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Job Growth Trends in the Coaching Industry Part 3: Health Coaches and Academic Coaches

The data behind job growth in the academic coaching and health and wellness coaching sectors shows strong growth -- and a field ripe with opportunity.

Welcome to the third installment of our comprehensive four-part series examining Job Growth Trends in the Life Coaching Industry. We’re charting the remarkable evolution and emerging opportunities within this field, providing key insights for those considering becoming a professional coach.

Part 1: Laying the Foundation - The Rise of Life Coaching as a Career
Part 2: Corporate Coaching Roles: Internal and External
Part 3: Health and Wellness Coaches and Academic Coaches
Part 4: Other Coaching Niches and Online Platforms


Coaching Industry Insights: Analyzing the Demand for Health & Wellness and Academic Coaching

The world of coaching is brimming with fresh opportunities, especially for those drawn to health coaching and academic coaching. They’re both spaces where curiosity meets compassion, and the potential for growth is clear. Ready to dive into the heart of what's possible? Let's take a closer look.

What is health and wellness coaching?

With a global shift towards preventive care and holistic well-being, the healthcare industry is evolving beyond traditional medical treatments. Institutions are increasingly recognizing the role of mental, emotional, and physical wellness in overall health. 

Enter health and wellness coaches, professionals who are bridging the gap between healthcare and holistic well-being.

A health and wellness coach acts as a supportive partner, empowering individuals to cultivate healthier lifestyles. They guide clients in setting health goals, crafting strategies to navigate challenges, and fostering accountability. 

Using techniques from coaching psychology, goal setting theory and specialized training to work within the healthcare industry, health and wellness coaches facilitate a client-led journey towards improved physical and emotional well-being. Coaches in this space are well-equipped to guide a collaborative process that helps clients develop self-efficacy and autonomy, making behavioral changes more likely to stick long-term.

As just one example… Imagine a patient receives a new diabetes diagnosis and is discouraged, while at the same time faced with needing to make necessary lifestyle changes and maintain a medication regimen. Being assigned a coach to work with, and going through the coaching process can help the patient to make the lifestyle changes necessary to manage their diabetes, with better outcomes than if they were to get the diagnosis and go it alone.

Wellness coaching can take place in a variety of settings, such as private practice, wellness centers, healthcare institutions, corporate wellness programs, and through virtual platforms. 

Traditionally, health coaches have worked one on one or in a group setting and have not had a hand in diagnosing or treating medical conditions. However, as the healthcare industry shifts towards a more holistic approach, wellness coaches are increasingly working in tandem with medical practitioners and other health professionals.

According to the Global Wellness Institute, “Coaches trained in the art and science of motivating people… have been the missing link in both healthcare and wellness.”

What are the job prospects  for coaches in healthcare and wellness?

The global health coach market size is $16 billion in 2023, and is currently on track to hit $29 billion by 2032.

The role of coaches in healthcare is becoming increasingly vital as the demand for care significantly outstrips the supply. There’s a projected shortage of 50,000 primary care doctors by 2025. Not only that, but as it now stands, a healthcare practitioner is expected to serve 2,500 patients - a feat that would require a 22 hour workday to successfully accomplish! 

Coaches can play a pivotal role in helping to close those gaps. In fact, credentialed coaches are capable of guiding patients in many different stages of their health journey – from the initial stages of prevention right through to palliative care. Their work spans several key areas: 

  • Leaders: Working directly with hospital leadership and organizational leadership to navigate healthcare challenges, similar to executive coaching
  • Providers: Enhancing the well-being and performance of front line healthcare workers 
  • Patients: Improving patient health outcomes

Coaches are now finding opportunities in different environments such as:

  • Health Insurance Companies
  • Clinician Referrals
  • Local Gyms and Athletic Centers
  • Community Centers
  • Health Food Stores
  • Physical Therapy
  • Pain Rehab Clinics
  • Day Spas
  • Wellness Centers
  • Wellness Retreats
  • Addiction and Substance Abuse Centers
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Schools and Universities
  • Health and Wellness Mobile Apps

Does insurance recognize health and wellness coaching?

In a significant nod to the value of health coaching, the American Medical Association (AMA) embraced a new Category III CPT code in 2021, specifically for billing health coaching services through insurance. 

