You’ve thought of getting an online coaching certification, but you just don’t know if it’s worth it.
Chances are you’re here because you want to take your life coaching business to the next level, or you’re new to it and you’re not sure where or how to start.
No worries. You’re in the right place.
To build more credibility and trust in the eyes of your clients, you’ve been told that the only way is to be a certified coach. However, drawing on my substantial experience as a seasoned coach and trainer working with hundreds of successful coaches for years, succeeding in this business without certification is totally possible. In other words, it’s not mandatory.
The coaching industry is unregulated, which allows you to be flexible. Speaking from my personal experience of more than ten years in this industry, whether we like it or not, we just look more professional, legit, refined in knowledge, and an authority in the industry with a nice-looking certificate under our belt.
In Brief: The 33 Best Online Coaching Certifications Compared
- Start up your own life Coaching Business – This beginner’s course, priced at $18.99, provides accreditation and teaches the fundamentals of life coaching, including marketing, the difference between coaching and counseling, and how to establish a coaching practice.
- Certified Life Coach Institute – Priced at $995, this intensive three-day course offers ICF accreditation, covering core coaching competencies, interactive seminars, and strategies for enhancing coaching skills.
- Life coach certification accredited – This Udemy course, priced at $18.99, focuses on coaching techniques for goal achievement, providing materials for clients and guidance on creating custom action plans.
- integrative life coaching program – Priced between $197 and $1200, this program integrates healing modalities with life coaching to promote holistic well-being, balancing mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects.
- iPEC’s Coach Certification Program – This ICF-accredited program costs $11,950 and offers extensive training, including live sessions, webinars, coaching simulations, and business development, providing a strong foundation for coaching careers.
- Institute Dual Life and Health coaching Certification – Priced at $3,995 (full pay) or $4,495 (monthly payments), this course emphasizes health coaching, covering nutrition, habit change, personal growth, and business aspects to help clients lead healthier lives.
- Life purpose institute – For $20.99, this course focuses on personal development, assisting individuals in finding their life purpose and helping future clients do the same, including addressing limiting beliefs.
- Coach School Academy – Priced at $1497 (one payment) or $797 (two payments), this ICF-accredited program offers one-on-one support, mentorship, and encourages the development of a unique coaching style.
- ICF certification Pathways – Costing $5795 for the WCCP or $6995 for WCCP + ICF, this program provides comprehensive coaching training and the opportunity to earn ICF certification.
- Coach Training Alliance – Priced at $3497 with various payment options, this ICF-accredited program not only teaches coaching techniques but also focuses on the business side, helping coaches build successful practices.
- Law of Attraction – For $19.99, this course teaches the law of attraction and how to use it, enabling coaches to bring happiness, relaxation, and success to themselves and their clients.
- Virtual coaching Courses – These courses range from $3,195 to $9,290 and provide a comprehensive overview of coaching, including ICF-accredited programs, covering various levels of coaching expertise and skills development.
So, what is the best online coaching certification to have?
According to my research, many of these online programs are ICF accredited. Thus, could mean it would cost more than you expect to shell out. On the other hand, you have more affordable ones, but keep in mind, enrolling in a $15 course is obviously nothing like a $2500+ ICF accredited program.
That’s A LOT of money. It’s important to remember that not everyone who dreams of becoming a coach can afford to make such an investment. That’s why I wanted to make sure I included in this article:
- 12 online coaching certification programs
- 10 ICF accredited coaching programs
- 10 free life coaching courses
Keep on reading to find out which one is a good fit for you.
What A Coaching Certification Can Do For You
I want to say this again: You can thrive in this business without a certification. I have seen a lot of people do it firsthand. The reason is that coaching, as opposed to counseling or offering therapy, is like a mentorship service based on experience rather than education.
Although, having coaching credentials may boost your career in ways. Recent findings from the 2020 ICF study highlights the impact of training for coaches. Put simply, you show your clients real results, and you’ll get an endless stream of clients wanting the same results.
Should You Get An Online Coaching Certification?
Whether you have an already established business or you’re just beginning your journey as a life coach—launching your plans or starting your business from scratch—an online coaching program could take you by the hand and walk you down the path to your first successes in your career. But your success cannot in any way be attributed to the program; it is not a magic pill.
A certification unquestionably provides the fundamental knowledge base for your life coaching business—an essential cornerstone in this profession. And we can never underestimate the power of a good education. The more of it you have, the more value you can show and provide for your future clients.
