Last Updated: May 29, 2022
Life Coach Certifications
Life coaches are people who deal with the wellness industry by training people into achieving their full potential in their field of interest. Life coaches are also known as executive coaches and enlistment specialists based on the field in which they work. People who wish to bring drastic changes in their career life or personal life will be able to hire a life coach who will provide them with the exact guidance they require at that point in life. Those who wish to be a life coach will then have to work on their entrepreneurship skills, budgeting & marketing skills, creativity, leadership qualities, etc. if they wish to excel in this field.
The credibility of a life coach is significant if one has to build a strong clientele list. This mainly comes from the previous experience and certifications one has in the field. Since life coaches help people keep attainable goals and help them achieve them in a step-by-step fashion, they will also have to know the basics of professional ethics. Though training is not compulsory for this field of profession, having a certification will allow one to both understand and work with their clients better.
Becoming a Life Coach
There is no specific educational trajectory one has to follow if one wishes to be a life coach. This is mainly because there are no set regulations within this career field and also because the experience one has in the field and charisma will mostly surpass the certifications one can get. Though having an educational background in the field isn’t important, it would be best for candidates to have a degree in a related field if they wish to perform better with their clients. Related fields from which one can take a degree would include psychology, education, health, fitness, etc. depending on the kind of life coach one desires to be.
Candidates who wish to largen their clientele will have to take a certification that is accredited by the International Coaching Federation or the ICF. They will also be able to take programs from other coaching associations like the International Association of Coaching or the American Coaching Association. If they choose to take a program that is accredited by the ICF, they will have to clear the CKA/Coach Knowledge Assessment examination. The programs that are accredited by the ICF include-
- Associate Certified Coach- This is the first level of coach certification and candidates will be able to deal with minimal discovery questions.
- Professional Certified Coach- This is the second level of coach certification and candidates will deal with the self-discovery questions of the client.
- Master Certified Coach- This is the third and final level of coach certification and the candidate will learn about dealing with every aspect of the client.
Candidates will be able to get any of these certifications based on the number of hours and work they invest into the process. One will be able to upgrade themselves from one certification to another by attaining the requirements for each certification. Candidates will be able to take each of these pathways by choosing different pathways like the ACTP pathway, ACSTH pathway, and the Portfolio pathway, The details regarding the same are as follows-
ACTP Path for ACC and PCC
Candidates will be able to take the ACC and PCC credentials by using the ACTP Path. The requirements for each of these credentials in this pathway are as follows-
|Requirements||Coach Training Program with |
125 contact hours
10 mentor coaching hours
| Coach Training Program with |
125 contact hours
10 mentor coaching hours
|Fee for ICF Members||$100||$300|
|Fee for Non-Members||$300||$500|
|Review Time||4 Weeks||4 Weeks|
|Coaching Experience||100+ Hours with 8+ clients||500+ Hours with 25+ clients|
ACSTH Path for ACC and PCC
Candidates will be able to take the ACC and PCC credentials by using the ACSTH Path, as well. The details regarding this are as follows-
|Requirements||60+ Coach-Specific Education/Training|
10 Mentor Coaching Hours
|125+ Coach=Specific Education/Training|
|Fee for ICF Members||$300||$575|
|Fee for Non-Members||$500||$775|
|Coaching Experience||100+ hours with 8+ Clients||500+ Hours with 25+ Clients|
|Review Timeline||14 Weeks||14 Weeks|
Candidates will also be able to take the portfolio path. The details for this are-
|Requirements||60+ Hours of Coach-Specific Education/Training|
10 Mentor Coaching Hours in 3+ months
|125+ Hours of Coach-Specific Education/Training|
10 Mentor Coaching Hours
|Fee for ICF Members||$400||$675|
|Fee for Non-Members||$600||$875|
|Coaching Experience||100+ Hours with 8+ Clients||500+ Hours with 25+ Clients|
|Review Timeline||14 Weeks||14 Weeks|
Candidates who wish to take an MCC credential will have to follow the portfolio path. The details for the same are-
|Requirements||200 Hours of Coach-Specific Education/Training|
10 Mentor Coaching
Have PCC Credential
|Fee for ICF Members||$575|
|Fee for Non-Members||$775|
|Coaching Experience||2500+ Hours with 35+ Clients|
|Review Timeline||18 Weeks|
Life Coach Specializations
Most life coaches often go for a client base that has different interests. But some of them also specialize in a particular field so that they can put their existing degree to use or just because it is the field in which they excel. The different kinds of specializations one can take up as a life coach include-
- Family life Coaching
- Financial Coaching
- Spiritual Coaching
- Career Coaching
- Life Skills Coaching
- Fitness Coaching
- Relationship Coaching
Course Requirements for a Life Coach
Since taking a certification program is not compulsory in this field of employment, the course can be taken by any interested person. There are no requirements that are insisted upon by educational institutions that offer certification programs in life coaching. Those who wish to take up a certification will have to ensure that it is accredited by the International Coaching Federation.
