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How Much Does Professional Coaching Certification and Training Cost?

A Guide to Researching the Cost of Becoming a Certified Professional Coach

Introduction

You’re beginning to acknowledge a power inside of you – one that has the people in your life turning to you when they’re facing down a problem. You’re the first port of call in everyone else’s emotional storm because you have a certain calming presence, an innate listening ear, and an uncanny ability to ask just the right questions to help others gain perspective.

With this special power comes a particular intrigue about the world of professional coaching, and you’re finally taking those oh-so-important steps to find out whether this is a realistic option in your life. As you consider the avenues for putting this ability of yours into greater focus, and you acknowledge the importance of acquiring both training and certification, you’re likely to confront the most practical question of all: How much does it cost?

Truthfully, the simple answer is not necessarily the best one. There are hundreds of professional training programs out there, and all of them offer different pricing models. But which ones provide the best VALUE for you and your future? That’s the real question prospective coaches need to ask, and it’s the one that this guide is designed to help you answer.

As you spend time researching the coach training and certification options available to you, you will soon realize that not all programs are created equal, which is why the costs vary so widely. There are fundamental factors to consider in your search for the most ideal path for you. Take advantage of this guide to uncover these essential elements and get answers to some of your most pressing cost-related questions.  

Begin reading the full guide below, or fill out the form for a downloadable PDF version that you can reference later.

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What Certifications Are Available for Executive and Life Coaching?

Man on Laptop

To both serve clients in a meaningful way AND lay a strong foundation for supporting your own long-term success, you’ll want to equip yourself with the most powerful skills, tools, and techniques through industry certification. True, you don't have to be certified before offering professional coaching services, but there’s no shortage of career-defining reasons to do so anyway.

Coach certification gives you a competitive advantage in the market. It boosts your reputation, establishes you as a true professional, and provides an instant layer of legitimacy.

Participating in a certification program also equips you with the tools and techniques to be truly successful as a coach. And when you’re part of a larger community of certified coaches, you’re able to access a wide circle of peers, mentors, and friends should you need to reach out. This is a distinct benefit and a valuable opportunity as you move forward in your career.

Because coaching has become such a fast-growing field over the past decade, there’s a lot of information out there about coach training and certification, and it can be quite confusing.

Let’s sort out a few of the basics for you:

  • Certification – A certification program is one that requires you to complete a program that has an established set of core competencies; that evaluates you on your proficiency within these competencies; that has been audited by an accrediting agency; and that requires the institute delivering the program to be approved as an accrediting agency.
  • Certificate – A certificate program is typically a certificate of completion – meaning that you’ve completed the course work and have potentially been evaluated on what you’ve learned. While it can be extensive, this is not necessarily a certification and is not typically recognized by an industry association.
  • Certifiable – A certifiable program is one that certifies you in a new profession for $99 to $899 (USD). Unfortunately, because of the growth of coaching, there are those out there looking to cash in on the marketplace and its consumers, so buyers beware. There are some good programs that will help you learn about coaching, but watch out for those representing that they “certify” you. 

Note that in the latter two cases, the only one doing the “certifying” is the company itself. It’s not an industry-recognized certification by any association.

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While there are many coaching certifications out there, only a select few programs are accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF), the coaching industry’s governing body for coaching and training schools. Upon successful completion of an ICF-Accredited Coach Training Program, you’ll become a Certified Professional Coach (CPC), recognized by the ICF.

Since there are over 200 coach training programs available in the U.S. alone, choosing one with ICF accreditation is a distinct advantage. There are three different types of accreditation or approval that the ICF offers:

  • Accredited Coach Training Programs
  • Approved Coach Specific Training Hours
  • Continuing Coach Education

If you’re on the hunt for a comprehensive coach training experience, look for an Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP). In order for ACTPs to garner this ICF accreditation, they must ensure that participants gain at least 125 hours of coach-specific training so as to develop a thorough knowledge of the ICF definition of coaching, ICF Core Competencies, and the Code of Ethics. Participants are observed during coaching sessions and must complete a final exam to ensure their coaching competency.

