- Do you find that your friends often come to you to ask for your advice on certain problems or questions?
- Are you the kind of person who likes to help others through their issues in life?
- Have you spent hours talking with people and listening to their problems, just so you can help them overcome?
- Do you like to give people advice for the purpose of helping them better their lives?
If you answered “Yes” to one or more of these questions, you may be the kind of person who would be a great life coach!
Life coaches are all about helping people find answers to their questions, solutions to their problems, and resolutions for their issues. You can make a real difference in the world by becoming a life coach and providing help and advice to people who need it! Best of all, you can earn a decent living doing it…
According to U.S. News, life coaching is the second biggest consulting business in the country. There are many people making good money offering help and advice, and you may be able to get in on it. But before you start the process of studying and obtaining the proper certifications, you need to make sure you’re right for the job…
Not sure if you have what it takes to be a coach? Here are a few things considered “core competencies” for being a life coach:
- Active listening — Being a coach isn’t just about letting people talk to you about their problems; you have to offer advice as well. You’ll need to be good at “active listening”, which means listening to try and understand the other person, and letting them know that you are hearing what they are saying. Only then will you be an effective life coach.
- Strong verbal communication skills —What kind of person do you want to share your problems with? A person who is able to communicate with you on the same intellectual level, or a person who “talks cool”? Strong communication skills are a MUST for life coaches. You need to be able to communicate clearly and succinctly, as that will help you offer advice that your clients can actually understand.
- Genuine concern — Do you care about people and their problems, or are you just in it for the money? If you’re not genuinely concerned for others, they’ll know it. A good coach cares about their clients, and they go out of their way to show it. That genuine concern is necessary in order to get your clients to trust you.
- Creativity — You can offer the same, tired advice that your clients have heard a dozen times, but how long do you think they will continue coming back? It’s all about getting creative with your problem-solving, and finding creative, out-of-the-box ways to approach the same problems everyone has. Creativity will make you stand out among all the other coaches, therapists, and psychologists you will compete with.
- Problem-solving — In the end, you’re being hired not because you are fun to talk to or a good listener, but because you have a solution to someone’s problems. Every one of your clients is going to have a unique variation of a similar problem, so you need to find the solution for THEIR specific problem. Problem-solving skills are a MUST for life coaches.
- Goal setting — How will your clients know that they are making progress? “Progress” can often be an indefinable, vague thing, unless you have a way to set clear goals. You’ll need to establish clear benchmarks for your clients to strive for, and you’ll need to work on your own personal goals as well. It’s the only way that you will keep clients working toward an end objective or goal!
- Progress management — It’s not just about setting goals, but you also need to make sure that your clients are actively making progress. You need to be able to evaluate their progress according to the “timetable” you develop for your program. If they aren’t making as much progress as they should, are you prepared to handle it? This is a skill that comes in very handy when helping clients work through their problems!
If you have (or can develop) these skills, you’ve got what it takes to be a life coach! You’re ready to learn how to become a life coach and we’ve got a full guide to help you out!
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, school and career counselors earn an average of $53,000 per year. These careers are the closest the government statistics come to life coaching.
On PayScale, you’ll find that the average life coach can earn anywhere from $23,000 to $105,000 per year. This is a very wide range of salary, but it indicates that you have a good potential for earning a living.
What affects your income as a coach?
- Your ability to attract new clients
- The success and popularity of your program
- The amount you charge per hour of coaching/per course
- Competition within your field
- The number of your clients
But don’t worry about what OTHER coaches make. Focus on making your course or program one that people will want to attend, and charge them a price that makes it worth your time. That’s what matters most!
What sort of education will you need to become a life coach?
Do I need a PhD. or Master’s Degree? Thankfully, you don’t need to obtain either of these advanced degrees to become a life coach. Life coaching is not a highly regulated profession, so you are able to be a life coach even without advanced education.
However, just because you don’t need advanced education, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work toward it! Many life coaches these days have at least a Bachelor’s Degree in counseling, therapy, or psychology, so it’s worth considering at least a few years of formal education.
Not all universities offer life coaching courses–in fact, only a few do.
