Do I need to be certified to be a life coach?


If you are just beginning your research on whether you want to be a life coach then you are probably wondering do I need to be certified?

The short answer is no. Nowhere in the world currently is life coaching have a regulated body governing over it. Let’s talk about therapy. For therapy you need certification and then need to take an exam if you break the rules then someone can come and take your certification away and you can’t practice. That ruling body is making sure you are complying with the rules of therapy.

Life coaching is different. There is no one governing to see whether you are complying with the mandate.

This doesn’t mean you can go wild and do everything. Normal, rules that send you to jail and give you fines still apply. You also aren’t allowed to act as a therapist. Trying to diagnose and treat people for mental illnesses is not something a life coach is allowed to do and that is going into dangerous territory. As a life coach, you might encounter clients who do have mental illnesses and want to be treated. As a life coach, your job is to direct them to a therapist. That is why you should always have some contacts with therapists or at least some numbers to give to your clients if the need arises. You don’t want to be sued for acting like a therapist so make sure you don’t.

People value certification

Now even though you don’t need a certification people do value certificates. So, your client based might take you more seriously if you are certified. Whether you take a 5-minute course or a year-long course that is up to you. Because your clients might not know life coaching doesn’t require a certification they might expect you to have one.

Put work into it

When you are becoming a life coach and helping people help themselves you want to be authentic and that means you have worked on yourself. If you yourself have done a certification then that is an opportunity you would have gotten to work on yourself.

Going into life coaching I had no idea what it was. Being certified allowed me to work on myself, get more comfortable with questioning, making plans, and overall speaking. So, having a certification can give you an edge over other people. But I am a firm believer life can teach you as well and you might have some experience that life gave you that can give you the edge as well.

I would recommend starting with something small and inexpensive before taking a deep dive into the expensive life coaching lessons. You don’t want to spend 15,000 dollars and realize you have no interest in life coaching.

Talk to people before you start a certification. This is an investment and you want to do your research beforehand. Don’t just fall for any trap on Instagram where someone is showing they are making thousands of dollars. Life coaching is hard work and it takes time to get there so don’t go in with the dream that you are going to become a millionaire tomorrow.

If you want to be a self-independent coach you don’t need a certification but some organizations may require you to be ICF credited. So look into that!

Looking to start a life coaching business? Check out our blog

If you would like to work on making a lesson plan for life coaching we have some ideas for you!


A place to find information on all things wellness, dating, food and movies related. Basically our version of Netflix and Chill. If you are looking for advice and want the unfiltered truth well you have come to the right place. Read our insightful blogs and you will leave inspired. Welcome to Pigeon Talk!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 + nineteen =