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How Do I Choose The Right Certification Program?



Establishing credibility is really important for career coaches, and one aspect of that is certification. With that in mind, you might be asking, “how do I choose the right career coaching certification program? Whether you have decades of professional experience as a coach or you’re just starting out, it’s crucial to bear in mind that the business world is changing at a very rapid pace. As career coaches, we need to be in a fairly continuous state of training and education. So before you hang your shingle as a career coach, it’s wise to do your homework before selecting a certification program.


There are so many different programs that certify career coaches—it can be challengng to select the right one for you. We recommend you find an organization that fits your learning style—because this career path is all about continuing education.


Are you someone who likes to read material and take a final exam? Do you prefer hands-on experience? Do you need a program that allows you to work full-time while studying? Or do you prefer to learn with others in a group?


Here are a few items to consider as you wonder how to become certified as a career coach:


  • How is the material taught? Do I have to read a manual? Can I listen or watch it being taught?

  • Do I agree with the mission and values of the organization and instructors?

  • How are my skills tested? Is it is a final exam? Or do I show my learning along the way?

  • Is there a group that I study with? Or am I on my own?

  • Who is the teacher? Is that person a career coach? Does that person have a successful career coach business?

  • Is it all theoretical or is it hands-on, or a combination of both?

  • What are the credentials of the organization? Is it well known?

  • Does the organization have examples of people that have started their own career coaching businesses?

  • Do I need to renew my certification? Or once I have it, is it valid indefinitely?

  • Does the cost of the program fit your budget? Programs range from $15,000 to $150 (from what we can see)


There are no right or wrong ways to pursue certification—but there are different best ways for different people, based on circumstances and learning style. If you’re thinking of becoming a career coach, yes; get a stamp of approval. But find a group that aligns with your values and the way you learn.

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