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How Long Does It Take to Become a Certified Professional Coach?
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How Long Does It Take to Become a Certified Professional Coach?

The famous and brilliant Albert Einstein once said, “Time is an illusion.” For most of us, however, time is a precious commodity. And when you’re stuck in a job that doesn’t bring you fulfillment or joy, it can feel like every minute is an eternity.

That’s why one of the greatest concerns for prospective coaching students is how long it will take to complete a training program and earn their certification.

We get it: You’re out there thinking about the future and wondering just how close you are to the goals you see in the distance. As you plan ahead, consider all the factors, and get honest with yourself about whether the journey toward becoming a professional coach is the right one for you; it’s only natural to question the amount of time it’ll take to make your dream a reality. So you might not be terribly thrilled to learn there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The truth is coach training programs vary tremendously in the amount of time they require for completion. Some involve just 30 hours of training over a few days, while others take more than 300 hours over the course of several months.

The good news is you can choose the path that’s best for YOU.

If you stop and consider it, you’re likely to find that this time component is a helpful distinction in terms of selecting a program that supports you to the fullest. The actual duration of a program can often be an important clue as to the quality and comprehensiveness of the training itself. 

Remember: As a professional coach, your clients will be relying on your support. You want to be certain that you’re not only properly prepared to stand in those “important shoes,” but that you feel confident in your professional coaching skills and abilities. Ultimately, you are dealing with real people in real-life situations, and it’s vital to develop enough professional acumen to both apply effective coaching practices AND understand when specific client challenges require more specialized care from medical and/or psychological practitioners.

Think about the time and effort afforded to learning and training needs in many other professional industries, such as accounting, law, education, medicine or technology. The more hours spent acquiring knowledge and gaining hands-on experience in a specific skill set, the more qualified and effective a professional becomes in their particular craft.

The same is true for coaching.

That’s why it’s often more valuable to look beyond the question, “How long will it take?” and ask yourself, “How thorough is the training I’ll receive, and how do I fit it into my life?”

Keep in mind there are opportunities for you to enroll in training while you work a full-time job, and you can even attract paying clients before you complete a program. This is especially true if you’ve invested in one that focuses a substantial portion of time on providing you with the business development and marketing training to get you started on the career path that’s best for you.

Don’t let time hold you back.

With the all-too-familiar challenge of balancing family, full-time work, health, home maintenance, and life, “I don’t have enough time,” is a common (and incredibly understandable!) concern of people who are hesitant to commit to professional coach training and certification. It often becomes the reason to walk away from a life-changing opportunity.

And honestly, there can be deeper mental barriers hiding under the surface.

When we're afraid to change our status quo, we latch onto the stories we tell ourselves. In terms of coach training, these stories often sound something like:
  • “There just aren’t enough hours in the day.”
  • “I don’t need to spend months training when there’s no requirement to get certified.”
  • “It’s not realistic to participate in a training program AND work to support my lifestyle.”

In reality, there’s often a way to reprioritize, putting our most passionate endeavors at the forefront (or at least giving them ample space in the mix).

Because, let’s face it, we all get the same 24 hours in a day to be whoever we want to be. Someone who is committed to fulfilling their dream as a professional coach says, “This is who I am and who I deserve to be. I’m going to mold the rest of my life around the inevitable outcome of my success.”

Time is a valuable commodity, and you have the opportunity to spend it any way you choose. By becoming more aware of how you’re spending that time, you empower yourself to live on purpose.

Of course, your real-life commitments aren’t going to magically go away.

That’s why iPEC’s coach training program is structured specifically for people with a full work schedule and a full life.

Here's a more tangible glimpse into how the curriculum is designed to fit into your typical week:
  • Your three in-person modules (which last 3 days each) happen 12 weeks apart, usually over the weekends, at locations all across the country. You can mix and match locations to suit your schedule, and even switch your location mid-training if work, travel, or other commitments come up.
  • Outside your in-person training weekends, you’ll have roughly 5-7 hours of coursework per week. 

  • On a weekly basis, you and your peers decide on the weekday and time that works best to conduct your peer coaching, peer client, and peer group conversations.

  • Even the weekly webinars are flexible, with more than one time slot available to attend.

Phase 1 of the program can be completed in about 7-8 months, by the end of which you’ll have earned the designation of Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP). While you’ll need to complete all of Phase I to become certified, after Module I, you’ll have enough skills to start accepting paying coaching clients or to initiate positive, sustainable shifts in your current work environment. 

Phase 2 can be completed in about 3-4 months. At the end of this phase, you’ll have earned your COR.E Dynamics Specialist designation.

It’s time to start making every minute count.

In the end, completing a professional coach training and certification program is all about recognizing a desire within you and then empowering yourself to turn that desire into action.

Accept that you are the one in control of your own life. With passionate, powerful, and consistent action, you CAN live the life you dream of, regardless of the real (and perceived) time constraints that might be holding you back.

There’s a lot to consider, but we’re here to help. Our Admissions Coaches can guide you through the decision-making process, help you get the right information, and direct you to relevant resources so YOU can be the one to decide whether or not you’re ready to become a certified professional coach.

Schedule Your One-on-One Conversation Now


About Carla Greengrass

Turn Knowledge Into Power

Utilize constructive resources to inform and inspire every step of the journey toward your future as a coach.