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Does a Life Coach Need a License?

Do you have to be licensed to be a life coach? The short answer is: no. Instead, you need to undergo formal education and on-the-job training to obtain the relevant skills required to coach clients. One of the differences when it comes to being a life coach versus a therapist is that the life coaching industry isn’t heavily regulated by the government, which partly explains why it attracts many individuals each year.

While it’s not mandated by law, it is often best to be trained and certified—such as going through an ICF accredited life coaching program online—to help you stand out from the crowd.

What Does Life Coaching Without a Certificate Look Like?

You can still have a decent life coaching career without being licensed, although that might be a slightly steeper hill to climb. Being certified isn’t necessarily an indication of success— but most clients, especially as they are paying for these services, do like their coaches to have gone through an ICF accredited program. So, while being certified certainly isn’t a requirement, it is an added advantage.

Of course, like most other certificates, a life coaching certificate is just that—a document. What also matters is having the skills to help clients with the issues they are facing, and that’s where the great training programs truly stand apart from the average ones.

What to Do if You Don’t Have a Certification

You don’t have to fret if you don’t have a life coach certification—you can still become successful. Here are a few tips on what you can do:

  • Find a mentor–Before you invest in someone else, invest in yourself. Take the required classes and consider working for a life coaching company or organization, as being employed lets you learn from the best.
  • Begin practicing–There isn’t a better time than now to begin sharpening your life coaching skills. At first, you may not make much money, but this shouldn’t discourage you. Your biggest motivation should be to help clients.
  • Don’t forget to network–Use every available opportunity to interact with like-minded individuals. This way, you’ll learn a variety of aspects about the practice that might not be taught in class.

Skills Matter, in addition to Certification

Many skills are invaluable to becoming a successful life coach:

  • Being a good listener–In order to help customers, you must first listen to their issues. Only when you do that, can you assist them with their goals.
  • Possess both empathy and compassion–Individuals who lack empathy and compassion do not make for good life coaches. You must be able to put yourself in your client’s shoes and truly understand what they’re going through to be able to help them.
  • Hone your interpersonal skills–This applies whether you’re an introvert or extrovert. You should have the skills required to establish and nurture relationships with clients, so your clients are able to be honest with you about your life.

In Summary

While a life coaching license is not required to practice, it does help to have certification, especially because the profession is highly competitive. Before you ask what a life coach makes, be sure to consider all aspects of what a life coach needs in order to be as successful–and helpful to future clients–as possible.

Certified NLP Coach

Program Description: The Certified NLP Coach program allows you to incorporate very powerful NLP techniques you’re your day-to-day coaching practice.

ICF Training Hours: 65

Duration: 25-weeks

Schedule: One 2-hour class per week

Includes certificate: Yes

Certified Organizational Development Coach

Program Description:

The Certified Organizational Development Coach program is an exclusive and very unique program, designed for coaches who wish to coach entire organizations with their Organizational Development and Change Management goals. This program provides you with 65 ICF training hours - more than enough for the ACC credential. Over a series of 25 weekly lectures, it prepares you to deal with volatile group dynamics across entire organizations. Topics including OD interventions, Team Engagement, Buyer Behavior of internal customers, The Tripod of Success, Ensuring Sustainability, Performance-Retention correlation, Strategies to influence behavior - and many more - are covered in detail.

Coaches are introduced to the ARCS Model, as well as to the Organizational Culture Audit Toolkit. Employee motivation, satisfaction, and productivity are discussed, as well as their impact on the performance of the organization as a whole. Students are introduced to various Change Management models including Lewin's Planned Change model, the ADKAR Change Management model, and Kotter's 8 steps of Change Management. Resistance to change and its manifestation are discussed, as is Behavior Modification.

Upon completing this program, Certified Organizational Development Coaches will have all the tools they need to affect positive transformation within organizations, and will be able to coach teams and personnel at all levels - including initiators, decision makers, influencers, and intervention implementers.

In addition to coaches who are launching their own Corporate Coaching practices, this is an essential program for HR professionals, Training and Development Professionals, Managers, and Corporate Leaders who wish to implement internal policies and OD processes to guide their companies and people through ongoing change.

ICF Training Hours: 65

Duration: 25-weeks

Schedule: One 2-hour class per week

Includes certificate: Yes

Certified Executive Coach

Program Description

The Certified Executive Coach program has been designed for coaches who wish to coach managers, executives, and corporate leaders. The goal of this program is to cultivate a deep understanding of how the executive coaching process works as well as some of the challenges that come up in executive coaching conversations.

This program has been approved by the International Coaching Federation for 32 hours, and it comprises of 12 live, instructor-led, fully interactive virtual classes offered over zoom. These classes cover various aspects of executive coaching including, but not limited to Effective Collaboration, Performance Management, Upskilling, Conflict Management, Effective Collaboration, Developing Team Members, and many more.

This program has a very unique, hands-on, experiential structure. Classes are focused on active participation by students through real life Coaching Challenges and discussions of real life executive coaching situations.

ICF Training Hours: 32

Duration: 12-weeks

Schedule: One 2-hour class per week

Includes certificate: Yes

Certified Life Coach

Program Description:

The Certified life Coach program is an essential program for anyone considering coaching as a profession. The goal of this program is to create a deep understanding of the coaching process, along with how and why it is effective in catalyzing shifts in the mindset to create positive, sustainable transformation.

The training is based on the ICF’s core coaching competencies. It focuses on skills that lead to effective coaching conversations and that are required to build a successful coaching business. It evokes awareness about how identity, thoughts, and feelings determine mindset; and why a change in Think Feel Do impacts the achievement of goals though a change in this mindset.

This program is approved by the International Coaching Federation for 95 hours and comprises 24 live, instructor led, fully interactive virtual sessions offered over Zoom. These lectures cover all aspects of coaching – topics such as Human Emotions and the Brain, Coaching through Emotional Intelligence, The Belief System, Coaching Process and Structure, Deep Listening, Setting Worthy Goals, Asking Insightful Questions, Addressing Client Resistance, Coaching Groups, The Business of Coaching, and many more. These are complemented with a library of reading and reference material, coaching challenges based on various real-life coaching situations, extensive hands-on coaching practice, and assignments designed to trigger reflection on and mastery of coaching skills.

ICF Training Hours: 95

Duration: 24-weeks

Schedule: One 2-hour class per week

Includes certificate: Yes

Class Schedule
ProgramStart DateClass TimesClass Schedule
Certified Life CoachMonday, June 17th10:30am ET
3:00pm ET
8:00pm ET
Once a week, 2-hours, for 24-weeks
Certified Organizational Development CoachTueday, July 23rd10:30am ET
3:00pm ET
8:00pm ET
Once a week, 2-hours, for 25-weeks
Certified Executive CoachWednesday, July 24th10:30am ET
3:00pm ET
8:00pm ET
Once a week, 2-hours, for 12-weeks
Certified NLP CoachThursday, July 25th10:30am ET
3:00pm ET
8:00pm ET
Once a week, 2-hours, for 25-weeks
Level 1/2 - ACC/PCC
Mentoring
Friday, August 9th10:30am ET
3:00pm ET (Full)
8:00pm ET
Once a week, 1-hour
for 6-sessions PLUS 4 one-on-
one sessions with mentor