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What is a Nutrition Coach?

A nutrition coach is a nutritionist, counselor, consultant, trainer, mentor and motivator all in one. People hire nutrition coaches to help them lose weight, gain weight, stay fit, keep to their prescribed meal plans or increase or decrease specific nutrients and vitamins. Nutrition coaches can be more than just fitness trainers. They may help people with a vast number of ailments including eating disorders, diabetes, celiac disease, Crohn's disease, and candida. They may also be able to assist people with mental health problems such as ADHD, as well as some types of cancer, by providing dietetic guidance. All of this is contingent upon the nutrition coach being properly credentialed and licensed.

What is required to become a nutrition coach?

There are currently no state or national laws preventing the practice of nutritional coaching. However, some aspects of the job, such as prescribing nutritional plans or working in a clinical capacity may be prohibited unless certification or license requirements are met. Be sure to check with your state's board of licensing.

What Do Nutrition Coaches Do For Their Clients?

Nutrition coaches experts for their clients, providing guidance based on evidence and research in the field that their clients may not have the time or ability to discover themselves. In addition, coaches may also fulfill roles similar to fitness coaches and health educators in that they both instruct and motivate their clients for better health.

Nutrition coaches may help their clients in the following ways:

  • Clinical nutritional coaches may be sought by clients on the advice of a clinical nutritionist or doctor to help manage a disease or aliment. Patients who have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, celiac disease, Crohn's disease, and candida, or who are going through, or recovering from, cancer treatments may struggle with their new dietary regimens.
  • Weight loss nutritional coaches may be sought after by clients looking to manage their weight. In addition to providing clients with health advice the nutritional coach may also double as a fitness trainer, providing shopping and cooking tips as well as exercise motivation. Clients may also approach coaches for professional pontifications of potential pitfalls of prominent popular diets purporting to permanently - or possibly - put the perils of paralyzing pudginess in the past.
  • In most cases, nutritionist coaches may benefit from the skills and qualities of heath educators and fitness trainers such as speaking skills, listing skills and interpersonal skills.

What is the Nutrition Coach Salary & Career Outlook?

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) has no specific data on the salary of nutritional coaches, it does provide information on health educators, fitness trainers and nutritionists which may be helpful in determining the potential salary of a nutritional coach in your area.

CareerBottom 10% Annual WageAnnual Median WageTop 10% Annual Wage
Health Educators$28,680$49,210$87,770
Dietitians and Nutritionists$33,980$55,920$78,720
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors$17,840$33,020$66,950
*This data is sourced from the 2013 BLS employment report (BLS.gov)

CareerTotal EmploymentProjected Employment ChangeProjected 2012-2022 Growth
Health Educators56,72019719
Dietitians and Nutritionists59,53034221
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors238,17052212
*This data is sourced from the 2013 BLS employment report (BLS.gov)


Sources:
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/health-educators.htm#tab-2
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm#tab-2

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