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Life Coach Salary: How Much Do Life Coaches Make? [2024]

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How much do life coaches make? 

Today, you’ll learn what the average life coach salary is and how to increase your rates as a life coach. I’ve helped 1000s of people price their coaching offers – here are the top strategies. 

Want to learn more? Read on!

What we’ll cover: 

What is life coaching? 

Is there demand for life coaches? 

How much can you charge?

How should you price your first package? 

How do you increase your rates? 

How do you become a life coach? 

What is life coaching?

Life coaches support people to achieve their goals and dreams. You offer your expertise and experience to help your clients succeed. 

“Life coaching” is pretty broad. You need to specify HOW you help clients to earn a higher salary. (Few people will pay premium prices for a generic offer.)

For example, if you have a system for becoming a charismatic public speaker, that’s something you can coach people on. 

The same applies to you whether you’re a career, mindset, or health coach. There are plenty of other coaching niches, too. 

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Is there demand for life coaches?

Yes, there is demand for life coaches. After all, the coaching industry is a multi-billion dollar industry – and it’s growing fast. 

According to IBIS World, there are 22,758 life coaches in the US. The life coaching market is a $1.4 billion market ad it’s growing by 3.2% year over year.

That said, there isn’t massive demand for life coaches. That’s because life coaching is too broad. 

Instead, there is demand for coaches who help people with things like earning more money, getting healthier, becoming more confident, and building healthy relationships.

That’s what you need to do, too. So before you move on to explore the next sections, ask yourself if you have a clear niche. I talk more about it here:

If you don’t, take a step back and look at what your offer is

Then move on to figuring out your pricing. 

How much can you charge as a life coach?

What’s a realistic income as a life coach? 

The national average salary is $67,800/year. Now, that’s the average. Many life coaches make significantly more than that.

And according to ZipRecruiter, these are the typical life coach salaries in each state in the US: 

StateAverage salary
Alabama$51,289
Alaska$62,254
Arizona$58,607
Arkansas$53,381
California$60,845
Colorado$56,247
Connecticut$58,270
Delaware$64,420
Florida$44,737
Georgia$60,018
Hawaii$66,081
Idaho$57,019
Illinois$52,460
Indiana$54,062
Iowa$59,152
Kansas$55,303
Kentucky$56,280
Louisiana$51,391
Maine$53,631
Maryland$59,319
Massachusetts$65,146
Michigan$52,294
Minnesota$57,061
Mississippi$60,185
Missouri$51,883
Montana$52,071
Nebraska$55,335
Nevada$64,598
New Hampshire$57,135
New Jersey$53,958
New Mexico$59,104
New York$61,599
North Carolina$45,928
North Dakota$56,369
Ohio$61,213
Oklahoma$53,146
Oregon$62,398
Pennsylvania$50,827
Rhode Island$57,837
South Carolina$54,562
South Dakota$53,749
Tennessee$59,861
Texas$50,655
Utah$58,655
Vermont$56,254
Virginia$57,692
Washington $62,023
West Virginia$55,931
Wisconsin$61,744
Wyoming$54,512

But this is based on salaries for employed life coaches. While you can work for one company as a life coach, most aspiring life coaches typically work as self-employed business owners.  

You see, business owners have much more room to grow their income than those who’re in full-time jobs.

The truth is that there’s no “cap” on how much you can earn. Your income depends on factors like how many potential clients you fill your pipeline with every month and what type of niche you serve. 

Many of my students have gone on to grow their businesses to six to multiple six figures – or more. 

For example, Ruby is a relationship coach who worked her way from being a matchmaker at companies like eHarmony to building a dating coaching business. 

Screenshot of Good gentleman website

And Anna went from building a career as an executive to starting her own career coaching company for high-achieving women. 

Screenshot of Anna Cosic's website

Both of them grew their businesses to six figures and more…and you can, too. With the right pricing model. 

That’s what we’ll look at next. 

Per hour 

How much do life coaches make per hour? 

Life coaches make $100-$150 per hour on average. 

That said, this isn’t the pricing model I recommend for you. 

Hourly pricing diminishes your value because your clients see it based on the hours you put in – not the results you help them get. 

What’s more, it’s much harder to sell 100 life coach hours (and earn $10,000) than to sell four coaching packages at $2,500 each (and earn the same $10,000). 

If you sell hourly coaching or per session, you won’t be able to truly show your worth, the transformation you help your clients go through. 

So we can scrap hourly pricing…but what about a monthly retainer? 

Per month

The next option is to price by month. 

