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Job Growth Trends in the Coaching Industry Part 2: Corporate Coaching – Internal and External Roles

Discover the opportunities, facts, data and salary information for an internal coach or external coach working within corporate coaching environments.

Welcome to the second 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 within this field, providing key insights for those considering becoming a professional coach. Want to explore the entire series? Start with Part 1: Laying the Foundation - Opportunities, Existing Market, Growth.

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

Navigating the Corporate Coaching Landscape: Trends in Internal and External Job Growth

“[The best advice I ever got?] Have a coach.” – Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO

The coaching industry has witnessed a substantial evolution in the last decade, with an up-leveling of the professional field and an expansion beyond the realm of top executives and high-powered businesspeople. 

Now more than ever, companies agree that coaching can help employees at all levels achieve more, both personally and professionally.

This sea change reflects a broader recognition of coaching's pivotal role in both leadership and employee development across a wide range of industries. It also speaks to coaching’s efficacy and impact on a business’ bottom line. 

Plus, corporate and business coaching is big money – clocking in at $13.9 billion dollars a year.

Coaching is experiencing significant growth

"Everyone needs a coach." - Bill Gates, 2013 TED Talk

When considering the growth of a market segment, it’s important to consider the field as a whole, and expert research firms say that we’ll see an overall $25 billion dollar coaching market by 2030.

These firms put personal coaching/training at 38% of the global personal development market industry, which was valued at $43.77 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to reach $67.02 billion by 2030. 

But, how does that translate to corporate roles? Companies at the highest levels are investing in coaching – 78% of the top companies in the United States are investing in coaching for their employees, focusing on areas from well-being and diversity to successful new employee onboarding.

Verizon is another company investing in coaching – “95% of new directors and their managers agree that the coaching program significantly increased their productivity.  And 99% of managers agree that coaching has improved communication, presence, resilience, team performance, and strategic thinking.” 

With so many companies making these investments and seeing the impact of coaching, we are beginning to see a wave of opportunity for coaches who are prepared to enter the world of corporate coaching.

Internal vs. External Corporate Coaching

When it comes to working in a corporate environment, what’s the big difference between being an internal coach or an external coach? 

Internal Corporate Coach

Internal corporate coaches are employed by a company to develop employees from within the organization, on an ongoing basis. These coaches deeply understand the existing company culture, internal processes, and ongoing dynamics, which enables them to create coaching strategies that align with the company’s objectives and ultimate goals. They are often seen as a long-term investment in learning and development.

External Corporate Coach

External corporate coaches are not employees of the company they coach, but are brought in “as needed” and on a temporary basis to provide an objective perspective. These coaches are typically brought in to work on specific issues, facilitate change, or develop skills that aren’t in the wheelhouse of existing leadership. Combining knowledge from different industries, they can quickly and flexible provide the company with immediate coaching

The Rise of Internal Coaches

Corporations are increasingly incorporating internal coaches into their strategic framework. The transition from perceiving personal development as a “nice to have” to a core strategy is shown in the growing number of companies integrating internal coaches.

Coaching is part of an investment to retain talent, drive leadership and improve ROI through employee engagement. According to Gallup research, “organizations and teams with higher employee engagement perform at higher levels. Organizations that are the best in engaging their employees achieve earnings-per-share growth that is more than four times that of their competitors.”

Here at Lumia, we’ve kept a running list of coaching roles at the highest levels, including a Head of Coaching position at Facebook/Meta, and an Executive Coach role at Netflix that had a compensation range topping out at $510,000. These roles are responsible for building out an internal coaching program at both organizations that will shape the course of the company in years to come.

The emphasis in internal coaching is on leadership development and employee engagement, with internal coaches playing a crucial role in enhancing executive capabilities and team dynamics.

For those eager to start a coaching culture within their existing workplace, this is a viable option! Lumia graduates have had good success with creating those opportunities both in the workplace and with outside organizations.

More Resources:
How to Create An Internal Coaching Program At Your Workplace (And Why You Should)

Internal Coaching: Employment Opportunities for Coaches Within Businesses and Organizations

The Value of External Corporate Coaches

While many companies are investing in internal coaching, external coaches continue to provide much needed value to corporations. 

An external coach can provide objective, unbiased insights and guidance. They bring a fresh perspective that is not influenced by existing company culture or internal politics. 

They bring diverse experiences from many different industries, often as a result of having worked with multiple organizations. External coaches can offer new strategies that can be extremely valuable during periods of transition or when tackling complex challenges.

The flexibility of an external coach is also attractive – companies can hire them as needed without long-term commitments, which can be more adaptable to the company's changing needs.

For an individual who wants to work on their own terms, and can translate their years of business expertise as a coach, working as an external coach can be a great option.

More Resources:
What Does an Executive Coach Do?
The RISE of Coaching in the Workplace

Creating your coaching opportunities in the world of business

As organizations continue to invest in coaching, the demand for qualified coaches is expected to increase, presenting an excellent opportunity for those looking to enter the field​.

For individuals who have experience in corporate environments, making a transition with coach training and credentialing can provide a whole new career opportunity.

Both internal and external coaches have carved significant niches, addressing distinct needs within organizations. As companies continue to see the multifaceted benefits of coaching, the demand for both internal and external coaches will continue to rise, reshaping the future of leadership and personal development in the business world.

Also in this series:

Part 1: Laying the Foundation - Opportunities, Existing Market, Growth

Part 3: Wellness Coaches and Academic Coaches
Part 4: Niche Coaches and Online Platforms

Interested in expanding your toolkit? 

Coaching is a rapidly growing field that is continuously evolving. Even for seasoned coaches, there’s always more to discover. If you’ve not already earned your ICF accredited coach certification, there’s no better time than now to get started! Grounded in science, our program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, business instruction to prepare you for liftoff as an entrepreneur, and fellow students dedicated to becoming a collective force for good.

Lumia Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.

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