I want to become a certified life coach

We will explore life coaching, whether becoming a certified life coach is worth it and provide a list of over 50 coaching schools to choose from.

So you’re planning to become a life coach, and wondering if getting a certification is the right step for you? Or maybe you are set on earning a certification, but don’t know where to start?

The life coaching industry is gaining traction and pursuing a career in life coaching is becoming more lucrative. So what exactly is a life coach? Simply put, a life coach puts clients on a roadmap to achieve their goals and become a better person.

Becoming a certified life coach takes effort and one of the key steps to success is to earn credibility through certification. In this article, we will explore what a life coach is, whether becoming a certified life coach is worth it, the existing governing bodies and the advantages and disadvantages of practicing life coaching in-person compared to online.

What to expect from life coaching and how it compares to being a therapist

So you might be pondering if becoming a life coach is worth it. Is it any different than being a therapist? People who seek out life coaches and therapists often look for the quality of the relationship, and they want someone who they can trust, and feel comfortable sharing personal information with. While both professions seem similar on the surface, there is an important distinction. A therapist examines an individual’s past and focuses on repairing any emotional problems. They have a set goal of rehabilitating patients so that they can regain their mental stability. They focus more on the why, and figure out the root cause for their patient’s problems so that they can address it in an effective manner. A life coach helps an individual achieve their goals. A person who seeks a life coach may not necessarily have any mental traumas, but often seeks guidance in life. Life coaching targets the present and creates a path for the future and focuses more on the how. When selecting the right life coach, individuals tend to examine experience and the amount of training and guidance they received from qualified supervisors. A reputable life coaching body will require that you have sufficient experience and guidance before awarding a certification.

certified life coach accreditation class

Who governs accreditations anyway?

Now that you know a little bit more about life coaching and its mission, it’s time to know about the governing bodies. There are over 500 accreditation bodies which provide institutions the authority to award certifications. The governing bodies set the standard for institutions to follow, including levels of certifications, and how many hours of training and experience is required to earn them, among some others.  We will describe three accreditation bodies that stood out to us the most for its recognition and influence around the globe.

Top of our list, for the USA & worldwide

The ICF or the International Coaching Federation, is the most widely recognized life coaching body, with over 41,500 members across130 countries. The ICF has three levels of accreditation: Associate Certified Coach, Professional Certified Coach and Master Certified Coach which require renewal every 3 years.  To be an Associate Certified coach, you need to put in 60 hours of training and over 100 hours of experience. Earning an ACC means you have demonstrated knowledge and emerging proficiency of the ICF core competencies. To rise up to a Professional Certified Coach, you have to have 125 hours of training, and 500+ hours of on-hand experience and demonstrate knowledge and proficient application of the ICF core competencies. The final level of certification is the MCC certification, which requires 200+ hours of training, and 2,500 hours of experience and demonstrates knowledge and high proficiency in the application of ICF core competencies.

Another option, for Europe only

Our next organization is for those that are based out of Europe. EMCC Global is based out of Brussels, Belgium and founded in 2002. It is internationally recognized, with over 5000 members based out of 85 countries. To become a member, you need to reside in an approved nation mainly in Europe, and you need to pay a fee of 150 euros. EMCC accredits individuals, organizations and training programs. They award four levels of individual accreditation: Foundation, Practitioner, Senior Practitioner and Master Practitioner with fairly strict requirements that include a set number of clients you helped. To earn a foundation certification, you need at least one year of coaching experience, 50 hours of client contact hours and coach at least 5 clients. To level up as a practitioner, you need to gain 3 years of coaching experience, have 100 hours of client contact and have coached 10 clients. The Senior Practitioner certification that comes after requires 5 years of coaching experience , 250 hours of client contact hours and 20 clients. Then the final level of certification is the master practitioner, which requires at least 7 years of coaching experience, 500 hours of client contact hours and have coached at least 40 clients. These certifications also require that at least 5 clients leave feedback within the past 12 months.