So if you want to receive more knowledge and information, a coaching certification would be a valuable asset to have. But, do remember that, at the end of the day, it is still up to you to put all that learning into good use in the real world.
As a widely recognized authority in this field, I would assert that, with more businesses switching to remote work, it is more ideal and convenient to learn from an online coaching program than ever before.
What A Coaching Certification Means For Your Clients
Our expert analysis revealed that while some may undervalue the importance of certification, to your clients, it could possibly mean a lot. It will not guarantee that it will make you a great coach. Skills and experience will do far more in this regard. But with so many people now calling themselves coaches, some clients will surely place credentials at the top of their list of criteria when choosing a coach. Here’s what having a certification means for your clients:
- You’ve got experience working with a lot of clients (a lot of coaching programs allow you to test your skills with real clients before being accredited).
- You’re committed to a code of ethics and standards within your practice. As a result, clients will trust and respect you.
- The international coaching federation supervised and assessed the quality of your coaching (this one obviously only applies if you’re doing an ICF accredited program)
- You’ve invested in quality training and thus are fully capable of coaching others.
According to an ICF 2020 study, the evidence shows that more and more managers and worldwide leaders expect their coaches to be certified/credentialed. The proportion of respondents who strongly agreed rose from 37% in 2015 to 55% in 2019.
What Are The Best Online Coaching Certification Programs?
With over 1000 ICF accredited coach training programs, it can be overwhelming to choose a suitable one for you. In addition, the cost of most of them can be quite daunting, making them a difficult mental and financial investment.
Well, search no more. With extensive research, I have found and included in this article affordable online coaching courses/programs you can do right now, other ones a bit more on the expensive side, but there are also free online life coaching courses. You’ll also find their cost and benefits.
Let’s get right on it.
If you’re completely new to life coaching, this particular program offers a tailored approach. This beginner’s course is fully accredited and internationally recognized. For newcomers to the life coaching arena, it’ll give you the confidence to start your own life coaching practice and get it up and running in a matter of weeks.
- Marketing your services on social media and promoting your business to the outside world
- Knowing the difference between a coach and a counselor
- A complete step-by-step guide to earning money as a professional life coach.
- Developing an entrepreneurial mindset in a digital era
In my research to this course, I’ve found that, it is rated as a top-notch three-day intensive and interactive course designed to give you all the tools you need to make your life coaching practice flourish Available in-person and online, this first-rate training program will take your coaching skills to the next level and help your clients discover the resources they need to become more successful.
- Learn the ICF core competencies of being a life coach
- Personal and meaningful interaction between all the participants in the seminars
- Information-packed with strategic training and exercises to integrate into your coaching practice
- Strategies and techniques to develop your listening skills with clients
Another affordable Udemy course. This one is about setting, achieving, maintaining, and fine-tuning goals.
If you’re a perfectionist looking for organization and high performance, this one’s for you. It is packed with real-life examples, it addresses the psychological aspect of achieving goals, which a lot of other courses fail to do.
- Learn coaching techniques and best practices to help your clients achieve goals
- Develop new services you can offer to your current clients
- Workbook materials for your clients
- How to build a custom action plan for your clients, give them the motivation to go after and commit to their goals, and learn how to hold them accountable.
I’ve found that IWA’s approach to life coaching is one of a kind. Its programs integrate healing modalities for IWA coaches to enable their clients to thrive and live successful lives.
One of my mentees who went through this certification program reported that an IWA coach not only guides clients to reach goals and make changes in all areas of life but also does healing exercises while empowering clients with coaching and mind body tools, techniques, and action plans. In other words, IWA coaches target mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual balance.
- Understand and create a balance and wholeness in your life and guide clients to do the same
- Learn about life coaching and holistic wellness
- Learn how to use the power of a healthy body, mind, and spirit in coaching
- Compelling assignments and short audio chapters at your disposal
The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, also known as IPEC, is an ICF-accredited program and one of the best and most recognized programs in the coaching world.
It’s also one of the most expensive ones on the market. No joke. From an expert’s standpoint, if you walk around with an iPEC online coaching certification and logo and include it in your marketing strategies, you will get your career off the ground in no time.
- 3-day, live training experiences and 400 hours of in-person and online training
- Offers webinars, coaching simulations, self-study materials, e-workbooks, writing and group work activities.
