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Annual Salary of Life & Retirement Coaches

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

In a recent article for "Forbes," Dan Janel, a business consultant for coaches, asserts, “Coaching is exploding.” With the economy in flux, many professionals are launching careers as consultants, including life coaching. As a life coach, you consult on both personal and professional challenges facing clients, and your advice doesn’t go unrewarded. Life coaches can make six-figure salaries.

Salary Ranges

While life coaches can earn anywhere from $26,000 to $274,000 a year, the average earnings were $47,900 a year as of 2013, according to a survey by Sherpa Executive Coaching. This was a decrease of nearly 14 percent from the previous year, when the average was closer to $55,450. By comparison, business coaches earned $74,550 in 2013 -- up 5 percent from 2012, when salaries averaged $71,000 annually. On the other hand, the job-seekers' site Indeed provides a much higher figure for life coaches, estimating the average salary at $65,000 in 2013.

Hourly Rates

As of 2013, the average hourly rate for life coaches was $229 an hour, according to a survey by the Universal Coach Institute. But rates vary by experience. Coaches with less than one year of experience reported an average rate of $128 an hour. Those with one to two years of experience averaged $152 an hour, while those with three to four years of experience brought home $194 an hour. At five to 10 years of experience, rates averaged $256 an hour. Of all life coaches, rates were the highest for those with more than 10 years of experience, at an average of $321 an hour. With coaches reporting an average of 13 hours per week of coaching, this works out to $216,996 a year.

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Local Variances

As with any occupation, earnings vary by location. Of the states, life coaches in New York earned some of the highest salaries, at an average of $78,000 a year. Those working in New York City earned even more, at an average of $84,000 a year. Life coaches in Massachusetts also fared better than most, bringing home $76,000, while those in California earned $69,000 annually. The same, however, didn't hold for life coaches in South Dakota, where the average was just $47,000 a year.

Career Outlook

Though information is limited on life coaches, the BLS expects employment for career coaches to be favorable, with an average job growth of 19 percent through 2020 -- much faster than the national average for all U.S. occupations, projected at 14 percent.

2016 Salary Information for School and Career Counselors

School and career counselors earned a median annual salary of $54,560 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, school and career counselors earned a 25th percentile salary of $41,650, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $70,930, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 291,700 people were employed in the U.S. as school and career counselors.

About the Author

Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Dana Severson has been writing marketing materials for small-to-mid-sized businesses since 2005. Prior to this, Severson worked as a manager of business development for a marketing company, developing targeted marketing campaigns for Big G, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, among others.

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