Learn How to Become a Life Coach.

185-Page Handbook
Step-by-Step Career Guide
Instant PDF Download
Satisfaction Guaranteed

In today’s busy and modern world, life coaching has become a huge phenomenon, and it’s not hard to see why. With all the challenges presented by modern technology and increased demands on the workforce, life coaches serve to help us navigate a chaotic world.

Unlike other similar professions, life coaches adjust to your personal vision of the business you have dreamed of building. Best of all, coaching services can be remote. You can meet and work with your clients via Zoom, Skype, or even the phone, all right in the comfort of your own home. And in the age of COVID-19 and the new normal we find ourselves in, finding a career with an easy transition to remote work is essential!

By now, you’ve probably done a lot of research about life coaching and decided that you want to become certified. In your research you will have learned that it’s very important for your business success and your reputation that you become a certified coach. So, with that in mind, let’s discuss the best life coach certification programs out there.

What Criteria Should I Be Looking For?

  • Location is important, although do remember that life coaches can be accessed by their students almost anywhere via distance learning options.
  • Ensure that your program is flexible enough to suit your lifestyle – take into account whether you also work, in or out of the home.
  • Can you complete your course, at least part of it, through distance learning? In today’s post-COVID world, distance learning is very common, and desirable to a lot of students.
  • Does your life coach program provide a wide choice of courses to choose from? In addition you will need a lot of support, both during and after your course is completed, so ensure that the program you decide to go with has a strong focus on support.
  • Do you know exactly what you’re paying for? Are your costs all-inclusive, and are you aware of what this covers?
  • Have you researched the school you have decided to go with and checked their reputation, as well as their representation in the wide world of life coaching?

Listed below are three notable schools that meet all the above criteria. Keep in mind that there are many more that are well-worth mentioning, however these three schools will give you a good start in your research.

Coach Training Alliance

More than any other training program, we believe Coach Training Alliance is the best choice for most students looking to start their own coaching practice.

While most programs will primarily focus on the academics, psychology, and techniques of coaching, the ICF-accredited Certified Coach Program at Coach Training Alliance goes one step further. In addition to covering the academics, CTA places a unique emphasis on the business of starting your own coaching practice and will ensure that each and every student that graduates is not only ready to be a coach, but a business owner as well.

Many programs will touch on the business aspects of coaching, but Coach Training Alliance is the only program we know of that will cover it in its entirety. In fact, having at least two paying clients is a requirement for graduation. The coaches at CTA provide students with the support and training to develop a marketing plan, and they will work with each student until two paying clients are secured. No other program we’ve come across provides this level of accountability.

Best of all, CTA offers one of the most affordable life coach training programs on the market. Completing their Certified Coaching Program will run you about $3,497. As you’ll see, most programs of this caliber will charge anywhere between $5,000 to $15,000.

Click here to check out everything their Certified Coach Program has to offer.

If you’re interested in getting a better idea of what CTA is all about, make sure to also sign up for their free workshop with Director of Admissions, Lisa Pisano.

Coaches Training Institute

CTI has arguably one of the best known training programs in the coaching industry, largely because they’ve been running these programs for more than twenty years. A whopping 35,000 coaches have completed their program since the Institute was founded. The ICF was created largely by the founders of CTI, and these same people contributed to the ICF competencies and ethics. In fact, the CTI was the very first training school to receive ICF certification. Co-Active Coaching was also written by the founders of the CTI program, and this is widely used by other training programs and coaches. Locations include Singapore, Canada, and thirteen United States locations in major metro areas.

The CTI program teaches the proprietary Co-Active Model, knowing that students possess the knowledge of what is best for them. The role of the coach is to be authentic, encouraging, to listen intently, and to help their students rise to their highest natural state. The trainers at CTI are well-respected and leading coaches in their field, ensuring a high standard in the coaching profession. Their training approach includes extensive in-person coaching, marketing and business support, professional practicum for certification, followed by ongoing support for students after graduation.

