Great Life Coach Certifications That Won’t Break The Bank

September 3, 2020
Great Life Coach Certifications That Won't Break The Bank

We love life coaches, and we love life coach certifications that give coaches the tools they need to help themselves and other people grow and expand their minds.

Certification programs generally have different depths they dive into, different modalities they teach, and different methods of training their coaches. That makes it hard to determine exactly which program is right for you and the type of coaching you want to do with your clients.

Added to that, the price of life coach certification varies anywhere from $12 to $18,000, and that can make your decision a stressful one.

Arming yourself with knowledge before you choose a certification program to invest in is the best thing you can possibly do for yourself and your future. So we want to make sure we’re giving you the tools you need to make your decision from a place of clarity instead of as a gut reaction.

Inside this blog post you’ll learn:

✔️ What is a life coach certification?

✔️ Do you need a certification?

✔️ What life coach certification should include

✔️ How to find a certification program that fits your goals

✔️ The cost-effective certifications we’ve taken and loved

What is a Life Coach Certification?

A life coaching certification is a certificate program that shows that you have completed necessary course work or classes to be a life coach. Additionally, an expert teacher or governing body has evaluated your progress and decided that you have completed the necessary training needed to work directly with clients who need life coaching.

Once you have completed your training, you can call yourself a certified coach. It’s important to note that our industry has not been regulated, and some certification programs were created to take advantage of the explosive growth in coaching.

If you haven’t done life coaching before, we highly recommend a certification program. They teach you how to be a life coach. They teach you the role you’ll fill, the tools you need to fill it, and often include some sort of training on how to market yourself as a life coach and build your life coaching practice.

In order to truly fulfill the role of a life coach, there are certain things you should and shouldn’t be doing. Training programs and certifications allow you to be in the know with trends and best practices to ensure you provide your clients with the best tools possible.

Do you Need a Certification to Be a Life Coach?

Technically? No.

Coaching is not a regulated industry, which means there’s no governing board that oversees who is allowed to call themself a life coach and who isn’t. It’s not like a medical degree where you have to pass your boards or a law degree where you have to pass the bar exam.

Basically, you can call yourself a life coach without taking any training program or getting certified, if that’s your whim. But we don’t recommend it.

The whole point of a certification program is to learn how to be a life coach. There are likely a lot of different things you don’t know about being a life coach that you’d benefit from learning about through a certification program.So while technically, no, you don’t need a certification to be a life coach, we definitely recommend investing in one that’s going to train you in the tools and concepts of life coaching so you can be a more effective coach for your clients.

What Should a Life Coach Certification Include?

If you lined up ten life coaches and asked them, what is a life coach, you should, in theory, get the same answer over and over again. But that’s not how it actually works. In fact, you’d probably get a variety of responses.

Each certification program teaches the roles and responsibilities of a life coach just a little bit differently, and so each program produces a slightly different version of life coach. What’s awesome about that is there’s a life coach out there for everyone.

With that in mind, these are the things we believe should be included in whatever life coach certifications you decide to consider or pursue:

  1. What it means to be a life coach certified by that program
  2. How to effectively listen and communicate with your clients
  3. Ways to approach difficult conversations
  4. Tools and modalities for coaching your clients
  5. How to keep your personal thoughts and feelings out of the equation
  6. Strategies for meeting your clients where they’re at

All of the things on this list are important aspects of you becoming an effective life coach. They will have a direct impact on how well you are able to serve the people you work with, and so you need to learn how to manage and use the strategies, tools, skills, and more.

If you find a certification program you love that doesn’t teach something on this list, be sure you explore other opportunities to learn these skills on top of your certification.

What Does an Accredited Certification Mean?

A life coaching certification program that is accredited means that it has been certified as credible by an authentic governing entity or body.

This can come from a number of sources but for life coaching there are a few popular accreditation programs that you’ll run into:

  • CEU or CPD: Normally, if a coaching program provides you with continuing professional development credits or continuing education credits, that program has been certified internationally by the Continuing Professional Development Standards Agency. 
  • ICF-Accredited: A program that is certified by the International Coaching Federation has gone through in-depth review and its curriculum has been approved by the leading global organization for coaching standards, professionals, and certifications.

How to Find a Certification That Meets Your Needs

Basically, we recommend you do a LOT of research about coaching certifications before you commit to one that might not be the right fit. You can do this by searching for certifications online, asking coaches you respect what their opinions are, and doing your due diligence searching for reviews wherever you can find them.

No matter where you find one, you should be asking some basic questions about it before signing up.

Questions to Ask About the Certification You’re Considering

It’s in your best interest to NOT sign up for the very first life coach certifications you find. Why? Because not all certification programs are created equal.

Some of them are nothing more than a quick, easy way for the instructors to make money (especially considering how popular life coaching is becoming in the last few years).

Instead, we recommend doing your research on multiple coaching certifications before choosing the one that’s the best fit for you, your lifestyle, and the type of coach you want to become.

That’s why we’re providing a list of questions for you to ask and find answers to before picking the certification program you’ll invest in.

