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The 12 Best Life Coach Certification Programs in 2024

Last updated on July 16, 2024

One of the best ways to build credibility and skills as a coach is to get a coaching certification from a reputable organization. And with so many coaching training and certification programs available today, finding one that fits your goals and budget has never been easier.

We’ve written this article to help you find the best life coach certification program for your specific situation. The “best” program is the one that aligns with your values, personality, and specific coaching goals, and that helps you become the best coach you can be. So the “best” may be different for everyone.

With that said, here are the coach training and certification programs we’ve chosen to include:

We regularly update this article based on our research and the responses from our Coach Training & Certification Program Feedback Survey. If you have experience with any coach training and certification programs (included in this article or not), we’d love to hear about your experience.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links, and Life Coach Magazine may receive a commission on qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. We appreciate your support!

Do You Need a Certification to Be a Coach?

Before we get into the best coach training and certification programs, it’s important to note that you don’t need any kind of professional life coach certification or other qualification to be a life coach. As long as you are offering coaching services and not therapy, you can begin working as a coach at any time. There is currently no government regulation of the coaching industry.

That said, there are organizations like the International Coaching Federation (ICF) that operate to accredit individual coach certification programs. You can also get an ICF Credential for yourself as a coach. Many of the best life coach certification programs are accredited by the ICF or another association, but this is not a requirement. You will find many excellent programs with and without an ICF accreditation.

So why get a coaching certification? Among other reasons, you might choose to pursue a coaching training and certification program because you want to:

  • Improve your coaching skills
  • Increase your credibility and visibility as a coach
  • Get help growing or starting your coaching business
  • Join a community of like-minded coaches and mentors

The Best Coach Training & Certification Programs

And now, here is an overview of some of the best coach training and certification programs available today.

(Overall Top Pick) Coach Training Alliance

Coach Training Alliance logo

Coach Training Alliance (CTA) was founded in 2008 by Will Craig (former president of the ICF Denver Chapter). Their Certified Coach Program takes a very hands-on, practical approach to coach training, with a focus on instantly applying what you’re learning to your coaching practice and business. The curriculum is comprised of their “three-legged stool” approach: coaching skills, marketing skills, and business skills–everything you need to have a successful coaching business.

One of CTA’s top values prop is that it is one of the most affordable coaching certifications paving the way to ICF accreditation. CTA makes this pathway very clear, unlike many other certifications leaving folks wondering where they stand upon graduation.

  • Program Cost: $4,339 (Payable in full or in 3, 7, or 9 parts)
  • Course Length: 6 months
  • Accredited by: ICF

Our Recommendation: The Certified Coach Program from Coach Training Alliance is best for new or experienced coaches who want help growing and running a coaching business.

Where to Learn More:

Transformation Academy

Transformation Academy logo

Transformation Academy offers several online coach training and programs, with a wide variety of coaching niches to choose from. Their Professional Life Coach Certification is an inexpensive way to get certified as a life coach, as well as to receive training on both how to be a coach and how to grow your business. You can also get access to this program as part of their more comprehensive Master Life Coach Certification program.

They offer several different coaching niche certification programs including Yoga, Career, Law of Attraction, Confidence & Growth Mindset, and many, many more. If you’re interested in these other programs, you can get access to all of these courses with a monthly Life Coach Membership. Transformation Academy is not accredited by the ICF. You can read more about that here.

  • Program Cost: $197 (Get 50% off with our link! Discount applied at checkout.)
  • Course Length: Self-paced (can reasonably be completed in 30 days)

Our Recommendation: The Professional Life Coach Certification from Transformation Academy is best for new coaches who want a faster and more affordable way to get trained and certified as a coach.

Where to Learn More:

iPEC

Founded in 1999 by Bruce D Schneider, iPEC has been training coaches for almost 25 years. Their advanced, immersive training is based on unique coaching techniques rooted in Core Energy Coaching™, which you can read more about on their site. 

iPEC’s Coach Training Experience leads to three certifications: Certified Professional Coach (CPC), Energy Leadership™ Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP), and a COR.E Dynamics™ Specialist certification in one of many niches. You can choose between four popular specialties, including life coaching, health and wellness, executive coaching, and sports & performance coaching.

iPEC also offers a Fundamentals Course as a 3-day, in-person live training. It’s a light-speed version of Module I of iPEC’s full Coach Training Program that delivers 30 hours of ICF-accredited coach training.

