How to Become a Life Coach
Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Becoming a Life Coach
If you enjoy working with people and are looking for a career that provides flexibility, life coaching may be a good option for you. Coaches are often flexible as to when and where they work, can earn a good salary, and their services are likely to be in high demand over the coming decades. Most life coaches are self-employed, making this career an option for those wishing to start their own business.
Life coaches help their clients identify and achieve personal, health, financial and career goals. Depending on the client's needs and desires, coach and client work together to identify realistic goals, strategize how the client might achieve those goals, and then meet regularly to check on the client's progress. A life coach provides accountability, motivation and problem-solving ideas.
Life coaching is an unregulated field, and coaches are not required to hold a professional license. Many life coaches complete a training program, however, which can lead to professional certification. The International Coach Federation is a respected professional organization that lists accredited schools for coach-training programs. If you're considering this career field, check the ICF's website.
Because life coaches do not have to hold a degree, this career can be an option for people who enjoy working with and helping others, but who do not have the time or resources to go to graduate school. However, additional education or training in a niche area can be helpful. For example, if you plan to offer weight-loss coaching, having experience or a degree in the areas of health, fitness or nutrition can be helpful. If you are providing life coaching to entrepreneurs, a business degree, plus experience in starting your own business, provides credibility.
The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track the income of life coaches. However, the International Coach Federation commissioned a study that showed the average reported annual earnings from life coaching work in North America was $61,900. It should be noted, however, that many life coaches do not practice full time. PayScale.com's surveys indicate that the median hourly wage for life coaching is $33.78.
Life coaches are often self-employed and work from home. Meetings may take place with clients over the phone or via online apps such as Skype. Coaches may also work from a separate office or meet with their clients at their clients' homes or workplaces. Many coaches only practice part time. This kind of flexibility can be ideal for working parents who need to schedule work activities around the needs of their families.
Years of Experience
According to data collected by PayScale.com, you can expect to see a significant increase in your earnings as you progress in your life coaching career. Experienced and very experienced life coaches reap the greatest financial rewards:
- 0–5 years' experience: $47,000
- 5–10 years' experience: $49,000
- 10–20 years' experience: $63,000
- Over 20 years of experience: $76,000
Job Growth Trend
The BLS does not track life coaching as a distinct profession. Instead, it groups coaches with workers in other related fields, such as counseling. The demand for school and career counselors is expected to grow by 11 percent between 2016 and 2016, which is faster than other professions. As awareness of life coaching as a profession grows, along with the positive impact that it can have on those who take advantage of it, the demand for coaching by qualified coaches may increase significantly.
Lainie Petersen is a full-time freelance writer living in Chicago. She holds a master’s degree in library and information science from Dominican University and spent many years working in the publishing, media and education industries. Her writing focuses on business, career and personal finance issues. Her work appears on a variety of sites, including MoneyCrashers, Chron, GoBankingRates and 8th & Walton News Now.