Best Life Coaching Programs

Best Life Coaching Programs

Updated March 21, 2022

Written by the WikiJob Team

In recent years, there has been a rise in people retraining to become life coaches.

While it once may have seen like an odd occupation, currently people are needing that extra guidance and reassurance with where to take their lives.

Many coaches build on their own experiences, both personal and professional, and their skill set to become a life coach.

However, it is important to look into a coach’s credentials before hiring.

In order to get the most accurate coaching, they must be accredited by one of the major life coaching programs.

While it is not a necessity, it does mean that they have undertaken the necessary coaching hours, training and education themselves before setting up.

What Is a Life Coach?

For the most part, life coaches are individuals who are able to help those who are struggling to find their purpose in life.

They can help you get to the bottom of what you really want in life, set some goals to help you achieve your dreams and guide you during the process.

Some life coaches offer more specific coaching, such as business/careers or health and wellbeing, whereas others offer a more general service.

As a life coach, you can work within an institution, private or public, or set up as a self-employed life coach.

Why Consider a Career as a Life Coach?

If you are a people person, being a life coach can be one of the most fulfilling jobs there is.

On a daily basis, you will be helping people see their full potential and create a plan to achieve it.

Instilling that kind of self-belief and confidence in someone is extremely rewarding and gives the coach the ultimate pride in their work.

Every client will be completely different from the previous one, requiring engagement with them on a personal level and ensuring you are never bored.

You will be able to delve into their most inner thoughts and feelings and guide them into becoming the best version of themself.

If you are looking for a career that fits in around your lifestyle, life coaching offers a flexible schedule for those who choose the self-employed route. You can set your coaching hours to what is best for you.

However, it is worth noting what works best for you and what attracts the most clients may differ.

For example, working standard office hours might work best for you but many may want to visit a life coach before or after a work day.

You could offer your services fully online or a mixture of online/offline, to better align your requirements with those of your clients.

What Qualifications or Skills do You Need to Become a Life Coach?

Training to be a life coach is one of those careers with very few prerequisites.

You do not actually need to have any qualifications to become a life coach; access to programs usually does not require a college degree.

However, it is worth thinking about how much life experience you have when becoming a coach.

It is recommended that life coaches are over the age of 23 in order to complete the training, as well as deal with any issues that may come up in any coaching sessions.

Life coaching is all about personality traits and interpersonal skills rather than having a broad skill set.

While being able to organize your time, being a good listener and computer literacy (to create action plans) are important, having the right personality is the most important factor.

Important life coach personality traits include:

  • Patience
  • Honesty
  • Open-mindedness
  • Being non-judgemental
  • Passionate about what you do
  • Commitment to making yourself and others better
  • Empowered and empowering
  • Supportive

Who Would Benefit From a Life Coaching Program?

There are several types of people who would benefit from taking a program and gaining life coaching skills.

Career Change

One of the main types are those wanting a complete career change to become a life coach.

It is important to arm yourself with the correct skills required. Previous mentoring or teaching experience can help but is not necessary.

Gaining Specific Skills

Many people gaining their life coaching accreditations often are moving from a more general coaching business into a specific area, such as business or finance.

If you fall in this category, you may have coaching skills but lack specific industry knowledge.

You will need to gain as much knowledge as possible in the specific area you are moving into, meaning extra training will be required.

Getting More Experience

On the opposite side, you may have all the industry knowledge but lack coaching experience.

A life coaching program will allow you to gain training hours and experience, often while still working full-time.

You will be able to find your coaching style and learn to adapt it for each individual client.

Getting a Qualification

Even if you have plenty of coaching experience, following an accredited program will allow you to reach new clients.

Displaying a coaching qualification gives you credibility, meaning you will be highly valued and can charge more.

How to Find a Good Life Coaching Program

Searching for life coach training programs can take time, but if you are going to be investing in a career and your future, you need to take some time to weigh up the options.

You might want to consider the following factors before choosing a program for you:

Certification or Accreditation

It is recommended that you take a course accredited by an official coaching body, such as by the International Coach Federation (ICF).

While it does not offer its own training programs, any programs that does accredit can be found on its website.


Currently, there is a rise in online courses, but in-person programs will reopen again when possible.

While online courses are great for accessibility and are often more affordable, you may prefer to learn at a local college or university and interact more.

The 3 Best Life Coaching Programs in 2021
The 3 Best Life Coaching Programs in 2021


Many people train to become life coaches whilst still working full-time. This is to ensure they can save enough money to quit their job and take their life coaching full-time when they have completed their training.

There are part-time and full-time courses available across a range of platforms; some are self-paced online courses or evening classes so you can take your time with the program.


If you are serious about setting up a life coaching business, you will need to invest in your own learning and development.

Purchasing a $20 course online might seem like a quick fix, but it will not give you the fundamental basics of becoming a life coach.

Consider how much useful content there will be in there for the low price.

However, investing thousands in an accredited program may not be right for you either.

Before doing so, make sure you are 100% sure that this is the career path you want to go down. Most programs do not offer refunds if you change your mind.

Industry-Specific or Generic

While most programs take a general approach to life coach training, coaches can choose to specialise.

For those wanting to specialise, you may have to undertake additional modules or training after a general life coach program.