If you are in the UK

The final accreditation body on our list is the Association for Coaching based out of the UK. Founded in 2002,  its accreditation is internationally recognized and has members from 80 countries. They also collaborate with the two organizations mentioned in this article, ICF and EMCC. To get certified life coach training, you first have to become an associate member, which costs 139 dollars. To earn accreditation, you have to apply for full membership and undergo 50 hours of training and pay 195 dollars in monthly fees. The organization features four levels of individual training: Foundational Coach Accreditation, Coach Accreditation, Professional Coach Accreditation and Master Coach Accreditation.

To earn the foundational coach accreditation, you must complete 35 hours of coach training and earn 75 hours of experience. You also have to be under 3 months of coaching supervision. The next level is coach accreditation. To obtain that accreditation, you have to put in 40 hours of training, 200 hours of coaching experience and be under 6 months of coaching supervision. Rising to a professional coach requires 60 hours of training, 1500 hours of experience and a minimum of 9 months coaching experience. Finally, a master coach certification requires 80+ hours of training, 1500+ hours of coaching experience and a minimum of 12 months of coaching supervision.

These accreditation bodies set rigorous processes, which requires several hours of training and experience, but it can be worth it in the end. We will discuss the best institutions that you can attend that will leave you a knowledgeable and experienced life coach.

