So you’ve decided you want to become a life coach, or you’re flirting with the idea. You probably have a few questions swirling through your head at this point, including, “How long does it take to become a life coach?”
We’re here to set the record straight for you.
Our most popular coaching course, the Diploma of Life Coaching, takes, on average, nine months to one year to complete. But while that’s the average timeframe, “there’s no reason you cannot finish within six months — it’s absolutely achievable,” explains Glen Murdoch, founder of The Life Coaching College Australia.
Being a self-paced training, you can work the course around your personal schedule and commitments. That means different people will take varying amounts of time to complete the program depending on their availability, dedication and motivation.
AREN’T THERE SHORTER LIFE COACHING COURSES AVAILABLE?
You can certainly take shorter programs, with some certifications providing you with a qualification within days.
But, becoming a life coach is about more than just taking a few coaching theory classes. You need to tick off more practical elements to succeed and build a career doing this (rewarding, fulfilling) work.
THE IMPORTANCE OF COACHING PRACTICE
To be successful as a life coach (which is undoubtedly the point of completing any training) and deliver consistent results for clients, you need practice.
“Honestly, practice hours are vital because you don’t get good at anything without practising it!” says Glen.
Yes, this takes additional time. But it is time well spent. Moreover, it is time that arms you with solid skills and unshakeable confidence. In fact, coaches who don’t have adequate practice as part of their training can often struggle to implement techniques and get over the fear of coaching real-life clients.
The need for coaching practice is why we offer face-to-face learning to foster student success. With this approach, you will practice with real people for each coaching technique you learn and receive personalised feedback from your “client”, peers and trainers.
“At The Life Coaching College, we’re very much a practical College,” Glen explains. “So in every training we do, you’re spending time coaching, you’re being coached, you’re being exposed to the coaching models and using those models yourself. Because of that, it enables you to use these coaching techniques with confidence very quickly.“
Marketing is another essential skill that ought to be covered in comprehensive life coach training. After all, what good is it to know how to coach effectively if you don’t know how to get clients?
This is why the Diploma of Life Coaching also covers marketing your business in-depth. It provides training on packaging your coaching services, social media marketing and client acquisition through Facebook Ads, Google Ads, websites and much more.
BECOMING ICF-ACCREDITED ADDS TIME BUT ALSO ADDS VALUE
Once you’ve completed your coaching qualification, you can become accredited with the International Coaching Federation (ICF), the gold standard for professionally-trained coaches worldwide.
If you’re serious about coaching, earning your ICF Credentials positions you as an elite coach. It builds trust with your clients and adds further credibility to your coaching services.
Suppose you do choose to become individually credited with the ICF. In that case, you need to have completed an ICF-accredited training program, like The Diploma of Life Coaching and logged 170 hours of training and coaching, including:
- 60 hours of coach-specific training *covered in the Diploma of Life Coaching
- 100 hours of client coaching experience
- 10 hours of mentor coaching *partly covered in the Diploma of Life Coaching
Why is it worthwhile if it takes longer?
“In Australia, where there is currently no minimum standard for coaching, it’s empowering for you and reassuring for clients to know that you’ve achieved the world standard,” says Glen. “Because there are core competencies in coaching, and when you take the time to gain ICF accreditation, you’ll know that you’ve learned them and that you deliver them to your clients.”
Ultimately, ICF accreditation shows you know what you’re doing and have the letters by your name to prove it. It’s not just YOU who will understand that — giving you an extra boost of confidence in your marketing and coaching — but your clients will know that too.
THE GOOD NEWS? YOU DON’T HAVE TO COMPLETE YOUR CERTIFICATION BEFORE YOU CAN WORK WITH PAYING CLIENTS
We know that you’re chomping at the bit to get started.
So, although it can take anywhere from six to 18 months to complete the Diploma of Life Coaching in full, you can start coaching (and taking on paying clients) long before that.
“Once you complete your first four days, Coaching Mastery and Advanced Coach Mastery, you’re ready to get started with your L-Plates on! In that training, you’ll learn a proven 12-session coaching model — including scripts and frameworks — so you have everything you need to coach clients through transformation.”
In terms of paying clients, “you can start charging for your coaching services right away,” explains Glen. “We’ve had people doing so straight out of the training room! It’s purely a mindset piece. Most often, I find people start charging once they realise the value of what they’re offering their clients.”
Additionally, the Diploma of Life Coaching is taught in a block learning structure. You learn a subject, gain a certificate, and then move on to the next subject — which means that with every training, you can add skills to your coaching (and to your paid offerings).
Of course, you can also wait to start charging for your coaching services until your full certification is complete. It’s up to you, your comfort levels and what you need from your coaching business. The beauty of this flexible and comprehensive program is that it can work around you.
If you’re interested in becoming a life coach in 2021, click here to explore our ICF-Accredited Diploma of Life Coaching. It will teach you everything you need to know to succeed as a life coach and can be completed within six to 18 months.
If you have any other questions about becoming a life coach, drop them in the comments below.