However, some courses do allow for members to specialise throughout so it is worth checking this beforehand.

Top 3 Life Coaching Programs

Even though potential life coaches should conduct their own research, this is a collated list of our top programs for you to consider.

1. The iPEC Coaching Program

The iPEC Certified Coach Training program is one of the most thorough and recommended programs available.

With three intakes throughout the year (March, July and November), potential coaches can plan ahead if needs be.

The cost of this program is $11,950 (£9,250+VAT) and takes around a year to complete as it is comprehensive life coach training.

The main training elements are a mixture of:

  • Live training
  • Smaller online classes
  • Coaching fellow trainees and being coached by them too
  • Meetings with experienced coaches
  • Feedback sessions
  • Speciality training
  • Business/career development modules

The live training is three intensive days every three months for three modules, which can be in-person or virtual.

For example, someone in the March intake will have live training for three full days in March, June and September. These run Friday–Sunday or Tuesday–Thursday, and you must attend for the full three days of all three modules.

Consider taking time off if working so you can give them 100% attention. You will be in a small group with other students, trainers and support staff to learn the tools and techniques needed to be a life coach.

On top of these intensive sessions, you will be required to commit around an additional five hours per week to this program.

This is made of the following:

  • 90-minute live online class (with a couple of time slots per class so you have a choice of schedules)
  • Two hours with your small cohort of coaching and being coached where you will coach a peer and one of them will coach you (switching up partners every twelve weeks)
  • An hour with your larger cohort to discuss your progress and review any skills/techniques learned

Once a month you will have a coaching call with a mentor coach. You will coach them for half an hour before receiving feedback.

Also, three sessions with a success coach will help you to set your own action plan and work towards your goals with the guidance of an expert.

There is also a selection of self-study assignments.

These are all given to you at the start of the program with no deadlines so you are able to hand them in as you go or altogether towards the end of your training.

Upon submission, you undertake one final oral exam where you coach another person and are assessed on that session.

Extras in this program include:

  • Over 10 specialties on top of the regular coaching program
  • Business development training for those wanting to set up as self-employed coaches
  • Keep all of your training packages and content for future use

Upon completion, coaches will have received 320 hours of ICF accredited coaching hours as well as three different certifications:

  • Certified Professional Coach accreditation – Using iPEC’s Core Energy Coaching methodology, it allows coaches to take a deeper dive into clients’ thoughts and deepest desires. This training means that not only can you help them address their problems but help them to create a plan to make the change.

  • Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner – This accreditation is unique to the iPEC program, allowing coaching to delve further with their clients. It provides them with quantifiable, measurable information to ensure they get the results they want.

  • COR.E Dynamics certification – This is also unique to the iPEC program and is additional coaching techniques to advance their clients wants and needs.

Visit The iPEC Coaching Program

2. Coach U Core Essentials Program

If a short life coaching training course is better for you, the Coach U Core Essentials Program might be preferred.

It is still accredited by the ICF and offers both foundation and intermediate courses in one program to allow you to develop and progress your coaching skills.

This course provides knowledge of core competencies for coaches, how to use personal development to improve your skill set and learning how to set up, develop and run your own coaching business.

There is a self-paced distance-learning program, priced at $3,995, which gives you 15 months to complete the program (most do it in six to nine months).

There is also an intensive fast-track in-person version held over six full days, costing $5,095.

Both courses require 77 hours of training for the basics as well as coaching time, extra sessions and homework on top of that.

The home version of the program is taught over Zoom with access to course material and resources on an online hub.

Upon applying, students will be able to enroll in classes to suit their schedule and time zone, with multiple choices if you are educating and working still.

After completing the courses, tests and required coaching hours, you can apply for your graduation to receive your Associate Certified Coach qualification.

This accreditation allows you to become a professional life coach upon completion.

After graduating, there is also an option to undertake the Professional Essentials Program, a course designed to go further into speciality elective modules and more focused learning.

However, it is not a necessity as the Essentials program is fully accredited.

Visit Coach U Core Essentials Program

3. Certified Life Coach Institute program

If you are someone who is very short on time or wants to get your life coaching career started quickly, this intensive program could be the best pick for you.

The Certified Life Coach Institute offers two programs:

  • Level 1 to become a certified life coach ($995)
  • Level 2 to become a master certified life coach ($1,295)

You can also purchase both together for $1,995.

Both programs are three day programs, meaning you will need to check you can attend in full for the classes booked.

There are multiple offerings of each course throughout the month, usually running Tuesday–Thursday and Friday–Sunday.

You will be training for 33 hours per program so make sure you are well prepared for the course.

Both courses are accredited with the ICF, so you know you are getting a quality training program.

Both Levels 1 and 2 run from 10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. with two small breaks and a lunch break.

Each day includes teaching, class discussion, peer coaching sessions and homework assignments. At the end of day 3, you will receive your certification and can start your life coaching business straight away.

Visit Certified Life Coach Institute program

Final Thoughts

While these are three recommendations, there are tons of choices of programs out there.

You should always check that a course is accredited by the ICF as many clients will require this certification before working with you.

Think about if you want to learn from home at your own pace or would benefit more from an in-person intensive course. Be prepared to put in the hours and your life coaching business will be a success.

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