How You Can Become a Health Coach

Love the world of health & wellness? Explore how you can become a health coach, including the training and education you might need to start.

The essential guide cover

Take the Culinary Career Survey

We’ve compiled a checklist of all of the essential questions into one handy tool: career options, culinary interest surveys, educational opportunities, and more.

Campus of Interest*
Program of Interest*

Clicking the "Get the Survey Now" button constitutes your express request, and your express written consent, to be contacted by and to receive automated or pre-recorded call, texts, messages and/or emails from via phone, text, and/or emails by Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts at the number(s)/email you provided, regarding furthering your education and enrolling. You understand that these calls, texts, messages and/or emails may be generated using an automated or pre-recorded technology. You are not required to agree to receive automated or pre-recorded calls, texts, messages or emails as a condition of enrolling at Escoffier. You can unsubscribe at any time or request removal of street address, phone number, email address via Escoffier website.

April 2, 2024 11 min read

Introduction to Holistic Health

Do you enjoy helping people live their best, healthiest lives? Have you considered a “health coach” career, but desire to dive deeper into wellness? If the answers are “yes” and “yes,” let’s take a look at the world of holistic health.

Unlike the conventional health coach who might offer fitness, diet, and eating habit strategies, “holistic” health coaches may examine the full picture. In other words, it’s not just about one singular aspect of the human body.

Holistic health practitioners are intrinsically curious about how the mind, spirit, and body exist in harmony together. This means they might support clients in not only nutrition, but time management, anxiety, stress, and more.

The truth is, many humans on a collective level today refuse to put a quick bandaid over any given health woe—they want to treat the root cause of a symptom and make appropriate, long-term lifestyle changes. For this reason alone, the alternative healthcare industry continues to grow, having hit $41.5 billion in 2023.1

So now may be the perfect time to get started on a career as a holistic health coach!

Career Outlook Snapshot

According to the CDC, 6 in 10 Americans have a chronic disease, and the demand for qualified holistic healthcare coaches is on the rise. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 6,600 job openings for health education specialists and another 9,400 jobs for community health workers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.2 3




What Does a Holistic Health Coach Do?

Unlike many doctors practicing Western medicine, a holistic health coach’s job is to embrace an “integrative wellness” approach. Let’s look at a potential day in the life of a holistic health coach.

Examine Baseline Health

Before a holistic health coach suggests strategies that may address specific health issues, they usually evaluate a client’s baseline physical health first. The ultimate goal is to formulate a wellness roadmap for clients to reach optimal health.

Define Specific Health Goals

Although this will vary per client, some holistic health goals might include:

  • Helping clients migrate towards a healthier diet by introducing plant-based nutrition
  • Creating streamlined wellness schedules, so clients can hit established fitness or nutrition goals like meal-prepping from home
  • Formulating actionable plans that regulate stress management, support more regular sleep patterns, or curb addictions

Suggest Best Wellness Plan

Most holistic health coaches may also be knowledgeable in alternative remedies that could improve overall wellness. This might include the following:

Acupuncture—applying micro needles to specific pressure points that ease pain and bring back life force energy

Yoga—finding harmony between mind and body through specific flows and movement practices

Massage Therapy—reducing pain by loosening specific muscles

Holistic Nutrition—providing personalized plans for clients to promote full-body wellness

Ayurvedic Medicine—utilizing a combination of herbal remedies, meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, and specialized diets to obtain optimal health

Provide Ongoing Care

Holistic health coaches are more involved in the day-to-day lives of their clients and will usually devise a follow-up plan to ensure goals are met.

If more psychiatric or invasive medical needs arise during these follow-up appointments, a holistic health coach might suggest making an appointment with a specific medical doctor, so these needs are addressed.

“I always sit down with my clients and I hold the belief that they are the ones that have all the wisdom. They have the internal guidance. I’m just here to support them, to hold that container, to ask good questions, and let them remove the block they have to really accessing their own greatness. That’s what coaching is.”*
Julie Peláez
Julie Peláez
Board-Certified Holistic Health Coach and Co-founder of The Conscious Cleanse

*Information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors, such as geographical region or previous experience.

Is Holistic Health Coaching Right for You?

Now that you know what a holistic health coach can do on a day-to-day basis, how do you know whether this is the right profession for you? Here are three questions to ask yourself.

Do You Prioritize Your Own Wellbeing?

To provide holistic health coaching services for others, it’s pivotal to support yourself first and lead by example. When you prioritize overall wellness in your life, such as nutrition or mental health, you can speak to your clients from personal experience and offer relative empathy.

Do You Enjoy a Flexible Schedule?

Whether you provide services at a medical center, gym, hospital, or privately in client homes, a holistic health coach can generally work flexible hours. In this specific profession, most coaches advocate for a healthy work-life balance.

Do You Find 1:1 Work Rewarding?

As a holistic health coach, you can work closely with clients to overcome specific roadblocks. It’s your job to promote long-term change and personalize client plans on an individual basis. Similar to a therapist, you’ll likely forge close, long-lasting relationships with your clients.

How You Can Start a Holistic Health Coach Career

In most alternative medicine or holistic health careers, there’s no one-size-fits-all path to success. However, there are specific steps you can take toward your professional goals.

1. Get an Education

In order to become a holistic health coach, you may need to obtain training and education in the field. While a degree isn’t always necessary to pursue this profession, it can certainly help you obtain a deeper understanding of nutrition, public health, psychology, etc.**

**Certification and license requirements may vary state-by-state. Always consult local regulations when pursuing a new health venture.

Escoffier offers Holistic Nutrition & Wellness online diploma and degree programs that cover fundamentals of nutrition, wellness, coaching techniques, and entrepreneurship, plus technical cooking skills.

