April 12

Life Coaching Requirements (7 Important Steps)


Starting a life coaching career sounds like a great choice, right? It is both exciting and rewarding, a fantastic career as a lifestyle path to help others, manage your own schedule, and help others. 

But let's be honest: building a thriving coaching business is more than just having a big heart and wanting to help. It requires a mix of skills, knowledge, and practical strategies to move ahead in the competitive coaching industry.

Please don’t think that it is as simple as sitting at Starbucks with someone and telling them your opinion. That is what bad coaches do. 

In this guide, we'll talk about the essential life coach requirements for building a successful coaching career. Are you ready to explore what it takes to make your coaching business a success?

Life Coach Education and Qualifications

Certification is vital for anyone aiming to practice professionally as a life coach. While it might not be a legal necessity, acquiring a certification from a reputable body shows credibility to your own coaching practice. It also reassures clients of your dedication and expertise.Also since COVID there has been a huge increase in jobs for coaches. Almost all of them require ICF certification. 

Organizations like the International Coach Federation (ICF) offer well-regarded certification levels:

  • Associate Certified Coach (ACC)
  • Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
  • Master Certified Coach (MCC)

Each of these has its own set of training and coaching hour requirements.

The International Association of Coaching (IAC) and the Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE) also offer respected certification programs. Typically, certification requirements include completing accredited training programs, mentoring hours, accruing a specified number of coaching hours, and passing a comprehensive examination.

Training programs designed specifically for life coaches cover essential topics like coaching techniques, ethical practice, and business development. Opting for an accredited program can ensure that life coaches gain a quality education.

7 Steps to Becoming a Life Coach

If you want to become a life coach, you should know that it all starts with curiosity and self-reflection. Here's a simpler guide to help you get started on this path.

1. Explore Different Niches

First, learn what life coaching really involves. Your role involves supporting people as they achieve their goals and make positive changes. 

You can specialize in different areas, but it is critical to learn the differences between counseling and therapy.   

2. Reflect on Your Strengths and Interests

Take time to think about your experiences and what you're good at. Do your friends often come to you for guidance? Do you find it fulfilling if you help others solve their problems? 

This kind of self-reflection is key in figuring out if life coaching suits you, and, if so, which areas you'd be most passionate about.

3. Get the Right Training

Look for a training program that's reputable and fits your needs. Programs accredited by the International Coaching Federation or similar organizations are a good choice. 

These programs usually cover the basics of coaching, how to conduct a coaching session, and the ethical considerations of the profession.If you want a high-paying job as a coach, you need ICF certification. 

4. Gain Practical Experience

Most certification programs will require you to complete a certain number of hours coaching clients. This hands-on experience is invaluable. 

It's where you get to put what you've learned into practice and start developing your own coaching style.

5. Choose Your Certification

Once you've completed your training and accumulated some experience, it's time to pick a certification. 

Whether it's with the International Coaching Federation, the International Association of Coaching (IAC), or another organization, choose the one that aligns with your career goals and start the application process.

6. Pass the Certification Exam

Prepare for and take the certification exam required by your chosen organization. This exam tests your knowledge of coaching principles and your ability to apply them. 

Passing it is a key milestone in becoming a certified professional life coach.

7. Launch Your Coaching Business

With certification in hand, you're ready to start your coaching business. Many decisions need to be made during this process, including defining your services, determining your pricing, and pitching yourself. 

A lifelong commitment to study and personal growth in your new profession is also needed for this role.

two business women smiling

Cost of Certification

The financial investment in becoming a certified life coach can differ greatly based on your chosen certification level, training program, and certifying body. 

Overall costs can range from $1,000 to over $10,000, covering training, certification fees, and other related expenses.

Choosing a Coaching Certification Program

Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a coaching certification program to help you make a decision that aligns with your personal and professional goals:


First and foremost, check if the certification program is accredited by a recognized body, such as the International Coach Federation, the International Association of Coaching (IAC), or the Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE).

If you're interested in becoming a recovery coach, the International Association of Professional Recovery Coaches (IAPRC) specializes in certifying professionals who guide individuals through recovery.

Accreditation ensures the program meets certain standards of quality and will be recognized by employers and clients alike.

Curriculum and Specialty

Consider the curriculum offered by the program. Does it cover the basics of coaching theory and practice? Does it include the niches you are interested in, such as business, health, or wellness coaching? 

