Transformational counselors use various therapies when working with clients. They help guide clients to understand the power that they have to influence positive change. The transformational counselor, sometimes referred to as a life coach, uses individualized treatment plans and guides clients to understand that their own outlook has the potential to influence their road toward change or their path to recovery. Using therapies such as talk therapy, art therapy, and wellness-oriented coaching when counseling clients, these counselors help clients to improve their overall well-being and mental health.

Follow the steps to become a transformational counselor, which starts with completing appropriate degree programs. Students are likely to discover that there is growth in the career opportunities for transformational counselors.

Step 1: Complete a Transformational Counselor Degree

Many colleges and universities do not have a specific transformational counselor program, while other schools have similar titles, such as a life coach or transformational psychology degree.

  • Associate’s Degree: Students who want to become transformational counselors usually earn an associate's degree in psychology. Another program option is to earn an associate's degree in wellness coaching or a similar program.
  • Bachelor's Degree: Most students who want to become a transformational counselor earn a bachelor's degree in counseling, addictions counseling, or life and wellness coaching. There are several schools that may offer programs or degrees in transformational counseling or health and wellness. Students must make sure that any program that they are interested in is an accredited program. Failing to verify the accreditation status of a program may lead to a student completing a program that does not lead to a job as a transformational counselor. 
  • Master's Degree: Students who search for a master's degree in transformational counseling are likely to discover programs listed as a Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership or a master's degree in transformational psychology. Some programs require that students complete all components of the degree in a traditional setting.
  • Graduate Certificate: Students who complete a minimum of a bachelor's degree often have the opportunity to complete a graduate certificate program. Gain well-rounded knowledge and expertise in all components of transformational counseling by completing a graduate certificate. Students should check with schools that they want to attend to learn if there is a graduate certificate program available in transformational counseling. Some schools offer the graduate certificate in an online format.
  • Doctorate Degree: Earning a Ph.D. in transformational counseling is for professionals, researchers and practitioner-leaders, who want to have advanced skills in leadership, specifically in areas such as human services, coaching, training, and business. Transformational counselor scholars gain expertise to work in a variety of settings. Doctorate students develop skills to motivate individuals and team members to motivate clients to achieve their highest potential.

Step 2: Become Licensed as a Transformational Counselor

There are no specific requirements for licensure as a transformational counselor. Students should check with the state where they want to practice for information about licensure for transformational counselors. This growing field may lead to licensure requirements in the near future.

Students who want to work as a transformational counselor who follow a counseling degree or other pathway are required to meet licensure requirements for their specific degree and state. One example is that a student who earns a master's degree or a doctorate degree in psychology must meet licensure requirements for psychologists.

Internship/Practicum Experience

Students who enroll in a transformational counselor, transformational leadership, counseling, or psychology degree program are likely to have an internship or practicum experience required for completion of the program.

Bachelor's degree programs require students to complete an internship during one or two semesters before the end of their program.

Master's and doctorate degree students typically have a practicum or other field experience. The number of hours depends on the specific program and licensure requirements.


The fact that transformational counseling is new in many areas across the country is one reason that there is no specific examination to become a transformational counselor.

Students who earn another degree on their path towards becoming a transformational counselor are responsible for successfully completing the required examinations for that degree.

The National Board for Certified Counselors administers the examinations for every state. Check with the Board for any new examination requirements for transformational counselors.

State Requirements

The fact that transformational counseling is new in many areas across the country is one reason that there is no specific examination or licensure to become a transformational counselor.

Students are likely to discover that there may be changes to state requirements once transformational counseling becomes more prevalent across the country.

Step 3: Apply for a Transformational Counselor Job

Students who want to work as a transformational counselor should check with job sites and employment counselors to find a job in the state or area where they want to practice.

Check for similar job titles, such as transformational leader or life coach, to find more job opportunities.

What Careers Can I Pursue with a Transformational Counselor Degree?

Students who earn a degree to become a transformational counselor work in professions that help to motivate individuals, groups, and teams to develop and reach their full potential, to help clients initiate change, and to have success in their path towards recovery. Some examples include:

  • Transformational counselor
  • Transformational leader
  • Life coach
  • Wellness coach
  • Substance abuse counselor

Where Can I Work with a Transformational Counselor Degree?

Transformational counselors work in a variety of settings. Some examples include:

  • Clinics
  • Recovery centers
  • Health and wellness centers
  • Counseling centers
  • Business
  • Private practice

Step 4: Learn about Transformational Counselor Salaries

Transformational counselors work in a wide range of job settings, which is likely to result in salaries that are commensurate with that particular job setting. The location where a transformational counselor works may also affect salary.

Glassdoor indicates that the median salary for transformational leaders is $117,725 per year, with estimated total pay at $196,213.

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