The business of life coaching is growing fast, and the industry is projected to grow by 6.7% (to $1.34 billion) in 2022. Despite the boom, many life coaches don’t know how their earnings stack up relative to their industry peers.
If that’s you, you’re far from alone. The life coaching industry is not heavily regulated, and as a result, there’s a lot of inaccurate information out there. Plus, it’s hard to keep up with every industry trend while running a coaching practice and balancing your actual, real life.
To help you get a better feel for how much you could be charging, we’ve pulled together all the stats you’ll need to figure out the hourly rate you should charge, how your annual income compares to other life coaches, and how you can reach your full earning potential (a.k.a. start making more money coaching).
Here’s what we’ll break down (in case you want to jump ahead):
- How much do life coaches charge per hour?
- How much do life coaches make annually?
- How much do coaches charge for online coaching programs?
- 4 factors that affect how much you can make as a life coach
- 3 tips to make more money as a life coach
The average salary for life coaches in the United States is $231/hour, according to the Financial Times.
The sky-high rates do disguise a key truth though: most coaches have a couple core clients, and don’t bill for forty hours per week. To earn additional income, they take on roles that complement their life coaching, like business consulting. (And some savvy life coaches are earning passive income with online courses.)
In North America, life coaches earn an average annual revenue of $62,500 from coaching, per the International Coaching Federation’s (ICF’s) 2020 Global Coaching Study.
That’s a solid salary, and that number only reflects earnings from coaching. 93% of the coaches surveyed by the ICF offered other services like counseling and business consulting that further pad their incomes.
View this post on Instagram
This underlines a key point: the most successful coaches create multiple income streams around their core coaching business.
The rates for online coaching programs vary depending on the format and industry.
Membership-based coaching programs fall at the top of the pay scale. Hybrid and pre-recorded coaching programs command smaller fees—but offer coaches the chance to build passive online income.
Since there’s no industry-wide data, let’s see what this looks like in action. Life coach and BizChix founder Natalie Eckdalh charges $700/month for her Six Figures Lab mentorship site, which she runs through Thinkific. The program comes with access to one-on-one CEO coaching, and group workshops with other members.
View this post on Instagram
Eckdalh also offers self-paced courses, which she creates with Thinkfic. Her Your Next Best Hire course costs $997, and lets the consultants she coaches learn on their own time—without a monthly fee.
While your coaching rates may vary, Eckdalh’s pricing shows how coaches use varied pricing for self-paced and membership-based coaching. Both forms are important parts of the life coaching business model—but they don’t cost the same. (And if you’re stuck on pricing your online courses, we’ve got an article that’ll help you find the sweet spot.)
Thinking of creating your own online program? Thinkfic makes it easy to create and sell your own courses, even if you’re not very tech-savvy. You can get started for free—so let’s team up.
1. Your location
The first major factor that affects your coaching rates is where you work.
While the global average life coach’s annual revenue is $47,100/year, North American life coaches earn the most annual coaching revenue, at $62,500/year. Oceanian life coaches follow with $61,100/year, and life coaches in Western Europe are in third with $51,100/year.
The average annual revenue in the Middle East and Africa falls below the global average, at $33,600/year. Life coaches in Latin America are currently earning $20,900/year. Eastern European life coaches fall towards the bottom of the global scale, at $19,100/year.
If you’re in a tough market, you may feel discouraged—and that’s only natural. But there are many ways you can scale your coaching business that aren’t limited by region. We’ve included five of these tactics in our article on passive income.
2. Your experience
Your experience level and skill set also play a major role in determining the coaching rates you’re able to set. Experienced coaches with ten years of in-industry demand an average of $330/hour, while coaches with under twelve months of experience charge an average of $120/hour.
Coaches who’re newer to the industry: don’t worry, your time will come soon. The internet has created new ways to monetize your coaching business, and you can break through to the next level without years of experience. We’ll talk about this soon, so stick around!
3. Your pricing strategy
Your pricing strategy can also make or break your life coaching business’ profitability. Charge too low, and you’ll have clients at your neck all hours of the day—and not enough money to show for it. Charge too much, and you’ll have sky-high rates, but no clients. Finding the balance is key.
