Frequently Asked Questions
Is Becoming a Wellness Coach Right for Me?
Wellness Coaching can be dedicated occupation, but it doesn’t have to be. Anyone in a position to help and influence others can serve as a Wellness Coach by incorporating the science-based tools of wellness coaching into what they already do.
For example, many organizations, such as health clinics and health and fitness organizations include Wellness Coaches on staff. In other cases, individuals who already have positions within an organization cross-train so they can add wellness coaching to their skill sets.
These individuals include clinical professionals such as nurses, therapists, and medical assistants; teachers; social service and public health administrators; and professionals in the helping professions, including massage therapists, yoga teachers, and personal trainers.
Community members also have a role to play. Whether it’s at home, at a faith-based organization, with the scouts, or just family and friends, wellness coaching skills makes people effective, empathic facilitators for sustainable change.
Sometimes life presents opportunities right in front of us but we don’t always see them. Take helping others improve their health and wellness, for example.
People who enjoy being Wellness Coaches are often already enjoy “doing” it informally—people come to you for help—and you’re ready to take the next step to become a professional wellness coach.
Ask yourself whether you:
- Enjoy being the person people naturally come to when they have problems or need someone to talk to
- Enjoy listening to others
- Are passionate about helping others
- Consider yourself friendly, outgoing, approachable, and patient
- Have strong core values and commitment to your own goals
- Establish relationships easily and nurture them
If the answers are “yes,” you’re already on your way!
Wellness Coaches need strong personal and interpersonal skills including:
- Good critical thinking
- Sound judgment
- Emotional stability and maturity
- Excellent communication
- Respect and concern for others
- Desire to work independently and cooperatively with others
- Adaptability, creativity, flexibility
- Comprehensive follow-through
- Astute listening
- Positive, can-do attitude
- Ability to energize and instill confidence
- Respect for others’ perspectives and “expertise” about their own lives
- Desire to work in a collaborative way with others
Congratulations! You’ve taken your first major step by visiting us online here at the Institute for Wellness Education. Next?
- Decide if you really want a career in which you help people.
- Check out all of the institute’s courses.
- Try out a course. If you like it, move ahead to obtain a Wellness Advocate, Wellness Facilitator or Wellness Coach accreditation from us.
- Join fellow wellness coaches in discussion groups. Get to know more about the industry.
- Discuss and get help from other course members.
It’s time! Change your job scope with your existing employer or start a new business.
For Veterans & Wounded Warriors
Becoming a Wellness Coach may be an attractive training and employment option for veterans, including wounded warriors, and a solution to the significant employment challenges they face.
Recent data indicate that since 2002, well over half a million military personnel have returned from Iraq or Afghanistan with life-altering injuries, including severe physical injuries (amputation, spinal cord injury, burns, and visual impairments), post-traumatic stress, and traumatic brain injury. Unfortunately, in addition to injury, a significant number of veterans lack the education or training needed to transition into good civilian employment. The top barriers include mental health issues (33%), lack of education (24%), lack of physical capability (23%), inadequate pay (19%), and lack of self-confidence (17%).
On the other hand, veterans, including wounded warriors, possess invaluable skills that would serve them well as Wellness Coaches. These skills include adaptability, leadership, flexibility, accountability, personal integrity, respect for procedures and processes, ability to learn new concepts and technologies, perseverance in the face of adversity, and strong interpersonal relationships and communication.
Both the Wellness Coach training program and the occupation itself fulfill many needs veterans have and mitigate some of the challenges:
- All the training is done via distance-learning, including real-time interaction and collaborative practice. This overcomes problems of mobility and access.
- The pacing of the coursework is completely individualized and flexible, so veterans can schedule training to fit their unique needs.
- Wellness Coaches focus on identifying and marshaling people’s strengths in the interest of achieving their goals for a preferred future. The training is rigorous and requires significant self-reflection and skills development through practice. It is not intended to be therapeutic, but it can have very positive effects on trainees, if not being transformative.
- Participants who successfully complete the Coach training program will be certified as Wellness Coaches by the Department of Labor through its Registered Apprenticeship Program, which confers the credibility of a nationally recognized standard of competency.
- Once certified, Wellness Coaches can practice in many different ways and settings, even offering telephone support or brief sessions, if mobility, endurance, and attention are challenges.
- The employment outlook for Wellness Coaches is very promising due to the emerging shift from a disease model of healthcare to a model of health promotion and maintenance and the influx of tens of millions into the system as a result of the Affordable Care Act. The personal and professional qualities of veterans trained as Wellness Coaches will make them valued members of the healthcare team.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 17, 2011) Team Navy/Coast Guard member Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Angelo Anderson participates in the 200-meter wheelchair event during the second annual Warrior Games. The Warrior Games is a Paralympic-style sport event among 200 seriously wounded, ill, and injured service members from the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andre N. McIntyre/Released 110517-N-CD297-007