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2024’s Best Life Coach Certification Programs for New Coaches

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Want to find the best life coaching certification program? 

You’re in the right place. Today, you’ll get the top life coach certification programs out there so that you can make the right choice.

Ready to become an expert life coach? Read on.

You’ll learn: 

What qualifications do you need to become a life coach?

Before we get into the certifications, do you even need one to become a life coach? 

Short answer: No. You don’t need a certification to become a life coach – or any coach for that matter. 

Though it’s a growing industry with the number of coaches in the US increasing every year, it’s also an unregulated industry. Signing up for a certification program doesn’t guarantee quality. 

What you need to become a great life coach are these three ingredients: 

  1. Experience in your field
  2. Proven knowledge that you can relay to your clients
  3. The ability to motivate and guide people through a life transformation

Very few clients pay attention to the qualifications of their chosen coach. They pick you for YOU. 

And money-wise, a certified life coach salary is rarely more than a coach without a certification. That’s because the value of your services depends on the results you help clients get. 

The best way to become a great coach is to…coach! Get started coaching clients by offering a lower rate. It’s a win-win because your clients get to work with you for less and you get to practice your coaching skills.

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However, coaching certifications can serve a purpose. 

Here are some good reasons to take a certification program: 

  • You want to boost your credentials as a thought leader in your space
  • Your ideal clients would prefer a coach with a certification
  • You want to specialize in a coaching niche that requires a certification like some health coaching niches

With that said, what are the best life coaching certification programs? Let’s take a look. 

Best life coach certification programs in 2024

The programs I list below are some of the best coaching programs you can take. They are in no particular order. 

Disclaimer: I haven’t taken these life coach certification programs myself. I am recommending them because of their reputation in the coaching space and public reviews. 

1. Coach Training Alliance

If you’re looking for a coaching certification online, the Coach Training Alliance program is one of the best around. Their signature Certified Coach program is a comprehensive program with the perfect balance of coaching skills, business skills, and marketing skills to make you a successful life coach.

Screenshot of Coach Training Alliance program page


ICF accredited: Yes

Price: $3,897

Delivery: Online self-study, group mentoring, and interactive software.

Duration: Six months (22 weeks with holidays).

How to apply: Apply online. No prior qualifications required.

Key features:

  • Small classes of max twelve participants
  • Expert mentoring and coaching supervision 
  • A balanced curriculum of coaching, marketing, and business

2. iPEC Coach Training Experience

The iPEC Coach Training program includes three certifications combined. You go through three stages of coaching mastery. You start with undergrad, learning the basics of coaching. In the next stage, you’ll learn energy leadership. The final stage makes you a master in COR.E Energy coaching. 

Screenshot of iPEC program page

ICF accredited: Yes

Price: $13,395, if paid in full. Installments are available.

Delivery: Mostly online self-study. There is a three-day masterclass you can take in person or live online. 

Duration: Between ten and twelve months to complete the course in full. Total of 320 training hours. 

How to apply: Apply online. High school diploma required.

Key features:

  • Mentor coaching, success coaching, and peer mentoring included
  • Flexible self-study learning with one mini-course live online or in-person
  • Highly respected program with great reviews

3. Coach U Professional Coach Training Program 

If your focus is to become a master coach with sharp skills, this might be the program for you. Geared towards coaches of any level, this course focuses on fundamental coaching skills.

There are two phases to the training program – the Core Essentials and the Professional Essentials. You’ll learn everything from the ICF Core Coaching Competencies to building coaching packages. 

Screenshot of CoachU Training Program

ICF accredited: Yes

Price: $10,090

Delivery: Online via live zoom classes and self-study. 

Duration: 14 to 23 months depending on if you do the intensive track or self-paced track.

How to apply: Apply online. No prior qualifications required.

Key features:

  • Detailed approach toward coaching skills
  • Fast-track options available
  • Highly recommended certification program among the coaching community 

4. Certified Life Coach Institute Coaching 101

So far, all of the programs we’ve talked about are long. Want to get a life coaching certification in three days? You can with the Certified Life Coach Institute. They condense the fundamentals of coaching into three intense full-day immersive online classes to boost your coaching skills. 

The drawback is you don’t get to practice your coaching skills as much or get the same amount of depth on the topics as you do with the long courses. But if you’re confident in your skills anyway and want to get an ICF-accredited certification quickly, this is the one for you.

Screenshot of Certified Life Coach Institute Program

ICF accredited: Yes

Price: $995 for the foundational certification. $1,295 for the advanced certification. $1,995 for both.

Delivery: Online live tuition.

Duration: Three full days.

How to apply: Online. No prior qualifications required.

