Can I Make It As A Coach? Part 1: How Much Do Life Coaches Earn?

Considering a career in life coaching? In this three-part series, we unpack industry data, trends, and revenue strategies to help position you for success.

The Everything Life Coaching Podcast, featuring Lumia Coaching founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux, is a deep dive into the experience and business of being a life coach. In this 3-part series, we explore the #1 topic on the minds of aspiring coaches: personal income potential. Subscribe to get new episodes weekly!

“Is it really possible to make a living as a life coach?” 

If you’re asking yourself this right now, you’re in very good company. It’s the #1 question most aspiring life coaches have in common.

In the hunt for hard facts about coaching salaries and viable careers in the life coaching industry, straight answers can be hard to come by. Let's untangle it together.

ALWAYS start with trusted sources of information!

There are so many sources online that talk about life coach salaries. From the Bureau of Labor to PayScale, you’re going to see a wide range of figures. 

It's not that average salary data is difficult to find - the challenge is in discerning which figures are most credible. 

What we look for:

  • Where did the data come from? 
  • How many coaches were surveyed? 
  • Does the sample group adequately represent the coaching industry as a whole?

Team Lumia analyzed a broad range of reliable data sources, and we're here to take the guesswork out of coaching income forecasting for you.

In our view, the International Coaching Federations’s ICF Global Coaching Study is THE go-to source for industry information and analysis. Conducted once every four years, this expansive research study analyzes responses from more than 22,000 coaches worldwide. 

The ICF’s most recent results were published in early 2020. We’re also drawing from a follow up study conducted in 2020 that examined early impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the coaching industry.

For executive coaches, we also recommend checking out Sherpa Coaching’s Annual Coaching Survey

According to the International Coaching Federation, the average annual salary for a coach practicing in North America is $67,800.

How does the average salary for coaches stack up against other professions? Pretty well, as it happens! Check out a few related points of comparison from the U.S. Bureau of Labor:

  • Marriage and Family Therapist = $56,570
  • Human Resource Specialist = $64,240
  • Fitness Trainer = $45,380
  • Real Estate Sales Agent = $62,190

Comparatively speaking, career opportunities in life coaching look not only viable, but downright comfortable.

And this is where many articles covering the topic of life coach salaries end.

But stopping here could turn out to be a big mistake! 

What average salary figures cannot tell you is whether or not you are likely to earn this amount on your own coaching career path. 

What to consider:

  • The average rate for coaches worldwide is $244 per hour. Sounds great!
  • Does that mean $244 is what you should be charging? Not necessarily.
  • Coaching rates are tied most directly to your specialty and years of experience.
  • Personal reputation and market demand for what you're offering can also play a big role in your success.

Experience pays: In North America, coaches with more than 10 years in practice are charging, on average, $300 an hour. 

Niche makes a difference: Business coaches who work primarily with executive clients command $330 per session. In contrast, life coaches serving individual clients are earning an average of $130 per hour.

Here’s something else that’s really important to know!

The majority of successful coaches drive income from multiple revenue streams. Life coaching career opportunities aren’t limited to one-on-one client sessions.

Other income sources might include:

  • Books
  • Speaking engagements
  • Apps
  • Brand sponsorship
  • Training and mentoring
  • Content driven offerings such as in-person and online classes
  • Group coaching and membership programs
  • Retreat facilitation 
  • AND of COURSE... individual clients!

Hungry for more details? 

In Episode 2 of this series, we tackle the question of how all of this actually works in real life as we explore income pathways. And finally, in Episode 3 we put it all together with a discussion of the current coaching industry outlook, and the mindset it takes to succeed in this field.

Ready To Get Started? 

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.

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

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