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Life Coach Salary: How Much Money Do Professional Coaches Make?

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Life Coach SalaryWant to know what kind of salary a life coach makes?

I wrote about international coaching salaries in the 2012 Trends in Business and Life Coaching post, based on the new ICF coach survey, which sheds light on the parts of the world where coaches earn the most. But a Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey of international coach salaries just came out, so here's some new info, broken down by type of coach.

It's important to note that executive, life and business coaching incomes vary wildly, (anywhere from free to thousands of dollars per hour) so these averages may not represent what most coaches actually make. However they do offer some clues.

Average coaching salaries according to Sherpa:

  • Executive Coaches make $325 per hour
  • Business Coaches make $235 per hour
  • Life Coaches make $160 per hour

What's the difference between a life coach, a business coach and an executive coach? Sherpa's definition of an executive coach is someone who coaches executives on behavioral issues, which basically means an executive coach is a life coach for executives.

I take issue with Sherpa's definition that business and life coaches are consultants and advisors. Real coaches are neither consultants, nor advisers. Real coaches help their clients think and act more resourcefully, resulting in personal growth and achievement and for that reason, coaches usually make a lot more money than consultants or advisers.

In my experience, new business and life coaches can charge $100 - 200 per hour and veteran coaches with established results can often charge $250 - 600 per hour. What makes the difference is the skill of the coach and who they coach.

It's pretty extraordinary that someone who coaches by phone in their jammies from their home office could charge more than a Park Avenue lawyer, but it happens - if their clients get incredible results and can afford to pay for them.

Here's how: most successful coaches only have a few clients. According to Sherpa,  coaches average between 6 and 6.5 clients per week. When you only coach a few clients, you can be at your best virtually all of the time, which makes it possible to give incredible service and results. That's when you can charge a lot.

So average annual incomes, according to Sherpa, range from $55K to $116K. That's pretty close to past ICF survey averages for a life coach (or business or executive coach) salary.

Learn more about life coach salary rates and how to set your own coaching fees:


Become a master coach and get the life and business you really want.


I like what you said about business and life coaches being neither consultants and advisors. I totally agree.  
Thanks for posting this. I work at Erickson College and we get this question a lot!
Posted @ Friday, February 24, 2012 1:25 PM by Steph
Thanks so much for reading the blog, Step - I'm glad it's useful to you.
Posted @ Friday, February 24, 2012 5:01 PM by Julia Stewart
Thank you for posting this blog. I think that it is imperative for coaches to understand what the average salary is for their type/model of coaching. As a virtual assistant to many coaches, I cannot count how many times I have had this discussion with new coaches.  
Thanks again for sharing this information. I will be forwarding this post on to others.
Posted @ Monday, February 27, 2012 2:50 PM by Jay Black
Great point, Jay - There is safety in averages and knowing what they are is extremely helpful to a new professional. That said, once a coach has an excellent track record, it is quite possible to raise fees beyond the average - and get them. A good distinction here is Confident vs. Safe. Thanks so much for forwarding the blog ~
Posted @ Monday, February 27, 2012 2:56 PM by Julia Stewart
as every one want to live better life but no body knows how to live or manage life between business and coaching is beautiful learn to us that thing. thanks to sharing this post
Posted @ Monday, May 07, 2012 6:04 AM by Life coaching
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