How to Become a Life Coach:
The Definitive Guide

Not everyone has their life together, but a Life Coach sure is close, and with their experience and dedication, they can help people who are actively seeking guidance on their journey.

As a Life Coach, you’ll be responsible for speaking with clients and helping them toward success in all aspects of their life.

From work to love and everything in between, a Life Coach can provide honest feedback to get their clients on the road to their dreams.

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Job Description

Whether your client is going through major trials or just needs guidance to feel secure, a Life Coach has plenty on their list of job duties.


From finding clients to speaking and discussing action plans toward success, there are many responsibilities that you will need to take on as a Life Coach, such as:

  • Providing personality tests
  • Helping clients understand themselves
  • Achieving goals with clients
  • Promoting Success
  • Providing feedback
  • Discussing financial wellness
  • Promoting self-confidence

You will be a therapist, friend, and confidant for people who are looking to improve all aspects or just one aspect of their life as a Life Coach.


The career of a Life Coach can be quite lucrative with the average yearly salary in the United States being close to $89,680.

This will give you a typical hourly salary of $43, making the weekly pay for a Life Coach close to $1,724.

You will obtain this salary with several years of experience, those who are just beginning their career as a Life Coach can expect a yearly salary closer to $78,691.

Hourly, this will be close to $37, which is still a great salary for this career field.

With experience and certification, the top Life Coaches in the United States will have a yearly salary of over $102,000 in some areas.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

Annually National Average Salary: $50,550


Average Annual Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$72,260
New Hampshire$47,500
New Jersey$66,200
New Mexico$48,710
New York$58,470
North Carolina$49,940
North Dakota$41,350
Rhode Island$53,680
South Carolina$51,810
South Dakota$41,310
West Virginia$53,480
Puerto Rico$35,400

Annual Average Salary: Top 5 States

The top earning state in the field is District of Columbia, where the average salary is $72,260.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

District of Columbia - $72,260
New Jersey - $66,200
Massachusetts - $63,160
Hawaii - $60,370
Vermont - $60,280
*Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey.
Conducted by: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

How to Become: Step-by-Step

Step 1Complete High School

Life comes with experience, and the best foundation for a Life Coach is to have a high school diploma or a GED.

A high school diploma will be earned when you are still a teenager, but you can access a GED at any point in your life.

While in high school, it is important to take certain classes to help you focus on your endeavors.

These classes can include psychology, health, business, and physical education.

At this point, you may want to consider which aspect of coaching you expect to head into, such as financial, relationships, family, or career success.

Step 2Find Your Specialization

Now that you have your high school diploma or GED, you’re ready to kick off your career.

The first decision you need to make, if you didn’t already consider it in high school, is to find your niche.

From relationships to confidence, finance, and spirituality, there is a specialization that needs you.

You’ll want to build your reputation in this area, which you can do by speaking to others and helping them find answers in your free time.

It is also wise to attend conferences and seminars to network and learn techniques that will help you in your future endeavors.

Step 3Become Certified

Once you gain knowledge in your chosen niche and are ready to explore the world of a Life Coach, you may want to become certified.

Now, this is not a requirement to work as a Life Coach, but certification does give you prominence in the field as well as accreditation.

Having credentials will give you a one-up against the competition, so more people will come to you for your life advice.

This will give you more money and experience in the long run, so finding the right Life Coach program is a great option for many.

These programs can be done online or in person and can vary from several weeks to several months in length.

Some Life Coaches even decide that they want to earn an associate’s or Bachelors degree.

These can take several years, and if you decide on a higher degree, you should consider a relevant program such as psychology, life and wellness, and even business.

Step 4Begin Your Business

After becoming certified, it is now time to open for business.

The first thing you’ll need to do is market yourself, which you can do through flyers, social media, and even free conferences that will bring people to you.

Set up a website and possibly find office space to give you and your clients a private area to speak.

At this time, you may want to register your business as an LLC so that you can show your serious commitment to working as a Life Coach.

