach. Only accepts enrollment twice per year, in the spring and fall, which may be a downside if you want to start something outside of that timeframe.

Start the Kresser Institute program or request more information here.

MindBodyGreen Functional Nutrition Program

The MindBody Green Functional Nutrition Coaching Program trains professionals in the functional approach to nutrition and wellness. It is a self-paced program that can be done anywhere in the world. With video lessons and instructional videos, handouts, and other materials, students interact with other students and instructors via discussion boards, but do not work directly with any practitioners or faculty. As with other health coaching programs, this will allow someone to practice as a health coach, depending on specific state or international laws.

Program details: Fully online, no live instruction

Credential(s) offered: mbg Functonal Nutrition Coach certificate.

Accreditation: None, but endorsed by many well-known practitioners and experts who serve as instructors

Cost of program: $1,999 with payment plan option available. No federal student aid.

Prerequisites: High school diploma, GED, or equivalent

Average length of time to complete: Varies, with 26 hours of instructional videos for the entire class

Weekly estimated workload: Entirely self-paced

What graduates do: Many health coach graduates run private practices or work in existing practices in a supporting role.

Pros: Can be completed fully online with plenty of learning resources like handouts, reading materials, and access to discussion boards. Offers a small amount of business coaching as part of the program. Can sit for the final exam when 80% of the course materials have been completed.

Cons: Health coach scope of practice is limited and you should check with your state health board to understand what you are allowed to say and claim as a health coach. Must pass the final exam with 90% or higher in order to earn the certificate.

Learn more about their program here.

Functional Diagnostic Nutrition

The Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® (FDN) certification course focuses on helping people recover and maintain the best health possible. Underlying causes of conditions are considered, including lifestyle, environment, and metabolism. Graduates are equipped to read labs and coach clients into a better understanding of healthy living that goes beyond a healthy diet alone.

Program details: Fully online

Credential(s) offered: FDN certification with options to become board certified from the American Association of Natural Wellness Practitioners or the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.

Accreditation: American Natural Wellness Coaches Board

Cost of program: Between $6,495 and $6,795 depending on the payment plan selected.

Prerequisites: High school diploma

Average length of time to complete: 6 months

Weekly estimated workload: Flexible, fully tailored to your schedule and accessible 24 hours a day

What graduates do: Graduates may run private practices or work in existing practices in a supporting role, with doctors or other practitioners.

Pros: Counts as continuing education credits (CEUs) for several professional associations and is one of the more affordable options. Allows graduates to order lab work and assess it for clients.

Cons: Health coach scope of practice is limited and you should check with your state health board to understand what you are allowed to say and claim as a health coach.

Get the FDN certification process started here.

Nutritional Therapy Association

The Nutritional Therapy Practitioner program is a fully online program that can be completed in less than a year. It is taught by instructors with a focus on bio-individuality and holistic and functional nutrition. Graduates may use the credentials NTP, and will be equipped to support education for nutrient-dense food, lifestyle choices, dietary wellness, coaching clients, and setting up a practice.

Program details: Fully online, led by instructors.

Credential(s) offered: NTP (Nutritional Therapy Practitioner)

Accreditation: Licensed by the Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board. Not accredited by the U.S. Department of Education.

Cost of program: $5,900 plus other fees, with payment plans and partial scholarships available. Does not accept federal student aid.

Prerequisites: High school diploma

Average length of time to complete: 10 months

Weekly estimated workload: 20 hours per week.

What graduates do: Many NTP graduates become nutrition consultants and run private practices. They may also pair the NTP certification with other licenses, certifications, or credentials.

Pros: Can be completed fully online and offers business coaching as part of the program. One of the more affordable options.

Cons: Some states may not recognize the NTP credential. You should check with your state health board before beginning any nutrition program.

Check out the full program here.

More Resources for Starting (or Restarting) Your Career

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Lauren Jefferis, board-certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor or work with a doctor at SteadyMD.

Have you ever considered studying for a degree or certification in health and wellness? If you already work in this field, what tips would you pass along?



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

The 10 Skinny-Jean Outfit Mistakes Celebrities Make

Let’s just get this out of the way. We’re all about you doing you, so...

How to Redefine Your Relationship With Alcohol Through Self Compassion

I haven’t always known what it means to redefine my relationship with alcohol, but I have known for quite some time that alcohol...

VW expects half of U.S. sales to be electric vehicles by 2030

Volkswagen's ID Buzz vehicle.AevaVolkswagen is accelerating its plans for all-electric vehicles in a bid to become "the world's most desirable brand for sustainable...

READ THIS ALSO

The 10 Skinny-Jean Outfit Mistakes Celebrities Make

Let’s just get this out of the way. We’re all about you doing you, so...

How to Redefine Your Relationship With Alcohol Through Self Compassion

I haven’t always known what it means to redefine my relationship with alcohol, but I have known for quite some time that alcohol...

VW expects half of U.S. sales to be electric vehicles by 2030

Volkswagen's ID Buzz vehicle.AevaVolkswagen is accelerating its plans for all-electric vehicles in a bid to become "the world's most desirable brand for sustainable...