Life coaching isn’t a “major” at college, so you won’t be able to find official life coaching courses. However, you can major in counseling or psychology, and these courses will help you develop the skills needed to be a life coach.
There are a few colleges offering life coaching courses:
If you want a formal education in coaching or life coaching, you would do well to consider these courses.
There are two primary organizations that provide accreditation/certification for Life Coaches:
The International Association of Coaching
For those who want a simpler, more straightforward path to accreditation, the IAC may be your best choice.
According to the IAC:
” Coaching is a transformative process for personal and professional awareness, discovery and growth.
The standards by which coaching mastery is measured at the IAC® reinforces leading edge communication skills and time honored philosophical archetypes. The IAC certified coach demonstrates an astute understanding of their clients, in such a way that allows consummate success. This is the hallmark of the IAC certified coach, and all of these qualities are reflected in our certification which we refer to as the Masteries.
This certification process requires accomplished skill, and a thorough comprehension of that skill. Although no one particular coach training method is required, it’s essential that knowledge and application of these skill sets are mastered.”
(Info courtesy of IAC)
What is the IAC process of certification?
- Learn the IAC way — You will need to integrate the IAC beliefs and practices into whatever coaching you do, so you will spend time studying the IAC’s approach to coaching.
- Apply for membership –– You will join the IAC, which costs $149.00 per year.
- Pay and try the sample test –– The cost of the certification test is $97, but thankfully there is a practice test you can take BEFORE taking the official test. This will help you brush up on the most important subjects before being tested.
- Take the online exam –– The online exam tests your people skills, your knowledge of IAC ethics and practices, and more. Find out more about the online exam here…
- Take the oral exam — Once your online exam is complete, you will need to start recording coaching sessions in order to demonstrate the “Nine Coaching Masteries” that the IAC deems the most important skills for coaches. You will need to submit two recorded sessions that prove that you have mastered the necessary skills.
- Pay for the certification –– The submission fee for the certification fee is $500. When you submit the fee, you will also send the two recorded sessions and the evaluations for at least two clients. All of this will prove that you are ready to be a life coach.
If you are planning to be accredited or certified by the IAC, you can find licensed schools and mentors here…
The International Coaching Federation
The ICF has MANY paths for those looking to become coaches.
There are three levels:
- Associate Certified Coach
- Professional Certified Coach
- Master Certified Coach
The certification programs provide a combination of hands-on training, coaching experience, advice and guidance from mentors, online and oral examinations, and references from qualified coaches. It is a bit more complex to obtain certification from the ICF, but it is regarded more highly than IAC certification.
Find out more at the ICF website
In order to receive your certification/accreditation as a coach, you will need to complete a given number of hours.
Most of the basic coaching levels will require at least 75 to 100 hours (many of them paid) with multiple clients (between 2 and 8). The more you advance, the more hours you will need–up to 2,500 hours to become a Master Coach!
You may be able to accrue a lot of hours by doing group sessions (they count as “man hours” rather than actual hours), coaching via the telephone or internet, internal coaching, and coaching via a third-party body.
All that matters is that you log in the hours of quality coaching time!
Just because you have received certification as a life coach, that doesn’t mean your education is complete!
Both the IAC and the ICF require continued education in order to retain your membership in their organization. The ICF, for example, requires that you complete 40 hours of “approved” education every three years.
You will need to continue your education, both for your own sake and for that of your clients. In order to keep up with the changing problems that occur on a regular basis, you must expand your horizons and continue to find new and improved methods of tackling those problems.
Now, it’s time to build your practice!
It’s up to you how you decide to reach out and find clients, but now is the time to start building your life coaching practice by reaching out to the people who need you.
Check out the posts on the Evercoach blog to find out about marketing via social media, using YouTube, promoting yourself at big events, and more.
We’ve got a tonne of advice that will help you to reach new clients, expand your practice, and find the opportunities that will help you build your practice.
The road to becoming a life coach is neither short nor easy, but it’s absolutely rewarding! Once you have a practice and see the progress your clients are making, you will be encouraged. In the end, it will all be worth it!Want to become an extraordinary coach? Start your free online training here!