Create business cards and get out there and sell yourself to show people how much you can help them with their lives.

Step 5Continue Education

You’ve been a Life Coach for several years now and are ready to find new inspiration.

That is where continuing your education comes in.

This can come in the form of attending seminars, taking online classes, or even completing skill-building activities.

As a Life Coach, you will never finish educating yourself in this changing world, and each time you learn something new, you will have more tools to help others.

Everything that you learn can be considered a business expense, which ultimately helps you in your business and personal life.


You don’t have to have a degree to work as a Life Coach.

All you need is experience in what you are talking about and a good business model.

Although, there are times when you should consider taking on some form of education.

This can be done through life coaching programs or even earning a college degree.

It is possible to find accredited programs on the internet, community colleges, and even universities across the United States.

Consider which area of life coaching you want to focus on throughout your career.

As a good base, you should take on one specialization or niche at a time, and then build up as you get more experience in the field.

Some Life Coaches work on relationships, others focus on money and helping clients win in their financial goals.

This will give you an idea of where you want to spend your time when it comes to education.

Courses likely start year-round, so you can obtain knowledge any time you are ready to start.

Most classes will cost about $150 to $400 each depending on where you decide to learn.

It can take anywhere from six weeks to several months to complete your basic education to become a Life Coach, however, in this career, you will never stop learning.

In one of these programs, you should expect to focus on areas such as:

  • Time management
  • Learning from other coaches
  • Relationships
  • How to coach individuals
  • Group Coaching
  • Coaching tools
  • Setting up your business
  • Employing others

Some courses will help you within your specialization, or at this time you can continue all topics to have a broader understanding of working as a Life Coach.

Once you finish the courses you will receive a certificate of completion, which is not the same as being certified.

Video About The Career

Licensing & Certification

Whether you decide to enroll in classes or not, you can still become certified as a Life Coach.

Those who choose to become certified make more money than Life Coaches without certification.

Many websites will guide you toward this certification and you can even find some at local colleges throughout the country.

Make sure that your Life Coach certification is accredited with the International Coach Federation to ensure that you are receiving up-to-date and appropriate knowledge.

Most certifications take anywhere from six to twelve weeks to complete.

Certification typically costs anywhere from $500 to over $1,000, depending on the certification that you choose.

It is typical that a Life Coach certification is self-paced and ends in an exam.

Within this time, you’ll learn skills to help you focus on your client’s goals, and use empathy and listening skills to ensure everyone gets what they need out of the Life Coach sessions.

The exam is both multiple choice and written, in which you will be asked questions about certain topics that may arise in your Life Coach business.

After passing the exam, you will receive a certificate that showcases that you are certified as a Life Coach.

Once you become certified, you will be able to start a business of your own and take clients who you can help succeed in many aspects of their own lives.

It is important to recertify every couple of years to make sure that you are up to date with practices in the Life Coach business.

Completing a Life Coach certification is a general credential, and if you want a more specialized certificate, you will need to consider what niche you are going into.

There are plenty of certifications for those who want to specialize in relationships, spirituality, health, wealth, and nutrition.

Average Training Program Duration: 1-2 Years

Popular Programs

Job Outlook

Within the next five years, you can expect the career of a Life Coach to grow about twenty percent overall.

More people are seeking help when it comes to finances, relationships, careers, and more, which allows for Life Coaches to pursue their goals as well.

Whether you want to work for yourself or an organization, there will be quite a lot of opportunities for career growth as a Life Coach in the next decade.

Companies are seeking more understanding and transparency, providing clients with options such as life coaching, and opening up more than 15,000 jobs in the United States each year.

Employment Growth Projection: 9%


That's a higher than average projected growth of 25,300 jobs.

Life Coach: Interest Over Time

Should You Become a Life Coach?

Overall Satisfaction: High

Overall Satisfaction

If you are interested in working as a Life Coach, you’ll be excited to learn that it is one of the most satisfying careers.

