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How To Become a Certified Life Coach

Last updated on February 21, 2024

Do you want to launch a life coaching career? To reach that fulfilling moment when you have a consistent flow of candidates eager to sign up for your course or join your sessions, you need to establish yourself as an expert and authority in the field—and therein lies the value of certification.

How to become a certified life coach? That’s what we’ll address in this post. From the practical steps to a list of top-rated life coach certification programs, we’ll break down everything you need to know to become a certified life coaching professional. 

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What Is a Certified Life Coach?

The coaching industry is unregulated, so there are no formal requirements to become a life coach. However, most individuals choose to enhance their knowledge and expertise by enrolling in coach training programs. 

Certification programs provide valuable education and insights into effective coaching tools, strategies, and techniques, and those who complete them are recognized as certified life coaches. 

Benefits of Becoming a Certified Life Coach

Why do the majority of coaches pursue certification? The global market value from coaching is estimated to be $6.25 billion in 2024, a notable increase from $2.85 billion in 2019. In a field that faces ever-growing expansion, certification can set you apart from competitors—but that’s not all. 

Here are some of the main reasons why coaches opt for a certified training program:

  • Providing your clients with a greater sense of confidence in your expertise
  • Boosting your marketing strategies with valid proof of your specialty
  • Gaining recognition in the life coaching industry
  • Connecting with leading experts in the life coaching industry
  • Mentoring opportunities with certified life coaching expert
  • Hands-on experience in coaching 

Education Requirements for Becoming a Certified Life Coach

Becoming a life coach doesn’t require any formal education requirements. However, certification programs may have their own educational prerequisites, such as an associate degree, to be eligible for application.

It’s worth noting that 55% of life coaches hold bachelor’s degrees, and 21% even have master’s degrees.

Life Coach Certification Accreditation

With the absence of regulations in the life coaching industry, the issue of certification programs becomes crucial. In the quest for a reputable life coach program, a key factor to consider is that the certification originates from a credible source. 

What can help you make the distinction is the accreditation. This ensures that the program adheres to the professional standards of the accrediting body, and it also carries significant weight in the industry.

Some of the most recognized coaching credentialing bodies are: 

If you seek specialized life coaching certification in the health niche, for example, you will come across health coaching industry-specific accreditations, such as the following: 

Keep in mind that a certification program doesn’t need to be accredited, and you can find comprehensive courses without accreditation. This credential can help you navigate the search to some extent, but if the program has excellent reviews and offers robust training, you shouldn’t overlook it solely because it lacks accreditation.

How To Become a Certified Life Coach

The journey to becoming a certified life coach varies based on the type of certification you choose. Typically, the process involves completing the educational component, fulfilling coaching hour requirements, and passing the final examination.

Group life coach mentoring - The Life Coach School Certification Review – Is It Right For You?

Once you opt for your preferred certifying organization, you can delve into the course overview and specific requirements. 

What to Consider When Choosing a Certification Program

If you’ve decided that you want to obtain a certification, you should also consider these factors to narrow down your choices and approach the search methodologically.

Niche

The first step is to determine what life coaching path is the right fit for you. There are certification programs for general life coaching as well as niche life coaching. If you’re still undecided about your field of expertise, you can enroll in a life coaching course that will equip you with all the key tools and skills, and through your educational journey and sessions with clients, you can work out whether you wish to specialize further. 

Cost

Certification programs are highly diverse in their offerings and comprehensiveness. Some include coaching hours and ongoing mentorships, while others follow the model of self-directed learning. All of this affects the cost of the program, so the prices vary greatly. The investment for a certified life coaching program can be less than $100 or can stretch beyond $10,000. 

Duration

Another relevant decision-making factor is the duration of the course and its flexibility. You can find accelerated programs jam-packed with information and practical tools that can lead you to certification within a couple of days. On the other hand, there are intensive programs that stretch over several months or last longer than a year. If you have a busy schedule or lifestyle with little to no flexibility, the solution is a self-paced course. This will give you the freedom to learn on your own time. 

Best Life Coach Certification Programs

Choosing the right certification program can greatly determine your path to successful life coaching. So, let’s briefly review the top-reviewed life coach certification courses.

