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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


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

Working hours

30 to 32 variable

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

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

You'll work with clients on a day-to-day basis by:

  • discussing their situation, values, attitudes and beliefs
  • helping them to set and achieve suitable goals for change
  • looking at ways of overcoming barriers and setbacks
  • helping them stay motivated and committed

Working environment

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

You can get into this job through:

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

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

Courses at this level tend to focus on sport, or performance management within organisations.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
For more information

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
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.

Other routes

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

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 and the Life Coach Directory.

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

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
  • active listening skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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