Have you decided to become a life coach but have found the cost of coaching training prohibitive?
If so, you’re not alone. The tuition for an ICF accredited coach training program (ACTP), which are at least 125 hours in length, averages approx. $6355 US.1
Many prospective coaches don’t have access to that much money all at once.
|Before we go any further, let’s get two assumptions out of the way.
1. I’m using ICF accredited training program tuition fees as an example in case you’ve decided that you wish to become an ICF Professional Certified Coach (via the non-portfolio path).
You can also obtain certification through the International Association of Coaching, which is based solely on your skill and not on the amount of coach training you have taken. (Don’t be fooled into thinking you can pass the exam without any training or skill development though!).
There are pros and cons to both certifications that we won’t get into in this particular article.
2. Then there’s the whole question about whether you need certification… again, beyond the scope of this article.
While you do need to invest money and time into learning the profession of coaching (or any profession), there are ways to start coach training without going into debt. Here are some suggestions:
1. One Course At a Time
Instead of registering for a complete certification program, pay for and take one course at a time. This allows you to get a feel for coaching and what types of questions to ask etc. The ideal course would be one that allows you to watch/listen to coaching demos, practice coaching and get feedback.
After the program start coaching and building your business. Then pay for and take another course. It’s the pay as you build your business method…
(If you have no background in building a business then you may want to consider coach training organizations that include that in their curriculum.)
2. Payment Plans and Scholarships
Some of the coach training schools offer payment plans. Instead of making an upfront investment of $6000, you pay a monthly fee of $300 (for example). You could ask if they have any sort of scholarship program for those with limited funds. You just never know until you ask.
3. Local Community Colleges
Do any of the local community colleges offer coaching courses or certificates? These courses may be offered via regular college courses or through the continuing education department. In some cases these courses may be less expensive than those offered by private coach training organizations.
If you’re over 60, you could check to see if the local community college offers a discount based on age.
In addition, there may be bursaries or grants you could apply for.
4. Government Funding
Some states may even offer financial support for career training for those who have lost their job or are on unemployment insurance. There may also be government programs, like those in Vancouver, BC, for people who want to start a business. If a program like this exists in your area, there may be pre-requisites for entry.
In addition, are there any stimulus funds in your state for career training?
5. Does Your Current Workplace Offer Professional Development?
Does your workplace have a professional development budget for employees? While this may have been an option before the economical problems of the past two years, it may not be true now.
6. Ask Local Coaches
Do you have a local coaching association, such as an ICF chapter, that meets near you? You could go to a meeting and ask the coaches if they know of any affordable, quality coach training. Or just ask coaches in your area.
Have you found affordable coach training that allowed you to start coaching? Do you have suggestions to add to the above list? Please leave a comment below (or contact me if you’re averse to leaving blog comments.)
1. This figure is based on five ICF accredited coach training programs (ACTP) that met the following parameters: offered via telelclass, in English, and niche was life coaching (vs executive or corporate coaching). Many of the other accredited programs were taught via a combination of in-person and teleclasses. The tuition fees the noted figure is based on are for the ACTP programs of Coach U, Coachville, Erickson, International Coach Academy, and InviteChange.