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How Much Does It Cost To Become A Life Coach? [2024 Guide]

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How much does it cost to become a life coach? 

You’ve come to the right place.

Today, you’ll learn exactly what it takes to become a life coach. (Spoiler: you can probably get started faster than you think.)

Ready to get started? Let’s go!

What does a life coach do? 

A life coach is a coach who helps others succeed and reach their life goals. “Life coaching” is the catch-all phrase for different niches like health, career, mindset, and business. 

As a coach, you support, guide, and mentor your clients – but you also offer them the steps they need to take when they need that extra help (something I call “coach-sulting”). 

But what do you need to become a life coach? Let’s find out. 

What qualifies you as a life coach? 

Do you have to become a certified life coach? 

Unlike counseling, which requires special training and certifications, the life coaching industry is unregulated. (Aside from a few health niches such as nutrition.)

What matters most is how well you help your clients get results. 

Typically, that means you’ve developed a methodology on your own, thanks to your experience and skills.

For example, if you’re really good at getting promoted, that’s something you could help others with as a career coach. 

Just like my student, Ruby. 

She used to be a matchmaker at companies like eHarmony before she became a relationship coach.

Screenshot of Good gentleman website

I talk more about the different types of coaching you can do in my guide on coaching niches.

But how do you learn coaching skills without a life coach certification program?

The thing is: The best way to learn how to coach is to work with real coaching clients.

And you can make this a win-win for your first few clients by offering them a lower rate than you’d normally charge. 

(When I started working with my first clients I spent hours on delivering value in every coaching call – while the worth of your coaching is not in the time you spend on client work, this just goes to show how big of an impact you can have on those first clients.) 

Ultimately, you don’t need to get a certification. You can if you want to – but if you have the right skills, a certification isn’t necessary. 

A MUCH better way is to start getting paying clients and develop your coaching skills as you work with your clients. 

Because ultimately, your clients care about the results they get, not how many certifications you have. 

With that, let’s take a look at what a life coach certification costs – and then, at the costs you’ll have to set up your life coaching business. 

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How much does a life coach certification cost? 

Coaching certification programs can cost as little as $3,000 or more than $13,000. It all depends on how many hours are involved as well as if it’s in-person, virtual, or self-paced. 

If you’re looking to work as a coach part-time, your certification program will take less time and therefore be a bit less expensive as well. 

Unsurprisingly, life coach training programs that are accredited or approved by the International Coaching Federation have higher costs associated with them than those that aren’t. 

But what does an accredited coach training program look like? 

Here are a few examples: 

But how do you choose the right program? Let’s take a look. 

How do you choose a certification? 

If you’ve decided to get certified, how do you ensure you choose the right program? 

Look for a life coaching program that meets these three requirements: 


First, the organization you choose should be established and well-known. After all, if you’re getting a certification to increase your credibility as a life coach, the program you get should be one that people know and respect. 

You probably won’t go wrong with a top university. Certifications accredited by the International Coaching Federation are also highly credible. 


Does the certification work for your niche? For instance, if you want to become a health coach, there are plenty of certifications that focus on health coaching. 


Cost is a factor, but most high-quality certification programs cost around $10,000. Most of the top courses are in that price range. 

The best life coach certifications

What are the best life coaching certification programs? 

This list includes a few of the top programs out there: 

Coach Training Alliance

The Coach Training Alliance’s certification program is one of the best programs around. The Certified Coach program is a comprehensive program that teaches coaching, business and marketing skills.  

Coach U Professional Coach Training Program 

The Coach U program focuses on fundamental coaching skills. The course consists of two parts – the Core Essentials and the Professional Essentials. Core Essentials teaches ethics and the basics of building a business and Professional Essentials helps refine your skills and teaches you how to coach in the workplace.

Institute of Integrative Nutrition

Institute of Integrative Nutrition is one of the best known health coaching programs out there and it covers everything from conventional health coaching skills to biohacking and psychospirituality. 

Those are some programs you can choose from. 

But how do you build your business? Here’s what you need to know. 

How much does it cost to become a life coach? 

Now you know how much getting a coaching certification will cost you. But what about starting your life coaching business? 

At the core, you could get started with your laptop and an internet connection.

But there are a few more costs associated with starting a business. You can start lean and take on these costs as you build your business and land more paying clients. 

