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

by Jill

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 bring new skills and techniques to your conversations and even give you the business acumen to make a living from it.

Creating a career in this growing field is easier than ever with the growth of online life coach certification programs. Designed to educate and equip you with interpersonal skills and evidence-based techniques, these schools provide trainings and workshops for you to master the craft of coaching.

Online certification programs generally last between three months to a year depending on the content and methods of learning. If you are open to flexible learning styles (such as lectures, video sessions, and more) and are looking to complete your life coach certification at your own pace, an online program is a great fit for you.

Benefits of Online Certifications

The most powerful benefit of choosing an online certification program is the flexibility of learning styles and content available. Online programs are the most personalized approaches to earning your certification due to the varied options in length, class time, methods of learning and more.

For example, you might need to learn for a few hours a week in balance with a full-time job. Maybe you prefer a self-paced program you can complete on your own schedule. On the other hand, perhaps you prefer a more immersive program with live online workshops you can complete remotely no matter where you are. Online learning fits seamlessly into your lifestyle no matter how much time you have available to dedicate to this new experience.

Online learning can also help you customize your experience based on how you prefer to learn. Visual learners will benefit from live online workshops, where instructors can share their screens and teach theories using decks you can save and go back to later. Interactive learners benefit from the option to ask questions (even if you are remote), and these programs can connect you to expert life coaches and mentors no matter where you are.

If you rely on studying to retain critical information, the best online coaching schools allow you lifetime access to study materials and downloads you can refer to at any time. Lastly, if you are relatively introverted, learning online provides you with the privacy of your home while still interacting with your content and instructors.

Online coaching certification programs are also effective in providing you with the experience you need to be successful in the field. With software that facilitates video calls and online chats, you can connect with fellow students to build your network regardless of where you are learning from. This is especially helpful during the parts of your course where practice clients are introduced.

You can get coaching hours in with a flexible learning environment, whether you are chatting with your peers in a video call or messaging a practice client through email. Because of the wide scope of learning methods and means of interacting with others, online certification programs are often more effective than in-person “crash courses”.

Drawbacks of Online Certifications

While the benefits of online coaching certifications are attractive, it is important to note some nuances and challenges that online learning presents.

Life coaching is an extremely intimate and personal connection that requires clear communication and conversation. Some coaches prefer to practice these skills in person, where energy and body language play a role in how the coaching is facilitated. With online practice clients, there is some belief that this level of intimacy is lost and affects the quality of coaching.

This also plays into account in terms of hearing practice coaching sessions. Video sessions are helpful online, but the classic classroom-like environment for learning how to conduct these conversations provides personalization that is attractive to some coaches.

The second drawback of online certifications can be the level of access to industry experts that in-person immersive programs often offer. While many online certifications are taught through video sessions or content created by these expert coaches, they may feel distant or difficult to access outside of class time. In traditional in-person settings, these experts could be pulled aside for questions or approached during office hours for less formal conversations.

This is also true for some programs’ systems of providing customer support. With online programs, there is ease in contacting the coaching school, but less accountability in terms of personalized responses in contrast to asking questions in person. Although these are valid concerns for online coaching, the best online certifications provide access to industry experts, exceptional customer service, and plenty of opportunities to interact with practice clients regularly.

What to Look for In an Online Certification

There are a few critical factors to note as you navigate your search for the best life coaching certification. Most importantly is that your program is accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF). Accredited online programs are held to the gold standard of coaching and are sure to provide you with valuable content and instruction for your investment.

Another critical factor to search for is access to industry leaders as instructors. This, coupled with great content, can provide you insights to successful coaching techniques that have worked as others created lucrative careers. As for content, be sure to look for a few specific techniques and topics you will need to master the art of coaching. These include motivational interviewing, experiential exercises, practice client sessions, and the facilitation of habit change.

Price is a notable factor in online programs as well. With many programs ranging up to $10,000, it is crucial to find an affordable program that will also allow you lifetime access to all materials. During your search, you can also keep an eye out for programs that facilitate networking and community building throughout their courses. Even better is if your online certification includes a business or marketing module that will prepare you for finding clients as well as taking them through a program successfully.

Each course option will vary in length and topics, so be mindful of your own learning style as well. Before committing to a program, have an idea in your mind of your learning preferences and the level of flexibility you will need to commit to the duration of a program.

Coach Training Alliance: Our Pick

The Coach Training Alliance (CTA) offers a powerful online life coaching certification program that is both comprehensive and affordable. At an investment of $3347 and payment plan options, CTA provides a personalized experience with high quality learning environments. You can expect a class size of 12 students coupled with expert instructors teaching virtual classes, complemented by self-study options to help absorb your learnings. This program is efficient and flexible at the same time, with multiple learning methods available for you to fully earn your certification in six months.

Not only will you learn the foundations of successful life coaching, you will also receive extensive business and marketing training to fully establish yourself in the field upon graduation. You will also benefit from practice clients, group mentoring, and receiving expert feedback when you practice your skills in real time during class. This method of learning, along with comprehensive study tools, will prepare you for success as a life coach.


Choosing the right life coaching certification is a decision you should not take lightly. Launching your career as a coach will set the tone for your future success, so take your time and know exactly what you are looking for in a certification.

Keep these factors in mind as you decide if online learning is right for you based on your needs and levels of flexibility. Spend time learning about the most affordable coaching programs for your investment as well as the level of preparation you will receive to kickstart your career upon graduation.

Regardless of where you are or your current level of coaching skills, becoming certified is a powerful step in the right direction as you prepare for a fulfilling career of helping others grow.

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