How do you set yourself apart as a top-notch career coach in a field that’s becoming increasingly competitive?

Career coach certification programs!

Coaching is a powerful profession. And its rewards are endless if you know how to position yourself right. 

Look at it this way:

As the demand for skilled coaches grows, so does the need for specialized knowledge and credentials to distinguish oneself in the field. 

Career coaches with certifications can charge 3 times more than coaches without a certification.

career coach salary

Image source: BetterUp

Career coach certifications are crucial for enhancing expertise, boosting credibility, and income increase.

Learn about the best career certification programs for coaches in 2023. These courses will deepen your knowledge, refine your skills, and demonstrate your commitment to professional excellence.

If you want to expand your coaching toolkit, broaden your impact, and provide clients with the highest level of support, read on.

Let’s get to business, shall we?

What is a Career Coach?

A career coach is a professional who specializes in guiding individuals through various aspects of their careers. These professionals provide support, advice, and guidance to help clients navigate the twists and turns of their jobs while helping them achieve their career goals.

Career coaching is a collaborative process where the coach works closely with clients to explore their strengths, interests, and values. 

Ultimately, they act as a trusted advisor and partner, supporting individuals in navigating the complexities of their careers, maximizing their potential, and finding fulfillment and success in their professional lives.

Though it is more common for career coaches to work one-on-one with clients, they can also work with a group.

What Does a Career Coach Do?

The job of a career coach is quite extensive. But primarily, they are responsible for ensuring their clients have a successful and fulfilling career. 

They provide encouragement, motivation, and non-judgmental space for clients to explore their thoughts, fears, and aspirations.

So, what does a career coach do? The best career coaching services include the following:

  • Career development

Career coaches support clients who want to explore other career choices or transition successfully. Career coaches advise clients about conducting industry research, discovering new jobs, and determining whether career moves are feasible. 

  • Professional growth

To thrive in the ever-changing job market, individuals must develop their skills continuously. Career coaches guide clients in identifying and pursuing professional development opportunities, such as training programs, certifications, workshops, or further education, to enhance their skills and stay competitive.

  • Goal setting

Becoming a career coach means helping coaching clients establish clear, realistic career goals. They break down these goals into actionable steps, creating personalized action plans containing necessary strategies, resources, and timelines for achieving the goals.

  • Income increase 

Career coaches help clients develop effective custom job search strategies to change their niche or increase income. They help to create impactful resumes and cover letters. They help optimize online professional profiles like LinkedIn, improve interview skills, and leverage networking opportunities to uncover hidden jobs.

Best Career Coach Certification Programs

A career coaching certificate is what can help you build a strong reputation and make more money. If you are interested in how to start a career coaching business, the first step you should focus on is getting certification. Let’s go through the best career coaching certification programs.

1. Coach Training Alliance [the best choice]

Coach Training Alliance

If you have a passion for helping others and want to dive into the world of career coaching, Coach Training Alliance (CTA) is your best bet! 

They offer a top-notch career certification program and comprehensive training for career coaches that covers a whopping 120 hours, teaching you how to become a certified career coach who makes an impact. 

The course will help you get career coaching certification, master coaching techniques, and effective communication.

On the upside, this accredited career coach certification grants you access to a network of coaches with whom you can connect, trade ideas, and learn. 

Plus, CTA offers quarterly live coaching calls where you can soak up wisdom from experienced professionals and take your coaching game to the next level.

  • Certification program format: Online
  • Career coaching certification online duration: 6 months
  • Program accreditation: ICF, ACSTH
  • Pricing: $3,897 (all learning materials and software included)

Go to CTA

2. World Coach Institute 

World Coaching Institute is another great option to become a certified professional career coach.

At only $3,247 and with payment plans as low as $111.47 per month, WCI’s program is designed to provide in-depth training in all aspects of coaching. 

They cover everything from assessments to goal setting and how to market your services. 

World Coach Institute offers practical experience in coaching, allowing you to apply your skills in real-life scenarios. Plus, the program is delivered by skilled professionals who genuinely love coaching.

They bring their expertise and passion to the table, ensuring you receive top-notch training.

This career coach certification online has a duration of nine months, providing ample time for in-depth learning and development. 

It’s important to note that while there are no specific prerequisites for enrollment, having at least three years of work experience is recommended to make the most out of the program.

Upon enrollment, you’ll access a wide range of resources to enhance your coaching journey. 

Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to network with fellow coaches, creating valuable connections within the coaching community. 