Key features:

  • Get a life certification in just three days
  • Peer-to-peer coaching practice sessions
  • Business planning tutorials
  • Fully online so you can access it from anywhere in the world

5. Coach Training EDU Life Coach Training

Coach Training EDU is a great life coaching school if you want to specialize your coaching further into a profitable niche. You can take courses on basic coaching that can apply to any coaching niche. Or you can take the specialized routes for academic coaching, executive coaching, and wellness coaching. 

The fundamental courses are six months long and these will grant you an Associate Coaching Certification from the ICF. But if you want to be certified by the Health Board or Coach Training, you can take those routes too. You have complete flexibility on what coach you want to become.

Screenshot of Coach Training EDU Program

ICF accredited: Yes

Price: From $3,240 for a six-month course.

Delivery: Online self-study and live learning.

Duration: Depends on the course but minimum of six months.

How to apply: Online. No prior qualifications required.

Key features:

  • Small classes of 12 to 14 participants
  • Four foundational coaching certifications to choose from tailored to different niches
  • The option to get a coaching certification from the health board if you are a health coach

6. Rhodes Wellness College Life Coach Program

This Canada-based college has an excellent life coaching program. Though it isn’t ICF-accredited, you do learn the ICF core competencies as well as other coaching philosophies to give you a well-rounded view of coaching as a practice. You also get professional counselor training with this diploma. That means you have an added level of depth to your skill set, something not many coaching certifications cover. 

Screenshot of Rhodes Wellness College program

ICF accredited: No

Price: $4,750 for the course + $990 for textbooks, course notes, and application fees.

Delivery: Hybrid in-person and online.

Duration: Eight months (31 weeks).

How to apply: Online. Requires a personal statement and resume for admission.

Key features:

  • Trains you in both personal coaching and group coaching
  • Combination of in-person and online tuition
  • Well reviewed by previous attendees

7. Life Coach School Certification

The Life Coach School has a slightly different approach to coaching than many of the other life coach schools we’ve talked about. Their approach centers on circumstances as a base – why your clients do what they do. They dive into childhood and past stories to help clients rewrite their future. 

The ICF approach, on the other hand, is more focused on the present. If the Life Coach School’s approach resonates with you, the Life Coach School certification could be the program for you. 

Screenshot of Life Coach School program

ICF accredited: No

Price: $18,000 if paid in full. Payment plans available. 

Delivery: Online, self-paced.

Duration: Six to twelve months.

How to apply: Online. No prior qualifications required.

Key features:

  • Fully self-paced course for total flexibility
  • Includes 6 months of coaching for you
  • Suitable for complete beginners to coaching

8. Life Coaching Institute of America Full ICF Pathway

The Life Coaching Institute of America has three ICF-accredited life coaching courses to choose from. The main difference between them? The length. There is a 10-hour approved mentor pathway, a 60-hour approved coach pathway, or the full 70-hour associate coach pathway. 

Screenshot of Life Coaching Institute of America Program

ICF accredited: Yes

Price: $1,095 for 10-hour program. $2,190 for a 60-hour program. $2,985 for a 70-hour program.

Delivery: Online with half of the course taught live on Zoom, and half self-study.

Duration: Depends on the course and your rate of study. 

How to apply: Online. Prior education requirements depend on the course you choose.

Key features:

  • Covers motivational interviewing in depth
  • Teaches ICF core coaching competencies
  • Good price for the comprehensive 70-hour program

9. Health Coach Institute Dual Health & Life Coaching Certificate

Highly reviewed in the wellness space, the Health Coach Institute’s certification is one of the best. Though it’s focused on wellness coaching, it covers a broad spectrum of topics that can apply to many niches. 

Screenshot of Health Coach Institute Program

ICF accredited: Yes

Price: $4,950 

Delivery: Online self-study.

Duration: Six months.

How to apply: Online. No prior qualifications required.

Key features:

  • Highly celebrated program in the wellness coaching space
  • Focuses on habit-changing methods as the key to a better life
  • Private mentoring available for all students

10. Full Circle Global Diploma In Professional Coaching Practice

Full Circle Global is a British life coaching school that provides coaching education to students from around the world. It covers a wide range of topics, equipping you to work in life coaching, workplace coaching, and business coaching. 

Screenshot of Full Circle Program

ICF accredited: Yes

Price: ~$6,200

Delivery: Online. 

Duration: Twelve months.

How to apply: Online. No prior experience required.

Key features:

  • 152 hours of ICF-accredited coaching training
  • Supervised coaching practice with in-depth feedback sessions
  • Other certifications available from career coaching to wellness coaching

11. College of Executive Coaching Intensive Executive and Life Coach Training

Executive coaching might sound specialized, but the skills you learn can apply to any coaching niche. If you like a results-driven coaching style, this is the program for you. You’ll learn a four-step coaching method to help your clients transform. 