But this does not mean that the certification will not be valid if it is not ICF certified. This is mainly because there are no set regulations as of now for this profession. But at the same time, the accreditation will come in handy while dealing with potential clients who can rest assured if the credentials of the life coach stand out. Candidates who take up a program under the ICF will have to complete the CKA which will require candidates to prove that they are competent in the field.
What is CKA?
Candidates who take up life coach certification programs that are accredited by the ICF will have to take an assessment called the CKA or the Coach Knowledge Assessment. The assessment can be taken in languages including French, German, Italian, English, Danish, Chinese, etc. The fee for the assessment is $300. Candidates will be required to learn about 5 main domains within this field. These domains are-
- Setting the Foundation
- Co-creating the Relationship
- Communicating Effectively
- Facilitating Learning and Results
- Coaching Foundations and Knowledge Base.
Format of CKA
The assessment is done in the form of a test where one will have to provide answers to 155 multiple-choice questions. Each question will have four answers supplied out of which only one will be correct. There is no negative marking for this assessment. The assessment will have a duration of 3 hours with candidates being able to complete it within 2 hours in general. The candidate is required to score above 70% to clear the examination.
Institutions Offering Life Coach Certification Courses
There are plenty of institutions in the country that offer life coach training and certification to aspirants. A few of the best certification programs from which one can choose include-
Institute for Life Coach Training Professional Certification
The professional certified coach program offered by this institute typically takes 18 to 24 months for a candidate to complete. It is one of the most extended and most intensive programs offered for this field with students being able to take up additional specializations in the field and also learn about the business aspect of this profession. The cost of doing the program is estimated to be around $7,500.
Coach U Core Essentials Program
They have a professional coach training program that has two phases. Phase 1 of the program will contain core essential topics and it will be taught within 77 hours. Candidates will get an ACC certification once they complete this phase. Those who take phase 2 of the program will get a PCC certification and they will be able to complete this within 72 hours. Both these phases can be individually completed within 15 months and they have a self-paced format. The fee for phase 1 and phase 2 is $4,495 and the fee for completing both these certifications together is $8,090.
Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching
This institute offers a life coaching training program with a focus on training individuals, couples, and groups. Candidates will be able to take three certifications from here including the Certified Professional Coach certification which will have 3 days of live classes every 12 weeks. The program is entirely virtual but is one of the most expensive certification programs. The fee for the program is estimated to be around $11,950. The materials that candidates will have to study will be in the form of e-workbooks, pdfs, and online workshops all of which will provide a personalized learning experience rather than force them into classroom setups. The duration of the program is between 10 to 12 months depending on the progress of the candidate.
Certified Life Coach Institute
This is one of the shortest certification programs one can take. Candidates will be able to get an ICF-approved certification within 3 days. Though the program isn’t in-depth like those offered by other institutions, they will be able to learn the basic core competencies required within the 33 hours of immersive training they receive. The fee for the program is $995.
Cost and Duration for being a Life Coach
The cost and duration of the life coach certification will vary based on the institution one chooses to go to. One will be able to find programs that last for a few weeks to those that last for a year and the price for such programs can vary depending on the intensiveness of the program and the duration of the same. Since most life coaching programs are offered an online mode, their fee is cheaper when compared to other certification programs. At the same time, one will be able to find hybrid programs and on-campus programs that will have higher fee structures and advanced educational content.
The average cost for a certification program in this field can range between $1,000 to $3,000. Students will have to spend roughly around $5,000 if they wish to certify themselves and complete all other necessary formalities before they enter the profession.
Life Coach Certification Renewal
Candidates who have been certified as a PCC by one of the institutions accredited by ICF will be able to renew their certification after 3 years. They will be able to do the same by visiting the official portal of ICF and logging into their existing profile. Their profile will have information regarding the expiry of their existing certification. On the same page, they will have the option of editing their profile where they will be able to find a link for credential renewal. They will have to apply for a renewal before the expiry date and up to 10 months before the date.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Life Coach
The roles and responsibilities of a life coach are dependent on the specialized field under which they take up each task. Every task will have its own customized need based on the requirement of the client and the task assigned to the life coach. Life coaches will generally have to
- Provide in-depth sessions to clients for understanding their life vision
- Customize the objectives one has to achieve and plan a step-by-step schedule that can help them achieve the said objectives,
- Identify roadblocks that the client is facing and provide detailed plans to by-pass them.
- Teach both emotional and behavioral regulation techniques.
- Evaluate the progress made by the client and summarize the chosen processes.
Salary of Life Coach
The salary of a life coach will be largely dependent on the experience of the candidate and the category of people they have in their clientele. According to BLS, the median salary of a life coach is estimated to be around $58,000 per year with one being able to get an amount between $35,000 to $97,000 per year based on their credentials.