As far as the cost differential you can expect: Unaccredited programs can start as low as $2,000 to $3,000 (USD), while accredited programs range anywhere from $5,000 to $14,000 (USD) or more.

9 Key Considerations for Choosing the Right Coach Training Program for You

Receive actionable insights on how to select a coach training program that positions you for success.

Download My Guide

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What Types of Learning Experience Offer the Most Value?

As you face down a mountain of options for certification, you’re bound to wonder what the training experience will actually look like – and which types offer the most value to you. To help you develop a clearer picture, let’s first shed some light on what type of training you should NOT expect to receive: You will not be learning how to give advice. Any reputable coach training program operates with the understanding that each client is complete, whole and the expert in their own life.

Instead, you should be acquiring the skills to tackle the root causes of your clients’ challenges: their underlying thoughts, emotions, and energy. As you help clients shift hidden internal blocks, they’ll uncover their own insights, wisdom, and perspectives, which leads to powerful and sustainable shifts in every area of their lives.

Professional coach training should begin with a focus on awareness and energy. You’ll need to discover the methods that support you in developing a new foundation from which you think and create success, shifting your perspective to one that empowers you to create the life you choose and foster a new way of being.

The coursework should intuitively train you to engage people, helping them become more productive, happier, and fulfilled in their careers and lives. It should give you the insight and tools to inspire and motivate others to do what they previously felt incapable of doing.

Nearly all coach training schools focus on teaching traditional coaching methods that help individuals, groups, or organizations to clarify goals, create action plans, and be accountable to them. But becoming a successful professional coach involves much more. You’ll want to absorb methodologies that empower people to look deeply, honestly, and objectively into their energy and mental programming in order to assess who they are and who they want to become.

With the right coach training program, expect to learn about:

  • Supporting your clients as they establish and achieve new goals, raise their level of consciousness, and open up new possibilities that were previously hidden from sight
  • Helping clients step into new versions of themselves, make connections, and become catalysts for culture shifts within their workplaces
  • Guiding clients to gain an outside perspective so they can reprioritize, think “big picture,” and more clearly address the challenges they face in their personal and professional lives
  • Laying the foundation for clients to find better balance and build a more fulfilling, well-rounded life

Potential students often worry that coach training will force them to use tools and techniques that don’t feel authentic to them. This certainly does NOT have to be the case. It’s all about choosing a coach training program that offers the methods and experiences that fit your individual needs.

Here are some learning opportunities to consider prioritizing in your selection process:

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Elevating Your Natural Skills

Here’s the thing: You might already be coaching in some form, although you may not call it that or realize that’s what you’re doing. And even if you are aware that you’re actively engaging in coaching as a practice, you’re more than likely just skimming the surface in terms of acquiring the necessary skills, tools and processes to be highly successful. What you need is a program that can show you how much more there is to know about this field, as well as help you elevate your natural abilities to a level of effectiveness you may never have considered possible. So while you’re evaluating programs, consider whether transformative coaching skills are taught as part of the package. With transformative coaching, your job is to help your client uncover what’s really holding them back from sustained success. Along the way, they’ll probably feel more empowered and connected to their purpose, too.

Woman at desk

Becoming Your Best Self

What are your strengths? Do you find joy in helping others identify their gifts and passions? Are you into helping new moms with career changes and comfortably returning to work after maternity leave? Or helping entrepreneurs navigate the tricky line between expressing their creativity and living comfortably from the sales of their work? Maybe you’re into improving office culture by coaching up-and-coming managers and team leaders. 

The right program will offer you training and techniques for working with the clients of your dreams, whether you do so as a business owner or as an employee in a larger organization. In whatever capacity you choose to practice coaching, the more you understand and grow your own inner capacity, the more successful you’ll be in helping others recognize theirs. In fact, many in this field are surprised to learn just how much of their own transformation unfolds before they take the final steps toward a full-fledged career in professional coaching. Just as much as becoming a coach involves learning how to help clients or work cultures transform, it also involves discovering yourself from a different point of view and engaging in your own evolution.