This marks a profound acknowledgment of the coaching profession and heralds a future where coaching is not only recognized but also reimbursable, bringing it to the same level as therapy and closer to the heart of medical care.

And what’s more? The coaching industry is about to get even more recognition. “Full Category 1 codes are coming in about two years, at which time the market should post much stronger growth.”

In human speak? The field is just getting started and there’s plenty of room for growth.

What’s the salary for a health coach, wellness coach or coach working within healthcare?

As with all coaching roles, there’s a broad range of potential earnings for wellness coaches. It's important to note that these numbers vary greatly based on the coach's level of experience, the demand for their speciality, and the specific location in which they practice. reports an average Health and Wellness Coach salary of $69,711, with a range typically between $60,398 and $80,020​​.

What’s the job outlook for wellness and health coaches?

Very strong! With medical billing looming on the horizon, the Mayo Clinic and other health institutions recognize the deep need for coaching. The job outlook for health coaches in 2023 and beyond remains optimistic. The industry is expected to grow at a rate of 6.7% each year from 2022 to 2030, with an expected worth of almost $20 billion by 2026, $23 billion by 2028, and $26 billion by 2030.

Most exciting of all for coaching practitioners? There are many paths to pursue in this field, from self-employment to corporate wellness and hospital settings. 


Exploring the World of Academic Coaching

The academic world can be filled with challenges. From the stress of exams and the pressure to excel, to the uncertainties of future career paths, students often grapple with unique issues that require additional support and encouragement. 

In the wake of the pandemic, increased isolation and other societal factors have highlighted the need for support structures beyond traditional academic advising, leading to the rise of academic life coaches in educational settings.

What is an academic life coach? 

An academic coach is like a personal trainer for a student's journey – at any educational level. They're cheerleaders and strategists rolled into one, helping students not just chase their academic dreams, but catch them – building better study habits, time management skills and more. 

Academic coaches bring a touch of humanity to the educational process. They're more than just consultants or institutional staff. They're allies who see the bigger picture of a student's life, weaving academic performance with well-being, resilience, and personal growth.

It's not only about the grades anymore. Academic life coaches understand that true success results from a balance of mental health, smart study routines, time mastery, and self-discovery. They're there to light the way for students navigating the complex path to their best selves, beyond the classroom walls.

And, the research backs it up. Studies reveal that coaching doesn't just help students stick around; it helps them shine, academically and personally. It's this kind of support that's reshaping how we think about education and personal development, proving that a little guidance goes a long way.

What benefits do academic life coaches provide?

Personalized Guidance: Unlike traditional academic advisors who might have a broad, curriculum-centric approach, academic life coaches offer personalized strategies tailored to individual student needs.

Stress and Time Management: Coaches equip students with techniques to manage academic pressures and effectively juggle multiple responsibilities.

Career Path Clarity: Beyond academics, coaches aid in decision-making regarding majors, internships, and post-graduate plans.

What is the expected salary for an academic life coach?

As with all specialized coaching niches, the salary for an academic life coach can change based on all the usual factors you might expect –  location, demand for services, level of education and training, experience, and the setting (private sector, educational institutions, etc.). reports that the average salary for an academic coach as of 2023, is $53,618, with the range typically falling between $47,558 and $60,101. 

These figures may represent a mix of full-time and part-time coaches, as well as those who may be self-employed as opposed to those employed by larger institutions. 

What is the job outlook for academic life coaches?

The job outlook for academic life coaches is strong, and poised for growth, especially considering the underlying factors facing students in the post-pandemic world.

According to Zippia, the demand for academic coaches is growing at a rate of 20%. This growth estimate indicates a robust job market.

While it’s not exactly the same thing, but a related field – the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for school and career counselors and advisors will grow by 5% from 2022 to 2032, which is faster than the average for all occupations. 

This highlights a broader trend in supportive services within educational settings that also encompasses academic coaching​​.

With a promising outlook comes increased demand and more employment opportunities over the coming years. Amongst educators, there is increasing recognition of the importance of holistic support for the “whole person” in academic environments, including stress management, time management, and personal development, all areas where academic coaches can make a real difference in the lives of students.

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