Welcome to the fourth installment of our comprehensive, four-part series examining Job Growth Trends in the Life Coaching Industry. We’re charting the remarkable evolution and emerging opportunities in the coaching field, providing key insights for those considering a career as a professional coach.
Part 1: Laying the Foundation - The Rise of Life Coaching as a Career
Part 2: Corporate Coaching Roles: Internal and External
Part 3: Health and Wellness Coaches and Academic Coaches
Part 4: Other Coaching Niches and Online Platforms
Coaching Industry Insights: Alternative Coaching Specialties and Digital Platforms
In our final installment, we explore the realm of niche coaching and online platforms, where personal growth meets global access. While niche coaches are flourishing and paving the way for those who will follow, online coaching platforms are also booming (valued at $3.2 billion!) as they connect coaches with clients worldwide.
What are niche coaches?
Niche coaches are specialized coaches who focus on a particular type of coaching for a particular type of client – catering to specific areas of personal or professional development.
Unlike general life or business coaches who cover a wide range of topics, niche coaches concentrate on a distinct and specific aspect of coaching based on interests, expertise, or industry demand. This specialization allows them to offer more targeted and in-depth guidance in their area of focus, and makes it easier for clients to find them!
There are many creative coaching niches that exist, including:
Relationship Coaching: Specializing in helping individuals or couples improve their romantic, familial, or interpersonal relationships.
Career Coaching: Assisting clients in making career decisions, transitioning between jobs, or developing professional skills.
Financial Coaching: Offering guidance on budgeting and debt management (Note: financial coaches do not assist with investments or technical aspects of finance.)
Spiritual Coaching: Supporting clients in exploring their spirituality, finding purpose, and living in alignment with their beliefs and values.
Parent Coaching: Working with parents to develop parenting strategies, manage family dynamics, and improve communication with children.
Diversity and Inclusion Coaching: Assisting organizations in building more diverse and inclusive workplaces.
There are many opportunities to create your own niche – the sky’s the limit when it comes to using your specialized expertise to meet the needs of your future clients.
What’s the benefit of having a niche?
In short? It’s easier to find the right kind of clients, which can increase your earning potential.
By honing in on a particular niche, coaches can differentiate themselves in the coaching market, attract clients seeking their specific expertise, and may command higher fees due to their specialization. Coaches with a specific niche often undergo additional training and certification within their niche to deepen their understanding and effectiveness in that particular area.
What are the opportunities for niche coaches?
While the early days of coaching might have been dominated by generalists, the present and future may lie in specialization.
The need for coaches operating within specific niches can be explained partially by our interconnected, digital world. Everyday, people and organizations face diverse challenges in today's complex world.
Whether it's navigating the intricacies of digital communication, managing health and wellness, developing healthy relationships, or finding a balance in work-life dynamics, niche coaches are offering expertise that’s uniquely tailored to many different challenges.
What’s the salary for a niche coach?
We covered this topic in detail in Job Growth Trends in the Life Coaching Industry Part 1: Opportunities, Existing Market, Growth.
Niche coaching can present very lucrative career opportunities. Some of the highest paid coaching roles are within the executive and business coaching spaces, and many other specializations are experiencing increasing demand. Because there are so many different niches, it can be helpful to look at overall coaching income information to understand the industry’s ongoing growth potential.
In 2022, active coach practitioners collectively generated an income of $4.5 billion from coaching. That’s a 12% increase over 2019’s numbers!
Coaches based in North America reported an average annual income of $67,800 in 2023.Life coaches serving individual clients are earning an average of $150 per hour.
What’s the job outlook for a niche coach?
The job outlook for niche coaches similar to the outlook for general coaches: opportunities are growing
You can read all the relevant details in Job Growth Trends in the Life Coaching Industry Part 1: Opportunities, Existing Market, Growth.
Here’s what you need to know:
The coaching market in the United States is projected to experience a compound annual growth rate of 4.85% from 2023 to 2030, with a revenue forecast of $2.1 billion.
While North America leads in terms of practicing coaches, there are a number of emerging markets that have shown rapid growth over the past five years. This includes growth in Asia (+86% growth), the Middle East and Africa (+74% growth), and Eastern Europe (+59% growth).
Overall, the employment outlook for coaches is strong, backed by solid research and observable growth patterns.
What’s the outlook for online coaching platforms?
In the digital age, geographical boundaries are far less important than they used to be. The rise of online platforms has made many services more accessible, including coaching! With online coaching platforms, coaches can become employees or contractors, working on a global level and shifting how coaching services are delivered to clients.
The global online coaching market was valued at $3.2 billion in 2022, and is projected to reach $11.7 billion by 2032, growing 14% from 2023 to 2032.
The COVID-19 pandemic played a vital role in quickly shifting how and where coaches worked. The ICF found that since the pandemic began, 74% of coach practitioners have increased their use of audio-video platforms for coaching.
The recent 2023 ICF Snapshot Survey found that 64% of coaches agreed that digital coaching platforms are good for the coaching industry, and 69% of coaches agreed that digital coaching platforms should be regulated to ensure the safety of coaches and coachees.
Many online platforms provide full time and part time coaching opportunities, creating new income paths for coaches. With investments continuing into online coaching platforms and many coaches leaning in, the outlook in this space is strong.
What are the major online coaching platforms?
- BetterUp offers personalized coaching, mentorship, and professional development services to improve mental fitness and organizational leadership.
- CoachHub specializes in diverse coaching services, including performance and well-being, with less emphasis on mental health compared to BetterUp.
- Hone provides live classes led by coaching experts for small groups.
- AbleTo provides virtual mental health care by connecting individuals with behavioral coaches for personalized treatment plans.
- GrowthSpace balances individual coaching with broader organizational learning and development programs.
- Lyra offers a comprehensive suite of mental health services, including various therapy modalities and digital exercises.
- Spring Health provides personalized mental health care plans for employees, integrating multiple therapeutic approaches.
- Headspace for Organizations formed from the merger of Headspace and Ginger, combining self-guided mental health tools with professional support services.
The rise of online coaching platforms represents more than just a technological shift – it's a real change in how coaching is seen and consumed. As the world becomes increasingly connected, these platforms are ensuring that quality coaching is accessible, affordable, and adaptable to the needs of people all over the world.
Ready to Become A Coach?
One of our values at Lumia is that we dare to be different. Our life coaches ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you are ready to step into your power and you’d like a partner in the process, come check out Lumia Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and business instruction to prepare you for liftoff.