Screenshot of College of Executive Coaching Program

ICF accredited: Yes

Price: $9,290

Delivery: Online via Zoom for the six-day intensive course.

Duration: Six days.

How to apply: Online. No prior education required.

Key features:

  • Module on coaching assessment tools which is rare for life coach certification programs
  • Practice coaching with real-time feedback
  • Top quality resources to support your learning

12. Integrative Wellness Academy Master Integrative Life Coaching Program

The Integrative Wellness Academy does a great life coach program. It covers five different areas of coaching to maximize your potential as a coach. The program length is up to six months. 

Screenshot of Integrative Wellness Academy Program

ICF accredited: No

Price: $2,499

Delivery: Online self-study.

Duration: Up to six months.

How to apply: Online. No experience required. 

Key features:

  • Education on how to build a coaching business
  • Sections on niche practices such as energy work and trauma 
  • Completely self-guided

13. Life Purpose Life Coach Certification (Accredited)

This Udemy course provides you with accreditation at an affordable price. The short life coaching course has just seven hours of recorded content and 19 downloadable resources. With rigorous self-study, you’ll learn all the key components of coaching.

Screenshot of Udemy Life Purpose Life Coach Certification Program

ICF accredited: No

Price: $119 

Delivery: Online self-study. 

Duration: Seven hours of recorded content.

How to apply: No application needed. Instant access upon purchase. 

Key features:

  • Thousands of five-star reviews
  • No feedback sessions
  • Lessons on how to build a profitable coaching business

14. Coaching Evolved Professional Coach and Transformational Embodiment Facilitator – Dual Certification

Coaching Evolved is a life coaching school aimed at teaching women to become profitable life coaches. The certification program runs a few times per year but has a comprehensive curriculum. Few other programs include alternative modalities like breathwork and gestalt therapy. 

Screenshot of Coaching Evolved program

ICF accredited: Yes

Price: Changes every year.

Delivery: Online with some mentored coaching practice and self-study resources.

Duration: Six months.

How to apply: Online. No experience required.

Key features:

  • Includes supervised coaching practice
  • Aimed at helping women become amazing life coaches
  • Covers alternative modalities like breathwork 

15. Transformation Academy Goal Setting to Success: Life Coach Certification

This Udemy course is affordable and specialized for life coaches who want to sharpen their goal-setting skills. You’ll likely want to combine this with another certification. 

Screenshot of Udemy Goal Setting program

ICF accredited: No

Price: $84.99 

Delivery: Online self-study.

Duration: Six hours.

How to apply: No application required. 

Key features:

  • Focuses on goal setting as an excellent coaching tool
  • Covers the basics of coaching
  • Thousands of five-star reviews 

16. The Coaching & Positive Psychology Institute 

The CaPP Institute is known as a high-quality coaching school. Though the program isn’t ICF accredited, it does include mentoring by ICF coaches. Their approach focuses on positive psychology to fuel transformation. 

Screenshot of CAPP institute program

ICF accredited: No

Price: $3,495

Delivery: Online.

Duration: Six months.

How to apply: Online.

Key features:

  • Specializes in a research-based approach
  • Highly commended in the coaching world
  • Great all-round program from coaching fundamentals to business growth

17. The UW Certified Professional Coach Program

This University of Wisconsin program helps you become a master coach. It’s the only university in the Midwest that provides an ICF-accredited program.

Screenshot of UW Certified Professional Coach Program

ICF accredited: Yes

Price: $11,990

Delivery: Online.

Duration: Ten months.

How to apply: Online.

Key features:

  • Includes formal mentoring by an ICF coach
  • The university has an excellent reputation
  • Only one cohort per year

18. Texas State University Certified Professional Life Coach Program

If you want a university certification, this Texas State University program is affordable and comprehensive. 

Screenshot of Texas State Certified Professional Life Coach Program

ICF accredited: Yes

Price: $1,895

Delivery: Online.

Duration: Six months.

How to apply: Online.

Key features:

  • One of the few university programs that are ICF accredited
  • 100% online for flexibility
  • Affordable price for the curriculum

19. Rider University Life and Career Coaching Certificate

Life coaches wanting to specialize in career coaching will love this course. The program is comprehensive touching on life transitions, relationships, and workplace advice. 

Screenshot of Rider University Coach Program

ICF accredited: No

Price: $5,490 for online tuition

Delivery: Can be hybrid or 100% online.

Duration: Under two years.

How to apply: Online.