Every month, your client pays you…until they decide to stop working with you.

This isn’t a great pricing model for new coaches, and I’ll tell you why.

First, your value is again skewed towards the work you put in – not your results. And valuing your services in this way won’t be very helpful to your clients. After all, they want results, and how much time you use each month is irrelevant. 

Especially as you get more experienced, you won’t spend a ton of time on each client – but the value you bring will grow exponentially. 

Another reason I’m not a fan of retainer pricing is that there’s no goal. What’s the ultimate goal of your services? This type of goal setting is much easier with a package. 

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So, no, retainer pricing isn’t the way to go. 

Instead, consider pricing per package. 

Per coaching package 

The highest-paid life coaches use package pricing.

I’m a big fan of this pricing model for a few reasons. Pricing per package is: 

  • Based on results
  • Scalable 
  • Sets clear goals 

And this is the pricing model that will help you build a sustainable company.

You see, if you offer a three-month package and you set up a plan for how your clients can achieve their goal within that time frame, the time you put in or the number of calls you have become irrelevant. 

That said, the goal you offer must be realistic within that time frame. You might not be able to help them achieve their ultimate goal (“lose 40 lbs”), but a sub-goal (“lose 10 lbs”). 

Once your client is at the end of your first package, they can decide to sign on for more to achieve their ultimate goal. 

Next, we’ll look at how to set your rates. 

How should you price your first package?

The way I went about pricing my first package was to look at my salary at the time. (I was building my business while working a full-time job.)

I calculated how much I was doing at my job and figured out that my hourly rate should be $50. With this hourly rate in mind, I priced my first package, a five-month package, at $5,000. 

Screenshot of PayPal transaction
My first transaction!

The problem was that I had built a lot of trust before my first client decided to sign up to work with me. We’re talking two weeks of free, personal advice. 

I just couldn’t sustain that level of free support if I wanted to take on new clients.

One potential client after the other said the same thing: 

“You’re too expensive.”

Screenshot of sales message
I received many messages like this one.

I realized I had to build more trust up front by working with more clients and getting testimonials.

That’s why I chose to lower my rates for the next few people. 

With this “penetration pricing strategy,” it was easier for people to say “yes” to working with me without testimonials and proof. 

I priced my new package at $1,500. I also shortened it to three months to make it a lesser commitment. 

As a result, people started to say “yes.” After I had worked with a few clients and had testimonials to share, I increased my rates…and didn’t look back. 

After I started getting testimonials like these, I built trust with prospective clients, too.

This all goes to show that penetration pricing is a great way to get your first few clients.

The price/package I recommend? 

$1,500 for a three-month package. 

But once you have a few clients and testimonials, how do you increase your rates?

Here’s what you need to know. 

How do you increase your rates as a life coach?

The best way to raise your rates is to do it in stages. Here’s what you need to know. 

Replace your salary 

The first stage is what I call “Necessity pricing.” This stage is all about charging enough to replace your current salary – so that you can make your business your full-time job. 

The question you’ll answer here is: 

How much do you need to charge to double your income for the next three months with ten clients? 

Why double? Because you need to account for business expenses and taxes. And calculating 2x your income is a good benchmark for accounting for those costs. 

And ten clients because that’s about the most private clients most coaches can work with at the same time. 

If that price is $1,500, you’re all set, and you can continue selling your services at their current price point. 

Graph of replacing salary with coaching income

But if it’s more, then you have the testimonials to prove how effective your coaching is. 

What happens when you’ve replaced your salary, though? 

That’s when you get to choose your rate. 

Choose your rate 

You get to freely choose your rates when you’ve…

  • Worked with plenty of clients
  • Have an established brand
  • Have a plethora of testimonials, and
  • You get consistent sales inquiries.

Sounds great – but it’ll take you YEARS to get to that point, right?

No, it really doesn’t have to. Many of my clients reach this point after a few months, or after they’ve worked with their first ten clients. 

This new coach went from $2,000 to $4,000!

Either way, at this point you can raise your rates if you feel that the value you offer exceeds the value your clients are getting. 

What you price at this point really comes down to your services, competition, and industry. Many coaches go on to charge five figures for their coaching packages. 

Group coaching 

The last stage in your pricing strategy is group programs.

You see, at about ten clients, you’re probably maxing yourself out as a coach. You can raise your rates, yes, but there is some limit as to how much clients are willing to pay. And you can only make as much as you’re charging ten clients at any one time.

That’s where group programs come in. 

With group programs, you scale your coaching. 

