How to Become a Certified Life Coach | 2024

March 20, 2024
13 Minutes
Modified on:
March 20, 2024
Written by:
Swati Bucha
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Individuals face several inevitable ebbs and flows in their lives. Sometimes, an individual will find it easy to continue on a journey right before their eyes. Yet, they may find it harder to figure out the right next steps some other time. This is where a certified life coach comes in. The professional is trained to help others face those more difficult periods in their lives.

Several individuals are interested in active listening, empathy, and problem-solving skills. Their passion to help others and improve lives makes them interested in exploring a career as a life coach. This guide will detail how to become a life coach and other relevant aspects. 

What is a Certified Life Coach?

A certified life coach mentors and consults with individuals to strengthen their life skills. Professionals also help such people reach their full potential. A life coach usually uses interpersonal skills to learn and understand more about the client. 

The coach always aims to identify ways to change their client's desires or wishes. These professionals often offer support and constantly motivate the client. 

A life coach can also help individuals pass through major life crises. They change the emotional and social disorders that usually impact the client's life.

The specifics of the life coaching process depend on the niche chosen by the individual, like health and wellness, career, or relationship. Moreover, these coaches can take a different approach even when working in the same niche. Their approach usually depends on their knowledge, skills, and the client's requirements. 

Types of Life Coaches

1. Relationship Coach 

Relationship coaches are the experts who improve the relationship between two people by resolving their conflicts. They mediate the conversation between the individuals to help them settle sensitive issues and offer neutral opinions to resolve the issue. Some people might struggle with relationship issues, and a relationship coach helps them uncover problems that are causing the issue and suggests proactive strategies to overcome the problems. 

2. Mental Health Coach 

A mental health coach focuses on improving clients' psychological well-being and performance by improving their mental health. Mental health problems are increasing due to myriad factors in life, and they directly affect physical health and overall life. This is where the mental health coach comes in and teaches different strategies to manage stress and achieve mental peace. 

3. Career Coach 

A career coach helps individuals understand what career path is suitable for them. The coach also helps individuals looking to increase their salary with strategies and establish a work-life balance with proper time management tips. A career coach helps individuals identify their talent and find a career path and journey that aligns with their talent and passion. If a client is stuck and cannot understand how to progress in their career, the career coach offers personalized advice to help them overcome the barriers. 

If a client feels nervous about sending an email, public speaking, or meeting people, a career coach can help them resolve the issue and become successful in their career. 

4. Financial Coach 

Financial coaches focus on helping clients improve their financial stability. Their expertise and experience in financial management make them perfect for helping clients achieve their financial goals. Whether to hit a massive saving goal, find an appropriate way to manage cash flow, or build a strategy to pay the debt, the financial coaches offer personalized advice related to all financial matters. 

5. Spiritual Coach 

Spiritual coaches have unique training and expertise to help clients meet their goals regarding finding inner peace and their spiritual side. They utilize spiritual teachings and principles to help clients overcome their issues and find deeper meaning in life. They suggest meditation and prayer to promote spiritual awareness and wellness. 

6. Health and Wellness Coach 

A health and wellness coach focuses on improving a client's health and fitness. They hold certifications in personal training and nutrition, making them suitable for advising and developing strategies to help clients meet their health and wellness goals and resolve health issues.

What Does a Certified Life Coach Do?

As mentioned, a certified life coach helps clients achieve their goals. The same coach also performs the following duties:

  • Interviewing New Clients: These professionals interview new clients to help them achieve goals and improve their skill set. A life coach further tries to understand the client's goals, struggles, background, and personality through the interview.
  • Setting Goals: The life coach helps clients decide and develop different actionable plans to help them achieve their respective goals.
  • Collaborating with Clients: The certified coach further collaborates with clients for problem-solving, skill development, and money management programs.
  • Promoting Client Progress: A life coach communicates with all clients regularly to update them on their progress. This can be done via email or text message. This helps them reach their personal goals faster.
  • Motivating Clients: The coach always inspires and motivates the clients to achieve their personal goals with time. 
  • Building Strategies: A successful coach always creates effective strategies to help clients transform their lives.
  • Holding Clients Accountable: Life coaches hold clients accountable and ensure the latter’s work is successful towards achieving their professional goals.
  • Administering Tests: The life coach also administers various personality and skill tests. These analyses help clients understand how to excel or improve in their respective lives. 
  • Educating Clients: These professionals educate the clients on different emotional, social, communication, and interpersonal skills.

Skills of a Certified Life Coach

A life coach requires in-depth knowledge of the niche they are interested in and a few soft skills to excel in their career. Some skills to master are:

1. Communication

A life coach requires effective communication skills to convey their ideas to clients, even while drafting an email. They use such skills on the client to explain the changes they plan to make over time. This skill set helps a certified life coach develop healthy relationships with clients. It can further motivate the clients to speak about complex and emotional topics. This makes it easier for life coaches to motivate clients and identify ways to achieve their goals.

2. Compassion

Employers often expect a certified life coach to be empathetic because it helps them understand their clients' struggles. It also helps the coaches connect with others and identify what might inspire, motivate, and make all the clients happy. An empathetic behavior helps learn different lessons to identify the client's requirements.

3. Goal Setting

A life coach requires proficiency in goal setting to set achievable goals for clients in the future. Setting short- and long-term goals can help you solve the client's problems. It can also be done by identifying the paths to success. A life coach must also be proficient in SMART goal methods to set measurable, achievable, time-based, and realistic goals.

