The Best Life Coach Programs

LearnHowToBecome Team
Alison Plaut
November 23, 2021

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If you're passionate about helping others improve their lives, life coaching can be an ideal career. Life coaching, unlike other careers, doesn't require a university degree. Life coaching certifications take a few days to two years and cost between $1,000 and $12,000.

Whether you want to enter coaching as your first career or make a career change later in life, these five programs provide the skills and accreditation to succeed as a life coach. Taking into account training time, courses, and accreditation, here's the five best life coaching programs to launch your coaching career.

5 Best Life Coach Programs

1. Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching

Program cost: $11,950
Location: Shrewsbury, New Jersey, but courses are all available online.

Why we chose it: The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) is widely considered the best in the industry. The 320-hour intensive online coaching education program prepares graduates with three professional certifications in one: iPEC's Certified Professional Coach (CPC), along with two iPEC-specific advanced coaching certifications.

This in-depth program includes three-day live seminars available in-person or online, as well as a workshop series to practice and master coaching skills. This certification is usually completed in 10 to 12 months. Upon completion, you'll earn the title of Certified Professional Coach (CPC) accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF), as well as two additional iPEC certifications.

2. Coach Training Alliance

Program cost: $2,400
Location: Fort Collins, CO, but courses are all available online.

Why we chose it: The Coach Training Alliance is a leader in International Coach Federation (ICF) certification programs. The self-paced course takes only six months to complete and offers several start dates throughout the year. There are free workshops available online to get a feeling for their offerings.

Offering a blend of coaching, marketing, and business skills, Coach Training Alliance promises to prepare graduates for real-world coaching and build a growing practice in six months. Class sizes are limited to a maximum of 12 participants. The average class and study time is about three to six hours weekly. On completion, you'll earn the title of Certified Professional Coach (CPC), accredited by the ICF.

3. Coach U

Program cost: $3,995
Location: Oregon City, Oregon, but courses are all available online.

Why we chose it: The 77-hour life coaching program from Coach U is specially designed to help professionals make the transition to full-time life coaching. The flexible course structure allows you to choose the format that fits your life.

In addition to the six-month online program, you can choose a six-day immersive coaching education course with pre- and post-program events to obtain your ICF Associate Certified Coach (ACC) certification even faster.

4. Health Coach Institute

Program cost: $4,450, or $7,176 if paid over 24 months.
Location: Boise, Idaho, but courses are all available online.

Why we chose it: If you're passionate about helping people with health and wellness, then the combined life coach and health coach course offered by the Health Coach Institute is a good choice.

In addition to the coaching and business pillars of other life coaching programs, you'll also learn about nutrition, habit change, and personal growth.

This program is 100% online and self-paced, but it includes weekly mentoring sessions and hands-on training in addition to the webinars and homework. At the end of the course, you'll earn the title of Certified Health and Life Coach accredited by the ICF.

5. Certified Life Coach Institute

Program cost: $995
Location: Online only.

Why we chose it: For those looking for a cost-effective and quick way to earn an ICF-accredited credential, the Certified Life Coach Institute offers a 3-day immersive course. Expect to learn ICF Core Competencies, including coaching skills and strategies to refine your niche and grow your business.

This is the best program for those looking to get started as a life coach quickly, but we recommend using this as a platform for further learning to improve your offerings to coaching clients.

How to Choose the Right Life Coach Program

When you're looking for the right life coaching program, you'll want a program that prepares you with the comprehensive skills and training to become a successful life coach. This includes extensive coaching skills and business and marketing instruction. Look for:

Qualified instructors
Professional instructors with extensive real-life coaching experience are essential for a good life coaching program. Select a program with instructors whose skills and experience match your coaching goals.
Supervised coaching hours
Does the program offer mentorship in coaching so you can learn and improve your technique? How much personalized instruction will you receive?
Business coaching services
If you plan to start your own coaching company, you'll need the business skills and marketing objectives to successfully build and grow your business. The best life coaching programs provide you with the skills to successfully manage the business while coaching.
Short program
We choose life coaching programs that can be completed in three days to one year. You will learn while coaching and can continue to earn additional certifications while starting your life coaching business.

How to Become a Life Coach

Becoming a life coach requires only a few steps:

  1. Complete one of the IPC certifications above.
  2. Select your niche or area of coaching.
  3. Set up your business structure and register your business.
  4. Purchase insurance as a life coach.
  5. Begin offering life coaching, or work in collaboration with another life coach.
  6. Promote your services online through social media, local newspapers, and message boards.
  7. Follow-up with clients and offer exceptional service to build your reputation as a life coach.

With these steps, you can start offering life coaching services online. As your business grows, you can consider an office space and collaborate with other coaches for a shared coaching service, such as business, health, and life coaching together.

Other Ways to Become a Life Coach

There is no specific degree or education required to become a life coach. While you can become a life coach without an IPC certification, the certification offers valuable education and better services to your clients.

Other pathways to become a life coach include a degree in psychology, education, wellness, or business. An associate, bachelor's, or master's degree in any of these fields, combined with specific training courses for greater learning, can be a practical path to becoming a life coach.

For those enthusiastic about higher education, a combination of degrees in psychology, education, and business can provide the broad base for successful coaching without the IPC certification.

FAQs on Life Coach Programs

Do you have to take a certification course to become a life coach?

No, you can become a life coach without a certification course, but the certification course is recommended for comprehensive training and wide acceptance within the coaching field.

Which life coach certification is best?

Which life coaching certification is best for you will depend on your career goals, the length of time you have to dedicate to the course, and your budget. Any of the five life coaching programs discussed here will set you up to become a successful life coach.

Can you take an online life coaching certification program?

Yes, there are online life coaching certification programs available. They're just as legitimate as in-person programs and are still widely accepted.

In the life coaching program, you will learn how to understand a client's needs, listen, and offer advice. You will help people evaluate their current status in careers, family, and relationships and help them set goals and take action. You will also learn business and marketing skills to launch your own life coaching business.

You can learn all of these skills online without issue.

How long are life coach programs?

Life coaching programs vary in length from three days to two years. All of the programs here are less than one year, with a median completion time of six months.

How much do life coach training programs cost?

Life coaching training programs cost between $1,000 and $12,000.

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Become Team
Alison Plaut
Contributing Writer

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