Get the Ultimate Guide

for building a
6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

These are: 

Apps and software

There are a few apps and software tools that will make running your business so much easier. Many of these are tools you need to get started as a coach – such as payment software to get paid. 

These tools are: 

  • Calendly – Scheduling software for scheduling sales and coaching calls (free basic version, but for $8/month, you can integrate Zoom for automated call links) 
  • Zoom – The basic version is free, but for $15/month, you get access to advanced features like longer calls)
  •  Stripe/Paypal – You will need a payment processor and these platforms tend to take a small percentage of sales
  • Dropbox Sign – An e-signature tool for your contracts – the basic version includes two contracts but as you expand, the paid version ($10) helps you scale your contract management

Coaching contract

One of the things I do recommend that you invest in early on is a contract. 

Finding a lawyer who understands this type of business is hard. (I know firsthand – I’ve gotten some really bad advice from lawyers who didn’t understand the online space…at all.)

But fortunately, my friend Lisa Fraley, a legal coach for life coaches, offers contract templates that you can customize. 

Sales, marketing, and brand building

You don’t need to invest in sales or marketing to get your first few clients. In fact, that could be a distraction. 

Instead, look for clients in your network, on social media platforms, or through referrals.

But once you do have clients, you can start focusing on things like a coaching website and building your brand. 

The website-building tools I recommend are: 

  • Hover: To buy your domain ($14.99/domain) 
  • WPEngine: To host your website ($25/month)
  • ElegantThemes Divi: A WordPress theme ($249 as a one-time purchase) 

Registering your business as an LLC or sole proprietorship

At one point, you’ll need to decide what type of business entity your coaching venture will operate under.

The two most common entities are LLCs and sole proprietorships.

I’ll give you a quick look at what each one is, but before you read on, remember: I’m not a lawyer, and the following should not be taken as legal advice.

An LLC (which stands for Limited Liability Company) allows for more than one person to own a business.

On the other hand, a sole proprietorship is exactly what it sounds like. 

As a sole proprietor, one person – you, the coach – owns an unincorporated business by themselves. If you plan to go into your coaching business alone, a sole proprietorship is most likely your best bet.

If you choose to file and maintain the company yourself, you can expect your fees to top out to around $150 per year. 

Working with a lawyer is an option some people choose for the sake of simplicity. Lisa Fraley offers different legal coaching services.

Business insurance

Insurance isn’t mandatory and it’s up to you how you want to protect yourself and your business. 

However, insurance costs are typically low. Research has found that on average, general liability insurance costs around $42 per month (or about $500 per year) for small business owners. 

“Advanced” marketing strategies

In the early stages of your coaching business, you need to hyper focus on the lowest hanging fruit to help you get clients (such as tapping into your existing network). 

Hold off on the more advanced marketing strategies like pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), and content marketing.

It’s critical to your success that you work on building your brand and crafting your message before you invest in those strategies – they all have a steep learning curve, and your time is much better spent on getting your first paying clients so that you can reinvest in your business. 

Organizational fees

Something that’s completely optional is to invest in coaching organization memberships. However, your time is better spent getting clients than being a member of these organizations – you can always reach out to colleagues and get to know them outside of a paid membership. 

Here are a few example organizations:

Those are the costs to start your business (both optional and must-haves). And if you’re curious to learn what it takes to run a coaching business that generates six-figures or more, take a look at this short video:

Next steps 

So, to recap: How much does it cost to become a life coach? 

Technically, nothing. All you need to get started is your own experience (unless you choose to pursue a certification). 

But building your business does come with its own costs. Ultimately, you likely will need to invest to build and grow your business. 

Want to learn more about how to build your coaching business? 

Get my Ultimate Guide for creating a six-figure Freedom Business. 

Want to Build a 6-Figure Coaching Business So You Can Achieve More Freedom?

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Learn more:

The Best Coaching Certifications and Courses

The Top Life Coach Schools

How to Become a Life Coach

About Luisa Zhou

Luisa Zhou has helped thousands of students build and scale their own profitable online Freedom Business. Fun Fact: She used to work as an engineer for the Space Station and holds a B.S.E. from Princeton. Click here to learn more about Luisa.

Hope you enjoy this blog post.

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