Press "Enter" to skip to content

Guide to Functional Life Coaching Certification

Last updated on February 21, 2024

In the pursuit of personal growth and fulfillment, many individuals turn to the guidance and support of a life coach. Among the various coaching approaches, functional life coaching has emerged as a powerful method that helps individuals navigate their lives with purpose and clarity. 

If you want to gain insights into functional life coaching and learn what this transformative coaching practice entails and whether you can obtain functional life coaching certification, you are in the right place. We’ll also explore the best programs for gaining knowledge and skills for a rewarding career as a life coach.

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!

What Is a Functional Life Coach?

Functional life coaching was coined by Mastin Kipp. It brings to light a powerful insight—that unhealed trauma lies at the heart of mental and emotional distress and serves as the core issue that impedes personal growth and well-being. 

Mastin Kipp applies an approach that emphasizes the profound impact of addressing and neutralizing underlying emotional issues. Through practices such as inquiry, reflection, mindfulness, visualization, and positive affirmations, clients gain clarity and discover their authentic values.

Can I Become a Functional Life Coach?

There is no functional life coaching program, as this is a unique coaching approach created and practiced by Mastin Kipp. However, there are coaching academies and institutions that provide comprehensive life coach training programs which cover various coaching methodologies, including the principles of functional life coaching.

Life coaching, much like functional life coaching, shares the objective of eliminating obstacles that hinder self-fulfillment and personal growth. Both approaches strive to empower individuals by helping them overcome barriers, tap into their potential, and create a purposeful and fulfilling life.

To embark on a career in life coaching, it is crucial to lay a solid foundation in the form of a reputable life coach certification program. These programs provide essential knowledge, skills, and practical training to establish yourself as a competent and professional life coach.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Life Coaching Certification

When researching coaching programs, it’s important to review their curriculum, cost, duration, and accreditation. The goal is to find a certification that aligns with your specific interests and goals within the realm of life coaching.

Program Cost

“How much does it cost to become a certified life coach,” is one of the most frequently asked questions among aspiring coaches. The life coach training certification fee can vary significantly, ranging from as low as $100 to well over $10,000. Therefore, one of the first steps is to evaluate your budget and pursue the best training program within your means.

Course Length

Whether you want to complete your training in days, weeks, or years, there’s a program that can accommodate your needs. Most coach training programs take place online, so they offer more flexibility and more variety in terms of course duration. For those with rigid schedules, there’s a solution in the form of self-paced courses. This model of learning allows you to study in your own time and finish the program at your own pace. 


The value of accreditation is another commonly discussed topic within the coaching community. Even though certification programs don’t need to be accredited, many coaches pursue accreditation as an additional validation of their expertise and commitment to upholding coaching standards. The International Coaching Federation (ICF) holds a distinguished position as the most esteemed accrediting body for coaching training; however, it’s worth noting that other respected entities, such as the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Standards Agency, also carry weight.

Best Life Coach Certifications Aligned with Functional Life Coaching

Top Pick: Coach Training Alliance

Coach Training Alliance’s Certified Coach Program covers core coaching skills and methodologies, essential for those who are new to life coaching as well as those who seek professional development. Their program focuses on introducing tools and techniques to coaches to help clients identify and overcome internal blocks—which aligns with functional coaching principles.

Coach Training Alliance (CTA) logo
Coach Training Alliance – Certified Coach Program

There are several reasons why Coach Training Alliance is our top selection. Its curriculum is methodological, robust, and well-rounded; they employ a practical approach to coaching training; they are ICF-accredited; and besides coaching skills, you will also hone business and marketing skills, which are just as essential as coaching for a successful practice.

We won’t go into too much detail about Coach Training Alliance now, as we have conducted a comprehensive analysis in our review

  • Course Length: 6 months
  • Program Cost: $3,897 (Payable in full or in 3, 7, or 9 parts)
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Core Energy Coaching Option: iPEC

Another excellent choice for exhaustive training with ICF accreditation is iPEC. iPEC, or Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, provides a Coach Training Program that provides comprehensive training in coaching techniques, including functional coaching elements such as overcoming limitations, transformative change, and personal growth.

iPEC – Coach Training Program

What sets iPEC apart is its unique coaching technique Core Energy Coaching™. A distinctive technique such as this can be an invaluable asset in differentiating oneself from other coaches and gaining a competitive edge in the industry.

iPEC’s Coach Training comprehensive pathway leads to three certifications: 

  • Certified Professional Coach (CPC)
  • Energy Leadership™ Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP)
  • COR.E Dynamics™ Specialist certification in a variety of niches

With a range of four sought-after specialties available, including life coaching, health and wellness, executive coaching, and sports and performance coaching, you have the opportunity to choose the area that aligns best with your interests and career goals.

