Best Life Coaching Classes in 2021 – Help Your Clients Reach Their Full Potential

Best Life Coaching Classes in 2021 – Help Your Clients Reach Their Full Potential

Being an entrepreneur and shaping other people’s lives for the better sounds like a dream. How often have you counseled a coworker who’s going through a rough patch? Does your advice frequently lead people on a better path? Are people always coming to you for tips on reaching goals and maximizing productivity? You might already have the talent for advising, so you might as well profit off your skills!

Life coaching is a growing industry, and the recent pandemic has caused many people to reevaluate their lives. Coaches are needed more than ever, with established professionals filling up their waiting lists. The need for life coaching grows every year, and as a $2 billion dollar industry, they won’t be disappearing anytime soon.

Getting into life coaching can be the difficult part. How do you go from knowing nothing about this field to a professional certification? The answer is schooling– a lot of schooling. This field is difficult to self-learn, and having a mentor to look up to can go a long way.

Below, we’ll start with some advice on what you might find in an online life coaching class. Then we’ll evaluate and give you our feedback on the best online options, and then we’ll end with our extra information and tips you need to get started.

Orientation

Life coaching sounds great as an idea but taking that first step can be the hardest part. After all, you’re starting a transition into a new career field, and you’ll need to rely on your own talents to grow your business. As an entrepreneur, you’ll need to find the right balance between the work behind running your services and managing all your clients’ expectations.

No one said it would be easy! But taking one or two life coaching classes can be the first step to setting up your success. You’ll get knowledge from professionals who have worked in the life coaching industry, and you’ll find your own coaching niche before long. Below, we’ll cover some of the biggest things to keep in mind before you pick a course that’s right for you.

Scope

Life coaching spans a wide variety of topics that can range from goal setting to emotional development. It’s meant to provide clients with a clear insight on how they can improve and find direction in their lives, and you’re meant to help them overcome any obstacles in the way.

Different clients will need different approaches, and you’ll need to learn dozens of techniques for your arsenal. In addition, that’s not even covering the different specializations life coaches might have! While some courses are only meant to serve as an introduction to see whether it interests you, others are more in-depth for those looking for a professional career in life coaching.

Certificates

Certifications for life coaching are not a necessity. There are no requirements to start your own business, but having a certificate won’t hurt! In fact, they often show that you’ve mastered the skills needed as a life coach, and some certifications even prove you’ve gotten the training needed to be considered a professional.

There are certificates available from many vendors, but the most recognized and respected ones are from the International Coaching Federation (ICF). For more information on ICF certifications specifically, you can check out the section here. Another respected certification is the Certified Professional Coach (CPC).

Approachability

Courses can cover a range of content, and they’ll often appeal to different types of students. Some students may not have two years to dedicate to a class, while others look for a long-term, structured course outline. You might only be interested in learning about a certain specialization, or you might want to get an overview of every topic a life coach may be expected to cover!

Often, we suggest that those who aren’t sure about entering the life coaching career path try a more flexible course tailored to introductory material. However, suppose you know you want to pursue a life coaching business professionally. In that case, we’d recommend trying a more intense course such as the one taught by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching.

Below, we’ve listed out different categories of students to see where you belong.

  • Beginner students are those who want to learn about life coaching, but they’re not fully sure they want to pursue this path. They may be considering staying with their current job or looking at other options and only want to explore the possibility of being a life coach.
  • Intermediate students are those who know they want to become a life coach, but they don’t have the means to switch to a full-time career immediately. They might be trying to work as a part-time life coach first and build up experience before running their new services full-time.
  • Professional students are those who know that life coaching is for them. They have the ability to start their coaching business immediately, and they want to focus solely on that for the next few years. They’re willing to invest the time and money needed to earn the highest certifications available.

Time and Cost

Life coaching courses typically fall within two ranges. The first are professionally certified courses by ICF and can range anywhere in price from $1,000 to $15,000. They’re meant to be full-time courses and can take several years to finish. Some rare courses in this category are designed to be shorter such as a week or a few months. These courses are also not as flexible, and you’ll need to design your life around the schedule of lectures.