The course at CTI consists of five in-person courses, with a certification program to follow. The courses are face-to-face from Friday to Sunday. Once these courses are completed and the student has attracted five paying customers, they are then eligible to enroll in the certification program. This includes one-on-one supervision with a dedicated coach in order to refine and deepen their coaching skills. The certification process is done by phone and takes six months. Once both these components have been completed, the student must take both an oral exam and a written exam in order to receive their certification. The complete process will take roughly twelve months and the cost of same is in the vicinity of $10,000 – $12,000, dependent upon, of course, on how the program is undertaken. Courses can be purchased a-la-carte, but will be more expensive this way.

Have a look at their website, or give them a call for further information and for specific pricing structures.

Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)

iPEC is one of the top coaching schools in the United States, standing out from other training programs because of its successful track record in the coaching industry. Its training process and philosophy are second to none. Located in New Jersey, with training locations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, fourteen of these locations are in metro areas in the United States.

At iPEC most of the training is completed by phone and online, with three modules of three days duration each completed face-to-face on-site at the training locations. This provides greater flexibility and ease for students, as well as facilitating personal contact with coaches and peers.

iPEC was founded by Bruce D Schneider, PhD and MCC, and it was his work that founded the experiential approach to training. The proprietary methods used at iPEC include the Core Energy Dynamics and the Core Energy Coaching process, both of which were created by Schneider. Coach trainees at iPEC can specialize in business, life, executive, and career coaching, plus a range of sub-specialties within each category.

Some of the iPEC coach training components include:

  • There are three face-to-face modules, including a number of virtual education modules, making up a total of more than 350 hours.
  • Each trainee has their own Mentor Coach to help with the development of their skills.
  • There’s a peer and business support program, extending beyond completion of the program.
  • While in this niche-based training program, there are nine options to choose from while in training.

The iPEC training program has been fully accredited since the year 2002, so it’s not new to the ICF. Once the program is completed, successful participants become Certified Professional Coaches, fully accredited and recognized by the ICF.

There is one large downside, however, and that is that iPEC is considerably more expensive than most other coach training programs on the market. The cost for this program is $11,950, all inclusive. This fee covers all mentor coaching, instruction, and materials. Costs for lodging, food, travel, phone calls etc. are covered by the student. When doing research on training schools, keep an eye open for any specials being offered, because sometimes tuition specials can be found.


There are many more really good coaching programs out there: the three mentioned above have wonderful reputations, however, there are a lot more coach training schools that also deserve recognition. Perhaps this short review will give you motivation to do your own research and find the training program that ultimately suits your needs best. You can do a search for accredited programs on the International Coach Federation’s website.

Ensure that you do your research thoroughly, ask your questions and make sure you get the answers that you need for your own training. The program you choose must reflect your own personal philosophy and style, because each student has different needs. Coaching is a wonderful investment both professionally and personally, so you must be very confident that you have chosen the right program to suit your budget and your time.

If you are thinking of becoming a coach, you probably want to know how coaching is measuring up as a career in this time of economic and social upheaval. The good news is professional coaching is gaining respect as a profession, perhaps in part because of the economic uncertainty, forced career changes and drastic efforts of businesses to make their operations efficient and productive in the midst of financial challenges. To illustrate that growth, consider these statistics: as of 2020, there were approximately 53,300 professional coaches at work that bring in a combined $2 billion in revenue. As an industry, coaching is thriving.

As business owners, coaches set their own rates and those rates vary widely. Coaches earn anywhere from $25 per hour to $300+ per hour. Standard hourly rates for coaches coming out of a certification program are $100-$150 per hour, but those can be higher depending on the coach’s background, other expertise and location. The biggest difference in coaching rates, though, is determined by what type of coaching you are doing. The coaching industry is generally divided into executive coaching, business coaching and life coaching.