Holistic Option: Nickerson Institute

Nickerson Insitute’s Integrative Health Coach Training Program is tailored to train aspiring coaches to be able to identify underlying emotional and mental distress and to guide them toward healing. The connecting point between functional life coaching and Nickerson Institute is that they also address the effects of trauma, including traumatic experiences such as loss, depression, substance usage, and more.

Nickerson Institute – Integrative Health Coach Training

The program takes a holistic approach to life coaching, so besides the mental and emotional aspects of well-being, the course covers the effects of nutrition and physical exercise on the overall quality of life.

Psychology-Based Option: iNLP Center

For a psychology approach to life coaching, we recommend the iNLP center. What iNLP’s life coach training and functional life coaching have in common is that both work on changing clients’ perceptions of the past to support their goals as well as to harmonize the past and future.

iNLP Center – Life Coach Certification Training

The iNLP Life Coach Certification track includes three certifications:

  • Certified Life Coach
  • NLP Master
  • NLP Practitioner

This training program effectively combines neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Inner Dynamic Parts Work, and ICF competencies to transform you into a coaching expert. If you haven’t encountered the term neuro-linguistic programming before, we suggest that you head to this article to find out more about it.

  • Course Length: Self-paced
  • Program Cost: $3,400
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Budget Option: Transformation Academy

Besides its affordability, Transformation Academy has the widest variety of life coach training programs, allowing you to pursue a niche in which you want to specialize. Their diverse range of courses can equip you with the tools and techniques aligned with the principles of functional life coaching, such as forgiveness life coaching, life purpose coaching, transformation coaching, and mindfulness coaching.

Transformation Academy (TA) logo
Transformation Academy – Professional Life Coach Certification

For an even greater value and all-encompassing training, you can opt for their bundles which can get you certified in four related fields of life coaching. For example, the Master Life Coach Program includes the following certifications:

  • Professional Life Coach Certification
  • Life Purpose Coach Certification
  • Happiness Coach Certification
  • Goal Success Coach Certification

All of their courses and bundle programs are self-directed, so you have the flexibility and autonomy to advance at your own pace. Our TA review holds detailed information about Transformation Academy.


  • How much does a life coach make?

Certified life coach salaries range from $62,500 to $245,000 per year, according to iPEC.

  • Do you need a certification to be a life coach?

Certification isn’t mandatory for practicing coaching, but it is the only way to ensure reputable credentials of your knowledge and expertise in the life coaching field. 

  • How much does a life coach certification cost?

With the myriad of certification programs available, the cost varies greatly. Certification can cost anywhere from $200 to over $10,000.

  • Does accreditation matter in a life coach certification program?

When contemplating the value of accreditation, the decision ultimately rests on your personal goals. While it may not be a mandatory requirement for becoming a life coach, certification demonstrates your commitment to professional standards and provides you with a recognized credential that enhances your reputation in the coaching industry.

  • What is the most recognized coaching certification? 

Considering the numerous available options, ranking certifications based on recognition is daunting and pretty much impossible. What plays a vital role in establishing recognition and credibility is accreditation. Therefore, an accredited program—whether that’s ICF, CPD, or another—can elevate the status of your certification.


Mastin Kipp and his pioneering work in functional life coaching can serve as an inspiration to aspiring coaches as it showcases the possibilities that dedication and innovation can unlock in this field. As a growing industry, life coaching is embracing professionals with passion who want to join the mission of spreading well-being. 

However,  every big change starts with a small step, and in the world of life coaching, that step is obtaining a reputable certification such as those from Coach Training Alliance, iPEC, or Transformation Academy. Whether you choose to follow in the footsteps of renowned coaches or forge your own path, this journey marks a wonderful beginning to a transformative and fulfilling life in the world of coaching.

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.

Take the quiz

How useful was this post?

Your feedback helps us write better content.

Thanks for letting us know!

How could we improve this post?

The Life Coach Magazine staff is your team for high-quality content on topics from personal development, to coaching tips, to how to grow your coaching business.

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *