Becoming a guru is a hot career prospect. Most people opt for the label, “life coach.” Secretly, some life coaches might harbor a desire to be the Michael Porter of the business world, the Eckhart Tolle of the spiritual world or the Tony Robbins of success and wealth. If you are looking to kick start your coaching program, estimating potential income is an important first step.
In your role as life coach, your salary could vary greatly from $20,000 to $100,000. According to Indeed.com, the average life coach salary is $60,000. But then there are the Brian Tracy’s, Tolle’s and Robbins’ who make millions of dollars a year. Robbins and Tracy sell millions of dollars in advice, books and audio each year sharing their strategies for achieving “personal success.” Fewer than one percent of life coaches bring in seven digits.
The boom in life coaching means clients have a lot of choice. If you are looking for life coaching to discover your purpose, there have never been more options. You will need to price your coaching services right to compete.
The three key factors that affect the salary of a life coach are area of life coaching, expertise and qualifications, and client profile. Below we provide the average salary range for life coaches and examples of the income range of those who have reached ‘guru’ status.
Life Coach Salary by Specialty
The salary for a life coach varies greatly because of the large variation in what a life coach does. Most life coach positions can be found in social services and human resources. Human resources departments have career life coaches who run personality tests and job market research to help job searchers with career development. Many sports coaches and athletes pursue careers as life coaches with an emphasis on health and fitness. Other opportunities for life coaches are alongside business management or financial services consulting.
Financial Services Coaching
Many financial services consultants develop online coaching products and services and sell them alongside financial advice and products. Most financial consultants are paid in the $40-$60,000 range, and about one-third earn $80,000 and above. Financial life coaches have moved beyond only promising wealth and financial freedom and work more closely with clients to develop personal and professional goals. Tony Robbins, one of the leaders in the how to be successful advice market, claims he was making $10,000 a month at the age of 19. Today, he has a lot more competition but he continues to be a top earner.
Personal and Professional Development Coaching
Psychologists offer life coaching. Many are employed by institutions and provide career counseling and life coaching as part of employment, rehabilitation and recovery programs. In private practice, psychologists specialize in a very broad range of services. Life coaching may apply positive psychology or psychotherapy. Mid-career psychologists earn between $60,000 and $80,000. Dr. Phil is an example of a psychologist who has reached guru status. He has a net worth of $245 million, according to Therichest.com.
Sports and Health and Fitness Coaches
Sports coaches are among the highest paid public employees in the United States. A few make five million dollars a year, according to Deadpan.com. Few coaches will want to walk away from that much money to work as a life coach. But once a winning streak turns into a losing streak, coaches are quickly replaced. A private coaching business is always an option.
Business Life Coaches
Business life coaching is one of the fastest expanding sectors. Many business people secretly yearn to be the next Tom Peters or Michael Porter. These business coaches became thought leaders in their fields. Business executives stay up at night figuring out how to get an edge on the competition. If you can position yourself as a thought leader, you will be in demand. Thought leaders win clients among the largest and most successful companies in the world. Small business coaching should not be overlooked. Many gurus come and go. There is very high long-term demand for small business management and leadership coaching.
Demand for business life coaching closely mirrors demand for business consulting. Top-Consultant.com identified top consultant sectors by demand as strategy, business transformation/change management, project management, business process improvement, technology, HR consulting and outsourcing. With bonuses, a junior business consultant in the US earns about $72,000 and a senior consultant $110,000. A partner can take home $280,000 annually.
Spiritual Life Coach
Income varies widely for spiritual life coaches. Many people today link spiritual life coaching to yoga studios and meditation classes. Unlike Westerners, gurus from Asia are less likely to charge or will charge the minimum required to meet basic needs. CelebrityEarning.com says Eckhart Tolle – The Power of Now author – has an annual salary of $3.75 million.
The Universal Coach Institute provides in-depth life coach salary information and some good ideas on how to make money as a life coach.
Level of Expertise/Qualifications
With the right qualifications, it is easy to become a professional coach. As the above salaries demonstrate, the market pays for experience and qualifications. A junior business person will make considerably less than a senior partner based on how the market values his or her advice. Many business consultants dream of starting their own coaching company one day but starting too early could be a career and financial setback. Building a coaching business slowly alongside another business such as financial advisory or health and fitness consulting may be a safer option.
Most ‘guru’ level business coaches reached the top echelons in the corporate world before pursuing life coaching – CEO, partner, serial entrepreneur. A sports coach who has coached winning teams can also earn top dollar. An athlete with medals will be a top earner. Two-time US gold winner in aerial skiing Nikki Stone backed her medals with a degree in sports psychology before becoming a best-selling author and motivational speaker in the sports and business world.
Life Coach Salary by Client Profile
Life coaches targeting senior executives or professional athletes earn the highest fees. The more experience you acquire before becoming a life coach, the more choice you will have over whom your clients will be.
Without question, knowing how to operate and market your coaching business will help you increase your earning power. To start your coaching business and attract the right clients, enroll in A Step-by-Step Program for Learning the Basics of Starting Your Own Coaching Business and/or How to Become a Life Coach and Get Paid.