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Life coach

Life coaches support and encourage people to help them make informed decisions in their working and personal lives.

Annual Salary

variable

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

16 to 37 variable

You could work: freelance / self-employed; managing your own hours

Day to day tasks

You could work on a one to one basis or with groups. You could:

  • work with people face to face, online or on the telephone
  • use questioning techniques and listening skills to help people identify areas for development
  • discuss with clients their situation, values, attitudes and beliefs
  • encourage people to find their own solutions
  • help them to set and achieve suitable goals for change
  • look at ways of overcoming barriers and setbacks
  • help them stay motivated and committed
  • maintain records of your coaching practice
  • if you are self-employed, promote your work and do business admin tasks

Working environment

You could work from home or at a client's business.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding and you may spend nights away from home.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • applying directly
  • specialist courses offered by a professional body
University

If you already have a degree, you could study for a postgraduate award in coaching.

Courses at this level tend to focus on sport, performance management within organisations, coaching and mentoring in education or coaching psychology.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
For more information
College

You'll have an advantage if you've got qualifications and membership of a professional organisation. A good starting point would be to choose a course that is approved by an independent coaching body.

It's important that you gather as much information as possible before choosing a course, as costs vary widely. Courses are available through online and face-to-face learning, so you can choose the one that suits you best. Apart from your studies you would need to make time for practical coaching sessions and preparation activities.

Check that a course offers:

  • contacts with coaching and mentoring bodies
  • testimonials from coaches who have attended the course
  • good resources for developing skills
  • practical training, like workshops and seminars
  • some supervised work with a practising life coach or assessor
  • advice on setting up a business
  • opportunities for continuing professional development

For more information
Apprenticeship

If you want to work within organisations coaching individuals and teams to improve their work performance, you could do a coaching professional higher apprenticeship.

This typically takes 14 months to complete as a mix of learning in the workplace and off-the-job study.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information
Direct application

Life coaching is not regulated in the UK, so anyone can work as a life coach if they feel they have the necessary skills and qualities.

You may be able to work towards accreditation from a coaching professional body to improve your job prospects.

Other routes

You could take training through the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which offers a range of courses in coaching methods.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Career tips

You may find it useful if you have experience in psychology, management, counselling or teaching.

Further information

You can get more advice on coaching and mentoring from the:Coaching and Mentoring Network; Life Coach Directory; Association for Coaching; International Coaching Federation

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You could specialise in a particular type of life coaching like business executive, spiritual or health and wellbeing coaching.

Many life coaches begin work part-time, sometimes alongside another job, building their hours as they grow their caseload of clients.

You could set up your own business and employ other coaches.

You could use your skills and experience to train or supervise people new to coaching.

Find out more about becoming a Life Coach


Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • knowledge of psychology
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • knowledge of sociology and anthropology for understanding society and culture
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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