Life Coach Training
The life coach industry is not yet regulated, meaning that whether someone has taken a one-year course, a weekend online course or has no training at all, they can legally call themselves a career, business or life coach.
So, what kind of training is the right training? And what are the best coach training schools out there?
There are a ton of coach training schools that offer a variety of coaching methods - some of which are accredited and some that aren’t. If you are looking to hire a coach, get the name of the institute they went to and do some research on it to be sure they have the type of coach training that meets your needs. If you are looking to get certified as a life coach, there are a few things to consider when choosing the right school for you.
Life coach training schools
The ICF lists approximately 100 accredited coach training schools, which can be found using its Training Program Search Service (TPSS). Noomii also has its own comprehensive list of coach training schools, which includes the three types of program accreditation: Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP), Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH) and Continuing Coach Education (CCE).
- Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP) - considered an all-inclusive coach training program and includes a minimum of 125 hours of coach-specific training
- Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH) - considered an a la carte coach training program and includes a minimum of 30 hours of coach-specific training
- Continuing Coach Education (CCE) - intended for coaches who already have ICF credentials or who have completed basic coach training
As mentioned, there are a ton of coach training schools out there that offer a wide variety of training models.
Some of the biggest coach training schools are:
- CTI – Coach Training Institute
- The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)
- Accomplishment Coaching
- Coach U
Cost of life coach training
As mentioned, there are a ton of life coach training schools around the globe - some of which offer in-person coach training, while others are online coach training programs. What’s more, the length of the training can be anywhere from two days to two years - which will, of course, affect the cost of life coach training.
While it is not a requirement, it is often best to opt for an ICF Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP) when choosing a life coach training school. The ICF has a Training Program Search Service (TPSS) that makes it easy to browse their list of available ACTP’s and allows you to search based on the range of hours in the program, those that have distance learning options, language the program is delivered in and even coach specialty. Noomii has its own comprehensive list of coach training schools, which includes details like the cost, length, location and start dates.
Here are some of the major life coach training institutes with the length and cost of their life coach training programs:
|Training School||Course Length||Tuition Cost|
|Coach Training Alliance||180 days||$2,897 USD|
|Coach U||44 days||$4,195 USD|
|Accomplishment Coaching||180 days||$9,999 USD|
|Erickson Coaching International||180 days||$8,825 CDN|
|Coaches Training Institute (CTI)||341 days||$11,140 USD|
|Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)||217 days||$11,750 CDN|
As you can see, the cost and length varies between life coach training schools.
Life coach credentials
The International Coach Federation (ICF) offers the only globally recognized, independent credentialing program for coach practitioners and only awards these credentials to "professional coaches who have met stringent education and experience requirements and have demonstrated a thorough understanding of the coaching competencies that set the standard in the profession."
ICF certified coaches are a safe bet because the ICF grants accreditation based on the courses the coach has taken from an accredited school, the number of hours they have coached, as well as a final written and oral exam.
- Associate Certified Coach (ACC) – 60 training hours + 100 hours of experience
- Professional Certified Coach (PCC) – 125 training + 750 hours of experience
- Master Certified Coach (MCC) – 200 training hours + 2500 hours of experience
Since the ICF began over a decade ago, more than 20,000 coaches have participated in one of ICF’s three credentials, gaining coaching expertise and professional fulfillment.
Life coach experience/specialized training
Another factor to take into consideration when searching for the right life coach to work with is their experience and any specialized training they may have taken. While some life coaches are generalists, many have specific niches they have trained for or have more experience in and work with clients that need help in those areas.
Here are some of the coaching specialities on Noomii:
- Health and Fitness
However, even those categories can be broken down into more distinct categories. For example, a relationship coach may specialize in things like dating, marriage, divorce, parenting, eldercare, LGBTQ.
If there is some specific area a client needs help with, it’s almost a guarantee that there is a life coach out there that specializes in it. If you are looking for a coach and want some help finding that perfect fit, you can receive a personalized coach recommendation through Noomii based on your needs.
In regards to experience, a life coach that has similar life experiences to a client may be a better fit because they may have a deeper understanding of what that person is are going through (having faced it themselves) and be able to offer some great solutions. When a coach is choosing their niche, it is more often than not a reflection of their own life experiences, which can prove to be an asset to their coaching.
For example, if a woman is a stay-at-home mom seeking a life coach to help her rejoin the workforce with confidence after being off for years caring for her children, she may seek out a female life/career coach who has gone through that transition herself.
Of course, just because someone’s history doesn’t mimic the client’s doesn’t mean they won’t be able to help. The best way for someone to figure out if a coach is the right fit for them is to set up a free consultation/discovery session.
The same goes for professional experience. If a client is seeking a business or entrepreneurship coach to help them create a digital content strategy for their business and develop an ecommerce store for their products and services, finding a coach with a background in website development and online sales would be beneficial. What’s more, finding a coach that specializes in their area of business (eg. retail, health & wellness, beauty, finance, etc.) and has had a successful business of their own in that industry, will likely have some insider information they may not get elsewhere.
Life coaching models, methods and tools
Life coaches also use a variety of different coaching models and approaches, so this is another area you want to consider when you’re searching for your perfect match. A coaching approach is essentially the way a coach delivers their services - the principles, models and tools they use.
Some common coaching models include the GROW model, solution focused coaching, positive psychology coaching, co-active coaching, evidence based coaching, cognitive behavioural coaching, ontological coaching, neuro linguistic programing (NLP) - and the list goes on.
Life coaches may also use a variety of tools and assessments in their coaching practice to gain a deeper understanding of their clients.
Here are some of the tools and assessments used by life coaches:
- The Wheel of LIfe
- Big Rocks
- Myers Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI)
- True Colors
- StrengthsFinder 2.0
- Strong Interest Inventory
The tools and assessments that will work for one client may not suit another person’s coaching needs. For example, the Strong Interest Inventory® is a great assessment to help career seekers uncover which jobs are best suited to their personality and interests and even provides a list of recommended jobs and industries that best fit their personality.
Depending on their ideal client’s needs, a life coach may use a specific coaching model or a combination of more than one. What’s more, they may be trained to administer various assessments.