A life coach is a person who counsels and encourages clients on matters having to do with careers or personal challenges. They are more than just a counsellor or consultant; they help others through the achievement process from the beginning to the end. Being a life coach certainly takes a special type of person and not always easy, but it can be a very rewarding and fulfilling career.

Does this sound like perfect career path for you?  If yes… then read on to learn more about the coaching certification process.

Education requirements

To become a coach, in most places there are no set requirements, but clients usually prefer coaches with qualifications and membership of a professional organisation.  The International Coach Federation (ICF) accreditation is a highly trusted resource. Their purpose is to promote the advancement of the life coaching industry around the world.

Some helpful skills you’ll need to acquire to be successful in the industry:

  • excellent listening and questioning skills
  • the ability to quickly bond with clients from different backgrounds
  • the ability to inspire and motivate clients to achieve goals
  • the confidence to challenge clients, but in a caring way

Choosing a coaching certification program

At this time there is no state or federal regulations of the coaching industry. Some governmental jobs may require certain types of certifications to be considered for certain jobs. For example, to work in health care organizations one might need to be a Certified Health Coach. To work in certain corporate jobs, it might be necessary to be an ICF Credentialed Coach. As jobs in coaching are not prevalent, the majority of coaches are self-employed and promote themselves using the certifications they have.

Currently, coaching certifications are offered privately through schools or specific organizations that offer certifications. It is anticipated by many in the coaching industry that some form of regulation or credentialing will be required in the future, so it’s a good idea to go ahead and get certified as soon as possible, to avoid higher tuition fees and regulations.

There are many different coaching schools around the world, each with their own unique style of philosophy, personnel, process and model.  You’ll want to be sure to choose a school that will deliver the training that meets your needs, intentions, goals and interests, and that is ideally suited for who you are.

What are the fees for coaching certification?

Most reputable coaching certification programs will charge between $5,000 – $10,000, and sometimes even more for a complete certification course. However, the potential earnings as a coach can reach up to $100,000 a year. So the cost isn’t a huge set back by all means, and can be a huge investment if you play your cards right. But before throwing out your cash for class, it’s best to understand the industry inside and out.  Programs can last anywhere from 3-12 months, but be wary of coaching programs that offer certification overnight.

What to expect as a life coach?

As a Certified Life Coach, You’ll help Your Clients:

  • Gain clarity and focus about their lives
  • Define goals and develop a plan for making them a reality
  • Tap into their potential
  • Expand their creativity
  • Discover solutions to life’s challenges
  • See opportunities, instead of problems
  • Lead happier, more successful lives


Being a life coach can be a highly lucrative career, but be sure do your homework in researching schools and their programs. Look for the best fit for you, whatever makes the most sense personally and professionally.