The International Coach Federation routinely studies the coaching market, with landmark studies taking place in 2007, 2012, and most recently in 2017. This study found that the average income for full time coaches was $61,900 and for part-time coaches that figure was at about $26,000 a year. This was consistent with more recent findings in the latest Sherpa Study that average annual incomes for coaches range from $55K to $116K. Sherpa provides training and research for the coaches industry and is known for its research and education based programs and reports. The ICF study saw an expansion of coaches globally and a recently-estimated industry income of $1.9 million (US Dollars). You can read a summary of the latest study here.

According to Julia Steward with the School of Coaching Mastery, newly graduated life and business coaches are typically charging $100 – 200 per hour, while more established coaches may be charging up to $600 per hour. The salary you make as a coach is determined by factors such as the type of coaching you do, your location and other factors such as how you position yourself against the competition.

If you are like most coaches, you’re often looking for ways to maximize your profit. Let’s look at several ways top coaches in the industry are making a six figure income.

Corporate Coaching

Corporate Coaching, also known as executive coaching, has continued to serve as an effective tool for organizations and growth is not expected to slow any time soon. Corporate coaches offer their services to large business entities and often specialize in focus areas such as leadership, team building or sales, among many others. Services offered to clients may include face to face coaching for top executives down to front line employees, team coaching, training programs, assessments other customized coaching programs.

Businesses are looking for specific results and often hire coaches to solve a specific problem. Coaching may be focused on outcomes such as talent retention, effective teams, increased sales or minimized downtime during a corporate restructure. Because of these high-stakes results, executive coaches make more than other coaches, on average. According to the this Sherpa study, executive coaches earn approximately $325 hour compared with $235 per hour for small business coaches and $160 per hour for life coaches.

The fact is, large companies can afford to pay for more coaching and they do. You can certainly make as much as an executive coach as a specialized life coach, but generally speaking, executive coaching pays more than life coaching or small business coaching. Corporations also offer more earning potential per client than an individual or small business client. Corporations can typically buy more services at a given time. As a corporate coach, you can sell coaching services, training, customized programming and assessments all to the same client—at the same time. The work is also spread across many people or divisions. These factors all contribute to more income for executive coaches.

Establishing a Specialty

It seems like common sense, but one of the biggest mistakes new coaches make is trying to be everything to everyone. The idea of passing up a potential client is unthinkable, so they sell their services to anyone who will listen. Coaching is explosive right now, which also means more new coaches are entering the playing field. The more you can specialize and raise yourself above the competition, the more successful you will be as a coach.

Even if you are a business or executive coach, you can narrow your services to a specialty. Without a specialty, you could try to provide general coaching services to any corporations that will work with you. With a specialty, you can focus on a specific outcome like developing leaders, increasing sales or retaining top talent. Establishing yourself as an expert in a given area will make you more attractive when compared with your competitors.

You may also choose to focus on a specific industry. Perhaps you have experience in the oil and gas industry that gives you a better understanding of their needs than your competitors. Establishing yourself as the expert will result in new business, repeat business and referrals as people want to work with someone who understands their needs and produces results.

When you choose a specialty and become the authority in your area, you can streamline your products, your marketing and your services. You have a clear focus and know exactly what results you want to produce from your business. This focus results in more clients as you can get your message out to your targeted audience consistently. Having a specialty also leads to more referrals as you become known as an expert.

Capitalizing on Writing and Speaking

Writing and speaking are great ways to enhance your credibility, build an audience and make more money as a coach. Many people take the approach of writing a book, but you may also be able to accomplish the same goals through a successful blog. The idea is to position your self as the thought leader in your specialty area. By doing this, you become the “go-to” person in your field. As a result, when a person or organization is facing the same problem you happen to have published expertise in, you are the person they seek for help. You may also make money on the sale of the book or be paid for speaking engagements, so the additional business that you get makes this a win from three angles.

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to writing, don’t feel overwhelmed. Start small by expressing yourself and organizing your thoughts on your blog, and then move on to longer form essays. When you feel like you have enough to say on your chosen topic, it’s time to begin working on your book.