The second category is more relaxed. They may only range in the hundreds of dollars, and the material is usually available at all times. You’re not under a deadline to finish, but they also don’t have any prestigious certifications (if any). These courses are better for those who aren’t too sure about a life coaching career and want to get a taste of the material.

Cheat Sheet

Below is a list of the top life coaching classes. We’ve tried to cover a wide range of courses, running the spectrum of length and price. We wanted to make sure there were a few options for everyone, so feel free to read about the courses that stand out the most to you!

  1. If you’re searching for a course to coach you through all the steps it takes to become a life coach, you’ll love the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching lessons.
  2. If you’re looking for advice to start your own life coaching business, we recommend you check out the Professional Life Coach Certification & Guide.
  3. If you don’t mind putting in extra hours to get a boost on your coaching career, The Institute for Life Coach Training has the course for you.
  4. If you plan on using life coaching as a part-time career while you transition out of your current field, Coach U’s Core Essentials Programs can set you on the right path.
  5. If you already have your own goal in mind for helping clients reach theirs, we recommend the Goal Setting to Success is just right for you!
  6. If you’re searching for a crash course in life coaching lessons, one accredited school is the Certified Life Coach Institute.
  7. If you’re only looking for an introduction to life coaching, the best place for tips and tricks is the Life Coaching Beginner to Advanced course.

creative team applauding coach

Top 7 Best Life Coaching Classes 2021


1. Best Overall: Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching

  • 320 hours $11,950 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Accreditation: Certified Professional Coach, ELI, COR.E Dynamics
  • Flexibility: Medium
  • Level of Training: Professional

Why we like it

This institution offers three certifications from their single course, and it actively develops your unique coaching specialization. For those looking to get into the professional life coaching business, you’ll be fully equipped after this class!

Our Review

The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching offers a course that allows you to earn three certifications at once. Learning how to get started with life coaching can be difficult, and this in-depth course walks you through every stage of the process. You’ll get access to two phases, one for beginners and one for advanced students. The coursework is tailored to help you get a first-hand understanding of how life coaching works!

The first module starts with three days of live learning before you work through the ten main areas of life to focus on. By the end of this module, you’ll have an insight into which coaching specialization fits your personality the best, and you’ll be able to get practice from the coursework.

Once you move to the advanced training module, you’ll have four tracks of specializations to pick from. Among these are the leadership track, performance track, transitions track, and wellbeing track. With a special mix of live and asynchronous lessons, you’ll be able to fit this course into your current busy schedule.

Best Suited For

This course is best suited for those who plan to pursue full-time professional life coaching. The course is one of the more expensive options on the list, so you’ll want to make sure you’re ready before paying the tuition. If you’re not certain, you can always try a more affordable introductory course such as Life Coaching Beginner to Advanced to see whether you’re interested in the field.

What’s Included

You’ll also gain access to the exclusive student portal and current coaching community. In addition, if you choose to participate in the monthly webinars, you’ll be able to receive Continuing Coach Education Units that can be used towards your ICF credentials. In addition, the tuition includes e-workbooks and self-study assignments for extra practice.

Pros

  • Provides three certifications
  • Offers 320 ICF accredited hours
  • Comes with practice workbooks
  • Offers a hybrid of live and asynchronous classes
  • Helps you develop your coaching specialty

Cons

  • One of the more expensive courses


2. Best for Entrepreneurs: Professional Life Coach Certification & Guide

  • 13 hours $139.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Accreditation: Continuing Professional Development Standards Agency
  • Flexibility: High
  • Level of Training: Beginner

Why we like it

This course is a more affordable option for those who may need help with the business side of life coaching. Since many coaches start their own service, the course walks you through structuring the packages offered and gives sample worksheets.

Our Review

This course is hosted by Joeel and Natalie Rivera as they teach you how to enter the world of life coaching. It focuses specifically on step-by-step systems that can help most clients, and it gives you multiple tools for your arsenal when it comes to coaching. They also show how you can grow your life coaching business from the start.