  • Program Cost: $13,995—Full Program; $2,995—Fundamentals Course
  • Course Length: 9 months – 1 year (320+ training hours), self-paced—Full Program; 3 days (30 training hours)—Fundamentals
  • Accredited by: ICF, BCC

Our Recommendation: The Coach Training Program from iPEC is best for new or experienced coaches who want an advanced coach training program that incorporates distinctive coaching techniques through three certification credentials.

Where to Learn More:

  • Read our in-depth iPEC review
  • Learn how you can save up to $600 off tuition
  • Sign up for a short 1:1 admission call
  • Download the free guide “How to Choose a Coach Training Program”

The Life Coach School

The Life Coach School Logo

The Life Coach School was founded by Brooke Castillo. The Life Coach School offers an online coach training & certification program, as well as a monthly program called Get Coached (previously “Self Coaching Scholars”). Brooke is the host of the Life Coach School podcast, which is very popular and one of the most highly-rated podcasts on iTunes. You can get a very good feel for Brooke Castillo and the Life Coach School by listening to any number of the hundreds of episodes.

The Life Coach School offers one of the best life coach certification programs available but is not accredited by the ICF. You can read more about that here.

  • Program Cost: $18,000
  • Course Length: 12 months

Our Recommendation: The online coach training and certification program from the Life Coach School is best for coaches with some experience (either with Self Coaching Scholars or their own coaching practice), who are prepared to make a significant investment to take their life coaching skills to the next level.

Where to Learn More:

iNLP Center

iNLP center logo

iNLP Center was founded in 2011 by Mike and Hope Bundrant. It was the first successful online neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) training center. iNLP Center has training and certification programs for Life Coaches, NLP Practitioners, and Hypnosis Practitioners. If you aren’t familiar with neuro-linguistic programming, you can read more about it in this article.

  • Program Cost: $2,600 (Payable in full or in 6 monthly payments)
  • Course Length: Self-paced (Approx. 160 hours)
  • Accredited by: ICF, INA

Our Recommendation: The NLP-Integrated Life Coach Training from iNLP Center is best for new or experienced coaches interested in building a coaching practice that incorporates NLP techniques.

Where to Learn More:

Nickerson Institute

The Nickerson Institute of Integrative Health Training was founded by Dr. Wendy Nickerson, a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Integrative Health Coach. The Nickerson Institute’s approach to health coaching draws on the principles of positive psychology, synergy, as well as motivational interviewing, goal setting, and mindfulness. The goal is healthy outcomes and optimal functioning of the human mind, body, and spirit.

  • Program Cost: $3,799 (Payable in full or in 4 monthly payments)
  • Course Length: 15 weeks (or self-paced)
  • Accredited by: AADP, HCA, CAIN

Our Recommendation: The Integrative Health Coach Training Program from the Nickerson Institute is best for new or experienced coaches interested in a holistic or integrated approach to health coaching.

Where to Learn More:

iACTcenter

ADHD Coach Training Center (iACTcenter) has a holistic approach to coaching clients and upholds ICF accreditation so you can become a Certified ADHD Life Coach (CALC). The program teaches you how to leverage clients’ strengths, diversity, cultural background, emotions, surroundings, and familial relationships for highly personalized ADHD coaching. On top of that, they offer several workshops on Helping ADHD Families and aspects of running a coach business to help you start your practice.

  • Program Cost: $7,700
  • Course Length: 6.5 weeks
  • Accredited by: ICF

Our Recommendation: The Certified ADHD Life Coach (CALC) program from ADHD Coach is best for new or experienced coaches who want to specialize in ADHD life coaching. 

Where to Learn More:

  • Visit the Certified ADHD Life Coach (CALC) program page
  • Download the free e-book to learn more about why they focus on the strengths and talents of the ADHD brain style 
  • Take their “Do You Have What It Takes to Be an ADHD Life Coach?” assessment

Relationship Coaching Institute

Relationship Coaching Institute logo

Relationship Coaching Institute (RCI) was founded in 1997 by David Steele, and it is one of the pioneers in the relationship coach training industry. Their Relationship Coach Training and Certification program covers the foundations of relationship coaching, as well as relationship coaching for singles and relationship coaching for couples. The all-encompassing curriculum allows you to specialize in these two distinct types of relationships. 

  • Program Cost: $3,997 enrollment fee + $79 per month membership fee for access to all courses + $125 application fee for certification for Certified Relationship Coach for Couples (CRCC) or Certified Relationship Coach for Singles (CRCS)
  • Course Length: Self-paced
  • Accredited by: ICF

Our Recommendation: The Relationship Coach Training and Certification program from the Relationship Institute is best for new or experienced coaches interested in the romantic relationships niche.