Life Coaches believe that they are fairly compensated for their work and the work/life balance is 50/50.

Working as a Life Coach is also a meaningful career, as you will be helping people get back on track and work toward a brighter future.

Those who enjoy working with others will get the most out of this career.

Average Salary: High

Average Salary

The average yearly salary for a Life Coach is $89,680, which is about $43 an hour for full-time workers.

When you just begin your career as a Life Coach, you should expect a salary closer to $37 an hour, which is annually $78,691.

Those who are at the top of the Life Coach career can make over $102,000 in some areas, especially well-populated places.

At this rate, expect your hourly pay to be about $49 for full-time Life Coaches.

Job Growth Outlook: High

Job Growth Outlook

There is always a need for improvements in all aspects of our lives, which means it is likely that the job of a Life Coach will not be going anywhere any time soon.

Expect this career to skyrocket over the next ten years, with a growth of about twenty percent overall.

More people are seeking results in their lives and need someone to help them achieve their goals, and that is where a Life Coach comes in.

Once you are ready to help people find success in their lives, you’ll have no problem finding job openings.

Education Duration: 1-2 Years

Education Duration

You don’t need much education to be a Life Coach no formal higher education is required.

Those who have a high school diploma or GED can experience the success of working as a Life Coach as long as they know about what they are doing to help others.

However, those who want the most out of their career may want to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, which can take two to four years respectively.

Personal Skills Needed

Personal Skills Needed

The most important aspect of working as a Life Coach is to have a listening ear and empathy for other people’s situations.

Along with that, your personality should be cohesive with your clients, so that they will be more likely to listen to you and take your advice.

Other skills you should have as a Life Coach are:

  • Communication
  • Understanding of psychology
  • Ability to remember details
  • Encouraging attitude
  • Emotional awareness
  • Assertiveness
  • Time management
  • Business knowledge
  • Leadership
  • Marketing understanding
  • Problem-solving

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How long do you have to go to school to become a Life Coach?

You don’t necessarily need to go to school to work as a Life Coach, however, if you want to have the most success in this area of expertise, then consider taking on a program or even earning a degree.

A program can last anywhere from several weeks to months, depending on how much time you want to spend learning and how much understanding you already have of the business.

Those who want to extend their education even more can earn a two to four-year degree in business, marketing, psychology, or another relevant area.

Q. How much money does a Life Coach make a year?

A career as a Life Coach can be quite involved, which means that you’ll receive a good stipend for your experience.

Those who want to work in this field can expect to have a yearly wage close to $89,680 on average.

This is true for those who work in big cities or have many clients.

However, when just beginning your career as a Life Coach, it is expected that you will make about $78,691 or less each year.

Q. What kind of education do you need to be a Life Coach?

In most cases, there is no formal education needed to work in this career.

However, those who want to have the most success as a Life Coach should consider enrolling in a program to learn about the field or even take on an Associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

A relevant degree can help you on the backend of your journey to becoming an integral part of the Life Coach genre, which can lead to more clients and success.

Q. Are Life Coaches in high demand?

Yes, many people have discovered that hiring a Life Coach has a positive impact on their lives.

This means that the usage of a Life Coach is important and in high demand across the United States and even beyond.

Some people are too busy to figure out what needs to be changed in their lives, and that is where a Life Coach comes in.

Those who have an understanding of their client’s needs and wants will be the most in demand.

Q. What skills do you need to have to be a Life Coach?

First and foremost, a Life Coach needs to have great listening skills so that they understand what is going on in their client’s life.

Then, it is important to have open communication, empathy, and a diverse worldview.

Along with that, you’ll need business and time management knowledge to run your own company, as well as emotional maturity to support others in their time of need.

Encouraging our clients is another way to find success as a Life Coach.

A Life Coach may be the last resort for many people, which means they will not be in the most uplifted spirit, and when you can make a difference in their life, that’s a prime aspect.

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