What Is a Professional Success Coach?

Research what it takes to become a professional success coach. Learn about career options along with degree requirements, responsibilities, and job growth to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Professional Success Coach?

A professional success coach works hand-in-hand with companies and managers to improve company culture by helping employees achieve their career goals. A professional success coach can shape corporate culture by helping people adapt to changes and be receptive to feedback. Utilize the chart below to learn about required training and employment options for professional success coaches.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree at minimum; advanced degree for some professions; supplemental certificate programs on coaching are available
Certification Voluntary certification available through International Coaching Federation (ICF) and American Society for Training & Development (ASTD)
Education Field of Study Coaching methods, career mentoring, management, business
Key Responsibilities Help businesses, students, or employees set personal goals, improve communication, and strengthen relationships
Job Growth (2014-2024) 8%* (for school and career counselors)
Median Salary (2017) $43,671** (for life coaches)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

Job Duties of a Professional Success Coach

According to the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a respected authority on professional coaching, coaching focuses on goal setting, personal change and professional development through actions of the individual being coached (www.coachfederation.org). As a professional life coach, you offer encouragement to clients to help them reach their full potential through establishing and planning personal goals, as well as assessing their individual circumstances. You guide professionals to communicate more effectively, meet professional standards and set goals.

If a company is going through a major overhaul where employees are greatly impacted, you may be brought in to help smooth the transition and ensure everyone feels confident in the new direction the company is taking. An individual may use your assistance to develop professional goals and work towards realizing them. You may lead a group in activities, which teach professionals to establish working relationships and actively communicate.

What Training Is Available?

The ICF accredits certificate programs in coaching that are offered through colleges and universities. An ICF program may cover coaching methods, techniques and styles. The program will help you develop your coaching skills and learn how to encourage change within others. There are other similar independent programs offered through coaching companies.

You may also consider certification through the ICF or the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) to prove your skills and knowledge as a coach. The ICF offers three certifications including the Associate Certified Coach, the Professional Certified Coach and the Master Certified Coach. To earn these certifications, you must meet training and experience requirements.

The ASTD offers the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) certification (www.astd.org). The CPLP certification test examines your knowledge of concepts related to business through a multiple-choice test. You also must submit a work sample to be assessed.

Where Can I Work?

Typically, as a professional success coach, you will either work in your own coaching business or work for a coaching company. The companies you work with may include corporations, small businesses and government agencies. You may also be hired by individuals. Your clients can be professionals in any industry. You may go to their location to provide training or work at your own office. In some cases, you may go on location to a camp or training area to coach a group of individuals.

What Are Some Alternative Careers?

You may consider a career as a rehabilitation counselor, mental health counselor or marriage and family therapist. Rehabilitation counselors help people with disabilities overcome mental, physical and social challenges. They also provide assistance in living independently. Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists help clients overcome personal and relationship challenges by improving their mental health. While mental health counselors or marriage and family therapists are required to have a license to practice, not all rehabilitation counselors need to have a license. Just like a professional success coach, all of these careers require a master's degree.

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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