Certification Institutions

Now that you know about the best accreditation bodies, it’s time to examine institutions that award certifications. Researching all the institutions would take… quite a while. So we did the hard work for you compiled the list below of all of the 20 life-coach certification schools available in the USA. If you know of a school that certifies coaches in America that we forgot to list, please add it in the comments below.
School/Institute: Title of program: Duration of program: Cost of program: Certification Programs: ICF certified: Name of CEO / director: Contact phone: Contact email: Website URL: LinkedIn: Facebook:
iPEC Core Energy Coaching 7 - 9 months $11,950.00 • Certified Professional Coach (CPC) • Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP) • COR.E Dynamics Yes Luke Lorio, President (732) 982-8155 [email protected] https://www.ipeccoaching.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/school/ipeccoaching/ https://www.facebook.com/ipeccoaching/
The Institute for Life Coach Training ICF’s Professional Certified Coach (PCC) 130 hours $7,700.00 • Marriage Coaching • Relationship Coaching • Mentor Coaching Yes Kelly Adams, Director 888-267-1206 x103 [email protected] https://www.lifecoachtraining.com/programs/credentialing_path/program_pcc https://www.linkedin.com/school/institute-for-life-coach-training/ https://www.facebook.com/instituteforlifecoachtraining/
Coach Traning Alliance The Certified Coach Program 6 Months $3,347.00 • Executive coaching • Life coaching Yes Chris Osborn, CEO (303) 991-0388 [email protected] https://www.coachtrainingalliance.com/programs/certified-coach-program/ https://www.linkedin.com/school/coach-training-alliance/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/CTAgrad
Co-Active Co-Active Professional Coach Training 1 year $12,665.00 • Co-Active Professional Coach Training Yes Carey Baker, CO CEO (415) 451-6000 [email protected] https://coactive.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/coactiveleaders/ https://www.facebook.com/CoactiveLeaders
The Life Coach School Online Life Coach Certification 6 months $1,500.00 • Life Coach Certification Yes Erika Royal, CEO 916-461-3116 [email protected] https://thelifecoachschool.com/certification/ https://www.linkedin.com/school/lifecoachschool/ https://www.facebook.com/lifecoachschool
ALC Academic Life Coaching 24 weeks $2,100.00 • Life coach Yes Casey Partridge, Director (415) 451-6000 [email protected] https://www.academiclifecoaching.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/-alc/ https://www.facebook.com/alcforstudents/
Coach Training EDU Life Coach Certification - The associate package 7 months $3,279.00 • Executive coaching • Wellness coaching • Academic coaching Yes John Andrew Williams, President (503) 360-6700 [email protected] https://www.coachtrainingedu.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/school/coach-train-edu/ https://www.facebook.com/coachtrainingedu
Life Purpose Institute Life Coach Certification - Core Program 5-Day Intensive (In-Person or Online) or 3-Month or 6-Month Course (Online) $2,500.00 • Life Coach Certification Core Program • Spiritual Coach Certification Core Program Yes Fern Gorin, Director (858) 484-3400 [email protected] https://www.lifepurposeinstitute.com/programs/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/life-purpose-institute/ https://www.facebook.com/LifePurposeInstitute
Life Coaching Institute of America ACSTH 140 hours $2,985.00 • Life coaching Yes Leslie D. Schultz, Director (877) 599-5242 [email protected] https://lifecoachingamerica.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/life-coaching-institute-of-america/about/ https://www.facebook.com/LifeCoachingInstituteOfAmerica
Southwest Institute of Healing Arts Life Coaching 100 hours $1,800.00 • Health and Wellness Coach • Life coaching • Spiritual Coach and Celebrant No KC Miller, Owner/Director (480) 994-9244 [email protected] https://swiha.edu/life-coaching/ https://www.linkedin.com/school/southwest-institute-of-healing-arts/ https://www.facebook.com/MySWIHA
ASPEN Family Wellness Center Pioneer Freedom 120 hours $4,600.00 • Pioneer • Pioneer Freedom Yes Katy Rushton, CEO 208-419-7498 [email protected] https://www.aspenfwc.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/aspen-family-wellness-center/about/ https://www.facebook.com/aspenfwc
Behavioral Health & Leadership Dynamics, LLC Life Coach certification 4 weeks - 30 hours $1,495.00 • Life Coach • Health & Wellness Certification Yes Margaret McCraw, Owner & Principal Consultant (443) 759-5734 [email protected] https://bhcld.com/life-coach-health-wellness-certification-programs/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/margaretmccraw https://www.facebook.com/DrMargaretMcCraw
Breakpoint Coaching Collective, LLC Life coaching 12 weeks $1,375.00 • Certified Life Coach No Patrice Carter, Coach/Director (910) 551-7358 [email protected] https://www.drpatricecarter.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/breakpoint-coaching-collective/ https://www.facebook.com/BreakpointCoaching
Psychospiritual Coaching Institute Psychosynthesis Life Coach Training 136 hours $7,997.00 • Psychosynthesis Life Coach • Leadership Certification Yes Val Silidker, Co-founder, Director, Lead Instructor, Board Certified Coach 305.498.0110 [email protected] https://psychospiritualcoaching.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/psychospiritual-institute https://www.facebook.com/psychospiritualcoaching/