On the coaching side, you’ll learn about the most popular activities used with clients, such as the wheel of life and Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques. In addition, you’ll learn how to use their process to dig deeper into a client’s thoughts on personal growth, ranging from topics like decision making to mindfulness.

On the business side, Joeel and Natalie take you from the creation of your company to growth and expansion. You’ll have modules teaching you how to identify a name for your business and how to pick the right price. There’s advice on picking the perfect specialization and ways you can market yourself to stand out among other coaches!

Best Suited For

This course is best suited for beginners who want an introduction to life coaching or for intermediates and professionals who are looking for ways to strengthen the business side of coaching. It’s one of the more flexible and affordable options and can easily supplement one of the more intense courses that focus on the theory behind coaching (such as the The Institute for Life Coach Training).

What’s Included

This course comes with 21 different modules that you’ll have access to permanently. Within the modules are workbooks, a compilation of course documents, and short PDFs that contain some of the biggest main ideas. However, the modules themselves only provide an overview of many areas, and it doesn’t go as in-depth as the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching course.

Pros

  • Comes with workbooks and a compilation of resources
  • One of the more flexible classes
  • Affordable for beginners
  • Teaches about the business side of life coaching
  • Introduces Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques

Cons

  • Not as in-depth as more professional courses


3. Most Intensive: The Institute for Life Coach Training

  • 130 instructional hours, 500 coaching hours $7,700 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Accreditation: ICF’s Professional Certified Coach
  • Flexibility: Low
  • Level of Training: Professional

Why we like it

If you’re willing to put in the time to learn life coaching, this course is perfect for you. It’s designed to put you through enough coaching training and practice for you to receive an ICF certification!

Our Review

The Institute for Life Coaching Training provides one of the most intensive courses designed for future professionals who want to work full-time in this field. It’s designed as a full course, with over 100 hours of lessons to hammer down the basics. The course ends with two essay assignments and an oral exam conducted by the institution before you can receive your certification.

The class first covers the foundations over several months, and all lectures are mandatory to attend. In fact, you can only pass the course if you attend at least 35 out of 40 lectures. You’ll be able to get mentor coaching and peer coaching sessions as well, so you can get the first-hand experience needed to understand the concepts.

Once you’ve covered the basics, you’ll be able to take an advanced topics class. Here, you’ll cover topics such as boundaries and self-management skills. In addition, you’ll get exposure to many different coaching techniques and learn how to get comfortable with each one, depending on the client’s needs. You’ll be paired into groups for discussion and coaching practice.

Best Suited For

This course is best suited for students who are willing to dedicate enough time to learn the profession. The whole curriculum is meant to take up to two years, and it may be hard holding a full-time job while you’re enrolled.

For a less time-intensive coaching course, we would recommend the one taught by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching.

What’s Included

In addition to the basic courses, you’ll be able to have practice coaching sessions that are recorded so that instructors can provide feedback. In addition, you’ll be put into mentor coaching sessions with experts to get a firsthand understanding of coaching abilities. Finally, you’ll also get an in-depth look at coaching ethics, a topic not covered in many other courses.

Pros

  • Includes more lesson material and coaching requirements
  • Officiated by a comprehensive exam at the end
  • Accredited by the ICF’s Professional Certified Coach Program
  • Receive feedback on your practice coaching sessions
  • Learn about coaching ethics

Cons

  • One of the more expensive courses
  • Can take two years to finish


4. Best for Part-Time Coaching: Coach U’s Core Essentials Programs

  • 77 hours $3,995 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Accreditation: ICF’s Associate Certified Coac
  • Flexibility: Medium
  • Level of Training: Intermediate, Professional

Why we like it

Not everyone can take two years off of work to get a professional coaching certification, and Coach U accounts for that! With a flexible, versatile lesson plan for professional coaches, it covers the bases without taking too much time.