The best program for you will align with your interests and the areas in which you wish to specialize.

The Coach Training Academy has several specialized programs:

If you’re interested in Executive Coaching, the academy has a program that includes eight 90-minute, live, interactive classes taught over Zoom by ICF instructors. This program is tailored for those looking to work at high levels within organizations, coaching managers, executives, and corporate leaders.

If you're drawn to a more holistic coaching approach, the Spiritual Life Coach Certification could be your choice. This is a two-month, self-paced program available after completing the core 24-week ICF Coaching program, focusing on integrating spiritual aspects into life coaching.

The Academy also offers a specialized module in Emotional Intelligence (EQ) 101, a 6-hour ICF-accredited course designed to help coaches incorporate EQ skills into their practice. These skills are key in understanding and navigating the emotional aspects of client interactions.

Training and Support

Look into the type of training and support provided. Does the program offer practical, hands-on coaching opportunities? What about mentorship or access to a community of coaches? 

The availability of these resources can greatly enhance your learning experience and prepare you for real-world coaching scenarios.

Flexibility and Format

Consider the program's format and scheduling flexibility, especially if you have other commitments. If you go for online courses, you can learn at your own pace, while other types of programs require in-person attendance. 

Choose a format that fits your lifestyle and learning preferences.

The Coach Training Academy offers a 24-week ICF Professional Coach Training Program, available online through weekly live classes. This program is perfect for those wanting a thorough introduction to life coaching.

Additionally, their 2-Day Fast Track Program is designed for quick, focused training, giving you a certified coaching model right away. It's an excellent choice for anyone eager to jumpstart their coaching career.

Faculty and Alumni Network

Look into the backgrounds of the instructors leading the courses. Clients would prefer mentors with extensive expertise and a proven track record in the coaching profession. 

Also, the program's alumni network must be supportive so they can help build key connections and interact with one another.

The Coach Training Academy is well-regarded, with founders who bring over 25 years of coaching experience to the program, which offers a strong foundation for your training.

a coach and a group of people sitting in a circle

Set Up Your Life Coaching Business

Establishing a successful coaching business is a combination of passion with practicality. Here’s a specific guide to help you establish a successful practice:

Define Your Coaching Services

First, determine what specific area of life coaching you're drawn to and what you're good at. This might range from career guidance to well-being. Then, consider how you want to provide these services, such as through one-on-one sessions or online group workshops.

Legal Foundations

You'll need to decide on the type of business you're setting up, like a sole proprietorship, and come up with a name that resonates with your brand. It's also wise to consider some form of insurance to protect your practice.

Create a Business Plan

Outline what you aim to achieve with your coaching business and who your potential clients are. It helps to know a bit about the market and how you fit into it. A basic plan for managing your finances is also crucial.

Set Up Your Coaching Space

Whether you're meeting clients in person or online, having a comfortable and professional space is key. Ensure your setup, whether physical or digital, is welcoming and distraction-free.

Develop Your Brand and Online Presence

Your brand is how people recognize you and your services. Creating a simple logo and choosing a color scheme can go a long way. A website is essential for showcasing your services, and being active on social media can help you connect with more people.

Marketing and Networking

For small business owners, sharing tips and insights about your area of expertise can grab people's attention and show off what you know. Networking, even online, opens up new opportunities.

Also, life coaching clients can share their positive experiences, which highlight the impact of your work. This approach not only builds your brand but also helps gain the trust of potential new clients.

Become A Successful Life Coach with The Coach Training Academy!

If you’d like to take an accredited life coach course, visit these coach training programs, and enquire to find out if this is the right path for you.

View our coach training program scholarships here.

FAQs About Life Coach Requirements

What's the best way to gain experience as a life coach?

Gaining experience can involve offering pro bono sessions, working with friends or family, or shadowing a more experienced coach to build your confidence and skills.

What tools or software can help me manage my coaching practice?

Useful tools include appointment scheduling software and video conferencing for remote sessions. You may also need a client management system for organization and financial software for budget tracking.

What should I include in a coaching contract?

A coaching contract should outline the terms of your services, session frequency and duration, payment terms, confidentiality agreement, cancellation policy, and any other expectations or boundaries for your coaching relationship.


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