What Is a Personal Life Coach?

Research what it takes to become a personal life coach. Learn about the duties of this job, the educational and certification requirements and the salary range to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Personal Life Coach Do?

Personal life coaches help their clients achieve their personal goals. These coaches apply skills in listening, life assessment, guidance and planning to assist and motivate their clients in defining and reaching their own desired outcomes. In some cases, personal life coaches also provide other services such as therapy and offer advice on relationships or careers as a way to help people resolve issues and become better individuals as a result.

The following chart provides an overview of the education, certification and salary potential for this field.

Degree Required No standard requirement; relevant certificate and associate's degree programs are available
Education Field of Study Life coaching, professional coaching
Certification Voluntary; options include the Associate Certified Coach, Professional Certified Coach and Master Certified Coach credentials
Key Skills Listening, guidance, assessment, advising
Median Salary (2017) $43,671*

Source: *PayScale

What Are My Job Duties as a Personal Life Coach?

Your job is to help your clients explore their goals and dreams. You listen to them explain what they want to do, become or experience, as well as help them define reachable goals. You offer encouragement and assistance to them in reaching those goals. You act as a confidant and guide.

You may help a client to overcome obstacles, find the right steps to take, maintain focus and explore different possibilities on the route to realizing their goals. You may work with clients who are clear about what they want to accomplish but don't know how to make it happen, or you may have clients who are unsure of what they want to do. It's your job to determine how you can assist each client you work with.

In addition to goal-oriented coaching, you may also help clients discover their hidden talents, work on building self-esteem and assist them with career development. You may assess a person's skills, help them with social issues and encourage them to make career decisions.

What Training Is Needed?

No education requirement exists for personal life coaches, but certificate and associate's degree programs are available through colleges and universities. Life coaching programs may include courses in leadership, human capital management or professional coaching. In these programs, you learn the fundamentals of life coaching and study such topics as psychology and professional development.

Is There Certification Available?

You may consider certification through the International Coach Federation (ICF). The ICF is a coaching organization offering training courses and certifications that are recognized in the industry (www.coachfederation.org). The ICF offers the High impact Coaching Certificate program, which is a 14-month course offering training in life coaching and the credentials for the certification. This course covers support techniques, how to overcome barriers, personal growth encouragement and self-confidence building. Other certifications offered through the ICF include:

  • Associate Certified Coach
  • Professional Certified Coach
  • Master Certified Coach

What Kind of Salary Can I Expect?

According to PayScale, the median salary for life coaches as of January 2017 was $43,671. Most life coaches earned between $28,710 and $86,852 at that time.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

A number of alternative careers that provide opportunities for you to motivate people to achieve specific goals are available. One career alternative is to be a high school teacher who not only teaches academic lessons to students, but also motivates students to set and achieve their career and life goals. Another career option is to become a program manager for a non-profit organization. Program managers for non-profit organizations plan, execute and monitor the success of each activity aimed at promoting the organization's advocacy. Both alternative careers require a bachelor's degree and excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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