How to Become a Life Coach

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Life coaching is a rapidly expanding field, and although there is no legally required course work to declare yourself a life coach, there is a recognized certification organization: the International Coaching Federation. Here are a few Manhattan-based programs to get certification:

Columbia Coaching Certification Program
525 W. 120th St., 212-678-8240, $900?$8,700
The Teachers College at Columbia University and Columbia Business Schools together offer the Columbia Coaching Certification program. Students focus on learning guiding principles such as ethics, core competencies that help establish successful relationships with clients and the overall coaching process. Columbia offers five-day intensives for individuals looking to establish life coaching as a profession (external coaching) and for those looking to incorporate it into their existing jobs (internal coaching). Students have the option to continue on to coaching practicum, a semester of in-field coaching work, and a five-day wrap up advanced coach intensive for a certification in coaching. The program can be completed in as little as eight months, although schedules can be stretched out over longer periods of time.

Coaching for Transformation at the New York Open Center
22 E. 30th St., 212-219-2527, $5,485
The accredited program trains 36 people in each class in addition to one- and two-day seminars, which draw about 25 people twice a year. The courses are designed to accommodate the lives of busy, working professionals.

NYU School of Continuing and Professional Services
7 E. 12th St. #923, 212-998-7100, $895?$995
Students can choose to specialize in Personal/Life Coaching or Organizational/Executive Coaching as part of the leadership program and are required to complete seven classes. Mandatory instruction focuses on decision-making and communication and motivational skills, and may be complemented with courses in marketing and human relations.

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