Wainwright Global Live Online Course 16 hours - 30 days $1,997.00 • Professional coaching • Health/Wellness coaching • Recovery coaching • Relationship coaching • Spiritual coaching Yes Barbara Wainwright, CEO (949)281-6737 [email protected] https://www.lifecoachtrainingonline.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/fowler-wainwright-international/about/ https://www.facebook.com/WainwrightGlobalLIfeCoaches
IWA Integrative Wellness Academy Integrative Life Coaching Certification 3-6 months $1,200.00 • Life coaching Yes Rachel Eva Dew, CEO 818-358-3131 [email protected] https://iwacoaching.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/integrative-wellness-academy-0b2751146/ https://www.facebook.com/iwacoaching
iNLP Center Standard Track 30 hours $2,600.00 • Master Life Coach Certification (MLC) • Life Coach Certification (CLC) • NLP Practitioner Certification (P.NLP) • NLP Master Certification (M.NLP) Yes Hope Bundrant, CEO (951) 428-4264 [email protected] https://inlpcenter.org/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/inlpcenter/ https://www.facebook.com/inlpcenter
IAP Career College Life Coach Certificate Course Online 4 - 12 weeks $377.00 • Career Coach Master Professional Certification Course • Executive Coach Master Professional Certification Course Yes Andrew Jenkins, President 403-949-0037 [email protected] https://www.iapcollege.com/program/life-coach-course/ https://www.linkedin.com/school/iap-career-college/ https://www.facebook.com/iapcollege
Certified Life Coach Institute Certified Life Coach 3 days $995.00 • Life coach • Master coaching Yes Angelika Koch, CEO (714) 609-6370 [email protected] https://www.certifiedlifecoachinstitute.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-certified-life-coach-institute/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/CLCIAlumni
Transcendent Life Coaching Institute Master Life Coaching 62 instructional hours and 100 practicum hours $3,000.00 • Certified Master Life Coach No Fiyah Oates, Founder/CEO (404) 447-0086 [email protected] http://transcendentlifecoaching.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/transcendence-institute/ https://www.facebook.com/TLCCoreCare/
Christian Coach Institute, LLC Certified Professional Life Coach (CPLC) 80 hours $4,600.00 • Life Coach (CPLC) • ICF Mentor Coaching • Group Coaching Mastery Yes Janice LaVore-Fletcher, CEO (704) 929-4226 [email protected] https://www.christiancoachinstitute.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/christiancoachinstitute/ https://www.facebook.com/ChristianCoachInstitute
The CaPP Institute CPEC 6 months $3,290.00 • Executive Coach Yes Valorie Burton, CEO (404) 592-5262 [email protected] https://cappinstitute.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/the-capp-institute-151830188/ https://www.facebook.com/valorieburton
The American School of Professional Life Coaching (ASPLC) CPC 1 year $6,875.00 • Certified Life Coach • Certified Executive Coach • Certified Health and Wellness Coach • Certified Spiritual Coach • Certified Leadership Coach • Certified Career Coach • Certified Relationship Coach • Certified Business Coach • Certified Transition Coach Yes Victoria Goldsten, Director (800) 680-5762 [email protected] https://asplc.org/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-american-school-of-professional-life-coaching-washington-dc/about/ https://www.facebook.com/elliott.rosenbaum.1
Universal Coach Institute Certified Life Coach 1 year $797.00 • Life Coach • Codependency Coach • Relationship Coach • Business Coach Yes Ayisha Amatullah, Founder (866) 826-2242 [email protected] https://www.universalcoachinstitute.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/universal-coach-center/ https://www.facebook.com/UniversalCoachInstitute/
BetterUp BetterUp Care n/a n/a n/a Yes Alexi Robichaux, CEO (415) 969-3874 [email protected] https://www.betterup.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/betterup/ https://www.facebook.com/betterupco
Association for Coaching (AC) ACCT 12 months $1,080.00 • Life coaching Yes Katherine Tulpa, CEO 44 (0)333 006 2676 [email protected] https://www.associationforcoaching.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/association-for-coaching/ https://www.facebook.com/associationforcoaching/
Team Coaching International CTPC 85 hours $5,495.00 • Team Coaching Certification • Executive Team Coaches No Phil Sandahl, CEO 415-578-1040 [email protected] https://teamcoachinginternational.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/team-coaching-international/ https://www.facebook.com/TeamCoachinginternational
BTS Coaching Leadership Coaching 4 months $5,600.00 • Leadership coaching No Sue Stokely, Director 415-362-4200 [email protected] https://www.bts.com/leadership-coaching https://www.linkedin.com/company/bts-coach/ https://www.facebook.com/btsworldwide
Coach-To-Transformation ACSTH Coach Training certification 70 hours $3,900.00 • ICF Coach certification • ICF Master certified coach • Mentor coach Yes Rajat Garg, Leader 91 99717 01403 [email protected] https://coach-to-transformation.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/coach-to-transformation/ https://www.facebook.com/Coach2Transform/
