How to Become a Life Coach in Alaska

Because life can be hard to navigate, people turn to life coaches for help reaching their goals and fulfilling their dreams. Life coaches don’t fix people’s lives, but they empower and encourage them to solve their problems through goal setting and action. First, life coaches listen to clients and help them determine goals that will improve their life in some way, whether that’s weight-loss goals or educational goals or some other type of goal. Then, life coaches meet with clients regularly to check in on their progress and offer motivation. They’re trained to recognize obstacles that may be getting in someone’s way of achieving their goals. With the help of a life coach, those obstacles can be better identified and eliminated.

What it looks like to be a life coach varies widely. Some life coaches work part-time while others work full-time. Many life coaches are self-employed and own their own business, while others work for organizations or businesses in need of life coaching services. Because the field is so new, many life coaches lead dual careers, focusing on a different field in addition to their life coach work.

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What Does it Take?

To become a life coach, you need to be good at motivating people. Besides that, it’s important to graduate high school or earn your GED before going into business. Experience is a plus in this industry, including life experience of your own and formal training beyond high school. You should study in a program that prepares you to earn professional certification. While certification is not a requirement in this field, it’s the best way to show your clients that you have professional knowledge and experience in helping people.

Learn the Life Coach Skills You Need

Training programs for basic life coaching certification generally last around 60 hours. More advanced life coaching courses will require more hours of study. When choosing a school, it’s wise to check if it’s accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF). This organization accredits online and in-person schools that meet its standards of training. Here are a few options to get you started:

  • American Life Coach Academy, INC. This is a school offering multiple learning options to students, all accredited by the ICF. There are three levels of training available, each lasting 60 credit-hours. Students can study in person on select campuses, virtually online or a combination of both.
  • Success Unlimited Network. Serving students all over the country, this training program offers life coaching training in person, over the phone or by distance learning. Every year, students can attend a four- to five-day education retreat, which earns them credit. Students study 25 hours of the program in specific fields of interest, such as mindfulness, marketing a business, and family.

Pursuing Professional Credentials

Life coach certification can be earned in many places, especially because the field isn’t regulated by any agency. However, the type of certification you pursue will directly impact your reputation and potential income as a life coach. The most well-known certification agency for life coaches is the International Coach Federation (ICF). Earning one of this agency’s three available credentials adds flair to your resume and shows clients you’ve met some top standards. You can earn the Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC) or Master Certified Coach (MCC) credentials based on your education and experience levels.

Life Coaching is Thriving in Alaska

While life coach salaries range widely depending on experience, time spent working and credentials, the average annual income of Alaska life coaches in October 2019 was $63,501, according to ZipRecruiter.com. At the lower end of the spectrum, life coaches made around $11,000, while at the high end they earned up to $154,000 per year. Alaska seems to be a good place to start a career in life coaching, as ZipRecruiter.com reports Alaska to rank number 12 out of all 50 states in life coach salary. The need for life coaches is growing as more people become interested in well-being and self-care, showing promise for the field of life coaching.

Location Matters in Life Coaching

Getting started in a life coaching career is a different experience depending on where you’re located. Because life coaching is a personal service, and services do well in large populations, bigger cities may contain more potential clients for life coaches.

Indeed.com reports that the average salary of “life skills trainers” in Anchorage, Alaska, in 2019 was $15.11 per hour. Anchorage is by far the largest city in Alaska by population, followed distantly by Juneau and Fairbanks. These cities may also offer the population of potential clients you need for a successful career in life coaching.