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What qualifications are needed to become a certified life coach?

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Many certified life coaches hold advanced degrees in business or psychology in addition to certification as a life coach from a life coach training institution, according to the Houston Chronicle. However, training in the field varies widely, and some life coaches receive minimal training. Training as a life coach usually combines in-person classes and distance learning.

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Life coaching or personal coaching is a relatively new and fast-growing niche profession in the field of counseling. A life coach guides her clients through difficult major life transitions such as a career change or divorce by helping them set goals and plan a road map to attaining those goals. Though similar to career counseling, life coaching extends beyond the workplace by including many other areas of a client's life, such as relationships, spirituality, health and fitness, and life goals. Coaches offer advice and guidance during face-to-face sessions, phone conferences and email correspondence.

Life coaching as a profession is so new that it was not considered a profession by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its 2012 reports. As a result, there are no salary estimates or job growth projections as of 2015. However, about 20 percent of certified life coaches reportedly earn in excess of $100,000 annually. Life coaching has expanded tremendously from only three life coaching schools in the 1990s to as many as 273 by 2008.

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