- Experience firsthand the personal transformation that master coaches help their clients achieve
- Business development and marketing training
This course uses health in coaching and prioritizes it above everything else. Our investigation demonstrated that, it teaches physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being. The foundational training focuses on four pillars:
- Nutrition for health coaches
- Habit change coaching
- Personal growth
- Proven business and marketing system
The idea is that if you have healthy habits, eat healthy foods, and have high levels of energy and motivation, you’ll have more to give to your clients.
Cost: $3,995 Full pay/ $4,495 monthly payments
- The confidence to charge well and always get high-paying clients
- Training with actual clients, weekly mentoring sessions, coaching skills practice labs, and 2 yearly live training events.
- Recorded webinars, online homework, templates, checklists, and more.
- Coaching with the founders, large Facebook community and Alumni network
According to our investigation, completing this compressed course entitles you to a life coach certification from Transformation Academy, which has received accreditation from a reputable organization that sets standards for continuing professional development.
To be clear, it is more of a personal development course that’ll give you a roadmap to your life’s purpose, and enable you to visualize your future and allow others—your future clients— to do the same.
- Workbook materials to your clients
- How to identify goals, passions, and beliefs when hitting a roadblock
- How to deconstruct clients’ limiting beliefs
- Walkthrough of each aspect of finding one’s life purpose
Our findings show that getting an online coaching certification from Coach School Academy is unlike any other coach training program. I keep saying, but this one is different. It is more of a mentorship program focused on one individual than a large class. Plus, it encourages uniqueness and developing one’s own coaching style. Not to mention, it is an ICF-accredited and globally recognized coach training program.
Cost: $1497 one payment / $797 two payments
- 1:1 support and mentoring
- Tailored to your specific vision
- Earn while you learn
- Self-paced, group calls, and personalized attention
- Learning different coaching models and approaches
The programs in this course are designed to ensure you gain the skills and mindset to become a highly effective holistic coach. Our findings show that the coach training world has a signature certificate program that includes a 125-hour coach training to become a “Whole Person Certified Coach” (WCCP). After finishing it, you can then complete your ICF certification process to earn an ACC (Associate Certified Coach) and/or PCC (Professional Certified Coach) from the ICF.
This is yet another high-caliber, accredited program by the ICF, designed for new and/or established coaches and large organizations.
Cost: $5795 (WCCP) / $6995 (WCCP + ICF)
- Coaching workbooks, tools, contracts, and manuals practice
- 1:1 peer coaching practice
- Have your own personal coach
- Lifetime access to student library and recordings
While it focuses on coaching techniques and teaching practical skills among many other things, what makes this ICF-accredited training special is its commitment to help coaches with the business side of their career: marketing, using testimonials, branding, building a website, referrals, setting and raising rates, writing your first authority book, etc.
Better yet, Coach Training Alliance (CTA) makes sure their coaches get two paying clients before they graduate.
Cost: $3497 (variety of payment installments)
- Includes more than 340 pages of online material and 8 hours of audio training
- Live and free coaching sessions with a mentor coach
- Quality training with high level support and encouragement
- Learning how to build your coaching practice from the ground up and run it like a real business
Mastering the law of attraction—then teaching your clients to use it— is a powerful skill to have. Packed with great insight and materials, this course will assist you into living your best life now and will make a great coach out of you.
- Bring happiness and joy to your life and teach others to do the same
- Know when to take action and when to relax
- Learn the true meaning of the law of attraction (LOA) and how to take full advantage of it and achieve success
- Help clients overcome their issues using LOA tools
CoachU provides a 77-hour comprehensive overview of what it’s like to be a coach and offers top of the line (ICF-accredited) foundational, beginner, and advanced programs (5-8-week virtual courses) for coaches and organizations. It was founded in 1992 and has been a leading global provider of coach training programs and coaching culture change ever since.
Cost: $3,195 – 9,290
- The Core Essentials Programs and Advanced Coaching Programs (ACP) meet the academic requirements for becoming an Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC) or Master Certified Coach (MCC) through the International Coach Federation (ICF).
- Well-organized and facilitated with a strong understanding of what coaching is
- Learn best practices of professional coaching, overcoming limiting beliefs and strategies to attain clients
- Learn from the best experienced and credentialed coaches in the industry
What Are The Best ICF-Accredited Coaching Programs?
If you’ve reached this far and you’re still looking (which I highly doubt) for the best online coaching certification, don’t worry. Aside from those I already mentioned, I have yet another list for you to check out, especially if the quality of the certification is your main concern.