4. Observation

Life coaches always require keen observational skills to examine and listen to different clients. This helps them offer practical solutions to their respective problems. Moreover, observance allows the certified life coach to understand their clients' traits. This helps them create coaching based on the particular client's requirements.

5. Adaptability

Being adaptable is another requirement of a life coach. It helps them change their respective techniques to match the client's requirements. The ability to adapt to what works best for their clients helps a life coach guide them to success. Adaptability makes a life coach's job easier and enables them to offer clients the best coaching.

Educational Qualifications Required to Become a Life Coach

How to become a life coach is the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind who wants to pursue a career in this field. The good news is that there is no formal education requirement for people interested in becoming a life coach. However, studies suggest that around 55% of life coaches hold a bachelor's degree, and 21% hold a master's degree. Moreover, several certification programs have sprung up for life coaches who may set their education requirements for applicants. 

Those already pursuing their degrees and wanting to explore areas of study similar to life coaching can try social sciences and counseling specializations. Psychology, business, or social work are popular degree options currently available. 

How to Become a Certified Life Coach?

There are several pathways to becoming a certified life coach. These include: 

Approach 1 

Step 1. Choose a Particular Niche.

You must choose the right niche for a fulfilling and rewarding life coaching career. There are various life coaches, including personal, life transition, performance, career, financial, personal development, health, executive, and parenting professionals. So, choose the niche you love before starting this particular career. For instance, consider becoming a health coach if you want to improve the health and fitness of your clients. On the other hand, you can become a financial coach if you want to help them with finance and account management. 

Step 2. Complete Your Education.

Relevant education and certifications always make it easier to enter a particular niche. Most companies want to hire certified life coaches with at least a bachelor's degree in a field related to the respective niche.

Step 3. Become a Coaching Psychologist. 

A psychology degree is also an effective path that lets you become a life coach, specifically a coaching psychologist. It is a longer and more expensive option obtained through graduate education with a master’s in coaching psychology.

The frameworks, practices, and techniques used in this particular course are similar or the same as those used by life coaches. However, a few people argue that psychologists may provide better quality coaching and adhere to ethical standards better because of their comparatively more extensive training. 

Approach 2

If you plan to become an independent coach or a freelancer, irrespective of your educational background, then you will require base training to become a life coach. Here are the steps you can follow: 

Step 1. Take the Traditional Training Route.

You can always attain the relevant knowledge and competencies involved in life coaching by attending a certification course in this field. There are several training bodies to choose from, so you must select the one that suits your needs carefully. 

Better-quality training options may seem expensive because they include more training hours, supervision, and mentoring sessions. Several coaching bodies govern the standards of such certified life coach training. Coaching courses are often provided in person or online. They include theoretical foundations, accreditation, supervision, practical exercises, and mentoring.

Step 2. Pursue Certification.

Remember that certifications are not essential for a certified life coach’s role. However, they can still help verify your skills and knowledge as a professional in this field. This helps you generate new clients and increase your earnings in the same field. Many organizations prefer hiring candidates with relevant certifications. Such documents are a valuable addition to your resume, which ultimately helps you get hired for a desirable life coach job.

Step 3. Search for Clients.

You can look for clients as a certified life coach once you have completed the training program and earned relevant certifications. Try using a professional website and create a strong online presence for yourself to get started with the process. You can even tell people in your network about the skills you acquired as a life coach and the services you provide to everyone. You can also volunteer and organize free coaching sessions in the community to attract more clients in the future. This can greatly increase your popularity and client base. 

Step 4. Update Your Skills.

You must always have a fulfilling career as a certified life coach for independent life coaches and certified psychologists. There are many ways to update your skills in this professional field. For instance, you can take an online course in life coaching to enhance your expertise and knowledge. Consider courses that specifically focus on practical training so that you can practice the associated or acquired skill. Your updated skills can always add value to your and your respective client's lives. You can also attend seminars or pursue a postgraduate degree to improve your skills further.

Final Thoughts

You can always refer to this guide for the steps to becoming a life coach. Meanwhile, you may have a few options regarding how you would like to work as a certified life coach. However, the kind of change you would bring to each client’s life would be enormous. A few people work full-time in their life coaching businesses. Whereas a few others see life coaching as a side hustle. Meanwhile, another category of professionals seek employment as a coach within a larger organization, such as a school, a college, or a company. 

You will have the flexibility to decide how much to charge if you want to run your coaching business full or part-time. If you are empathetic, it is the right time to decide which career you want to pursue as a life coach.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What qualifications do I need to be a life coach?

Life coaching is not a regulated profession. You do not need specific qualifications to be a certified life coach. However, you can take specific training with providers accredited by coaching associations if you are serious about becoming a professional life coach and want to pursue your career in this field. 

2. How do you start being a life coach?

You can choose a niche for yourself and get proper training and certification to become a life coach. 

3. How do certified life coaches get paid?

A few life coaches charge monthly subscriptions for their respective courses. In exchange for such fees, they promise to provide fresh content regularly. Life coaches can always ask for one-time payments or develop a freemium model where the content is partially free.

4. Is it hard to become a life coach?

Life coaching is client-based work, so it is obvious that the profession has all the ups and downs of service-based businesses. Hence, you may face certain challenges, like managing several clients at once or communicating with multiple people. However, this profession can be rewarding if you know how to manage your responsibilities organizationally.

5. Are professional life coaches in demand?

Yes, there has been a growing demand for life coaches over time. The coaching field has become a multi-million dollar industry, currently accounting for a whopping $1.4 billion market, growing by 3.2% every year.

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