Our Review

This course is structured with flexibility in mind so that people with full-time jobs can fit in lessons around their working hours. You’ll be able to select classes hosted around the clock from Monday to Thursday, and you’ll have more opportunities when it comes to finding the right class time. However, you do still have to attend all lessons live as none are recorded.

The course starts by covering ICF Core Coaching Competencies and teaches you how to serve clients with objectivity. In addition, as you grow more advanced, you’ll be introduced to several proprietary coaching models for strategizing, transformation, and change. You’ll also get access to Coach U’s 9 Guiding Principles, specific to this course.

In addition, once you have the basics of coaching down, you’ll get a quick introduction to sales strategies and creating coaching packages. If you’re looking for a more in-depth analysis of life coaching marketing strategies, we recommend you also check out the Professional Life Coach Certification & Guide course!

Best Suited For

This course is suited for students who plan to become professional coaches but can’t make the transition immediately. If you want to slowly phase in your life coaching career by starting with it as a part-time hobby first, this is the course for you. In addition, if you’re looking for an even shorter course for professional coaches, we’d recommend looking at the Certified Life Coach Institute.

What’s Included

This course comes with 15-month access to the material, which should be plenty of time to get through the lessons (the recommended amount of time is 6-12 months). In addition, there are hundreds of forms, resources, and assessments available through the course for you to use in your own coaching practice!

Pros

  • Offers flexible course times around the clock
  • Gives access to lessons for 15 months
  • Provides hundreds of resources and documents
  • Introduces how to manage a coaching business
  • Provides Coach U’s 9 Guiding Principles

Cons

  • Could go more in-depth on the business side
  • Still have to attend live classes


5. Best for Goal Setting: Goal Setting to Success

  • 6.5 hours $139.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Accreditation: Continuing Professional Development Standards Agency
  • Flexibility: High
  • Level of Training: Beginner

Why we like it

Rather than cover every topic, this course takes a focused approach to help clients with goal setting. With a focus on deliverables and motivation, it’s a perfect supplement for any of the more intense courses on the list!

Our Review

“Goal setting to success” looks at the bottom line when it comes to motivation and life plans. It doesn’t cover every aspect of life coaching – instead, it takes a deep dive into creating and working towards your client’s wishes. There’s an emphasis on clarity in defining desires and worksheets that help create a step-by-step plan.

In addition, the course breaks up goal-setting into four actionable steps. Each section focuses on a new step, and it teaches you how to instill a feeling of accountability in your client along the way. It’s also much shorter than many other classes, so you could fit this introductory lesson into a single weekend!

Best Suited For

This course is suited for anyone who wants an introduction to goal-setting in life coaching. It’s perfect for those who aren’t sure they want to take a more intense course or who want to supplement their other lessons with a more flexible and specialized class. However, the course can’t stand on its own since it only focuses on one aspect of life coaching.

If you’re looking for an affordable, flexible class that covers more areas of life coaching, you should check out Life Coaching Beginner to Advanced. If you’re more concerned about getting in real-time coaching practice, we’d recommend the The Institute for Life Coach Training course.

What’s Included

Included in this package is lifetime access to all course materials. This includes the lectures, documents, worksheets, and full workbooks that are provided. Unlike courses like Coach U’s Core Essentials Programs, you aren’t on a strict time limit for finishing!

Pros

  • Specialized focus on goal setting techniques
  • Lifetime access to all course documents
  • Provides workbooks and worksheets for your business
  • Can fit into a single weekend of learning

Cons

  • Doesn’t cover other topics besides goal-setting
  • Doesn’t include opportunities for coaching practice


6. Shortest Length: Certified Life Coach Institute

  • 33 hours $995 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Accreditation: ICF’s Certified Life Coach (CLC)
  • Flexibility: Low
  • Level of Training: Intermediate

Why we like it

If you’re looking for an intense course to launch your professional life coaching career in a single weekend, Life Coach Institute runs this three-day certified program to help you accomplish your goals.

Our Review

The Certified Life Coach Institute provides an intensive 3-day training course to help you get your coaching certification. They offer one of the shortest course lengths while keeping their ICF accreditation status for their institution. You’ll be fully immersed in the coaching experience through their live lessons and learn the core skills needed to thrive in the field.