Beyond the actual dollar rate, the most important pricing factor is how you package your time. Pricing per hour offers the most flexibility and the easiest entry point for clients who have never bought coaching before. This model can work well for coaches who are just starting their practices, but it ties the value you provide as a coach to the number of minutes you spend meeting with clients.
Coaches with more mature coaching practices tend to work on-retainer for longer periods of time—generally by the month, quarter, half-year or even year. The clients they work with look at the holistic, longer-term value of life coaching, and prioritize coaching outcomes over the exact time spent in coaching sessions.
Many life coaches even anchor their pricing to the outcomes they help clients achieve, instead of a specific time. This pricing model attracts clients who are able to see the big-picture impact of coaching, and offers extra flexibility for both coach and client.
4. Your client base
Your client base plays a big role in determining your income. If your client base is made up of hobbyists, solopreneurs, or smaller businesses, you won’t be able to charge top-dollar. That doesn’t mean you won’t be successful, though. You’ve got more potential clients out there than life coaches who focus on top-level corporate coaching.
Coaches who work with executives can charge higher rates, but their niche is ultra-competitive—and small, too. When you’re working with high-level leadership, the stakes are high, so they’ll happily pay higher prices in exchange for executive coaching services tailored to their exact needs.
Long story short: there are advantages and trade-offs to each client base. And no matter who you coach, you can make a solid income and a meaningful impact.
1. Market your services on social media
Social is breaking down all the industry barriers we talked about earlier. If you’ve got a following online, it doesn’t matter if you’re a newer life coach. Having an audience gives you leverage and credibility—and new ways to monetize.
Right now, life coaches are focusing their efforts on Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and TikTok. These platforms have the largest, most active audiences, and offer you the best chance to reach qualified new prospects.
Effective marketing on social media doesn’t mean shouting your excellence from the rooftops. More often, it just means being relatable. Talk about a challenge you helped a client overcome, or share an interesting story from a recent coaching session. Make fun of yourself, if you’re comfortable.
And don’t worry, you don’t need to be a full-time content creator to see business results. Creating online content that attracts any form of audience on social will generate more demand for your coaching. Be friendly, reply to people, and offer value, and you’ll show prospects you’re a great coach before they ever speak to you.
If you sell coaching packages online, make sure to check out our guide to using social media to boost online course sales.
2. Revise your pricing strategy
Switching up your pricing strategy can take your income up a level. For starters, many coaches are moving away from per-hour pricing. Charging by the quarter or half-year locks your income in, reduces your administrative work, and gives you stability.
There are pricing options beyond time, though. Career coaches like Job Search Master Class® founder Dana Manciagli set their prices based on the packages of value they’ll deliver. The deliverables, results and business outcomes determine the price—instead of every single minute spent talking on Zoom.
Another tried strategy is offering tiered packages for individual or group coaching. You introduce clients at your lowest price point for a one-to-three month coaching trial. After the trial, you offer an upsell to a mid-tier price point for long-term coaching. Your top-tier price point will be reserved for clients who need you to go the extra mile with always-on services.
You should also tailor your prices based on the level of availability and accessibility you offer. Clients who need to reach you on weekends should be paying extra for the privilege.
3. Create a passive income strategy
Decoupling your income from your coaching labor is the literal key to earning more without burning out. Creating a passive income strategy around your coaching business can free up your time—and make the one-on-one coaching you do that much more impactful.
Different coaches use different passive income strategies. Some coaches create blogs, email newsletters or podcasts, and monetize through ads. Other coaches focus on building up their online brand on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube—and then driving income through affiliate marketing referrals.
But the fastest and most scalable method for creating passive income is to create your own online courses. Once you’ve put the time into creating your coaching course, it can generate income forever—without requiring much ongoing labor. If you market it effectively, the courses you build can scale your income up, without a major increase in effort on your end.
That sounds life-changing—and many coaches are making that their reality.
Use Thinkific to make a bigger impact on your clients and earn more revenue — without trading your time for money.
So, what’s next?
Now that you know what your industry colleagues are making (and how they’re doing it), you’ve got the background you need to scale your coaching program. And the fastest, most effective way to reach more clients and boost your coaching income to take your coaching services online. We can help with that ;).
Get our free life coaching templates for online coaching below.
This blog was originally published in April 2022, and was updated in March 2023 to be even more useful.