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.
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.
|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|