Annual Salary of Life & Retirement Coaches

by Dana Severson

In a recent article for "Forbes," Dan Janel, a business consultant for coaches, asserts, “Coaching is exploding.” With the economy in flux, many professionals are launching careers as consultants, including life coaching. As a life coach, you consult on both personal and professional challenges facing clients, and your advice doesn’t go unrewarded. Life coaches can make six-figure salaries.

Salary Ranges

While life coaches can earn anywhere from $26,000 to $274,000 a year, the average earnings were $47,900 a year as of 2013, according to a survey by Sherpa Executive Coaching. This was a decrease of nearly 14 percent from the previous year, when the average was closer to $55,450. By comparison, business coaches earned $74,550 in 2013 -- up 5 percent from 2012, when salaries averaged $71,000 annually. On the other hand, the job-seekers' site Indeed provides a much higher figure for life coaches, estimating the average salary at $65,000 in 2013.

Hourly Rates

As of 2013, the average hourly rate for life coaches was $229 an hour, according to a survey by the Universal Coach Institute. But rates vary by experience. Coaches with less than one year of experience reported an average rate of $128 an hour. Those with one to two years of experience averaged $152 an hour, while those with three to four years of experience brought home $194 an hour. At five to 10 years of experience, rates averaged $256 an hour. Of all life coaches, rates were the highest for those with more than 10 years of experience, at an average of $321 an hour. With coaches reporting an average of 13 hours per week of coaching, this works out to $216,996 a year.

Local Variances

As with any occupation, earnings vary by location. Of the states, life coaches in New York earned some of the highest salaries, at an average of $78,000 a year. Those working in New York City earned even more, at an average of $84,000 a year. Life coaches in Massachusetts also fared better than most, bringing home $76,000, while those in California earned $69,000 annually. The same, however, didn't hold for life coaches in South Dakota, where the average was just $47,000 a year.

Career Outlook

Though information is limited on life coaches, the BLS expects employment for career coaches to be favorable, with an average job growth of 19 percent through 2020 -- much faster than the national average for all U.S. occupations, projected at 14 percent.

About the Author

Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Dana Severson has been writing marketing materials for small-to-mid-sized businesses since 2005. Prior to this, Severson worked as a manager of business development for a marketing company, developing targeted marketing campaigns for Big G, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, among others.

Photo Credits

  • Nick White/Digital Vision/Getty Images