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You do not need a license to become a life coach in the US. However, becoming a life coach is a serious business. If you want your clients to take you seriously and build your reputation and business as a life coach, there are requirements you must fulfill – like getting the right certification. Let us look at what you need to know about becoming a life coach in the United States and why you are better off with a certification.
What does a life coach do?
A life coach works on a one-on-one basis with a client to help them pursue specific goals. These goals range from helping clients increase their income or becoming happier and more peaceful to finding a romantic partner, achieving an ideal work-life balance, and much more.
Life coaches are not therapists, but they do discuss their clients’ life circumstances just as a therapist would. However, unlike a therapist, they do not provide counseling on mental health issues like anxiety or depression.
What it takes to be a life coach
Life coaching is not regulated in the United States. In other words, it is an unregulated industry, and a state license is not required. You don’t need a specific degree to become a life coach, and you don’t need a special license either. What you need to be is a compassionate person, a good listener, and someone who enjoys helping others. While you will be helping people, you won’t be providing your clients with medical advice, engaging in patient diagnosis, or treating mental health or trauma.
Most life coaches have a background of working with people. They could be counselors, nurses, or even personal fitness coaches. Most of these people do not have any official background, but what they do have is life experience and/or work experience.
Should you be professionally trained and certified as a life coach?
The answer is yes. As a certified coach, you will be working with people. You must be prepared, as well as trained to deal with whatever situation arises within the coaching relationship. Now, you do not need formal education; however, you can do better with one. Today, life coaching is a billion-dollar industry, and if you want to make a name for yourself, it is important that you have the right certifications and credentials. Without certification, you will miss out on a lot of opportunities, some of which are listed below.
1. Get professionally trained
While you might believe you are gifted with all it takes to be a life coach, you might lack the skills needed to use your knowledge and skills to their optimum. Your clients will belong to different walks of life and face a wide variety of problems. You will be responsible for helping them make the right choices concerning their career, relationships, and their lives in general.
If you want to be a skilled life coach who truly has a positive impact on your clients, professional training is a must.
2. Meet other coaches
A good organization gives you a chance to train professionally and meet other coaches as well. Most life coaches are their own bosses. So, they work alone and very rarely get a chance to meet others in the same business as them. Over time, this could retard their growth as a life coach.
Staying updated with the latest research and industry’s best practices will keep you in touch with the times. Meeting and staying in touch with other life coaches will contribute to widening your network, building your business, and providing your clients with better services.
3. Improve on your personal development
All excellent life coaching institutes ask their students to work on themselves before they work with volunteers or clients. This personal development can be the difference needed to market yourself as a successful life coach.
4. Have a secure future
As mentioned earlier, the life coaching industry is unregulated today. However, given that this is a booming billion-dollar industry that is growing leaps and bounds, the chances are that this will soon become a regulated industry. When that happens, it is only credentialed coaches who will stand a chance to get a state license.
5. Make more money
A life coach can make anywhere between $27,000 and $73,000. Specialty coaches make much more than uncertified coaches. They can charge over $100,000 annually. If you have the right training, you can charge your clients more.
Provide quality coaching
There is the freedom to practice life coaching, which makes it easier for you to become a life coach. But there is also a growing concern of the quality of coaching provided today by life coaches. If you want to provide your clients with quality advice, then getting trained at an accredited life coaching institute is worth it.
Invest in the right insurance
If you are pursuing a career as a life coach, do not forget to protect yourself and your business with the right insurance. As an expert, you will be providing your clients with advice designed to improve their lives. There will always be the possibility of you providing a client with the advice they are unhappy with.
Your business could be at risk if a client claims they are unhappy with the services you provided. Professional liability insurance can protect you from claims related to the advice and service you provide your clients.
In conclusion, you do not need a license to become a life coach, but you can benefit from the right training. Certifications and credentials are an increasingly necessary norm, and as the life coaching industry grows, these norms will become the law.