Can you be a life coach without certification? - YES
Life coaching is still an unregulated industry, and no state licensing is needed in life coaching practice. However, going into practice demands great responsibility. Since you are changing your clients' lives, you must possess the skills, strong knowledge, and significant expertise and have undergone extensive quality training on specific coaching areas that you want to pursue.
Having all these qualities and qualifications makes it unnecessary to get a degree to become a life coach. Indeed, a degree will give you the needed soft skills in business but not a guarantee that you'd become competent and skilled in your field of practice.
How to Coach Without Certification?
Certifications would not give you the confidence, but knowledge and skills do; thus, there are many reasons why life coaches do not chase certification, and these are some of the most common things you can do to start coaching practices.
- Invest in training - increase your value, ace in your training. Become a successful life coach and reassure your client by taking life coach training courses.
Training courses can be taken from accredited training providers like the Association for Coaching (AC), International Coaching Federation (ICF), International Authority for Professional Coaching and mentoring (IAPC&M), and many others. From them, you can get the best training and the best coaching certification that you would need in the future.
- When you are a life coach who has established your name in the industry, you certainly get a following from your clients and prospective clients. Your good reviews are enough to establish your brand and build your reputation; thus, it does not require certification. Clients will look for experience and recognized names but not certificates. So build the best brand for your practice.
- Start Working - don't start to earn, but start coaching to learn. Do coaching even if you earn less because, in reality, you do not make money, but you gain the experience. And that's what builds your solid foundation in life coaching.
The university can provide you with in-depth knowledge. In contrast, a certificate offers external validation - but your skills, experience, and expertise provide you the excellent opportunity to be the best life coach.