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How Do I Get a Life Coaching Degree?

Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers

You do not need a degree to become a life coach, but it is often recommended if you want the best chances of success in this field. One of the most straightforward ways of getting a degree in this industry is to attend a traditional college that offers a life coaching degree. If you have a hard time finding such a college that you would like to attend, you can take some classes online or read a manual written by a practicing life coach instead of getting a formal degree. Many life coaches also opt to get a certificate in this field, which can be obtained through various colleges and experienced life coaches.

Few traditional colleges offer a life coaching degree, but many do provide the opportunity to get a degree in general coaching, a profession that has gained in popularity. A coaching degree program typically includes business classes, because most people in this industry run their own business, requiring them to attract clients and keep track of finances. Such programs also tend to include a few classes that teach effective ways to coach clients, because you need to learn methods of appearing both supportive and inspirational to those you are coaching. Coaching degree programs may result in either an associate's or bachelor's degree, which can be helpful even if you decide not to pursue this career.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Some life coaching degree programs are less formal than those offered through a traditional college setting, and they may focus more on teaching the skills you will need rather than offering an associate's or bachelor's degree. For example, you can take a course online that will teach you the main styles of life coaching, or you can buy a manual that offers the basic steps necessary to become a life coach. These options are usually cheaper than getting a traditional life coaching degree and may teach you what you need to know for this career, but they are not very useful for other fields. Therefore, you should ensure you really want to pursue this career before spending money on such training.

If you want the most credibility among clients, you are advised to get certified in life coaching. You can combine this type of training with a life coaching degree from a university, though you also can often enroll in a certification program without having any prior higher education as long as you first make sure there are no prerequisites. The typical life coach classes in a certificate program teach how to start your own business, support clients, and live life in a way that attracts clients to begin with, because few people will hire a life coach whose own life is unenviable. You also may be required to take part in an internship before becoming a certified life coach.

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Discussion Comments


@clintflint - Many of the people I know who are life coaches don't seem to do it full time. I have one friend in particular who was a guidance counselor at a high school for a while before she decided to become a life coach and she basically did it because she wanted more free time to spend with her own children.

It's the type of service that goes in and out of fashion, but isn't ever really that much in demand, so I wouldn't expect to become a millionaire if you start down the road to a life coaching career.


@Iluviaporos - I wouldn't just get life coaching certification if I was going into this kind of career. I'd make sure I had as many relevant skills as possible and experience in a wide range of areas, particularly counseling and psychology, fitness and probably business or management as well.

Life coaching is something that a lot of people fancy themselves to be good at. I've had multiple friends tell me it's something they'd like to do. So the field is probably extremely competitive and you'll need something to make yourself stand out from the crowd.

And the article makes a good point when it says you need to make sure your own life is together first. It's the kind of business that will probably have to build slowly, so you need to be able to support yourself while it's happening.


Honestly, I feel like anyone who wants to be a life coach should at least try getting a diploma or degree in the subject, so that they know what to expect and what will be expected of them.

Just because you are good at helping out your friends when they need it, or good at organizing your own life doesn't mean that you're going to make a good life coach. And it's a position of power, where you will be dealing with people who are vulnerable.

You have to make sure that you are going to actually be helping them, rather than just ripping them off or making their lives worse.

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