Diploma in Holistic Nutrition & Wellness

Our Holistic Nutrition and Wellness Diploma program includes theoretical and practical experiences in the science of nutrition and wellness. By integrating culinary, nutrition, coaching and business fundamentals, it offers a well-rounded education, helping to prepare students to enter the workforce with a solid foundation.

Program Highlights Include:

  • Culinary foundations
  • Fundamentals of healthy baking
  • Nutritional cooking & special diets
  • Coaching techniques & practices
  • Entrepreneurship
  • 6-week industry externship


Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Holistic Nutrition & Wellness

Our Associate Degree in Holistic Nutrition and Wellness goes a step beyond the diploma program. Additional advanced concepts in nutrition as a science, culinary as an art form, and business/entrepreneurial topics are presented. Offering both scientific nutrition knowledge and technical cooking skills, combined with wellness and coaching education, this program can deepen the skill set of those who wish to advance their career opportunities within the food and hospitality industry.

Program Highlights Include:

  • Exploring wellness concepts
  • Foodservice math and accounting
  • Advanced holistic nutrition
  • Psychology in the workplace
  • Business & professional communications
  • Two industry externships
The goal of each program is to help provide students with a well-rounded education they may apply to multiple holistic health fields.

Holistic Nutrition and Wellness Lesson Examples

  • Discover how to use coaching and interpersonal influence to support clients’ goals. This includes the concept of psychological flow or being “in the zone.”
  • Plan nutritious menus while taking into account appropriate substitutions for common allergies and intolerances.
  • Explore how to start writing a business plan and ways to pitch investors.
  • Explore how food can affect all aspects of one’s health and see how environment, hydration, and movement may also be factors.
  • Investigate stress management, sleep, mindfulness, and Eastern healing methods to improve the balance of body systems.

2. Obtain Real-World Experience

One of the best ways to step into the role of a holistic health coach is through real-world industry experience. Escoffier students enrolled in the Holistic Nutrition & Wellness programs must complete one to two hands-on externships at the end of the curriculum. Ultimately, this can allow students to work in the industry while developing necessary career skills. Externships also provide valuable networking opportunities and could lead to entry-level job opportunities, post-graduation.

“The externship class can allow students–even those with no prior experience–to get their foot in the door. Once they gain that valuable experience, it is easier for them to determine which path they want to take with their careers.”*
Vicki Berger
Vicki Berger
Chef Instructor, Hospitality and Restaurant Operations Management, and General Education

*Information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors, such as geographical region or previous experience.

3. Refine Your Skill Set

Although you may acquire several hard and soft skills it takes to become a successful holistic health coach during your education and externship, included below are some of the most critical skills you may need to refine.


As you work with clients to build out long-term wellness plans, you might face client roadblocks. A holistic health coach should offer solution-oriented strategies to help clients make safe decisions.

Time Management

A holistic health coach might work with several clients on an individual level at any given time. To ensure efficiency, coaches might need to invest in a project management system to schedule timely follow-ups, coordinate new meetings, and execute administrative tasks.

Effective Communication

When we think of communication, we might automatically think of providing verbal feedback. But as a coach, active listening is integral to providing solutions. Aside from this, coaches might need to send texts, emails, and call clients on a recurring basis.

Nutrition & Health Management

In order to draft wellness plans, more technical training might be required to address specific health concerns. This could involve nutrition planning, fitness knowledge, psychology, and particular counseling techniques. Again, most of these hard skills may be obtained through a Holistic Nutrition & Wellness program.

“A distinguishment of the Holistic Nutrition and Wellness programs is the intersection of multiple disciplines: we teach classical culinary techniques alongside foundational nutrition information and integrative approaches to wellness. Learning these skills can help students pursue various paths, including becoming part of a culinary team that creates dishes for organizations looking to nourish their employees/customers, community food education programs, coaching, and health educators.”*
Dr. Stephanie Michalak White
Dr. Stephanie Michalak White
Director of Education

*Information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors, such as geographical region or previous experience.

4. Get Hired

It’s important to pinpoint where you want to launch your career as a holistic health coach. In this field, there are several workplace environments to consider, such as:

  • Local Community Centers
  • Doctors’ Offices
  • Fitness Centers
  • Weight Loss Centers
  • Wellness Centers
  • Spas
  • Schools & Universities
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Corporate Offices
  • Direct-to-Client Coaching

Students enrolled at Escoffier can also leverage Career Services to get additional job search guidance and access to resources. This can include career planning, resume and portfolio building, and interview practice. Both students and the general populace can also access EConnect, where you can find an ever-growing network of employers who value education and career development.

Launch Your Holistic Health Coach Career at Escoffier

Now it’s time to take your passion for wellness and nutrition to the next level.

Escoffier’s Holistic Nutrition and Wellness curriculum can help you transform scientific knowledge into the skills needed to promote healthy habits—rooted in nutrition.

Learn about our online diploma and degree programs designed to help you support your future clients in achieving their individual optimal wellness. Plus, explore how you might be able to finance your education** with federal grants, federal loans, scholarships, and other grants.

**Financial Aid is available to students who apply and qualify. International students are not eligible.


This article was originally published on March 29, 2022, and has since been updated.





*Information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors, such as geographical region or previous experience.

**Certification and license requirements may vary state-by-state. Always consult local regulations when pursuing a new health venture.

***Financial Aid is available to students who apply and qualify. International students are not eligible.

Subscribe to the King of Chefs Blog

Subscribe to the King of Chefs Blog

Get the King of Chefs email newsletter delivered to your inbox weekly. You'll get everything you need to know about culinary & pastry careers, food entrepreneurship, financing your culinary education, and more.