Life coaching aims at helping people improve their life quality, most people take life coaching as a full-time job, while others see it as a second career option. Nevertheless, to be a successful life coach, you need to be a good listener, have compassion, and also have the ability to solve problems creatively. Even though there are no legal requirements to become a life coach, you need certification through the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Requirements of a Life Coach

There are no legal standards or special requirements to go into this profession. However, most people in this career path have background knowledge in counseling or mental health. Others chose this career path because they are passionate about assisting people, offering guidance and advice. According to some people who became life coaches, they chose this path because their family or friends always come to them whenever they need assistance, advise or guidance when faced with a problem.

In addition, being a life coach requires no form of formal education. The truth is anyone can become a life coach regardless of your educational qualification, background or age. It is a field with little regulation, even though it is becoming more popular.

However, have in mind that the fact someone says he or she is a life coach does not mean they possess the required skills to practice. This is why most life coaches go for life coach certification. So is a life coach certification compulsory? No, but being certified really helps and it is important you get one.
Life Coach Certification

To be a certified life coach, there are some set of experience and universal standards that need to be achieved. A life coach certification is the closest thing to a legal requirement even though being a certified life coach is not mandatory by law.

The International Coach Federation (ICF) – a membership organization of trained coaches – is a body that offers life coach certification. This body set rules and standards for life coaches, offer independent certification as well as provide program accreditation that offers coach-specific training.
Becoming a certified life coach is essential because it gives you an edge over someone who is not certified. Most clients prefer to work with certified coaches. To obtain certification from ICF, the following must be accomplished by a life coach at an ICF-accredited coach training program:

  • Mentor coaching
  • Coach skills training
  • Session observation
  • Ethics training
  • Final exam

There are other bodies or organization that offer life coaching certification; however, the International Coach Federation is more popular, and it is one of the only genuine credentialing organizations.
Life Coaching Credentials

Three levels of coach credentials are offered by the ICF; they include:
Associate Certified Coach: You need at least 60 hours of training and 100 hours of coaching experience to achieve this credential.

Professional Certified Coach: This level requires at least 125 training hours and 500 hours of coaching experience.

Master Certified Coach: This is the highest credential offered by the ICF, it requires at least 200 training hours and 2500 hours of coaching experience.
The certification offered by the ICF is not exclusive to a life coach, it is also open to anyone seeking a career in any type of personal coaching.

Coach training programs accredited by ICF are available for life coaches across the US. For instance, individuals in California who desire to be life coaches can go for similar programs offered by the University of California, Davis. The UC Davis Extension offers a five-month, all-inclusive Professional Coaching for Life and Work Certificate Program that conforms with ICF’s standards.

The American School of Professional Life Coaching is also a suitable option for people who want to become a life coach in Florida; it has a Certified Life Coach Course certified by ICF. Obtaining certification requires you to complete 60 classroom hours and 10 hours of mentor coaching.

You can also search for accredited coach training on the ICF’s website if you are looking for a life coaching certification; the site has a searchable directory of accredited coach training.

Resources

How to become a life coach

Life coach certification & training

How to find a life coach

What is a life coach?

Life coaching for teens