Meaning that you take on more clients, help more people, and increase your income.

Group programs are a great deal for clients, too. They get to work with you for less than what you charge private clients, and at the same time, they’ll learn from the other group members.

If your private coaching takes you to six or multiple six figures, group programs can help you reach the higher end of multiple six figures or even seven figures. 

In terms of pricing, group programs typically cost between $1,500 to $5,000, depending on if you’re a new coach or more experienced. 

How do you become a life coach?

We’ve covered so much. But there’s something we haven’t talked about yet: 

The best way to start your own business.

And that’s what we’ll talk about here below. 

What qualifications do you need to be a life coach? 

First, we need to establish who can become a coach. 

And as we’ve established, there are plenty of life coaching niches. The qualifications you need depend on your niche. 

For instance, some niches in the health and mental health space require certifications.

But most coaching niches don’t require any qualifications. 

That’s because coaching isn’t therapy. 

Therapists are mental health experts who give diagnoses. Not just anyone can call themselves a therapist – they need to have the right education to do so.

Coaching is about guidance and supporting your client to reach their goals. You wouldn’t diagnose them with a health problem. But you’d guide them in achieving the thing they set out to do.

That’s why you don’t need a certification (other than in the few niches where one is required). 

Certifications are an unregulated industry, and you’ll frankly gain experience much faster when working with clients. Plus, the lower rate you set in the beginning is all about helping you enter coaching. Your clients get to work with you at a lower rate – win-win! 

If you do decide to go for a certification, go for a credible program, like the International Coaching Federation. Many reputable universities also offer coaching programs. 

What type of package should you offer? 

We’ve talked a lot about pricing.

But what’s the offer you sell? 

I dive into this much more in my guide on coaching packages

The most important thing is your offer.

The transformation your clients go through. 

That’s what your clients will ultimately pay for.

Unless you have a clear niche, you won’t get paid premium rates. 

So first get specific on your life coaching niche. 

To get clarity, answer this prompt: 

“I help __ achieve ___ , so that __.”

For example:

“I help new parents sleep train their baby so that they get to sleep full nights and be fully present parents for their children.” 

“I help managers become extraordinary leaders so that they get ahead in their careers, earn more, and feel fulfilled.” 

You decide what your package looks like. But the most common model is to meet with clients on…

  • Weekly
  • Biweekly or 
  • Monthly calls. 

In between sessions, you support them through email, text, or online groups

Remember: It’s not about the time you put in but the results your clients get. 

For more, check out my video on creating coaching packages:

How do you start your life coaching business?

Once you have your package and your price figured out (including your niche!), it’s time to take the leap and actually get started selling coaching.

How? 

Your first task is to find your first paying client.

There are plenty of ways you can make this happen. 

The first time I sold coaching, I was offering career coaching. I asked a few coworkers, who had asked me for career advice before if they were interested. A few said yes, and that’s how I got my first clients.

When I started my next business in digital advertising, I went to Facebook groups (at the time, Facebook groups were relatively new) and landed my first clients. 

Other strategies/platforms my clients have used to land their first paying clients:

  • Reddit
  • LinkedIn 
  • Asking their network  
  • Instagram 
  • Industry events

…And so much more. I talk more about getting clients in this guide. And in this short video:

Yes, there are more things that go into starting a company and self-employment. Take a look at this guide on starting a life coaching business where I talk about all the important stuff – your niche, your contracts, business structure, and so much more – to start coaching today.

Get the Ultimate Guide

for building a
6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

Over to you!

Now you know what the typical life coach salary is. You also know how to increase your rates and build your own coaching business from the get-go – strategies that the most successful coaches are using to grow their businesses.

Get the Ultimate Guide

for building a
6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

However, building a successful and sustainable coaching business isn’t just about pricing.

Want to learn the best strategy to build your business?

Get my free blueprint that shows the exact steps you need to take!

Learn more:

The Legal Requirements for Life Coaches

Life Coaching Marketing Guide

The Best Life Coach Certifications

About Luisa Zhou

Luisa Zhou has helped thousands of students build and scale their own profitable online Freedom Business. Fun Fact: She used to work as an engineer for the Space Station and holds a B.S.E. from Princeton. Click here to learn more about Luisa.

Hope you enjoy this blog post.

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2 Responses

  1. I love the info you shared. It was simple and plain. I am a Teacher Assistant at an elementary school. I am ready to retire. I want to go into life coaching, because I want to help people. I am not sure of my niche, exactly. I think I want to help people in relationships. I also want to help people stay healthy.

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