At iPEC, the first part of our program equips you with coaching techniques and tools that can be applied to anyone, with any challenge, at any point in their lives. With that foundation, you can go on to any of the specialty track trainings that appeal to you. And while iPEC graduates are fully equipped to coach anyone on anything, digging deeper into a specialty area to work with the clients that resonate most with you can be a distinct advantage.

Charting Your Own Career Path

There’s a growing number of students who enter a coaching program simply to become more effective in their existing role. Maybe that’s what you’re looking for, or perhaps you have your eye on a promotion or new position. Regardless, the coaching skills you learn can drastically change the way you approach your job, your coworkers, and your projects, completely changing your workplace dynamic. When you’re considering different coaching programs, you should also determine whether the training offers continuing education credit (CEC or CEU) opportunities to maintain select professional credentials. If you’re looking for a promotion or to increase your perceived credibility, it can help to list those certificates (and your new Certified Professional Coach designation) after your name.

With regard to the training delivery methods you can expect, styles and options vary from program to program. Just keep in mind that an amazing training program that has all the bells and whistles you could ask for will not do you any good if the material is not presented in a way that makes sense to you.

Everyone has a preferred learning style, and it is important to consider how well you learn from the format the school provides, which may include:

  • Virtual, self-guided lessons that play an important role in introducing and advancing key knowledge and facilitating a better understanding of coaching concepts
  • Live classroom trainings that enable you to practice your skills in a supportive environment, get immediate feedback, build invaluable relationships with other students, and acquire the kind of irreplaceable experiential knowledge that’s essential to becoming highly skilled in any professional endeavor
  • A mix of self-paced modules, independent projects, and group work
  • Material that is presented both in-person and on live webinars
  • One-on-one mentoring sessions to receive individualized coaching feedback, strategies, and suggestions to improve your coaching ability
  • Opportunities to strengthen your skills through live sessions spent coaching your peers and being coached by them
  • Ongoing access to online recordings, resources, and the coaching community

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How Long Does Coach Training and Certification Take?

Just about every prospective coach wants to know: How long will this actually take? You’re looking to 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 this journey 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. 

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question because 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. 

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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.

Inside Look: The iPEC Timeline

PHASE 1

(can be completed in approximately 7-8 months) 

You’ll start your coach training education with an invigorating and inspiring three days of face-to-face experiential learning, where you’ll be introduced to the Core Energy Coaching™ process. Phase 1 includes a total of three live modules, where you'll practice coaching techniques and receive constructive feedback.

  • Module I: This time is spent building transformational coaching skills that help you uncover your core belief systems and those of your clients, challenge perspectives, shift energy, and open up infinite possibilities for growth. You’ll learn foundational coaching theory and application for guiding clients into clear next steps, helping them form well-thought plans and holding them accountable to the progress they seek. 

  • Module II: As you explore and challenge deep-seeded thoughts and emotional patterns, you’ll build on your knowledge and skills to assist clients in ten main areas of life and create dynamic action plans that foster authentic change. You’ll have an opportunity to select, develop, and practice your area of coaching specialization.

  • Module III: You’ll develop a strong understanding of core (near-causal) thinking and learn how to break through deep physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual blocks to success. Your work will help you attain the knowledge and skills to create sustainable, long-term change while continuing to hone your area of specialization. You’ll also leverage new, deeper opportunities to demonstrate life-changing empowerment and engagement skills within a variety of coaching settings. In this module, you’ll become proficient in administering the Energy Leadership™ Index (ELI), a groundbreaking assessment that identifies the filters through which various individuals approach life and cultivate deep insights into their beliefs and blocks.

You’ll actually live the process and participate in the experience of a lifetime. At the end of Phase 1, you’ll have earned the designation of Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP). 

What’s more, you don’t have to finish Phase 1 before you start working with clients. While you’ll need to complete the entire coach training program 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 approximately 3-4 months) 

In this phase, you’ll work to achieve even deeper and more precise development as a certified professional coach, positioning yourself at the highest level in the industry with your third certification in one of four niche tracks:

  • Leadership 
  • Performance 
  • Transitions 
  • Wellbeing 

At the end of this phase, you’ll have earned your COR.E Dynamics Specialist designation. COR.E Dynamics™ utilizes a proprietary process to give you the competitive advantage of mastering world-class coaching skills so you can raise individual energy levels and maximize performance.

