How to Become a Life Coach

Life Coach Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year $48,260
Education 0-1 Year
Job Outlook 33%

A life coach helps their clients to work towards a better future.

They do this by focusing on their needs and goals, and helping them to developing a plan to work towards the things in life that they want to achieve.

Life coaches are usually very goal-orientated people themselves, often have a positive attitude, and have had some success in their own life from which they draw upon.

If you enjoy working closely with people, and think you would take satisfaction in helping them achieve their goals, they you might be suited to becoming a life coach.

You will also need to be very well organized in this role, and also be skilled at sales and marketing.

Having a strong network of friends and associates will also help, as you will get a lot of your business based on word of mouth.

Education Requirements to Become a Life Coach

There is not really a formal educational prerequisite to become a life coach.

However, life coaches often have a lot of life experience, which is what they draw upon in their role.

While you don’t need a college degree to be a life coach, you are going to have to be able to prove to your clients that you have the ability and experience to help them with their problems.

Some in the field have worked in similar roles previously, for instance they may have worked as a psychologist, a teacher, or a social worker.

Some may have had successful careers in a range of fields, and draw upon their knowledge.

Some may simply be good motivators who can give sound advice.

Networking is important to life coaches, as is marketing and promotion.

As you will likely be self-employed, you will need to be able to attract people to your services.

If you have a large circle of friends and colleagues you can expect that you will get work from word of mouth referral.

You can take a course if you would like to become a life coach.

These run anywhere from a few days to a year of study.

You will learn motivational techniques, and other tools that will help your clients.

Having this kind of qualification can help to reassure your clients that you know what you are doing.

Life Coach Job Description

People come to a life coach for many reasons.

Some may want to take the next step in their career or start their own business.

Others may be looking for emotional support, and looking for help with challenges in their life.

Some may want to achieve other kinds of goals, such as losing weight or quitting smoking.

All of your clients will have one thing in common though, they will have a problem and will be looking to you for the solution.

Some of your daily tasks as a life coach could include the following:

  • Taking customer inquiries
  • Meeting with clients
  • Determining client’s needs
  • Making goals and plans with clients
  • Identifying factors stopping them from achieving goals
  • Maintaining a website and social media pages
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Social and networking events

Life Coach Salary and Career Path

Most life coaches do not start out their careers as life coaches.

They come from a wide range of professional and academic backgrounds.

While the background of a life coach is varied, most have a love of people, and excellent leadership skills.

Life coaches are almost always self-employed.

They run their business out of an office, a consulting room, or their own home.

Like with any business, things may be hard in the first year or two, but will improve once you establish yourself and grow.

The salary of a life coach is especially difficult to determine.

This will depend on the consultancy fee charged, as well as how many clients you keep, and operating costs.

When you start out, you may charge less than a life coach with years of experience.

To become a life coach can be a very satisfying process.

However to do this, you first need to gain a bit of life experience yourself.

Working for yourself is a rewarding position to be in.

While establishing yourself as a life coach can be risky and involve a lot of hard work, the results at the end may far outweigh the efforts for many.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$72,260
New Hampshire$47,500
New Jersey$66,200
New Mexico$48,710
New York$58,470
North Carolina$49,940
North Dakota$41,350
Rhode Island$53,680
South Carolina$51,810
South Dakota$41,310
West Virginia$53,480
Puerto Rico$35,400

The top earning state in the field is District of Columbia, where the average salary is $72,260.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

District of Columbia - $72,260
New Jersey - $66,200
Massachusetts - $63,160
Hawaii - $60,370
Vermont - $60,280
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Coaches and Scouts, OCC Code 27-2022, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a life coach?

In a nutshell, a life coach is a specialist who helps you identify your life goals and then develop a plan to achieve those.

Life coaches have been professionally trained to help people realize their full potential.

A life coach is not a therapist, mentor or consultant, however, a professional possesses certain traits of all these specialties.

When you hire a life coach, you do that for specific reasons (whether those are professional or personal).

The coach will identify your limiting beliefs, analyze the current situation, and then help you grow by creating a specific action plan.

Unlike therapy, life coaching is focused on the present and future, not the client’s past.

Moreover, life coaching is action-oriented.

How much do life coaches make?

The salary of a life coach would mostly depend on the professional’s experience and reputation.

An entry-level life coach can expect to earn between $25.000 and $40.000 per year.

In case you have a few years of experience, your salary will increase to around $50.000-$60.000.

After 8-10 years of working in the industry, life coaches can make $80.000.

However, there are world-known specialists that earn $200.000 annually and more.

Usually, a life coach would charge an hourly rate that is anywhere between $10 and $100.

Some life coaches work for counseling organizations and get paid a fixed salary; however, coaches can always earn bonuses based on the number of clients and other factors.

How much does it cost to become a life coach?

You wouldn’t need a degree to become a life coach.

The majority of specialists earns certificates through life coach training programs.

The cost of tuition ranges from $1.500 to $8.000 and more per program (the cost does not include accommodation, books, and supplies).

There are some certification courses available online; those will cost you a little less as you would be able to save on accommodation.

The membership in the International Coach Federation will cost you anywhere between $80 and $300.

What is the demand for life coaches?

Throughout the last decades, the number of life coaches has been drastically rising.

Those life coaches that specialize in a specific niche will be more successful, as it would be easier for the specialists to find the right clients.

The sessions can be held online, as well as offline which helps the industry grow even faster.

The life coaches that have a degree in psychology will have a higher chance of finding a well-paid job.

How long does it take to become a life coach?

You don’t necessarily need to go for a degree if you want to become a life coach; however, a degree in psychology can help a lot.

An aspiring life coach would need to complete a training program.

Some programs last for only a few months, while others can be completed in around a year.

In case you decide to go for an online program, the pace will fully depend on you.

To earn a certification from the International Coach Federation, you would need to have 500 hours of coaching experience (and at least 25 clients).

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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