How to Become a Life Coach in Michigan

Do you enjoy working with people? Are you a good listener who likes to support friends and make a difference in people’s lives? Are you organized and flexible? If you can answer yes to these questions, and are looking for a first or new career, consider life coaching.

Many people in Michigan and elsewhere are interested in hiring life coaches to help them improve their lives, meet goals and get through difficult times and situations. A life coach takes on clients, listens to their needs, desires and frustrations, helps them set goals, gives them tasks to do and tracks their progress, giving encouragement along the way. If this sounds like a great career for you, consider starting with some formal training.

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What You Need to Work as a Life Coach

Michigan, as with most states, has no official requirements for becoming a working life coach. A good start is if you are someone who is empathetic and compassionate, patient, organized, a good leader and a good communicator.

While no training is strictly required, getting into life coaching, being hired by companies and attracting clients will be much easier if you have completed an educational program. Because the industry is unregulated, be careful in choosing a program. Consider those that are accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Training Programs in Michigan

Many life coach training programs are available online or for self-study. But there are also a couple of programs in the Detroit area that offer in-person classes and that are accredited. Those programs include:

  • Aim Higher. This life coach training program is ICF-accredited and based in Roseville. The program is 60 hours and includes the flexibility of going to classes on site, or having the instructors come to you if you have six or more people interested in training. You’ll do 30 hours of learning on your own at home and 30 hours with the instructors.
  • American Life Coach Academy. Also accredited by the ICF, the Academy offers several options for training. You can choose the 32-hour self-study course, the 60-hour online training course or the 60-hour in-person program. The in-person course is four days of intensive learning, and there is a location in Detroit.

Life Coaching Certification

Certification is not required for working as a life coach, but holding a credential will make you a better coach and could lead to more jobs and better paying jobs. The ICF offers three levels of coaching certification. To become Associate Certified Coach, ACC, you’ll need 60 hours of training as well as 100 hours of coaching experience.

From the ACC level you can seek Professional Certified Coach status. This requires that you have 125 hours of training and 500 hours of work experience. Finally, with 200 hours of training and 2,500 hours of experience, you may qualify to become a Master Certified Coach. While many training programs are only 60 hours long, coaching schools often have continuing education courses to get you more hours in general training and areas of specialty. These will help you qualify for certification.

Outlook and Salaries in Michigan

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not record life coach salaries or growth by state, but it does report that the average annual income for these professionals was $61,900 per year in 2015. There were also 17,500 coaches working in North America. In Michigan, according to, the average annual salary for life coaches in 2019 is $56,389.

While the outlook or growth is not officially reported, finding work as a life coach is likely to be getting easier as more people focus on wellness and life improvement.

Working as a Life Coach in Michigan

Once you have completed a training program and are working toward certification, you’re ready to start working as a life coach. You’re likely to find the most opportunities in some of the bigger population centers in Michigan, including the Detroit area, Grand Rapids and college towns like Ann Arbor and East Lansing.

As a life coach you may seek positions working for a coaching company or a corporation that offers wellness programs to its employees, but many coaches are self-employed. You may also want to work part-time as a coach, keeping another job for security. There is a lot of flexibility in this career, so you can choose how much you work, when you work and how much you earn.