As per our expertise, here’s a brief list of the best ICF-accredited life coaching programs online:
- Coach Certification: 5 weeks | $995- $2,495
- iNLP Center: 60-160 hours | $2,400- $3,200
- Life Purpose Institute: 5-day intensive / 3-month or 6-month course | $2,500
- Coach Certification: 2-day program, $797 | 24-week program, $1,797- $2,000
- Georgetown University: 8 months | $13,995
- Erikson International: 70-154 hours | $5,250- $10,050
- ADDCA: 19 – 219 training hours | ranges from $297 to $10,955 depending on program
- Coach Arya: 125 hours | Cost: Not mentioned
- New ventures west: 4 sessions / 12 months | $12,400
- Life Coach Training: 40 hours | $4,180
It’s a bit overwhelming to look at those numbers, let alone get that kind of money out of your pocket, but hey, it’s a powerful investment that could possibly set your business for life.
Is it better to invest in a more affordable course? No one can guarantee this but you…
Are these ICF programs worth it? Honestly, that’s up to you to decide.
Now, moving on to something easier on the eye and ears: FREE courses.
Free Life Coaching Courses
Who doesn’t like free stuff?
Nowadays, self-education is becoming the new norm, making learning skills and growing professionally a possibility not just for those who can afford it but also for anyone ambitious enough to level up in their business.
And with lots of online platforms giving away courses for free, you’ve got nothing but yourself to blame if you pass up on the chance to learn for free.
Not sure if coaching is for you? Taking a free life coaching course might be the perfect opportunity to figure that out.
Here is my list of 10 free life coaching courses online:
Life coach road map PDF | 16 video coaching tutorials | MP3 guided coaching processes.
Free Webinar | Learn how to get your business running and get clients even if you have no experience coaching.
Group coaching | Career coaching | Personal and life coaching | Performance coaching (and more).
There are currently 9 free online courses for the keyword “life coach” on Udemy.
10 modules | 30 hours | LCTI certification | self-paced learning.
Like Udemy, Coursera offers a lot of its courses for free.
1-hour live, online interactive session | Exploring the industry to know if coaching is for you.
Live online Webinars | Best tools for coaching | fundamental coaching model | learning the difference between coaching, mentoring, consultancy, counseling, and therapy.
Improve personal and professional relationships | work less while making money | do what you love
At least 20 coaching courses are at your disposal for free in Alison. Better yet, some of them will give you an online coaching certificate.
In this article, I’ve listed a total of 34 online coaching certification programs; many are accredited, some are not, though very affordable; others completely free of charge.
No need to look anywhere else, the programs and courses mentioned here are the most common ones in the world.
The ball is in your court. It’s time to take your business to the next level. No more waiting. You’ve got plenty of options to choose from. It all boils down to whether you choose to take the route of getting certified for education or for credibility, it’s all up to you. All you need to do is take action right NOW.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is The Most Respected Coaching Certification?
ICF-accredited life coaching programs are the most respected coaching certifications.
What Is The Most Prestigious Coaching Certification?
Any ICF-accredited life coaching programs like ACA coach academies are prestigious coaching certifications.
What A Coaching Certification Can Do For You?
If you want to receive more knowledge and information, a coaching certification would be a valuable asset to have. But, do remember that, at the end of the day, it is still up to you to put all that learning into good use in the real world.
What Are The Best Online Coaching Certification Programs?
Some best online coaching certification programs are:
1. Life Coaching: Start Up Your Own Life Coaching Business – Cost: $18,99
2. The Certified Life Coach Institute (ICF Accredited) – Cost: $995
What Coaching Programs Are Accredited By ICF?
Here’s a brief list of the best ICF-accredited life coaching programs online:
1. ACA Coach academies: 5 weeks | $995- $2,495
2. iNLP Center: 60-160 hours | $2,400- $3,200
3. Life Purpose Institute: 5-day intensive / 3-month or 6-month course | $2,500
4. The Coach Training Academy: 2-day program, $797 | 24-week program, $1,797- $2,000
5. Georgetown University: 8 months | $13,995
6. Erikson International: 70-154 hours | $5,250- $10,050
About the Author
Mehdi Jouay (aka MJ) is a Moroccan based life coach copywriter. When he’s not writing long Form blogs within the life coach industry, he’s reading, learning copywriting techniques, and watching Netflix.