Life coach training is offered by schools and professional coaching institutions, usually as a professional certificate program. A relatively new field in coaching, life coach training typically combines basic coaching strategies, mentoring sessions, and coursework in interpersonal relations. Some training areas require on-site coursework and internships for face-to-face technique practice, so fully online programs in this field are rare, although they do exist. Some programs are in hybrid format, which allows students to complete selected coursework online, while the majority of the curriculum is conducted on-campus. Online students may be required to purchase textbooks for their courses.
The International Coach Federation, which offers credentialing options in the field, maintains a list of over 200 approved life coach training programs on its website, many of which are offered fully or partially through distance education (www.coachfederation.org).
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Online Life Coach Training and Certification
Life coach coursework is designed to empower students with the confidence needed to help guide their clients through life's challenging questions and decisions. Training often focuses on how to help clients learn from their past choices while laying out a clear path for their clients' future.
Program Information and Requirements
Online programs are typically accessed on the Internet through the school or institution's online learning portal, although some programs feature mobile technology that allows students to access their program via smart phones. Requirements may include a PC or laptop, a high-speed Internet connection and office software. Some programs may require students to purchase textbooks, while other programs provide study resources online.
Depending on the program, online classes may be structured similar to on-campus classes with students meeting with instructors at a specific time or they may be in a self-study format that allows students to progress at their own pace. Courses may include the use of textbooks, online study aids, discussion forums, interactive web learning, as well as group conference call sessions. An in-person internship or clinical practicum may be included in some life coaching programs.
Distance learning coursework topics may include the following:
- Life Coaching Techniques
- Life Coach Foundation Skills
- Life Coaching Strategies
- Client Mentoring
- Professional Ethics
A few professional organizations and commercial coaching institutions offer professional life coach certification, either online or through in-person workshops or seminars. Professional accreditation assures clients that their life coach adheres to professional standards of conduct and practices.
Requirements for professional certification vary, but typically include a specific number of hours of life coaching experience and completion of a training program. The process generally includes an exam and the completion of a practice coaching session. Online certification is often interactive and requires participation in a live webinar. Certification organizations usually offer study aids or in-person workshops to prepare students for the certification exam.
Life coach training gives students the opportunity to be self-employed, work with other life coaches, work for large corporations and be employed in naturopathic or holistic clinics. Salaries for these professionals vary widely; according to October 2016 data from PayScale.com, life coaches in the United States earned anywhere from $26,530 to $200,465 a year. The median hourly rate was $30.
Continuing Education Information
Some life coaches may choose to continue their education by pursing degrees in counseling, social work, or psychology.
Students interested in working as a life coach can enroll in fully online or hybrid formatted certificate programs to receive training in areas like ethics, mentoring and coaching strategies. Graduates may need to pursue additional credentials or continue their education with formal degree programs depending on their individual career goals.