How to Become a Life Coach in Montana

Life coaching is a rewarding career for those who enjoy helping other people work through difficult situations or achieve their goals. As a life coach, you’ll develop action-oriented plans with clients, hold them accountable, listen to their concerns and ideas, and generally encourage them as they take steps toward making positive changes in their lives.

Life coaches are typically entrepreneurs who choose their own hours, strategies and clients. Most work within a specific area of expertise, such as making career changes or improving one’s dating life and relationships, and there are nearly endless specialties available.

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Life Coaching Requirements

There are no specific state or federal requirements for becoming a life coach. No special certification or training is needed, though several options for each are available throughout the country for coaches who would like official guidance and recognition of their skills. While training is not required, high ethical and professional standards are essential due to the often-sensitive nature of coaching. You can receive training in how to meet these standards by receiving credentialing and training from the International Coach Federation (ICF) or another trusted organization.

Available Training Courses

Several organizations offer life coach training sessions of various lengths and in various specialties. The following offer training across the country:

  • American Life Coaching Academy. The American Life Coach Academy offers in-person and online courses for life coaches that take four months to complete. Part of the curriculum includes peer coaching to give students real-world practice.
  • Coaching Changes Lives. The Coaching Changes Live program offers online and virtual training in multiple specialties, including wellness, executive and public speaking coaching. Students will participate in 70 hours of training, virtual classes and group coaching sessions.

Certifications for Life Coaches

While certification is not required to begin coaching, it can be a valuable way to show potential clients that you’ve received formal training in your career. The IFC offers the following three levels of certification:

  • Associate Certified Coach (ACC). The ACC certification requires at least 60 hours of training and 100 hours of work experience. Most ICF-approved training programs will qualify students for this certification.
  • Professional Certified Coaches (PCC). The PCC accreditation is awarded to coaches who have completed 125 training hours and 500 coaching hours.
  • Master Certified Coach (MCC). Master certified coaches have completed at least 200 training hours and 2,500 hours of work experience.

Salary Expectations

Life coach salaries vary dramatically, as coaches are able to set their own rates and pricing structures. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for life coaches in 2015 – the last year for which information is available – was $61,900.

Working as a Life Coach in Montana

Life coaching is a flexible career that allows each individual coach to determine their own growth strategies, coaching methods and other details of their business. You can meet your clients in person, over the phone or online, making it an easy career to pursue no matter where you live. The majority of clients will likely be in urban areas, such as Billings or Bozeman, Montana. Job opportunities with coaching or consulting companies may also be available in these areas. No matter where or how you choose to work, life coaching can be a rewarding career if you enjoy helping others take positive steps toward their goals.