How to Become a Life Coach in Tennessee
A career as a life coach can be rewarding and also a good way to make a steady living. There is a lot of flexibility in this industry. Many coaches work part-time and have other jobs and work for themselves running a small business. But it’s also possible to get a nine-to-five job coaching for a company.
In Tennessee, it’s not difficult to become a coach. You’ll just need to be willing to do some training, typically taking a year or less. As long as you can do that, are a good listener and leader, enjoy working with and helping people, and are an organized person, you have what it takes to become a successful life coach.
How Do I Qualify to Be a Life Coach in Tennessee?
In Tennessee, you do not have to meet any official or specific requirements to begin working as a life coach. However, to get hired by a company or by clients, you’ll need to have finished high school and completed some degree of post-secondary training. Training programs for coaches range from a couple of weeks to several months and are not usually offered at colleges or universities.
Finding Training Programs in Tennessee
Because the industry is not regulated, look for life coach training programs from schools that are approved by the International Coach Federation, or ICF.
- Lipscomb University, Nashville. The only university in the state to offer coaching education, Lipscomb includes both an online and an in-person program for Performance Coaching. The programs are ICF-approved and prepare students to be certified. Students will be prepared to work in a variety of settings, but as a faith-based university, Lipscomb also helps prepare graduates to work in ministry.
- Radiant Coaches Academy, Nashville and Memphis. Radiant is a nationwide program for training coaches through a holistic approach. There are online-only programs, but also in-person sessions available in several locations, including Memphis and Nashville. The in-person option is an intensive, one-week program that will get you all the training hours needed for ICF certification. Enrollment in this program also gives you access to all the online resources and programming.
Certification for Tennessee Life Coaches
Life coaches in Tennessee do not have to be certified, but it’s a good idea to get a credential through a major organization, like the ICF. This is one of the most widely-recognized certifying organizations, and it offers three levels.
The first level is Associate Certified Coach, which is a good place to start. To achieve this certification you must have gone through at least 60 hours of education and training and 100 hours of experience working with clients. For Professional level certification, those numbers jump to 125 hours of training and 500 hours of coaching. The Master level requires 200-plus hours of training and at least 2,500 hours of coaching.
Career Outlook and Salaries in Tennessee
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for life coaches was $61,900 in 2015. This data comes from about 17,500 coaches working in the U.S. that year, although it includes full-time coaches and those who coach part-time and hold down other jobs. For this reason, the statistic can be a little misleading. There is a lot of variation in what coaches earn. Ziprecruiter.com reported an annual average salary for life coaches in Tennessee of $59,605.
Finding Work in Tennessee
As people learn more about what life coaches can do for them, qualified professionals are increasingly in demand, in Tennessee and elsewhere. You can probably find clients throughout the state, but a good place to start is in one of the state’s larger cities: Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga.
You may choose to work for yourself, as many coaches do, but you can also find employment as a life coach and enjoy a steadier, full- or part-time schedule. For instance, some jobs recently listed in the state include a wellness coach needed for Centerstone in Nashville, a community-based behavioral health center. Consulting companies, coaching businesses and even large business wanting to offer their employees extra benefits may hire life coaches.