To become a career coach, it is important to have the right education, proper licensing, and the drive to make a career out of a passion for helping others. Career coaches are often highly trained professionals, ready and able to help their clients find lucrative, rewarding work. Choosing the become a career coach requires dedication, as training and certification may take several years.
The educational background needed to become a career coach is a varied field. Depending on the certification or license sought, a person may need to have a bachelor's or master's degree in a field related to career coaching. Some of the more common majors for career coaches include business and communications. For those who already possess a degree in these areas, the path to become a career coach may be faster, but those without requisite education should not despair: it is possible to achieve a business degree in as little as a year and a half through some online or distance learning programs.
Some certification organizations permit the substitution of work experience for some or all of the educational requirements. Human resources experience is ideal for career coaching, but any job that has allowed a person to work with career training or job placement may also suffice. Working as a admissions or guidance counselor in the education system can also provide good basic training for this field of work. In some cases, up to 10 years of work experience is required for coaching certification.
Achieving a license as a career coach will usually require a blend of educational and work requirements, as well as participation in a career coaching training course. These courses are generally offered by certifying bodies and may be available several times a year; training courses may last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. At the conclusion of a training course, an aspiring coach may need to undergo an assessment or pass examinations in order to be officially certified. In many cases, re-certification is required every few years.
Though a license gives a person the ability to become a career coach, it is often up to the individual to craft a successful coaching business. Some coaches may be employed by job centers, continuing education programs, or even rehabilitation centers, but many choose to work on a private practice basis. It is important to study applicable laws about running a private business, learn about basic business accounting practices, and create a reasonable business plan when trying to become a career coach.