In addition, you’ll get access to manuals, documents, and potential contracts that you can use when it comes to your business. You’ll also gain access to a few peer practice coaching sessions. However, since the lessons are so compact, you’ll rarely get to implement ideas right after learning them, so you’ll need the discipline to revisit the topics for further practice.

Best Suited For

This course is best suited for people who are ready to make the jump into a full-time life coaching career but don’t currently have the time for a two-year course. Unlike The Institute for Life Coach Training, which may take up to two years, this course can be completed in a single weekend!

However, since it is shorter, the information won’t be as in-depth, and you won’t have the chance to practice your skills as you learn. In addition, it has very low flexibility when it comes to scheduling. You’ll have to dedicate that entire weekend to class, which can be difficult if you have weekend shifts or other responsibilities.

What’s Included

This course comes with more than just their weekend experience. You’ll get a lifetime membership to Life Coaching Today and be added to their alumni group. Through this, you’ll gain access to a lifetime of support, from when you’re starting your business to looking for advice on a client. You can also return to the class for lessons whenever you want after your initial payment!

Pros

  • Designed to be finished in three days
  • Access to a life coaching alumni network
  • Unlimited free access to lessons after completion of the course
  • Lifetime membership to Life Coaching Today

Cons

  • Not as in-depth as other intensive courses for professional life coaches
  • Very low flexibility around the weekend schedule


7. Best for Introduction to Coaching: Life Coaching Beginner to Intermediate

  • 32.5 hours $129.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Accreditation: NA
  • Flexibility: High
  • Level of Training: Beginner, Intermediate

Why we like it

For a comprehensive, flexible course that covers life coaching from start to finish, these lessons are the perfect primer for any student. Affordable and in-depth, it can be a good foundation for anyone starting in this field.

Our Review

This beginner to advanced life coaching class is comprehensive and covers everything you might need to know to get started on your coaching journey! With 11 different sections that all focus on a core tenet of offering advice, you’ll learn how to adopt the right attitude and mindset when it comes to helping your clients. The only reason the course isn’t higher on the list is due to its lack of accreditation.

After teaching the basics of coaching and how to communicate effectively with clients, you’ll get a quick lesson on the business development side. It can serve as an easy way to learn how to jump-start your business with their framework of learning in mind. You’ll learn methods to cultivate your own understanding of coaching models and learn what might work best for different types of clients.

Best Suited For

This course is best suited for those who aren’t sure if they’re serious about life coaching, but they want the chance to learn the foundations. Unfortunately, the course itself is not accredited. For a flexible, accredited course, we’d recommend trying the Professional Life Coach Certification & Guide.

However, this course is one of the most affordable choices on the list, and a certificate is not required to become a life coach. But, if you have the time to spare for a more intense coaching course, we strongly recommend the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching.

What’s Included

The course is accessible from all devices, and you’ll have access to dozens of PDF materials to aid in your learning. In addition to the video lessons, MP3 files are available for each one so that you can listen to them in your car or as you work.  You’ll also be added to an online support group for life coaches and gain inspiration and motivation from fellow students.

Pros

  • Covers all foundations of life coaching
  • MP3 files are available for all lessons
  • Access to an online support group for learning

Cons

  • Not an accredited class


FAQ

You don’t need a certification to become a life coach since there are no requirements. However, we do strongly encourage you to aim for certification since it can help you stand out among your competition as you market yourself.

Professional life coaches need one to two years of training, while beginner life coaches may only need a few weeks. Some rare courses such as the Certified Life Coach Institute can even get you started in 3 days! It just depends on which class you end up choosing.

You’ll want to study throughout the course continuously, but you won’t need much more preparation besides that to complete the coach knowledge exam (CKA). Once you go through all the required training hours for an ICF certificate, you should have the necessary knowledge to pass the exam and gain your certificate.

