How to Become a Life Coach in South Dakota

Does it feel like you’re the person everyone turns to for advice? If you’re a great listener and motivator, you’d likely make an ideal life coach. Life coaches offer people professional help with their life goals, whether that means losing some weight or achieving big career moves. These success specialists guide clients through identifying goals, breaking them down into manageable steps and taking action to make their dreams happen.

Many life coaches are self-employed, but some also work for large organizations like universities and corporations, offering in-house motivation and guidance to students and employees. Clients may meet with life coaches in person or hold regular phone calls or video conferences to discuss progress. There are life coaches who can help in any area of life, including relationships, spirituality and fitness, while others specialize in a particular niche. This career field is expanding quickly in South Dakota, so put your problem-solving skills to work and start training as a life coach now.

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How Does One Become a Life Coach?

While there aren’t any regulations that define who can or cannot practice as a life coach, potential clients pay attention to life coaches’ proven achievements, including training and certification credentials they’ve earned. To become a reputable life coach in South Dakota, you’ll need to train in a program accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and earn certification from the ICF or another prestigious organization. It’s a good idea to get started with a high school diploma or GED and even a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

Studying for Success

While there aren’t many in-person college life coaching programs available in South Dakota, many are available entirely online. Here are two online schools you might consider:

  • Ignite Global. This training program offers a fully online life coach program that prepares students for the ICF’s Associate Certified Coach (ACC) certification. The course is 60 hours long, doesn’t require prerequisites and takes place one-on-one with an ICF-certified coach. Training is every Saturday for 12 consecutive weeks. Ten-hour, optional mentor training and lifetime access to the Virtual Learning Platform are also included.
  • Life Purpose Institute. There are two online options for basic life coach training: a three-month or six-month program that each last 60 hours. These result in a basic Certified Life Coach credential offered by the school. However, to earn ACC credential from the IFC, students should take the 20-week advanced life coach program available online. Life Purpose Institute prefers students who already hold a bachelor’s degree, because their curriculum is advanced and intensive.

Get Certified by the ICF

The ICF is known as the leading standard of quality for life coaches. Even when they pursue other certifications, life coaches should ideally have ICF credentials too. The most basic certification offered by the ICF is the ACC credential, which requires at least 60 hours of ICF-accredited life coach training and 100 hours of actual experience coaching. More advanced credentials are also available with more study and coaching time requirements. With time, you can eventually earn the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) or Master Certified Coach (MCC) credentials.

South Dakota Life Coach Salary and Outlook

ZipRecruiter.com estimates that South Dakota life coaches made an annual average of $59,058 in 2019. However, reported incomes with the state ranged from $10,418 to $140,637, suggesting that experience, credentials and hours worked greatly impact the yearly salaries for life coaches. ZipRecruiter also claims that the job market for these specialists is very active in South Dakota. It’s surely to continue increasing over time as more and more people discover life coach services.

Choosing Where to Start Your Career

Sioux Falls, Rapid City and Aberdeen are good places in South Dakota to start your career, because they contain the highest populations in the state. Cities with higher populations will likely supply more clients in need of life coaching services. Salary.com reports that in Sioux Falls, life coaches earned an average of $34,416 in 2019, though it’s not clear if their research parameters are the same as ZipRecruiter’s. Wherever you choose to work, your experience and certification levels will likely determine your success. Start training now to jumpstart your career as a life coach and begin helping people reach their goals.