Where to Learn More:

Life Energy Coaching

Life Energy Coaching is focused on energy transformations for both personal and professional use. They offer a diverse range of resources, including energized modular programs, group and private coaching options, and a certification program for those interested in life energy coaching.

Life Energy Coaching offers a series of courses, the first of which (Level 1) consists of two programs, Love Your Self and Financial Freedom. The programs tackle the most frequently reappearing energetic blockages such as stress, workplace relationships, fear of public speaking, poverty consciousness, entrepreneur mindset, and more.

  • Program Cost: $6,000—Level 1; $9,997—Certification
  • Course Length: Self-paced

Our Recommendation: The Life Energy Coaching certification is best for new or experienced coaches who’d like to add energy coaching to their coaching expertise and experience personal transformation.

Where to Learn More:

Human Potential Academy

Human Potential Academy logo

The Human Potential Academy (HPA) is a pioneer and worldwide leader in the fields of coach training and human potential development. Their Certified Human Potential Coach training program is designed to inspire personal growth and self-discovery. They have a unique, all-encompassing approach that combines the Inner Game of Coaching (self-mastery), the Outer Game of Coaching (how to coach effectively), Coaching for Health and High Performance, and the Business of Coaching.

This training program is among the most innovative personal development coach training programs in the world. To achieve this excellence, HPA combines cutting-edge research, experiential learning, and guidance by experienced coaches and human potential teachers. 

  • Program Cost: $4,297
  • Course Length: 18 weeks
  • Accredited by: AC

Our Recommendation:  HPA’s Certified Human Potential Coach program is best for coaches who want to master human potential coach training or implement these innovative practices into their career coaching practice, transition coaching, or another relevant coaching field.  

Where to Learn More:

Life Coach Training Institute

Life Coach Training Institute is one of the pioneering academies that transferred their teachings completely online. They offer several life coach certifications, including the Life Coach Certification, the advanced Certified Professional Coach Certification, the comprehensive Business Jumpstart + Certification bundle, and the live intensive Coaching Bootcamp Bundle.

Their courses deliver more than informative content, as they also equip you with proven tools, blueprints, editable materials, and more. What sets them apart are their budget-friendly pricing and the engaging mix of self-paced lessons and live sessions.

  • Program Cost: $195
  • Course Length: Self-paced
  • Accredited by: ICOES

Our Recommendation: Life Coach Training Institute is best for coaches who want affordable certification without compromising quality as well as the hybrid learning model that enhances self-paced curriculum with interactive lessons.

Where to Learn More:

Creative Mind

CreativeMind and its Jungian Life Coach Certification program breaks the boundaries of traditional life coaching. The founders, Debra and Dr. Robert Maldonado, have developed a one-of-a-kind CreativeMind Method™ that blends Jungian theory, Eastern spirituality, and social neuroscience. 

In addition to equipping you with this unique coaching method (which can give you an advantage in the coaching industry), the program covers business training as well. They delve into strategies for building a sustainable business and developing a success mindset. The program is delivered through video lessons, live sessions, and one-on-one mentorship.

  • Program Cost: $16,997
  • Course Length: 1 year

Our Recommendation: CreativeMind is best for coaches who want an immersive training experience and access to a unique coaching method, the CreativeMind Method™.

Where to Learn More:

How to Choose a Coaching Program

Choosing a coaching program is a decision that can be influenced by a number of factors. Your budget, past coaching experience, personality, and coaching goals are likely all factors that will play a part.

For example, if you’re interested in NLP coaching techniques, then joining a community of like-minded coaches with the iNLP Center might be the program for you. If that’s not your thing, you may be interested in a more traditional coaching program like Coach Training Alliance. And if you’re looking for something more affordable to get started, then Transformation Academy might have the program you’re looking for.

If you’re looking for other courses that aren’t certification programs, check out our list of courses to help you get coaching clients.

In choosing a coach training and certification program, we recommend that you find a reputable and respected organization with good reviews that aligns with your specific coaching goals and values. Here’s a recap of our top choices for the best coach training and certification programs.

We hope this article has helped you to find the best coaching program for you, and we sincerely wish you all the best on your coaching journey!

Take the Coach Certification Quiz

Need help choosing a coach training and certification program? We created this short quiz to help you find the best program for you.

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