How to become a life coach
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- applying directly
- specialist courses offered by a professional body
If you already have a degree, you could study for a postgraduate award in coaching.
Courses at this level tend to focus on sport, performance management within organisations, coaching and mentoring in education or coaching psychology.
You'll usually need:
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
You'll have an advantage if you've got qualifications and membership of a professional organisation. A good starting point would be to choose a course that is approved by an independent coaching body.
It's important that you gather as much information as possible before choosing a course, as costs vary widely. Courses are available through online and face-to-face learning, so you can choose the one that suits you best. Apart from your studies you would need to make time for practical coaching sessions and preparation activities.
Check that a course offers:
- contacts with coaching and mentoring bodies
- testimonials from coaches who have attended the course
- good resources for developing skills
- practical training, like workshops and seminars
- some supervised work with a practising life coach or assessor
- advice on setting up a business
- opportunities for continuing professional development
There are no set entry requirements for this route.
If you want to work within organisations coaching individuals and teams to improve their work performance, you could do a coaching professional higher apprenticeship.
This typically takes 14 months to complete as a mix of learning in the workplace and off-the-job study.
You'll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
Life coaching is not regulated in the UK, so anyone can work as a life coach if they feel they have the necessary skills and qualities.
You may be able to work towards accreditation from a coaching professional body to improve your job prospects.
You could take training through the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which offers a range of courses in coaching methods.
You may find it useful if you have experience in psychology, management, counselling or teaching.
You can get more advice on coaching and mentoring from the: