Life Coach Certification

What is a life coach certification, where do you get it, and do you want it?

Posted Oct 21, 2020

 Photo Mix/Pixabay
Source: Photo Mix/Pixabay

A life coach is a person who helps others make progress in their lives. Life coaches may help others with their work, relationships, health, or other day-to-day struggles. Life coaches work with adults to help them become their best selves, and not to treat any type of mental health condition.

It's important to note that life coaches are not like licensed therapists, mental health counselors, or psychologists, and life coaches must not in any way act like a therapist. That means they can not provide medical advice, give diagnoses, or treat any mental health illness. Life coaches are generally not even legally allowed to call themselves counselors, because they are not counselors. Rather, their business is to help people set and achieve their goals in different areas of their lives.

What are life coaching specialties?

Many life coaches focus on helping people with a specific aspect of their life. Here are some common life coach specialties:

  • Relationship coaching
  • Career coaching
  • Health/Wellness coaching
  • Leadership coaching
  • Weight loss or nutrition coaching
  • Financial coaching

What is life coaching certification?

Life coach certification programs usually include some educational content and some in-person life coaching practice. This approach enables life coaches to gain the right skills so that they not only know how to coach in theory, but also in practice.

Do you need life coach certification?

No life coaching degree is required and many life coach certification programs are not accredited. And at the time of this writing, there is no license required to be a life coach. That being said, life coaching organizations help increase the standards within the coaching industry. Because coaching is a helping profession, it is important to understand how to effectively communicate and help others set goals. That's why getting certification can really help you become a more effective coach and ensure you don't end up harming someone.

How do you choose a life coach certification?

The international coaching federation (ICF) is the main organization that accredits other coaching certification programs. ICF is a trusted organization in the coaching industry. So it may be helpful to choose a program that is accredited by ICF. Or, you may prefer training in a particular specialty that isn't accredited or is somewhat new (like functional medicine). Or, an ICF accredited program may be too expensive. Just be sure to do some research to make sure you'll be getting what you want and need from whatever program you choose.

As a life coach, who would be your clients?

Remember, life coaches do not council people with mental health issues. That's left to trained therapists and psychologists. Still, a variety of people seek out life coaching to help them reach their life goals. According to ICF, clients tend to be:

  • Managers
  • Executives
  • Business owners/entrepreneurs
  • Team leaders
  • Staff members
  • Other personal clients

How much do life coaches make?

According to an ICF research study, the average salary for a life coach is 61,900 (this is for North America). 

Is life coaching for you?

There are lots of different types of life coaching certifications. If you're looking to become a life coach, it's worth it to take some time to find the right life coaching certification program for you. 

And remember, once you become a life coach, success involves being building your own purpose-driven business, finding clients who are seeking wellness, and otherwise ensuring the success of your wellness business. All of these things are important to consider before taking the leap.

Created with content from The Berkeley Well-Being Institute.