Life coaching has grown more popular recently, and your business can thrive with the right attitude and marketing techniques. The average salary of a life coach can go as high as $63,000 in Massachusetts!

Life coaching classes are worth it and almost essential if you want to pursue a career in this field. While it can be difficult practicing coaching virtually, these classes are much more accessible to people living anywhere in the world.



Extra Credit

Now that we’ve covered our favorite life coaching courses, let’s take a specialized look into what you’ll need to do to succeed in them. You’ll want to treat them as seriously as you would an in-person course and do your best to practice outside of lessons.

What You Need to Succeed

The biggest thing you’ll need is time and determination. For a professional life coaching course, it could take two years of structured lectures, exams, and practice before you’re ready to start your own business. Just look at examples like The Institute for Life Coach Training which requires you to put in 500 hours of practice!

However, if you’re not sure you have the time for a professional coaching course, there are alternatives to consider as well. For example, you might benefit from a more flexible, introductory course for beginners or a course that focuses on a specialized area rather than everything life coaching should offer.

Difficulty in Online Learning

When it comes to a virtual learning environment, engagement and time management can be difficult. It can be easy to miss a lecture or not want to study for exams when taking an online course. So you’ll want to make sure you have time to learn (and practice) the material thoroughly. Below, we’ll take a look at some subsections of the biggest issues you might find when it comes to virtual learning.

Coaching Practice

Life coaching is a skill that needs to be practiced. You can learn about theories and techniques all day, but without real-life practice, you’ll end up feeling awkward and unconfident with your first actual client. That’s why you might want to look for classes that offer opportunities for live coaching practice, such as Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching.

In addition, you’ll want to make sure you get enough practice. You’ll be learning dozens of techniques, and each one needs to be perfected before you begin using them in the field. That’s why you need several hundred hours of training, and taking a course like one from The Institute for Life Coach Training will make sure you’re more than ready.

Keep in mind that virtual coaching is different than in-person coaching. Sometimes, learning and practicing virtually will make it harder for you to read a client’s body language. You might miss cues, so you’ll need to pay extra close attention to small details during practice sessions.

Large Quantities of Material

Life coaching is a wide and versatile field, and as a result, you’ll have a large base of information that you’ll need to learn. Some courses might create study guides, worksheets, and PDF document compilations so that you have easy access to all the information taught in a “skimmable” format.

If you’re looking for classes that have summaries and can be easily reviewed after, we would recommend you check out Goal Setting to Success, or Life Coaching Beginner to Advanced.

Setting Time Aside

It can be hard for some of the more flexible courses to remember that it’s a real class you should complete. If you’re worried about self-discipline when online learning, you may want to try a more structured class with a clear outline and lesson material. In this case, we’d recommend courses such as Coach U’s Core Essentials Programs.

International Coach Federation (ICF) Certifications

The ICF is currently the leading body of authority when it comes to life coaching. They don’t offer their own courses, but they have picked out certain training programs that are comprehensive enough for them to endorse. They currently have three main levels of certifications and other potential paths for learning.

  • Associate Certified Coach (ACC): You’ll need 60 training hours and at least 100 hours of life coaching practice.
  • Professional Certified Coach (PCC): You’ll need at least 135 hours of training and 500 logged hours of life coaching practice minimum.
  • Master Certified Coach (MCC): You’ll need 220 hours of training and at least 2,500 life coaching hours.

While we haven’t listed any MCC certified since it has such a high training and practice hour requirement, The Institute for Life Coach Training helps you earn a PCC and Coach U’s Core Essentials Programs helps you earn an ACC.

You can also gain certifications through other paths, such as the approved coach specific training hours (ACSTH), which starts you on the journey to gaining an ACC. Shorter courses like the Certified Life Coach Institute offer this method.

Final Advising Session!

We’ve gone through everything we know about these fan-favorite coaching skills, and now it’s time for you to start exploring your own specialty. Choose a course that stands out to you and get ready to master all the basics of life coaching. No matter which path you decide to pursue, taking any of these lessons can set you on the right path to offering your own life coaching services and bundle!