  1. Is the instructor I’ll be learning from experienced in coaching? Have they been coaching long enough to know what they’re talking about?
  2. Does this program focus on the niche topics I’m interested in working with?
  3. Will they train me in the coaching tools and methodologies I’ll need, and provide me with a process to use on my clients?
  4. What does it take to graduate from their program?
  5. Do they offer or require practice coaching sessions so I can put what I’m learning into action and get feedback?
  6. Does the mode of delivery for this certification meet my needs?
  7. Can I commit to the length of time this certification takes?
  8. Will the certification process include information or assistance in building my coaching practice?
  9. Is there any after-certification support that they offer?
  10. Do they have a refund option if this program is not what I expected?

Cost-Effective Certifications We’ve Taken

There are so many life coach certifications out there that cost anywhere from twelve dollars to tens of thousands, and a whole lot of them are amazing programs. But here we’re focusing on the few we’ve personally taken that won’t break the bank. Because sometimes you don’t want or need to invest thousands of dollars on a career option that may or may not be your forever path.

Especially when the training is just as good, if not better, than some of the other options out there.

We are knowledge junkies, and so we’ve both enrolled in and taken more than one certification program. It’s because we want to have a variety of tools, modalities, and experiences to draw from when working with our clients.

We’re absolutely not saying we think you need to take more than one certification program yourself, simply that we prefer to explore a variety of methods.

Having said that, we both discovered something interesting: that the more cost-effective programs we’ve taken gave us just as much, if not more, than the ones that cost thousands of dollars. Interesting, right?

So now that we’ve let that slip, we want to tell you exactly which programs we’ve taken and loved, so that if you have an interest in taking them yourself, you know where we recommend you go.

Transformation Academy

We first came across Transformation Academy on Udemy. In fact, we were able to get a few of their certification courses on Udemy for an extremely low price.

Transformation Academy offers a variety of different courses in a few different areas, including life coaching, entrepreneurship, and creating your own online course.

But specifically, they offer numerous life coach certifications in niche specialties. For instance, you can become certified as a business, health, mindset, or transformation coach. So no matter what area you want to focus on coaching your clients, they likely have a certification course that will teach you how to do that effectively.

Their price? $197 for each niche certification. Or, you can take their Master Coach certification course (which is 4 certification tracks in one) for $497 (at the time of this article). Plus, they have a membership option where you can get certified in any and all of their life coaching niches and have access to their business-building resources for $94.95/month.


Interestingly, we found the Achology life coach certifications on Udemy as well.

Achology doesn’t offer niche coach certifications, but they do offer courses in other helping modalities like NLP, CBT, and hypnotherapy. So basically, things that could support you as a life coach.

They also offer a membership option to their site, where you can take all of their available courses, as well as get involved in their community, take advantage of practice coaching sessions with other members, and get feedback on things you’re struggling with.

The Pricing: You can join their membership for $39/month (or $390/year) and get certified in as many of their certification courses as you want, plus get access to their community.

Why We Think These Life Coaching Certifications Are Great

Now having a great price on life coach certifications is one thing, but we’re specifically highlighting these two because we’ve experienced them personally and think they’re really great, effective programs.

But to help you make your decision, we want to explain why we think they’re so great.

Transformation Academy

Tierra: The reason I love Transformation Academy is that Joel and Natalie get straight to the point and help you master the concepts. They also provide a ton of resources for coaches including forms, exercises, visualizations and more. Additionally, they have a niche for just about every type of coach, from Reiki to business, and even relationships. Many of their certifications are also accredited and can be used towards CEUs. 


Cass: I loved every minute of the Achology Life Coach Certificate and Life Coach Practitioner Diploma. Kain Ramsay takes his 10+ years of experience as a life coach and breaks everything down into understandable concepts and instructions for how to be an effective life coach. He also includes demonstration segments where you can watch him coach using the exact tools and techniques he’s shared throughout the course. And amazingly, he includes all the tools and modalities as PDFs you can download and use on yourself and your clients.

Once You’ve Picked Your Certification

No matter what certification course or program you decide to go through, you have to commit to it. Commit to getting everything you need from that program.

Work at it so hard you could get a medal. Become the teacher’s pet. Learn what you need to learn so you can become an effective, strong coach who never doubts you know how to handle any situation or conversation you might find yourself in.

And above all else, use the tools and strategies you learn on yourself, on your peers and friends (who’ve agreed to it, of course), and anyone else who’s willing to let you practice on them. Coaching yourself and coaching others is the only way to get the experience you need to feel truly secure in your abilities as a coach.


What to Do After You Become a Certified Life Coach

Of all the questions we’ve heard or seen in groups, this one is the most common: “I just got certified. What do I do next?”

Oh, do we have something that can help you…

We’ve created a free checklist to answer that exact question. It’s 149+ actionable steps you can take to build your coaching business the right way, from soup to nuts.

Save yourself hours of stress and refocus on smart actionable tasks that benefit your business. You can thank us later!

Download The Impact List here.

About Cass

Hey! I’m Cass, a brand coach and the Co-Founder & CTO at Lovely Impact, a website template shop for coaches. I help coaches elevate their businesses with beautiful branding and websites. Here on our blog, my content focuses on branding, web design, and storytelling. I also upload videos weekly to our YouTube Channel.

Great Life Coach Certifications That Won’t Break The Bank