The health coach certification vs. nutrition certification debate can be a confusing one. . Health coach certification helps you work with clients to help them improve health through health education programs and support groups.
Nutrition certification, on the other hand, is mainly concerned with providing information on food and nutrition to help people make healthy dietary choices. The main differences in these two certifications are; career flexibility, certificate expiration, training & education, area of focus, salary and experience, and finally, state law regulation.
Continue reading to find out if a health coach certification is right for you.
The health coach certification from the American Sports & Fitness Association allows for a great deal of career flexibility. This is because health coaches can work in a variety of different settings, such as in private practice, hospitals, or corporate wellness programs. In contrast, nutritionists typically work in one setting, such as a hospital or research center. Health coaches are also able to offer a wider range of health-related services than nutritionists. For example, health coaches can work with clients one-on-one in health coaching programs, small group settings, or large health fairs. Nutritionists typically do not work with clients one-on-one because of the health professional’s limited focus on health.
With a health coach certification, you can maintain yours as long as you keep up with the latest trends and developments in the field by attending workshops, conferences, etc. Nutrition certifications expire because most are working towards licensure meaning that they are changing what they do over time.
Training & Education
In health coach certification, you learn through internships and apprenticeships rather than college courses; nutritionists do not receive this kind of hands-on training and typically attend school full-time. While in nutritionist certification, you must have completed an accredited bachelor’s degree in dietetics or food and nutrition plus an additional 1,200 hours of supervised practice. Nutritionists must also maintain continuing education credits to keep their licenses, whereas health coaches do not need this kind of maintenance.
Area of Focus
Health coaches can give advice on any topic related to personal empowerment including nutrition and weight loss, physical and mental fitness. While health coaches are not only allowed to give nutritional advice, but also provide support with behavior change and creating a healthy lifestyle for an individual. Nutritionists are only allowed to give nutritional advice; they mainly focus on the diet of an individual, nutritional issues such as weight, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels.
Salary and Experience
The short answer is that health coaches typically earn more money than nutritionists. Several factors contribute to this discrepancy, including the level of experience required for each certification. Health coach certification typically requires a minimum of 50 hours of training, while nutritionist certification typically requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. In addition, health coaches are typically required to have more experience than nutritionists. This higher level of experience and education can lead to a higher salary for health coaches.
State law regulation
Health coach certification is not regulated by state law. This means that there are no specific requirements or standards that health coaches need to meet to be certified. However, health coaches are still held to a code of ethics and must meet other requirements set forth by their certification organization. Nutrition certification, on the other hand, is regulated by state law. This means that there are specific requirements and standards that nutritionists must meet to be certified.
Earn Your Certification Today
The differences between health coach certification vs. nutrition certification are very important. Therefore, you must know the differences between the two certifications before deciding which one is better for your career path.