How to Become a Career Coach

By, Andrea Travillian

Coaching is a rapidly growing profession, people are looking for a good process to help people and at the same time people are looking for added support in moving forward in their lives. This creates a win win for both the client and the coach. Do you think you would be a good coach? Interested in finding out how to get started? The following is an overview of how to obtain your coaching credentials!

In the world of coaching there is not a universal licensing program. There is, however, one organization that is a front runner in the industry and offers a very comprehensive credentialing program. The organization is the International Coaching Federation (ICF). They offer three levels of credentialing based on your level of experience. The basic level is the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) and requires a minimum number of training hours, a minimum number of coaching hours and mentor coaching. You can achieve these minimum’s in two different approaches.

The first is by going through an approved training program and the second is by reaching your requirements on your own. For new coaches or those just thinking about becoming a coach I recommend going through a training program. I suggest this because these programs are designed to help you meet the credentialing requirements. For example in my training program through ICA, I don’t have to find a mentor coach, it is part of the program they have in place.

What do you need to consider when selecting a training program?

1. Go to the ICF website and search for approved programs under the education section
2. Then begin to review each program considering the following:
a. How do you want to take classes – in person or via distance learning?
b. The Total cost to get the correct hours of training. Some programs offer multiple levels and you actually need more than the first one to get enough hours for the ACC. Your cost can range anywhere from $2,000 to upwards of $10,000.
c. Is the program inclusive of all the requirements you need for your credentials? If not are you able to get the other items on your own.
d. How long does the training last?
e. Do they cover specific niches or just cover the basic skills of coaching. For example, ICA has five learning areas that include executive coaching, small business, life, spiritual and career coaching in addition to the basics for all coaches.

After you have selected your program you simply need to get started in the training. Followed by practicing your skills on willing clients and you are on your way to building a successful coaching business!

Andrea Travillian is a business coach specializing in helping business owners live their dreams. She can be reached at

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.

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