To top it off, you receive ongoing support throughout your journey, ensuring you have the guidance and encouragement you need to succeed.

  • Certification program format: Online
  • Career coaching certification online duration: 9 months
  • Program accreditation: ICF
  • Pricing: $3,247

Go to World Coach Institute

3. Transformation Academy

Transformation Academy career coach certification

Transformation Academy offers a professional coaching certification program designed to arm individuals with the skills and knowledge they need to become successful coaches. 

Led by Joeel and Natalie Rivera, the career coach program focuses on providing a solid foundation in coaching principles, techniques, and practices.

The Transformation Academy coaching certification program covers various aspects of coaching, including core coaching skills, effective communication, goal setting, client assessment, and ethical guidelines.

Because their program is 100% online, they incorporate a combination of video lessons, downloadable resources, exercises, and assessments to ensure an engaging and interactive learning experience.

For only $197, you can take any of the niche coaching certifications. However, they also offer Master Level niche bundles. Each bundle comes with at least four courses and costs only $497.

  • Certification program format: Online
  • Career coach certification online program duration: Work at your own pace
  • Program accreditation: CPD Accredited
  • Pricing: $197

Go to Transformation Academy

4. Erickson Coaching International

Erickson Coaching International is a globally recognized coach training organization that offers a range of professional coaching programs both online and onsite. They’re on six continents and have been in business since 1980.

The career coach training programs provided by Erickson aim to empower individuals to become effective coaches and facilitators of positive change. The emphasis is on helping clients identify their goals, gain clarity, and develop actionable strategies to achieve success.

As expected of an ICF career coaching certification, Erickson’s coaching course provides comprehensive training with practical exercises, mentor coaching, and supervision. This ensures certified job coaches can gain both theoretical knowledge and practical experience. 

Their online certification program costs $5285 and can take up to 180 days to complete.

  • Certification program format: Online
  • Certification program duration: 6 months
  • Program accreditation: ICF
  • Pricing: $5,285

Go to Erickson Coaching International

5. IAP Career College

If you’re looking for an all-inclusive, reasonably priced certification program, the IAP College Career Coach Certification Program is a great option. 

For a fee of $377, you’ll access comprehensive resources that help you become a certified career coach.

However, this certification isn’t accredited by any organization. Still, it’s a great option for those simply looking for a cost-effective certification that can elevate their resume and professional portfolio.

This program is entirely online. So, depending on your schedule, you can finish the IAP Career College’s online Career Coach Certificate program in four to twelve weeks.

  • Certification program format: Online
  • Certification program duration: 3 months
  • Program accreditation: no
  • Pricing: $377

Go to IAP Career College


Why is career coaching important?

Career coaching is important because it helps people gain clarity about their passions, and guides them toward reaching their career goals. With this guidance, people can easily unlock their potential and find a career that brings them joy and satisfaction.

How much does a career coach make? 

On average, a certified career coach’s salary in the US is $57,596. However, this salary can change depending on location and qualifications. How much does a career coach cost? If you are a certified career coach, you can charge $250 per session! 

Let’s say you have 10 coaching sessions per week, this is how much you can make a year:

  • 10 Sessions per week: 10 x $250 = $2500
  • Your weekly income: $2500
  • Your annual income: $2500 x 48 = $120,000!

And how much a career coach makes depends on your skills, experience, and credibility!

Life coach vs. career coach – what is the difference?

The major difference between a life coach and a professional career coach is their focus. A life coach provides guidance and support in various aspects of a person’s life, including personal growth, relationships, health, and overall well-being.

On the other hand, a career coach specifically focuses on helping individuals with their professional goals, such as career exploration, job search strategies, skill development, and career advancement. 

Sum Up

Now that you know the best career coach certification programs, it’s time to get to work. But before you choose a program, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this course accredited?
  • Does it offer networking possibilities during and after the program?
  • Does this course cover every facet of career coach training?
  • Are the people delivering it proven experts in the subject?
  • Do I have the budget for this certification?

Once you tick all these boxes, you’re good to go. After all, certifications shouldn’t be seen as a one-size-fits-all solution. You must choose the ones that align with your coaching niche and cater to your clients’ needs. 

Finally, complement your certifications with practical experience and a continuous thirst for learning and growth. This is what will make you stand out among the sea of coaches out there.



Tetiana is a business coach and owner of IStartHub, a business media for ambitious female entrepreneurs and small business owners.