How To Become A Certified Life Coach After Med School

Updated on June 2, 2020
Pittsburgh life Coach

Life coaching is fastly becoming a field of interest for many today. It is an evolving profession that is focused on helping people become better in their lives. It ultimately guarantees job satisfaction for many of those who have chosen to switch career paths to the field or make it a secondary career.

Medical graduates are not exempt from the search for job satisfaction as a life coach. A recurring question by many in this category is “how to become a certified life coach after med school.” This article answers those lingering questions:

1. Carry Out a Self-Assessment and Ask Questions

Before you launch out on the journey to becoming a life coach, you should look inward. Some of the core competencies you should look within yourself include an adept listening ear, strong verbal communication skills, a sincerely concerned heart, a creative and problem-solving mentality. Also, try to find out if you are suited for a life coaching portfolio by asking personal questions. 

If you can positively answer these questions, then you can go ahead to pursue a certification. They include:

  • What are your reasons for becoming a life coach?
  • Is it the right time to leave the current job you are on for a full-time life coaching career?
  • Are you naturally suited for a coaching job?
  • Do you have the necessary funds to become a coach?
  • Which coaching niche do you want to focus on?

You probably have limited information on how to obtain certification in coaching. As a tip, the best approach to take is to ask questions. 

Ask people in your network who have moved into a coaching career about the certifications they have obtained and how they went about it. Call up the helpdesk of various credentialing organizations to find out more.

2. Plan Out Your Career Transitioning

Switching up careers from medicine to life coaching requires a very delicate approach. A delicate approach is to enable you to properly time your transition into the field. The timing and financial implications of switching to a coaching career are important considerations to make.

Planning your career transition would also help you understand the immediate remuneration you expect from a coaching career. Like every other profession, a coaching career requires some time to grow. However, it is highly dependent on how you choose to market your business and how motivated you are in obtaining proper certification in the coaching profession.

3. Choose Your Preferred Mode Of Learning

Deciding which type of training you want to engage in is important before enrolling in a training course. You would find out later in your coaching career that you need to determine the mode of training you want to offer your clients. It is the same way you need to decide how you want to be taught. 

There are three different modes of learning coaching today. They include:

  • Physical Training: This often places a high demand on an individual’s time. This type of training typically costs higher. 

You don’t need to spend too long a time due to a strict teaching schedule. However, you would get a good dose of personal training supervision in a physical training module.

  • Online or Virtual Training: This mode of training gained widespread acclaim due to lower tuition costs and learning convenience. The materials used for teaching are pre-recorded. Hence, they lack any form of supervision. 

Virtual learning is great for disciplined individuals who can commit to doing their assignments and projects independently. This is because a lack of supervision easily reduces the effectiveness of training.

  • Mixed Format Training: This mode of training is somewhat in the mid-point between online and physical training. This is perhaps the most effective method to obtain a certification in coaching. 

The classes are live sessions with accompanying live tutor support. They offer reduced pressure from regularly attending physical classes and guarantee a good degree of supervision.

4. Obtain Some Preliminary Training

Organizations like the ICF, AC, and the IAPC&M have a list of accredited training programs. These accredited programs are prerequisites to accreditation with many of these professional bodies. 

It is the knowledge you gather here that will guarantee your success in exams organized by these bodies while you want to obtain the necessary credentials. It is important to undergo these programs because most organizations do not train coaches directly.

An accredited coaching program has undergone a stringent review process. Their syllabi are aligned with the coaching organization’s definition of coaching. They follow the code of ethics of these organizations and prioritize core competencies that are important to these organizations. An accredited coaching program is surely a guarantee that you are in good hands.

Training in the coaching field includes inner dynamics, mindfulness, and NLP training. With NLP training, you can practically help clients build a pattern to respond to situations effectively.

5. Become A Coaching Organization’s Member and Get Certified

Practically speaking, life coaches do not require any form of certification to practice. However, it is always great to obtain certification when venturing into a life coaching career path. Credentials attest to the skills a life coach professes to possess.

Many credentialing organizations offer membership plans that the professionals can subscribe to. Membership in these organizations is an independent step to credentialing. They give you instant access to a good number of coaching resources – both membership and credentialing boost your coaching business’s credibility.

6. Continuing Education

Medical doctors are required to continue learning even after medical school graduation. In the same way, life coaches are expected to do some further study in the life coaching profession. This is a required step to learn new practices and maintain your level of skill.

Also, many of the credentials in life coaching have different credential levels. It is important to seek additional knowledge in your coaching career if you plan to apply for the next level of credentials. Various organizations giving out credentials often require you to have satisfied a higher knowledge requirement before you can obtain the next credential level.


The fact that you already own a medical degree is proof that you possess a satisfactory knowledge base for pursuing a life coaching certification. Before venturing into the journey to a coaching credential, you should ensure to check if you are suited for the career path.

Having answered the questions, begin to plan your career transition. Decide on your preferred mode of learning and enroll in a suitable and accredited training program. Become a member of a credentialing organization and obtain their credentials. Never stop learning in your coaching career because there are always more certifications to pick up.

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