The idea is to get your unique ideas out in the marketplace and get in front of your target audience consistently. From this, you build a connection with your audience. Further, you are providing them with value and resources even before they hire you. This also creates a sense of trust within your audience. Clients need to trust you as their coach. Once you have that connection, they won’t want to hire anyone else but you to help them succeed.

Diversifying Income

Finally, most coaches do more than just coach. Coaches making six figures offer many products and services in addition to one-on-one coaching. Think about what else you can offer your client. Depending on your specialty, additional services may include training, consulting, assessments, surveys, online classes and group coaching. You may also have products to sell such as a book, motivational recordings or other products you have created to supplement your business. You may also resell products that align with your specialty area. For example, think about a health coach that provides personal training and supplements along with coaching. What have your done or created that will allow you to offer more to your clients? Turn your talents and output into varied profit streams for your coaching business.

There is truth to the saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” The more you have to offer clients, the more your potential revenue. Further, by creating products that aren’t based solely on your time, such as a book or other information product, you can literally be making money while you sleep. Coaching is a business that can be profitable and enjoyable. Like any business, the more you put into it and the more creative you become, the more money you are destined to make.

What Does a Life Coach Do?

June 3, 2020

If you’re thinking of becoming a life coach, you probably want to know exactly what coaches do. What does a coach provide to his or her clients and what does the typical day of a life coach look like? In today’s post, we’ll be answering both of those questions and explaining exactly what a life […]

Read the full article →

iNLP Center: A Complete Review (& Coupon!)

July 20, 2019

Life coaching is a fulfilling and creative career path for anyone who naturally finds themselves leading others in pursuing positive choices in life. If you are often the “go-to” for advice on all things relationships, careers, health, and even lifestyle, life coaching is likely a perfect fit. Becoming a life coach is easier than ever […]

Read the full article →

Online Life Coach Certification: Here’s What You Need to Know

July 12, 2019

If you often find yourself sharing powerful advice to people in your life who regularly turn to you for help, you may have a natural gift for coaching. Becoming a certified life coach is an affordable and accessible career path for most people with this set of interpersonal skills. Earning a certification can help you […]

Read the full article →

Coach Training Alliance Coupon Code

June 4, 2019

The National Coach Academy is proud to recommend Coach Training Alliance as the best life coach certification program on the market. CTA often distributes coupon codes to attendees of their free “Becoming a Certified Coach Workshop.” Click here to sign up for their free online teleclass! Let’s talk a little bit about what makes CTA […]

Read the full article →

What are the Best Fast Track Life Coach Certification Courses?

May 10, 2019

Becoming a life coach is easier than ever with certification programs that work with your busy lifestyle no matter where you are in your career. Life coaching is a perfect addition to your current role or can be a fulfilling step forward if you are ready for what’s next. To become a practicing life coach, […]

Read the full article →

The Best Executive Coaching Certification Programs

May 10, 2019

Executive coaching is a fulfilling and challenging career that will never bring you boredom or stagnation. If you love the idea of helping others become the best versions of themselves in an organizational setting but are considering becoming a life coach, take it to the next level as an executive coach. Executive coaching uses the […]

Read the full article →

Top 3 Affordable Life Coaching Certification Programs

April 9, 2019

Becoming a certified life coach is an exciting professional journey that will impact your career in the long term. Hundreds of online certification programs exist to educate and train you on what it means to succeed as a coach, but only some set the gold standard for qualifying you to master the profession. Learning to […]

Read the full article →

The 3 Best Life Coaching Books

September 4, 2014

If you are considering becoming a life coach, you are probably on the hunt for the best life coaching books to help you learn about the profession and get you motivated. Here are three great reads every aspiring coach should read (aside from our book, of course!) 1. Co-Active Coaching by Laura Whitworth, Henry Kinsey-House, […]

Read the full article →