To learn more about the structure and content of iPEC’s full training program, visit this page.

Next Steps: ICF Credentialing

The International Coach Federation (ICF) is a separate organization from all coaching schools. At iPEC, it’s your personal choice to pursue your ICF credential (or not). If you decide to obtain the additional ICF credential, the process is simple. In fact, once you complete our program, you’re almost there. The three requirements to obtain ICF credentials include:

  • Complete a specific number of training hours from any ACTP accredited program (iPEC’s full program is an ACTP accredited program and includes all the training hours required).
  • Pass the ICF’s Coaching Knowledge Assessment (iPEC teaches you everything you need to know to pass the exam).
  • Complete a specific number of experience hours with coaching clients (iPEC’s program includes 25 experience hours that count toward this requirement).

There are three levels of credentialing through the ICF: 

  • ACC (Associate)
  • PCC (Professional)
  • MCC (Master)

iPEC's full program includes the training hours required to get all three of these credentials. That means you’ll never have to go back for more training if you choose to obtain a higher level of ICF credentialing.

If you’re still mulling over the time issue and looking for more insight to help fill in the gaps, this article is a must-read.

9 Key Considerations for Choosing the Right Coach Training Program for You

Receive actionable insights on how to select a coach training program that positions you for success.

Download My Guide

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What Are the Key Areas of Expertise in a Coach Training Program?

As the coaching landscape broadens and this growing $2 billion (USD) industry commands more and more attention, coaches are becoming highly valued and sought after across ALL industry sectors. A professional coaching specialty is a way to clearly define the specific types of people you want to serve. 

In doing so, you'll be able to find your ideal clients more easily, speak to their unique challenges and needs, and communicate in a way that makes them feel particularly understood. That’s how they'll know you can help them, that they're in the right place!

First things first: It’s helpful to understand that many paths lead to coaching, and coaching offers many paths.

Some arrive at coaching after a dramatic personal experience that alters the course of their life, driven with a determination to live out their calling and make a difference.

Others come from the business world with experience in a specific field. They see coaching as a better alternative to consulting because it allows them to engage more fully with clients from their industry (e.g., small business development, real estate, sales, human resources, etc.). With an existing network of contacts, these people find they can promote themselves within a narrow niche and quickly gain credibility for their insights and the ability to relate to their clients’ needs. 

Many more draw upon their personal interests to help guide their decisions on how they want to pursue coaching and bring their unique skills to the world.

“I know people [who] have used coaches for everything, from what you would typically think of [as] an entrepreneur’s coach or an executive coach [to a] health and wellness coach. I know somebody [who] literally coaches brides on creating the wedding of their dreams, as it were, because of all the pressure and stress that goes along with it. I know coaches [who] work with adolescents because of the amount of pressure and stress that our teenagers feel today. There’s an incredible impact that’s there, but it really is about helping any individual step back and really process [in order] to work on their life and not just live in their life.”

—Luke Iorio, iPEC President

If you’re looking to make a career change or empower yourself to reach new heights in your current field, there are many specializations, or areas of expertise, within the coaching industry that can have a huge impact on your future.

Far from limiting your options and potential clients, specializing increases your effectiveness and attracts people who will want to work with you. So when you’re evaluating potential schools, it’s important to ask yourself whether they offer opportunities to acquire additional insight into particular coaching specialties.

Here are some key areas of expertise to think about in your search:

  • Life Coaching: Learn to encourage others to discover and achieve their potential. You'll help clients identify their dreams, recognize what's standing in their way, and guide them in creating happier, more passion-filled lives.

  • Relationship Coaching: Learn to help people build happier, healthier relationships (at home, in the workplace, or in any personal situation) by addressing patterns and blocks, improving communication, and strengthening conflict resolution skills.

  • Transition Coaching: Learn to support clients as they navigate personal or professional change. Whether it's the beginning of a new career or life after divorce, you can help clients gain clarity and make the most of their new start.

