Login

Become a Certified Life Coach: Education and Career Roadmap

Certified life coaches help clients achieve personal and professional objectives through a collaborative process of self-assessment, problem-solving and goal setting. Requirements for life coach certification typically include a combination of formal training and experience. View article »

View 10 Popular Schools »

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

94% college-bound high school students
…said it was important to communicate with colleges during the search process. (Source: Noel-Levitz 2012 trend study)

Select a school or program

View More Schools
Show Me Schools
 Replay
  • 0:00 Becoming a Life Coach
  • 0:51 Step 1: Self-Assessment
  • 1:15 Step 2: Training Program
  • 1:58 Step 3: Coaching Hours
  • 2:33 Step 4: Continuing Education

Find the perfect school

Video Transcript

Becoming a Life Coach

Training Required Completion of a certified life coach training program
Certification Required; available from the International Coach Federation and others
Experience 100-2,500 hours of coaching, depending on the level of certification sought
Key Skills Communication, compassion, problem-solving, goal-setting, progress management, and people skills; creativity
Salary $45,318 (2016 median salary for life coaches)

Sources: International Coach Federation, PayScale.com

Certified life coaches work with clients to identify areas for growth, both professionally and personally. Through regular meetings, life coaches help assess their clients' progress towards meeting their goals.

Life coaches are required to complete a certified life coach training program, which are available through organizations such as the International Coach Federation (ICF). Prospective life coaches may log 100 to 2,500 hours of coaching, depending on the level of certification sought. Key skills for life coaches include communication, compassion, people skills, creativity, problem-solving, goal-setting and progress management. In January 2016, Payscale.com reported that the annual median salary for life coaches was $45,318.

Step 1: Self-Assessment

Since effective life coaching generally requires the coach to possess certain core competencies, prospective life coaches may choose to conduct an initial self-assessment to ensure life coaching is a compatible career. According to the ICF, these core competencies include active listening, strong verbal communication skills, genuine concern, creativity, problem solving, goal setting and progress management.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • College Student Counseling

Step 2: Training Program

The second step towards becoming a life coach is to complete an accredited coach training program. Among the various certifications available, ICF certification is widely recognized. The ICF offers three levels of certification, including the Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and Master Certified Coach (MCC). Certification commonly requires a combination of training, coaching experience, examination and reference letters from qualified coaches. Subjects taught in life coaching programs may include cooperative communication, the coaching relationship, identifying limiting beliefs, decision making, organizational behavior and professional ethics.

Step 3: Coaching Hours

The third step toward becoming a certified life coach is to complete the required coaching hours. Actual coaching experience is a key element of certification. The ICF, for example, requires coaches to complete and document anywhere from 100 to 2,500 hours of coaching, depending on the certification level. The majority of this must be paid coaching. This experience requirement may be satisfied through individual coaching, group coaching, internal coaching and coaching through a third-party organization. Coaching may be in person, by telephone or through another type of voice-to-voice medium.

Step 4: Continuing Education

Continuing education enables life coaches to enhance their professional growth and development. It is also a requirement for certification renewal. The ICF requires completion of 40 hours of approved continuing education every three years to maintain certification.

Here's a success tip: Consider attending graduate school. An advanced degree is not required for life coaches, but gaining additional education in a graduate-level program could help coaches hone their skills and increase their marketability.

The steps toward becoming a certified life coach include conducting an initial self-assessment, completing an accredited coach training program, completing the required coaching hours and continuing education.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma of GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?