Do you want to become a life coach but don't have a degree? You may be surprised to learn that you don't need one! While getting certified as a life coach is a great way to start, it's not a requirement. Life coaches come from many different backgrounds, such as social work, teaching, consulting, and more. Technically, you don't need to get certified to work as a life coach. Becoming a life coach is not like becoming a psychologist or doctor, which requires years of intense training before you can practice.
According to the ICF study, 89% of practicing coaches receive training accredited or approved by a professional training organization. However, there are currently no existing regulations that you need to comply with before you can call yourself a life coach. So, yes, life coaching is a true profession. You don't need to be certified to work as a life coach.
Anyone can call themselves a life coach as long as they don't intend to treat mental health conditions. Having people you can turn to for answers about your life coaching business, industry, or for client oversight is an invaluable resource. Training and accreditation are important for both the life coach and the client. It will be easier to sell and promote yourself as a thought leader, mentor and life coach with specialized training combined with your unique history and background.
While these partnerships play an important role in keeping the coaching industry to higher standards and establishing a foundation of ethics and best practices, they have no authority over the industry, other training organizations, or coaches. Life coaches come from all kinds of environments, such as counseling, personal fitness, nursing and business, etc. For example, entrepreneurs can advise start-ups, personal trainers become health coaches, teachers train others to speak in public, etc. You can use the ICF Training Program Search Service to find a legitimate course that aligns with your life coaching goals. The best way to learn about continuing education opportunities is to actively participate in the life coach community. When setting up your life coaching business, you'll first need to determine the type of entity your business is: a sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation are popular choices.
Developing your life coaching business can take time as you network, develop skills and grow your client base. Reading books about coaching is the first empowering step to becoming a life coach, especially if you're practicing without certification. Short, non-accredited courses like these are not substantial enough to provide you with the knowledge, training skills, or experience necessary to provide effective training. While certification isn't always necessary to be a life coach, it can offer legitimacy and credibility that much of your competition will have obtained. The UC Davis Extension offers an all-inclusive five-month Professional Life and Work Training Certification Program that covers ICF requirements.
These results appear in the training searches of coaches specializing in vision and life improvement, with many other training options available. In conclusion, becoming a life coach without a degree is possible! You don't need any special qualifications or certifications to call yourself a life coach. However, having specialized training combined with your unique history and background will make it easier for you to sell and promote yourself as an expert in the field.