Best for Comprehensive Learning: Coach Training Alliance

Coach Training Alliance is praised for its robust curriculum and practical approach to coach training. Through their Certified Coach Program, you can gain coaching skills as well as learn about the intricacies of marketing and developing a coaching business. You’ll take part in group mentoring sessions and coach-to-coach sessions for hands-on experience. 

Coach Training Alliance (CTA) logo
Coach Training Alliance
  • Program Cost: $3,897
  • Course Length: 6 months
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of delivery: Online

Best Budget Certification: Transformation Academy

Transformation Academy is an extremely affordable certification program that caters to numerous life coaching fields with its wide variety of coaching niches, including Confidence & Growth Mindset, Career, Law of Attraction, and more. 

Transformation Academy (TA) logo
Transformation Academy

The Professional Life Coach Certification delves into how to become a successful coach and how to build a business. You can also get access to this program as part of the Master Life Coach Certification bundle, which features four full-length courses.

If you want to pursue several certification programs, Transformation Academy’s monthly Life Coach Membership gives you access to all courses.

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

Best Advanced Coaching Certification: iPEC 

iPEC’s immersive and advanced programs are built on unique coaching techniques grounded in Core Energy Coaching™. Through iPEC’s Coach Training Experience, you have the opportunity to graduate with three valuable certifications:

  • Certified Professional Coach (CPC) 
  • Energy Leadership™ Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP)
  • COR.E Dynamics™ Specialist certification in one of several niches, including life coaching, health and wellness, executive coaching, and sports and performance coaching.
iPEC

You will also work with your mentor and engage in peer coaching for hands-on practice.

  • Course Length: 1 year approximately
  • Program Cost: $13,995
  • Accreditation: ICF, BCC
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Best for Mindset Coaching: The Life Coach School

The founder of The Life Coach School is Brooke Castillo, the host of the globally popular Life Coach School podcast. Her certification training program is focused on how to broaden your mindset, reach life coaching excellence, and achieve success in the coaching industry. 

The Life Coach School

Even though this certification program isn’t accredited, it is considered one of the most popular certification programs on the market due to its unique approach to coaching. This proves that accreditation isn’t always the prevailing factor.

One of the biggest advantages of the program is that you’ll have access to materials and monthly calls with Brooke even after graduation.

  • Course Length: 18 months
  • Program Cost: $18,000
  • Accreditation: None
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Best for NLP Coaching: iNLP Center

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is quite popular in life coaching, so among our top recommendations is the reputable iNLP Center, a pioneer in NLP training. If you wish to incorporate NLP techniques in your life coach practice, this is the ideal certification program.

iNLP Center

You can choose between life coach training, NLP Practitioner training, and Hypnosis Practitioner training. In this post, you can find out more about neuro-linguistic programming and its advantages.

  • Course Length: Self-paced
  • Program Cost: $2,600
  • Accreditation: ICF, INA
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

FAQs

  • How much does a certified life coach make?

According to iPEC, a certified life coach’s salary ranges between $62,500 and $245,000 per year. You can check the average salary in your state in this iPEC report.

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

Certification isn’t a requirement for life coaching, but if you wish to become a certified professional in this field, enrolling in a certification program is how you’ll reach that goal.

  • How much does a life coach certification cost?

The expenses of becoming a certified life coach vary based on the specific certification you choose. Certification programs can range from around $100 to over $10,000  in cost. For example, programs approved by ICF typically require an investment of a few thousand dollars.

  • Does accreditation matter in a life coach certification program?

Accreditation can enhance the recognition of your life coach certification, but it is not mandatory.

  • What is the most recognized coaching certification? 

With numerous certification programs and the various types of certifications available, it’s quite difficult to rely solely on the program’s name for recognition. If you seek widespread acknowledgment, you should enroll in an accredited training program. Institutions like ICF and CPD are globally recognized and hold a strong reputation, so they can be the ideal choices for earning reputable credentials.

Conclusion

Earning a life coach certification can open many doors for an aspiring coach. Not only will you have the privilege of learning from accomplished industry experts, but you’ll also possess tangible proof of your expertise and instill confidence and trust in potential clients. With an array of certification programs available, such as Coach Training Alliance and Transformation Academy, you can rest assured that you’ll discover a training course that aligns with your specific criteria.

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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