FAQs / How are Wellness Coaches classified by the Department of Labor?

In May 2013, the US Department of Labor (DoL) approved wellness coaching as an official US occupation based on IWE’s formulation of occupational competencies and training curriculum. The DoL’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies wellness coaches under the occupational cluster of community health workers (SOC 21-1094.00). Community health workers:

  • Assist individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors.*
  • Conduct outreach for medical personnel or health organizations to implement programs in the community that promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health.
  • May provide information on available resources, provide social support and informal counseling, advocate for individuals and community health needs, and provide services such as first aid and blood pressure screening.**
  • May collect data to help identify community health needs.

*Excludes “Health Educators” (21-1091).
**Services, such as first aid and blood pressure screening, are provided by wellness coaches only if they have the professional licensing and credentialing associated with these services. Not all wellness coaches will have the training, licensing, or credentialing to provide these services.

  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL), there were an estimated 54,300 community health workers in 2014.
  • Employment of health educators will grow by projected to grow 15 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.

In May 2013, the US Department of Labor approved a new apprenticeable occupation, based on the training requirements submitted by Dr Deborah Teplow of the Institute for Wellness Education:

Wellness Coach
O*NET-SOC Code: 21-1094.00
RAPIDS Code: 2016HY
Training Term: 2,000 hours
Type of Training: Hybrid

Registered Apprenticeship is a training system that produces highly skilled workers to meet the demands of employers competing in a global economy. A proven strategy, Registered Apprenticeship ensures quality training by combining on-the-job training with theoretical and practical classroom instruction to prepare exceptional workers for American industry.

The process of apprenticeship program registration with Federal and State government agencies is designed to ensure that working apprentices, program sponsors, and the general public can gain a clear understanding of the training content and the measures that are in place to ensure ongoing quality.

At the time of writing, the Institute’s Certified Wellness Coach is the ONLY Wellness Coaching course that meets the Department of Labor’s apprenticeship criteria.

The DoL Bulletin announcing the Wellness Coach Apprenticeship

Details of the Department of Labor apprenticeship scheme are available at www.doleta.gov/oa

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