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How to Become a Career Coach – Best Certification Programs

Last updated on February 26, 2024

Do you want to help people achieve their professional goals and live a more fulfilled life? Being a career coach can be a rewarding profession. Since career coaches are increasingly in demand, you can finally do what you enjoy and build wealth at the same time. 

Are you wondering how to become a career coach? A step that can fast-track your coaching journey is earning a career coach certification. Here are the best career coach certification programs for aspiring coaches. 

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What Is a Career Coach?

A career coach helps individuals reach their professional goals through planning, strategizing, and guiding. Some of the techniques that a career coach uses are:

  • Interviewing the client about their background, skills, desires, and lifestyle
  • Identifying the client’s goals and objectives
  • Identifying the client’s strengths and expertise 
  • Setting measurable goals
  • Planning at what speed and with the help of which methods the client can achieve their goals
  • Motivating the client 
  • Tracking performance
  • Career planning

To be successful as a career coach, you should hone certain skills, such as:

  • Questioning 
  • Analyzing
  • Listening 
  • Problem-solving
  • Compassion
  • Motivational skills

While you don’t need a degree or certification to become a career coach, the latter does help with building your reputation. How to become a certified career coach? The quickest path is choosing a career coaching certification program. 

Is Career Coaching Profitable? 

Any form of life coaching, including career coaching, has become quite popular in recent years, which is why career coaching can be a highly profitable niche

How do career coaches make money? Well, the most common method is charging by the hour for sessions. Career coaches can work with both individuals and organizations or companies. 

What Is the Difference Between Career Counselor and Career Coach?

A career counselor assists clients in finding employment by providing industry information and advice. A career coach’s role also entails helping the client find a new position if desired, but the career coach’s primary focus is on the client’s current professional situation and what action is needed for the client to reach their career goal. A career coach takes into consideration a client’s entire life, including their values, strengths, and interests.  

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Career Coaching Certification

There are numerous options for earning a career coaching certification. To pick the right one for you and your coaching goals, you should consider the price, course length, and accreditation. 

Program Cost

The cost of the program depends on how comprehensive it is and what it includes. Since there’s a great diversity of programs available today, the fee can vary greatly. Finding a program online will open up more possibilities for affordable training.

Course Length

Some courses can last for several months and demand your presence at a specific time and date while others allow you to learn independently at your own pace. Make your decision based on your timeline and career coaching goals.  


Life coaching certification programs don’t need to be accredited. So, does accreditation matter at all? Accreditation can give you the assurance that the program is designed according to the standards and principles of a reputable accreditation body. The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the most recognized accreditation organization in the coaching community. 

Best Coaching Certifications for Becoming a Career Coach

It’s difficult to identify the single best certification program since your goals as a coach can differ, and each program offers valuable content for preparing you for the coaching world. Therefore, we have picked five top coaching certifications for you to peruse. 

Marketing Option: Certified Professional Career Coach

The Certified Professional Career Coach training and certification program has a holistic approach. The curriculum is robust and includes video materials, written material, inspirational stories, and case studies to equip you with career coaching skills. On top of that, you’ll also have personal telephone coaching with the instructor, online Q&A support, and coaching time to test your capabilities. 

Certified Professional Career Coach logo
Certified Professional Career Coach Training and Certification Program

What separates this program from the rest is that it covers how to leverage social media to market your business. 

  • Course Length: Self-paced (up to one year)
  • Program Cost: $1,200
  • Accreditation: Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARW/CC)
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Self-Paced Option: World Coach Institute

If you like learning without any time restraints, the World Coach Institute offers a great program that is completely self-paced. They combine e-learning with textbooks, quizzes, webinars, and coaching sessions with a classmate. The modules include Training Methodology Learning and Application, Career Coach Training Practicum, Business Builder Mentoring Program, and Buddy Coaching.

World Coach Institute logo
World Coach Institute – Certified Career Coach Training Course
  • Course Length: Self-paced
  • Program Cost: $5,000
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Beginner Option: Coach Training Alliance

The Art & Science of Coaching Career Transitions program by Coach Training Alliance is perfect for those who want to test out career coaching and find the unique approach that will separate them from others in the business. The instructor will help you discover whether career coaching is your true calling, how to build coaching products and successful career coaching practices, and how to market and sell your services.  

Coach Training Alliance – The Art & Science of Coaching Career Transitions

There’s also a free quiz if you’d like to find out whether you have the traits needed to be a great life coach. We’ve reviewed CTA in detail so that you can read more about them here

  • Course Length: 2 weeks
  • Program Cost: $149
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Career Change Option: Transformation Academy

Transformation Academy has a variety of affordable life coaching courses, including a Career Coach Certification program. The curriculum focuses on how to coach clients in job hunting, writing resumes, improving interviewing skills, LinkedIn networking, and building a career they love.

Transformation Academy – Career Coach Certification

Do you want to know what else TA has to offer and how it compares with other programs? Our review covers all of that. 

  • Course Length: Self-paced
  • Program Cost: $197 (Get 50% off using our link! Discount applied at checkout.)
  • Accreditation: Continuing Professional Development Standards Agency (CPD)
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Choose Your Level Option: International Association of Career Coaches (IACC)

The International Association of Career Coaches (IACC) has three levels of career coaching certifications that you can choose based on your coaching goals: Senior Professional Career Coach (SPCC), Master Professional Career Coach (MPCC), and Senior Professional Résumé Writer (SPRW).

What makes these courses valuable is that they provide comprehensive hands-on experience, a chance to watch a master coach work with her own clients, and unlimited live feedback.

International Association of Career Coaches (IACC) logo
International Association of Career Coaches (IACC) – Career Coaching Certification Programs
  • Course Length: 12 weeks 
  • Program Cost: Starts at $1,250; more options here
  • Accreditation: None
  • Mode of Delivery: Online


  • How much does a career coach make?

The average career coach’s salary in the United States is $57,596 according to GlassDoor.

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

You don’t necessarily need a certification; however, it will help you speed up the process of mastering the career coaching profession.

  • How much does a career coach certification cost?

The cost of earning a certification starts at over $100 and can reach over $10,000. 

  • Does accreditation matter in a career coach certification program?

Accreditation can give you leverage when promoting your coaching expertise, but there are also great coaching programs that aren’t accredited.

  • What is the most recognized coaching certification? 

Coaching is a profession in expansion, so it’s tough for clients and coaches to be familiar with all available programs. So, how can you earn recognition? You can choose a certification program accredited by a well-known body like ICF-accredited Coach Training Alliance or CPD-accredited Transformation Academy.


The benefit of being a certified career coach is that the certificate can help you market your products, attract clients, and earn recognition in the coaching community. Another huge plus is that you will build your confidence as a coach and improve your coaching skills. So, take action, enroll in a program, and pave your way to coaching excellence.

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

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