Key features:

  • Covers many coaching topics
  • Respected University with good reviews
  • Ability to take online or hybrid

20. University of Miami Certified Professional Coach Certificate

If you want to get your coaching certification with an in-person program, this is the perfect choice. The University of Miami has a comprehensive course that covers all bases.

Screenshot of University of Miami Coaching program

ICF accredited: No

Price: $7,495

Delivery: In-person with self-study online resources.

Duration: Ten months.

How to apply: Online. 

Key features:

  • Practical course that focuses on actionable steps
  • In-person tuition
  • Well-respected coaching course 

21. USC Coaching Program

USC is one of the best universities in the country. So it makes sense that their life coaching program is one of the best too. You’ll learn everything you need to become an expert coach. If you want a life coach certification program in California, look no further.

Screenshot of USC Coaching program

ICF accredited: Yes

Price: $3,800

Delivery: Online with three in-person sessions.

Duration: Six months.

How to apply: Online. Two cohorts per year.

Key features:

  • Covers how to build a coaching business
  • Tuition by the best coaches in the world
  • Support with coaching practice

How to choose your life coach certification

So those are certifications. How do you choose the right program for you? Here’s how to evaluate a program. 

Reputation 

In the certifications I listed, you probably saw the words “ICF” come up a lot. ICF stands for the International Coach Federation, the most respected body in the coaching world. 

So you can typically trust that ICF-accredited coaching programs are vetted. 

But because coaching is an unregulated industry, ICF-accredited programs aren’t the only coaching programs of value on the market. It depends on what you’re looking for. 

Some shorter online programs will give you the boost you need to strengthen your coaching skills. Or you might like a specific coach’s process and take their course instead. 

Taking an ICF-accredited program can give you a little more credibility, as your course has the seal of approval of the world’s authority on coaching. 

But it’s important to do your research and choose the programs that work best for your needs.

Duration

Want to get qualified as a life coach fast? Or do you want a course that is detailed and drawn out over several months? Maybe you want a course you can take on the side of your full-time job?

Think about how much time you have to devote to becoming a life coach. If you want to get your life coaching business started sooner rather than later, choose a shorter course or masterclass. 

But be warned. 

Shorter courses don’t usually include any coaching experience. That is, you won’t get to practice with real clients or get mentorship from the tutors. 

If the course content of a shorter course is giving you all you need, go for it! A great program is not just about the length.

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Course content

Look at the contents of the course and ask yourself: 

  • What type of coaching process will the program teach me?
    There are many different coaching philosophies like CORE, goal-oriented coaching, holistic coaching, and so on. If you know the style of coaching you want to do, find the program that will make you a master of it.
  • What skills do I want to learn?
    Some programs focus heavily on goal setting. Others focus more on motivation techniques. If you want to strengthen a specific skill in your coaching practice, there’s a program out there that will teach you everything you need to know. On the other hand, there are programs that are great all-rounders for coaches of all levels. 
  • Who are the tutors?
    Have you heard of them or are they well-respected in the field? Some programs have mentorship included to support you in your journey to becoming a life coach. 

Program cost

The first thing is to rule out free certification programs. They’re typically not worth the time you spend on them. 

The price you pay for your certification depends. Are you getting a certification because it’s compulsory in your niche? Then, that certification likely needs to meet certain criteria. 

And remember, you can always get your coaching business started without a certification and take a course later down the line. 

In fact, I created my own program (a self-study course, not a certification program), Employee to Entrepreneur, to help people in their 9-5 quit their jobs and start an online coaching business. To date, 1000s of people have gone through the program.

Here are just a few of the results my students have gotten… 

And if you want to know how to get those first-paying clients, check out this video: 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about life coach certification programs

Is it worth getting a life coach certification?

Depends on your goals! You don’t need a life coach certification to become a great life coach. What you need is a proven way of helping people achieve their life goals. But a certification is necessary for some niches, especially in the health coaching space. 

How long does it take to get certified as a life coach?

It depends on the course! Some life coach certification programs are as long as 18 months. Some are as short as a few hours. The average length of an in-person life coach certification program is six months. For online programs? About 10 hours. 

How much does it cost to get an ICF certification?

The cost of an ICF program highly depends. The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is one of the most prominent coaching organizations in the world. They accredit a lot of high-quality life coach certification programs. The average cost for in-person programs is $6,000. The average cost for online programs is $2,000.

Over to you! 

Now you know the best life coach certification programs out there. 

Remember that to become a great coach, you need experience and a process to help your clients get to the next level. Choose the program that will help you strengthen both of these skills. 

I’d love to hear from you:

Which certification program are you looking to take and why?

Let me know in the comments below!

Learn more:

How to Become a Life Coach

The Best Life Coaching Schools

The Best Life Coach Online Courses

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.

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