When starting the journey to become a certified coach, understanding the financial aspects is a vital factor that comes into play. Coaching certifications can offer a transformative experience, but they also come with a price tag. Coaching education varies widely, from short online courses to comprehensive, accredited programmes. Aspiring coaches often think twice over the cost-benefit equation before committing.
In this article, we’ll delve into the financial aspects of coaching certifications. Like any investment, a coaching certification requires a thoughtful evaluation of the returns it promises, both personally and professionally.
BUT FIRST, WHAT DOES CERTIFICATION MEAN?
The bad news is that a coaching certification can mean everything and nothing at the same time. Everyone can create a coaching course and “certify” that their participants have completed it. The course may be one hour long and people can still get a certificate at the end. The good news is that it is quite easy to spot this type of certification, and to rule them out if you are serious about becoming a certified coach. They are usually very short (less than 10 instructional hours) and very cheap (as cheap as $10 sometimes). We don’t recommend going for this type of course as your primary coach training because they do not provide enough face-to-face time with an experienced coach trainer to learn and practice coaching skills.
Beyond the type of training you choose, it is also important to understand that certification doesn’t equal accreditation. Certifications are usually given by training providers after the coach completed their training, while a coaching accreditation is granted by a professional organisation like the ICF or the EMCC. You can be a certified coach without being accredited. It is up to the coach to apply for an accreditation or not. Know that it is a separate process from your coach training, which means there are additional requirements (e.g. experience, continuing development, credentialing exam, etc.) and additional costs.
The cost of a coaching certification
Our market research on dozens of accredited coach training providers has shown that the cost of a 60 to 70-hour coaching certification can vary between €/$4,500 and €/$7,000 including taxes.
For a more complete training (over 125 hours), the cost usually starts at €/$7,000 and can go up to €/$12,000 including taxes.
As you do your own research you may find training providers outside these ranges. The training fees can vary over time and also depend on the local market.
MEASURING THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT
Obviously with these price ranges, the coaching certification is an investment; and with any investment, it is essential to calculate the return you will get from it.
The return on investment can be personal:
- You can learn about models, tools, and theories you will be able to apply to yourself and to your relationships.
- You can develop and improve yourself thanks to the coaching you will receive from other participants.
- You will meet like-minded people and will expand your network.
- You can learn new skills that will help you help others, and what better feeling that being able to support people in need?
The return on investment can be professional:
- You may be able to improve your performance at work.
- You may be able to get a promotion or move to a different role within your organisations.
- You may able to change careers altogether.
- You may also be able to start your own business.
The return on investment can also be financial:
- By having a better performance at work, or getting a promotion, you may be able to get a bonus or increase your salary.
- By starting your coaching business, you may be able to charge clients, even if you do this on the side.
Those are just some ideas of returns of investment you may consider when signing up to a coaching certification. It will be different for everyone, so before signing up to a coach training, we recommend to reflect on what you are hoping to get from it, and your motivation and readiness to commit to achieving it.
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