Everywhere you turn, you might bump into a “Coach” and are there good reasons why. More and more people are seeking out professionals to support them with everything from career changes, to losing weight to clearing clutter and there are life coaches with every specialty imaginable.

If you’re considering a career in coaching, you are on the right track! Life Coaching is the fastest growing career sector next to Information Technology. How can this be so? Think about it this way: the world of psychotherapy started 100 years ago and every therapist I know is booked solid! Professional coaching started less than 30 years ago the growth trajectory shows plenty of room for new coaches as the industry becomes more mainstream.

Coaching however is becoming more regulated. While in the past, anyone could hang a shingle and call themselves a Life Coach; today, to have a successful and respected business, Life (Career/Executive) Coaches should be certified through an accredited program.

For example: The International Coach Federation (ICF) s the leading global organization dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification and building a worldwide network of trained coaching professionals and schools.

The ICF has developed rigorous standards that all schools must follow in order to receive their prestigious accreditation. These programs are called Accredited Coach Training Programs, or ACTPs, and there are hundreds of ACTPs to choose from all over the world, each with their different areas of specialization and methods of training.

So, when you are looking for a training program, be sure they are ICF Accredited.

Still, once you’ve found, an ICF Accredited School, there’s more to figure out. Here are some tips on what to consider:

Who is the founder and what is there philosophy or area of focus?

I’ve been through 2 different coach training schools. Both were fantastic and yet both schools distinctly had personality and philosophy of the founder. I’d suggest watching YouTube videos of the founders or videos of coaches trained by the schools you are considering to see if you resonate with the style of coaching.

Consider your budget

Most ICF Accredited programs range from $4,700K-$10K and the price difference often depends on the length of the program. If you already have coaching skills and want accreditation or if you want to dip your toe in the water and see if Coaching is a career fit for you; you might consider a shorter program.

Decide on the location and pace of your program

ICF Accredited Coach Training Programs can be found all over the world. Do you want to get your training done in 2 weeks? Or do you want to take a year to do it? Look closely at the requirements for the training and see if it suits your desired outcomes.

Do you want to do your program online or Face to face?

Personally, I love the relationships and ongoing community support I’ve built with my colleagues from onsite; face-to-face trainings. But if that doesn’t matter to you; there are lots of online programs.

Interview Former Graduates

Interviewing former graduates is just like doing a reference check. Ask the school to provide 2-3 phone numbers for former graduates and pick their brains about the program. Have a list of questions that you want answered and then trust that the right message will come through and that you will pick the exact right program for you!

Carla is a Licensee and co-founder of the MMS Institute of Northern California. The MMS Institute has been training some of the best coaches in the world since 1974. View our upcoming ACSTH Coach Training that’s happening in San Rafael, CA October 9-12 & December 4-7th