  • Group Coaching: Inspired to create your own group coaching program? Discover the fundamentals of successful group coaching and develop specialized skills for facilitating an environment of communication, connection, and mindfulness.

  • Couples Coaching: Become a skilled coach with focused training on the nuances of couples, so you can help partners find ways to overcome their challenges and heal their relationships—not just in the short term, but for the rest of their lives.

  • Parents & Teens Coaching: Learn to educate and empower teens (and their parents) to connect their inner passion and potential to outer goals and strategies in order to create extraordinary and sustainable results.

  • Health & Wellness Coaching: Learn to improve the wellbeing of clients by helping them thrive, not just survive. You'll find out how to guide and support clients as they develop healthier habits and lifestyles, whether they're adjusting after an illness or navigating particular health challenges.

  • Sports Performance Coaching: From overcoming performance anxiety to coping with injuries and understanding how to maximize practice efforts, learn how to support athletes and sports coaches in realizing their full potential and living more fulfilling lives.

  • Small Business & Professionals Coaching: Learn how to help entrepreneurs and business professionals stay focused on their goals so they can maximize their potential and create lasting success. Empower busy owners and employees to create balanced lives while improving the way they do business every day.

  • Leadership: Executive & Management Coaching: Develop the skills and confidence you need to coach accomplished executives as they strive to achieve excellence in every area of their lives. You can help clients realize tangible benefits, from increased business performance to a more fulfilling life.

Regardless of which coaching specialization appeals to you, pursuing a career as a Certified Professional Coach will provide incredible opportunities to inspire change, support growth, and develop a career based on YOUR passions and interests. As you think about the costs associated with various training and certification programs, don’t overlook the value inherent in institutions that provide both a solid foundation for universal coaching abilities AND the opportunity to develop expertise in your specific areas of interest.

Where Are They Now?

Check out these encouraging stories from iPEC graduates who have made a name for themselves in their own areas of expertise, and find out what the journey was like for them. 

Health & Wellness Coaching

Melissa Maher is a Mindfulness Coach who began her journey with zero interest in becoming an entrepreneur. Along the way, however, she discovered and began to trust her “super power,” which led her down a life and business path that flowed with ease and joy. Hear her story.

Business Coaching

Alan Cohen is a Leadership and Connection Coach who reached the pinnacle of his career in Public Relations when he discovered that his true interests were rooted in talent development and training. Today, he helps business professionals successfully navigate their careers and personal lives. Read his story.

Transition Coaching

Soraiya Vasanji is a Transition Coach who discovered her true calling while enrolled in iPEC’s coach training program. She discovered how to embrace her gift and draw from her personal life experience to powerfully coach her clients and bring transformation into their lives. Hear her story.

Relationship Coaching

Sheldon Young is a Divorce Coach who overcame several personal obstacles before clarifying his coaching vision and purpose. He is building a coaching practice while honing his coaching skills in his current leadership position. Hear his story.

Leadership Coaching

Jennifer Anderson is a Life & Leadership Coach for women who, in one short year, managed to build a growing, thriving coaching practice helping women achieve balance with work and family. Hear her story.

As you consider the idea of specializing in a particular area of expertise (and weigh its value in your journey as a certified professional coach), you may wonder about the actual process of selecting a specialty. For more tangible insight, check out this helpful breakdown of the what, why, and when of choosing a professional coaching niche.

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What Are the Best Certification Programs for Professional Coaching?

The “best” program for you is one that checks all your boxes and meets your unique requirements for building a successful career as a professional coach. That said, if you’re looking for some data points to compare, here are some insights to consider.

A comparative study of the top ICF ACTP coaching schools in the continental United States, conducted by Education Service Center, Region 20 (ESC 20), was designed to formulate comprehensive information about the best coach training programs in the area based on ten categories of qualifying criterion:

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  • Curriculum Depth and Quality
  • Training Hours
  • Trainer Quality
  • Enrollment/Acceptance Process and Standards
  • Student Support
  • Graduate Support
  • History and Reputation
  • Website/Brochures
  • Certification Requirements
  • Program Costs/Return on Investment

The data findings and comparison efforts positioned the top three schools as follows:

  1. The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)
  2. The Coach Training Institute (CTI)
  3. The University of Texas at Dallas.

iPEC scored the highest points in Curriculum (10 out of 10), History and Reputation (9 out of 9), Graduate Support (10 out of 10), Student Support (4 out of 4) and Website (9 out of 10).