Master Coach University ACSTH 12 months $3,347.00 • Master Coaching Yes Alan Myers, Director 858-707-5920 [email protected] https://mastercoachuniversity.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/master-coach-university/ https://www.facebook.com/mastercoachuniversity
Business Ring BR LLC Website is inactive n/a http://www.businessring.az/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/businessring/
Master Coach Azerbaijan Website is inactive n/a http://www.mastercoach.az/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/mastercoachaz/
Master IEP Coach Master IEP Coach® Mentorship 5 weeks $497.00 • Master coaching Yes Catherine Whitcher, CEO (515) 988-7692 [email protected] https://www.catherinewhitcher.com/masteriepcoachenrollment https://www.linkedin.com/company/masteriepcoach/ https://www.facebook.com/masteriepcoach/
International Coaching Federation ACTP 100 hours $300.00 • Life coaching • Mentor coaching Yes Magda Nowicka Mook, CEO (859) 219-3580 [email protected] https://coachingfederation.org/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/international-coaching-federation/ https://www.facebook.com/icfhq
COACH A Leadership coaching 6-12 months $7,500.00 • Leadership coaching Yes Wataru KURIMOTO, Director 81-3-3237-8050  https://global.coacha.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/coach-a/
Life Clinic Group Executive Coaching You must contact them for more information • Executive Coaching Yes NANCY MALLEROU, CEO 30 21 0677 2222 [email protected] http://www.lifeclinicgroup.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/life-clinic-group/about/
Barefoot Coaching Ltd Business & Personal Coaching 3-6 months $4,750.00 • Executive coaching • Team coaching Yes Kim Morgan, CEO 01332 863641 [email protected] https://www.barefootcoaching.co.uk/ https://www.linkedin.com/school/barefoot-coaching/ https://www.facebook.com/barefootcoachinglimited/
Academy of Creative Coaching Creative Coaching 6 months $3,195.00 • Creative Coaching Yes Pamela Antoinette, President (800) 861-8490 [email protected] https://academyofcreativecoaching.com/contact/contact-acc/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/academy-of-creative-coaching/ https://business.facebook.com/acccoaches/
Certified Coaches Federation Certified Master Coach 10 weeks $3,158.00 • Master coaching • Group coaching • Leadership coaching Yes Rod Macdonald, CEO (866) 455-2155 [email protected] https://certifiedcoachesfederation.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/certified-coaches-federation/ https://www.facebook.com/certifiedcoachesfederation/
FLOW Coaching Institute Advanced Coaching Certification 5 months $4,990.00 • Business coaching Yes Talyaa Vardar, CEO/Director 1 416-915-4144 [email protected] https://flowcoachinginstitute.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/flow-coaching-institute-co/ https://www.facebook.com/flowcoachinginstitute/
NET Training Institute Life Coaching 6 months $1,497.00 • CPC • Family coaching • Recovering coaching Yes Jean LaCour, CEO (407) 446-3740 [email protected] https://www.recoverycoachtraining.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeanlacour/ https://www.facebook.com/RecoveryCoachTrainingIAPRC/
The Global Coach & Entrepreneur Institute Master Life Coach 12 months $1,297.00 • Life coaching • Mental health coaching No LaKendra Smalley, CEO (682) 231-0007 [email protected] https://globalcoachentrepreneur.org/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/globalcoachentrepreneur/about/ https://www.facebook.com/globalcoachentrepreneur/
Aim Higher Life Coach Certification Life Coach 120 hours $1,000.00 • ICF Certified Christian Life Coach Yes Trish Presland, CEO (586) 773-6568 [email protected] https://www.aimhigherlc.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/35581730/ https://www.facebook.com/AimHigherLifeCoaching/
World Coach Institute Certified Life Coach (CLC) 3 months $2,500.00 • Life Coach Certification • Wellness Coach Certification • Career Coach Certification • Relationship Coach Certification • Addiction Coach Certification • Spiritual Coach Certification • Executive Leadership Certification • Business Coach Certification • Marketing Coach Certification • Christian Coach Certification • Master Coach Certification • Group Coach Certification • Laser Coach Certification • Corporate Team Coach Training • Management Coach Training • Leadership Coach Training Yes Ally Wieser Hernandez, Director (877) 633-5082 [email protected] http://www.worldcoachinstitute.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/world-coach-institute/about/ https://www.facebook.com/WorldCoachInstitute/
Transformation Academy Certified Life Coach 5 months $199.00 • Life coaching Yes Joeel and Natalie Rivera, CEO (941) 479-0323 [email protected] https://transformationacademy.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/school/transformationacademy/ https://www.facebook.com/transformationacademyonline/
The Guerrette Institute Life Coach 3 days $525.00 • Life coaching Yes Sue Guerrette, CEO (352) 427-6335 [email protected] https://guerretteinstitute.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/sue-guerrette-31570a21/ https://www.facebook.com/guerretteinstitute/
Center for Coaching Certification Certified Master Coach 33 hours $995.00 • Mentor coaching Yes Cathy Liska, CEO (800) 350-1678