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Life Coach Requirements: A Complete Guide

by Jerald Dyson
life coach requirements

If you are seeking a career as a professional life coach, you are probably wondering, what are the life coach requirements for becoming a life coach? Do you need a degree to be a life coach? What do you need to become a certified life coach? Well, to answer all your questions, in this article, we have thoroughly explained all the requirements for becoming a life coach. 

Starting a career as a self-employed life coach is quite intimidating. However, it is a decision that can be both financially rewarding and emotionally fulfilling. In addition, as a self-employed person, you have personal freedom, scheduling flexibility that many people wish for. 

There are some following requirements for becoming a life coach. 

Life Coach Requirements: Educational Requirements 

Let’s start with the most important question: what are the educational requirements for becoming a professional life coach? 

If you are taking a coaching program – whether online or in-person – the end goal is to take a certification or credentialing exam. In the life coach business, you don’t need to earn a certificate, but it’s highly recommended if you want to earn your client’s trust and become a serious and successful life coach.  

life coach requirements

According to one study, more than 84% of life coaches believe that holding a certification from an authorized organization was vital to their decision. If you have a certification from a legit organization, it shows that you know what you are doing and can work in an ethical, well-rounded, and psychologically sound way.  

Types Of ICF Credentials 

If you want to become a certified life coach, you should know that there are three types of ICF credentials with different life coach requirements: 

Master Certified Coach (MCC) 

In order to become a master certified coach, you must practice more than 2500 hours of life coaching. Out of these 2500 hours, at least 2200 hours must be paid by more than thirty-five different clients. Plus, you need to have at least ten hours of mentor coaching. Other than that, your need to submit two audio recordings of coaching sessions, a performance evaluation, and hold a PCC credential to become a master certified coach. 

Cost 

  • For ICF Members — this credential can cost up to $575 
  • For Non-Members – this certification can cost up to $775 

Professional Certified Coach (PCC) 

If you think MCC requires a lot of work, you can become a professional certified coach. To become a PCC, you need to complete an ACSTH or ACTP. Plus, you need to accumulate more than 500 hours of life coaching. Out of these 500, at least 440 hours must be paid by twenty-five different clients. Other than ACSTH and ACTP, you must also complete CKA – Coach Knowledge Assessment. 

Cost 

  • For ICF Members – this credential can cost up to $300 
  • For Non-Members – this certificate can cost up to $500 

Associate Certified Coach (ACC) 

If you want to become an associate certified coach, you must complete CKA, ACSTH, and ACTP. Plus, you need to practice more than 100 hours of life coaching. Out of these 100 hours, at least 75 hours must be paid by eight different clients. On average, this certification process can take up to four weeks to process. 

Cost 

  • For ICF Members – this credential can cost up to $100 
  • For Non-Members – this certification can cost up to $300 

Life Coach Requirements: Training Program 

Both online and in-person life coach training programs are available worldwide. However, it is essential to consider the duration and the cost of each program. Both programs have their own pros and cons. Here are some of the most popular life coach training programs available out there: 

life coach requirements

In-Person Training Programs:

  • Fielding Graduate University 
  • Columbia University 
  • University of Texas 
  • Rice University 
  • Co-Active Training Institute 

Online Training Programs:

  • CoachU 
  • iNLP Center 
  • Coach Training Alliance 

Personality Requirements 

Life coach requirements: Anyone can start a career as a life coach, but there are some personality life coach requirements that can guarantee success in such an empathetic, relational career path. Good life coaches easily connect with their clients and offer comfort, understanding, and compassion. They are both loving and firm, both patient and direct, both understanding and authoritative. 

Some people have these skills naturally, while others have to practice them over and over until they feel comfortable using them in coaching sessions. 

Here are some of the essential personality requirements for a life coach: 

Perseverance 

The life coaching business is quite rewarding but has its ups and downs. As a life coach, you must possess the skill of perseverance; you must push through difficulty and discouragement. Although starting your own business is quite intimidating and is not filled with smooth sailing, you need to work hard for yourself and remember the lifelong benefits. 

Curiosity 

To become a life coach, you must have a life-long fondness for learning because the tools and techniques for coaching are always evolving. Therefore, if you want to become a successful life coach, you need to stay on top of new coaching trends, strategies, psychological research, and methods.  

Resourcefulness 

It would be best if you were quick as lightning. You must find new and innovative ways to reach your ideal clients and help them achieve their desired life adjustments and key realizations. No two clients are the same. Therefore, you need to make multiple techniques and strategies to deal with multiple clients.  

Intuition 

An expert life coach is intuitive and can read between the lines. Sometimes, even your clients do not know what problems they are facing. Discernment is both a learned skill and an innate one that benefits greatly over time. 

Compassion 

You need to be able to care about others. In life coaching, you are trying to improve other people’s lives by targeting their unique skills and making their lives better. To do that, you must show compassion and empathy with their situations and feeling even though you have never experienced them. To become a successful life coach, you must have the ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes. 

Patience 

Last but not least, to become a life coach, you need to be patient. You need to show the quality of patience while other work through the coaching process. Compared to therapy, coaching is a short-term process. Generally, a client achieves his/her desired goals from six to ten weeks. It would help if you worked through their “stuck states” or struggles with them. 

Financial Requirements 

life coach requirements: Remember that life coaching is a small-scale business, and like all other businesses, there are some financial requirements to become a life coach. As a life coach, you’ll be operating your practice and managing your clients independently, meaning you must develop financial literacy, work ethics, and discipline in order to achieve success. 

There are several initial costs related to the life coaching business, such as certification fees, licensing fees, program costs, and in some cases, overhead and office rental costs. These costs depend on your niche, area, and business infrastructure. Therefore, it is important to understand all the financial life coach requirements before investing your time and money into a life coaching business.  

life coach requirements

There are also some services costs related to the life coaching business, such as accountant and CPA services. In addition, if you are creating a limited liability company (LLC), you will hire some legal services too. Besides these costs, you also have to plan some additional expenses, such as utilities, technology costs, ink, paper, vehicle maintenance, and even gas costs. 

Conclusion 

Life coach requirements: A life coach is a professional who provides his services and helps his clients to achieve some desired goals. There are different niches available in the life coaching business, such as relationship coach, fitness coach, business coach, and many more. However, regardless of these niches, there are some standard requirements for becoming a life coach, such as: 

  • Educational Requirements 
  • Personality Requirements 
  • Financial Requirements 

As for educational requirements, you don’t need an advanced degree or some certification to become a life coach; you don’t even require a training program. However, to earn the trust of your clients, it would be best for you to have a certification from a well-known coaching organization, such as the international coaching federation (ICF). 

There are three types of ICF credentials available out there with different requirements, including: 

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

You can get yourself into two types of training programs: online and in-person. Both training programs have their pros and cons.  

Next, we have personal requirements. To become a life coach, there are some characteristics and skills you must possess, such as: 

  • Perseverance 
  • Curiosity 
  • Resourcefulness 
  • Intuition 
  • Compassion  
  • Patience 

Before investing your time, you must know the financial requirements for becoming a life coach. Because life coaching is a small-scale business, there are several legal and off-side expenditures. You must take all these expenditures into account while planning and budgeting your career as an independent life coach. 

We hope this article provides you with all the information you need to become a life coach. No matter how long it takes, at the end of the tunnel, you’ll see that the coaching business is filled with fulfillment, meaning, and joy at every turn. 

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