The University of Texas at Dallas scored the highest points in Website (10 out of 10), Graduate Support (9 out of 10) and Student Support (3 out of 4).

And CTI scored the highest points in Curriculum (9 out of 10), Website (8 out of 10), Trainer Quality (4 out of 4) and History and Reputation (8 out of 10).

Weighing Value with Cost for 4 Industry-Renown Schools


The Coaches Training Institute (CTI)

  • Oldest coach training school in the world
  • Accredited by the International Coach Federation
  • Program includes CPCC (Certified Professional Co-Active Coach) certification and ICF credentialing
  • Highly autonomous training framework
  • Weekend courses are full-day Friday, Saturday and Sunday; Midweek courses are full-day Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; all at the same location
  • Required Fundamentals course is $925 with $250 USD registration fee
  • Packages are "pay as you go" from $5,905 to $11,140; $925 USD due at registration
  • A la carte options at $1,640 per course and $5,990 for Co-Active Certification Program ($250 USD to register)

Georgetown University

  • Academic program at Institute for Transformational Leadership
  • Options for training and certification in leadership development, leadership coaching, health and wellness coaching, group facilitation, and talent development
  • ICF accredited, but not all trainers are ICF-credentialed
  • Individual workshops span one to three days
  • Certification programs consist of several courses over several months (full-time Wednesday through Friday)
  • Tuition ranges from individual workshops at $395 to $1,795 USD, to full certification programs at $7,875 to $13,995 USD

Coach U

  • Instruction delivered via distance learning (internet administration and testing as well as teleconference class participation)
  • Core Essentials Fast Track Program (CEFTP) blends in-person modules with online delivery
  • Accredited by the International Coach Federation
  • 95+% of the international faculty is ICF credentialed at the PCC or MCC level
  • Courses are generally four to eight weeks
  • Distance learning programs cost $3,195 to $4,195 USD each; CEFTP and package tuitions range from $4,395 to $9,290 USD

Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)

  • Blends live training (three separate, three-day modules), webinars, one-on-one mentor coaching and individualized support from a Success Coach for experiential, hands-on training and flexibility
  • Unique Core Energy Coaching™ process for transformational outcomes
  • Accredited by the International Coach Federation with ICF-credentialed instructors at the PCC or MCC level
  • Offers three professional certifications and fulfills the academics requirements to pursue ICF credentials
  • Option of accessing specialty tracks in addition to base program curriculum
  • Access to two proprietary, research-backed assessment tools, one of which delivers industry-groundbreaking ROI for quantifying the progress of any coaching engagement
  • Includes a business development program on how to start or advance your coaching practice, or offer your services in an organization
  • Lifetime access to educational content, specialty track training, and coach community
  • ALL-INCLUSIVE pricing at $11,950 USD (or three-day Life & Leadership Potential Training for $1,995 USD)

As you can see, not all professional coach training and certification programs are created equal. In your ongoing research about which program is the best one to help you achieve the future you desire for yourself, be sure to check out this insightful article.

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Valuating an Investment in Coach Training and Certification

You’re not going to be satisfied with a limited education that brings you limited success.

Whatever your goals and interests may be, it’s important that you have the opportunity and resources to live your UNLIMITED potential. That’s why it’s so crucial to choose a coach training and certification program with the best value, not just the lowest cost. 

At the end of the day, you have to be really clear about what you’re getting for your investment. Among your checklist for evaluating what’s included (and not included) in your tuition and costs, think about whether each program offers the following (inclusively or separately): 

OFFERING

 

CHECKPOINT

ICF-accredited training

 

Is the coach training program accredited by the ICF? Does it even go beyond the requirements necessary for accreditation? Click here to watch a five-minute video that explains more about the ICF, including their individual credentialing process.

