When it comes to living your best life, money isn’t everything—but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. As you embark on the journey toward becoming a life coach, you might be curious about your earning prospects.
After all, is a certified life coach salary enough to live on? Is a side hustle as a coach feasible considering the life coach costs incurred for certification? The answer is a resounding, “yes!”
You can change your life and become a life coach. It’s possible to go beyond just surviving as a life coach and actually thriving while living the life you’ve been dreaming about. Below, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty details around a life coach’s average salary, hourly rates, and other variables that might influence your take-home pay.
What is the Life Coach Average Salary?
First, let’s look at the hard numbers. Using current data from PayScale, the total pay for life coaches can range from $28,000 a year to $264,000 a year. The average salary of a life coach sits at $62,000. The top earners in the life coaching industry—AKA those that make over six figures—have one thing in common: they target a specific client market with niche coaching.
With that said, it’s important to note that being a life coach isn’t your typical 9-to-5 (and we love it that way). Instead, being a life coach is an INDEPENDENT business. This salary information is simply to give you a ballpark estimate of what’s possible to earn. Your earnings may differ depending on variables like what you charge per hour and how many clients you take on.
So, where does that leave you? Well, as you start out in your coaching career, take the time to reflect and determine where you fit into the life coaching space. What is your expertise? What clients do you want to serve? Will you be focused on short-term projects or long-term growth? What services will you offer? Will you work as an external coach or team up with corporations to help leaders grow into their positions? These are just a few of the questions you might need to answer to develop a specific life-coaching approach.
The life coaching industry is set to grow and YOU can contribute your skills and life experience to be part of that growth. Life coaches come from all sorts of backgrounds which means that you can take on this career and be successful. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.
There are clients out there that want what you have to offer. You just need the education to learn how to make that happen and the certification to back it up.
Life Coaching Hourly Rates: How Much Do Life Coaches Charge?
According to PayScale, the average base hourly rate for life coaches is about $31 per hour. The range for hourly rates starts from $13 an hour all the way to $148 an hour.
However, these statistics are based on coaching in a more corporate environment. Again, traditional jobs as a life coach are rare. Most coaches are independent entrepreneurs. In the United States, life coaches commonly charge $50 to $200 per hour when operating independently, and many charge substantially more. Coaching session fees vary wildly based on what country you live in.
As you can see, it is important to know that your hourly rate as a life coach is ultimately something you’ll need to come up with on your own. However, your research regarding hourly rates should be based on concrete criteria. A good rule of thumb is to think about your hourly rate in terms of three major variables:
- How many years you’ve been a life coach.
- Your life coaching niche.
- Your geographic location.
As a new life coach, you can expect to earn less compared to a life coach with twenty years of experience and expertise—and that’s okay! But remember, everyone has to start somewhere.
If you’re just starting out, you might also want to work with clients on a sliding scale. This can help you build an excellent word-of-mouth reputation and loyal client base. Consistent clients that come back to you for your expertise time and time again are truly priceless.
Your coaching niche is another factor that influences your life coach prices. If you choose an in-demand niche, you’ll likely be able to make more money.
And lastly, your geographic location also has a major impact on your earnings. For instance, a life coach in San Francisco can theoretically charge a higher hourly rate compared to a coach in Boise, due to the higher cost of living. It’s important to sit down and do some research before coming up with your rate.
It’s a good idea to do some independent research on what other life coaches are charging in your area for similar services. You can use this competitive research to determine whether there are customers willing to pay for the hourly rate you want to charge or packages you’re offering.
How In-Demand Are Life Coaches?
Although you might think that life coaching is a new industry, it’s actually been around as a professional role since the 1950s. In the early days of life coaching, coaches helped managers boost their performance in business. Specifically, life coaching as we know it was simply “business coaching,” which primarily focused on coaching within the corporate world.
Modern life coaching may still include business (executive) coaching, but it’s much more fluid and expansive than it was in its early days. Today, you can be a life coach focused on specific skills like public speaking, health, relationships, fitness, relationships, goal-setting, and entrepreneurship.
The fluid nature of life coaching today means that people from all sorts of backgrounds can make great life coaches as long as they have a sought-after skillset. This skill set can include both hard and soft skills. At the end of the day, a successful life coach is someone with the mentorship and leadership abilities to help their clients accomplish their goals.
What Ultimately Determines a Life Coach’s Salary?
A life coach’s salary is influenced by a few different factors. Credentials, background, knowledge, skillset, services, and the target client market all come into play when we’re talking about salary ranges. With that said, years of experience is the most important determiner of a life coach’s salary.
And, as we said before, think of becoming a life coach as starting an independent business rather than “just” a job.
What Are Some Ways to Increase Your Earning Potential as a Life Coach?
If you’d like to give yourself a better chance of making more money, consider expanding your services or obtaining more niche certifications.
Here are some other ideas to get you started:
- Host a retreat
- Speak at events, podcasts, and other events as an expert in your niche
- Host webinars or seminars
- Coach 1-on-1 in corporate environments
- Host online and in-person workshops
- Create a course (Don’t know where to start? We have a course for that!)
- Join an existing company to become a corporate trainer and life coach
- Start a coaching blog or YouTube channel
Takeaways: Life Coaching Can Be Your Livelihood
If you’ve been curious about life coaching but you’ve been hesitant to take the leap—know that you’re jumping into a $2 billion industry. You can take a piece of that pie for yourself and live a more satisfying, fulfilling life helping people just like you. To take that first step toward your transformation, enroll in one of our life coach certification courses today!
Learn more about setting your price, creating a signature coaching package, and marketing your coaching business with our:
Joeel & Nataile are co-founders of Transformation Academy®, where they train leading-edge entrepreneurs, leaders and life coaches how to master their mindset and create a purpose-driven business. They have started more than a dozen businesses, and trained over 500,000 coaches from 200_ countries and territories. Joeel is a former psychology professor with a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Education is currently completing his dissertation on eudaemonic happiness for a Ph.D. in Psychology.