Business development lessons

 

To assist with launching your coaching business and getting your first clients, does the training program include business development support? Think in terms of choosing a specialty, creating your own packages, and setting your prices, as well as developing your marketing message, networking approach, and website.

Mentor coaching

 

A Mentor Coach should be an ICF-credentialed individual who offers strategies and suggestions to improve your coaching ability. Does the program require a surcharge for this offering, or is it included in the tuition pricing? Are you required to find a coach on your own?

Practice coaching

 

Identify whether there are opportunities to coach and be coached by your peers so you can learn and experience both sides of the coaching relationship.

Success coaching

 

A Success Coach should be able to help you gain the clarity and confidence to move forward, however you define success. Does your tuition include one-on-one sessions with a dedicated Success Coach, as well as a private forum where you can connect with other students and share your experiences?

Books and resources

 

Does your investment include resources beyond the courses themselves, such as client exercises, client workbooks, extensive coach notes, coaching manuals, e-workbooks, and other materials for learning?


Will you be provided with a variety of templates to get your business up and running? These might include documents such as:


  • Sample coaching agreements and questionnaires
  • Scripts for complimentary sessions 
  • Coaching call prep forms
  • Coaching tools and worksheets
  • Surveys and centering activities
  • Business development and marketing tools

Lifetime access to materials

 

Some coach training programs end after you’ve earned your certification, while others treat students as dedicated, lifelong learners who should have access to ongoing learning opportunities. Determine whether each program offers lifetime access to content, assessments, specialty track training, a coaching community and educational webinars. 

Final exam and certification

 

Know whether you’re going to encounter surprise “exam-sitting” fees at the end of the program in order to receive your certification(s).

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Some programs appear less expensive on the surface, but if you study them further, you’ll find hidden fees for many of these elements. Tuition options that are all-inclusive can actually be more cost-effective. Additionally, some programs offer students a variety of tuition payment options, including student loans, payment plans, and early enrollment reductions.

What you can expect to pay in training and certification costs hinges completely on how you approach the process and what decisions you make regarding your educational opportunities. 

Of course you’ll always have practical financial considerations, like car payments, rent, mortgages, and college loans. Even with these very real responsibilities, there’s great potential inside of you to honor your current life, find creative solutions, and move forward on the investments in your future you’re most passionate about.

Don’t forget to factor in the value of OPPORTUNITY.

The practice of coaching is centered on helping others expand their view, or shift from seeing only problems that need to be “solved” to recognizing that opportunity is often disguised as obstacles. More than just a sunshine-and-rainbow view of life, this actually involves a shift in our internal capacity and our default viewpoints to perceive what truly exists around us.

In its simplest form, coaching is about changing our perception by removing filters that keep us from seeing what is actually happening, or what could be happening instead. By overcoming our conditioning, we stop relying on habitual answers, behaviors, and responses. When that happens, opportunity is the surprising new element that enters the picture, simply because it stops being filtered out.

The right professional coach training program will give you the insight and tools to:

  • Always see opportunity
  • Find endless possibilities
  • Create the time and financial flexibility you desire 

The beautiful thing about coaches is that they do this for themselves first, and then with each and every client. They become more attuned to possibilities, a skill that begins to permeate and be reflected in every aspect of their lives. 

Ultimately, coaching is a gateway to options—choices that you previously had not even considered. Through coaching, you can acquire the skills to see everything as an opportunity. And the price of that opportunity is simply immeasurable.

If your gut is pulling you toward coach training and certification, and you’re wondering how to make it work within your financial means, know that iPEC offers flexible options for financing. Through our student loan option, payments can be deferred until after Module III. Many students even have a paying client before they finish the program (and receive their official certification), which means you can start generating income before your first payment is due.

Never doubt that you’re worth an investment in yourself. Begin your journey by requesting an informational session with an iPEC Admissions Coach to discuss your vision for the future and answer any additional questions you may have about the costs of professional coach training and certification.

Take the First Step Forward

Connect with an expert to start a productive conversation about your interest in coaching and your potential for success.