How Much Do Life Coaches Make? (+Tips to Increase Earnings)

If you’re curious about how much life coaches make or how your income as a life coach compares to the average salaries around the globe, you’re in the right spot.

In this article, we review the viability of the life coaching industry using recent studies and data. Then we take it a step further by looking at what the top life coaches are doing to create so much success.

This means you’ll get more than just a status check. You’ll also get practical ideas that you can use to grow your coaching business.

Let’s start by looking at the average salary of life coaches.

What Is the Average Life Coach Salary?

The International Coaching Federation released its global coaching study in May 2023. According to the study, the average life coach salary per hour is $244 across the globe.

However, this rate varies significantly by region. The average is only $144 in Latin America and the Caribbean, but it stretches to $272 in North America.

This table from the ICF Global Coaching Study shows the average hourly rates
This table from the ICF Global Coaching Study shows the average hourly rates

Since hourly fees only tell part of the story, let’s look at the annual revenue from coaching.

The average annual revenue jumped from $47,100 in 2019 to $52,800 in 2023. This starts at $18,700 in Eastern Europe to $67,800 in North America.

CountryAnnual Coaching Income
Asia$33,900
Eastern Europe$18,700
Latin America and the Caribbean$22,900
Africa and the Middle East$29,600
North America$67,800
Oceana$58,800
Western Europe$52,400
Global$52,800
This table from the ICF Global Coaching Study shows the average annual income

Some other findings from the ICF study present an optimistic outlook for life coaches:

  • Compared to 2019, the number of coach practitioners grew by 54%, and their earnings have roughly increased by 12%.
  • Previously, coaching was something people took up later in life. Now, younger coaches are entering the industry as younger clients seek coaches their age.
  • There’s a greater emphasis on credentials and formal education. Many colleges now offer degrees in coaching.

While the average salary numbers are inspiring, there’s a massive gap between average and top earners. It helps to see what top performers are doing so we can learn from them.

Let’s look at three celebrity life coaches to see how they run their businesses.

How Much Do Top Life Coaches Make?

What you do as a life coach and the decisions you make about your business can help you climb into that above-average range.

Let’s dive into the businesses of three fabulously successful life coaches: Brooke Castillo, Ajit Nawaklha, and Mel Robbins.

Brooke Castillo

Brooke Castillo is a Master Certified Life Coach and founder of The Life Coach School
Brooke Castillo is a Master Certified Life Coach and founder of The Life Coach School

Like all our celebrity life coaches, Brooke Castillo doesn’t offer one-on-one coaching on her website. That said, she learned her skills by being a life coach for a long time.

She has taken her five-step Model and founded The Life Coach School. On her website, her clients can sign up to either get coached or become coaches themselves:

  • Get coached: Clients can become members and access courses, group calls, and private weekly one-on-one sessions.
  • Be a coach: The Life Coach School trains those who want to be certified life coaches.

For visibility, Brooke hosts The Life Coach School Podcast and runs ads on social media. She currently works three days weekly and makes $15M/year.

Ajit Nawalkha

Ajit Nawalkha has founded several coaching-related businesses
Ajit Nawalkha has founded several coaching-related businesses

Ajit Nawalkha is a serial entrepreneur and has successfully launched several successful coaching companies. He uses his coaching expertise to run companies rather than coaching directly.

This former CEO of Mindvalley is now the co-founder of three companies, all of which connect to his website.

  • Evercoach: This business trains other coaches. It offers free guides and templates, as well as membership and certification.
  • Global Grit: This business offers coaching and tools for coaches, entrepreneurs, leaders, and business owners.
  • Dharma Coaching Institute: This business trains and certifies spiritual life coaches.

For visibility, Ajit hosts the podcast Master Coaching with Ajit. He’s successfully taken his businesses past the $10M mark.

Mel Robbins

Mel Robbins is a life coach whose advice helps motivate people to make a change
Mel Robbins is a life coach whose advice helps motivate people to make a change

Mel Robbins became a life coach after realizing the life of an attorney wasn’t for her. She started using her “5 Second Rule” with herself and her clients. This simple but effective practice became her “thing.” 

Opportunities to work with Mel are minimal. Her Launch program is a great example of a large cohort-based group coaching program that’s six weeks of intense coaching followed by six months of support.

She remains visible with her twice-weekly podcast and speaking engagements, like her TED Talk How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over, which has gained over 31 million views.

Mel Robbins’ current net worth is estimated at $15M.

These top-earning coaches have removed themselves from time-consuming one-on-one coaching and created unique businesses that reflect their personalities, skills, and messaging.

Factors Affecting Life Coach Income

As we compare coaches globally, four factors are most likely to affect their income: location, niche, experience, and number of clients.

Location

As shown in the table above, coaches in some geographic regions have a higher average earning than other locations.

Coaches in North America tend to earn the highest income, the average of which is $67,800. In Eastern Europe, life coaches earn the least, with the average at $18,700.

Where you live (or where your clients live) can affect your prices and earnings.

Niche

The niche you serve is one of the most significant impacts on your income.

For example, according to salary.com, executive coaches in the United States earn an average salary of $105,714. In contrast, health and wellness coaches can expect the average in the U.S. to be $63,663.

While there are many coaching niches, finding a profitable niche can make a big difference.

Experience

Experience is the next factor that can make a difference in your coaching income. According to Glassdoor, the median income for life coaches in the U.S. hovers around $60K–$70K for the first ten years.

However, it touches around $100K per year for coaches with 15+ years of experience.

Life coach salary vs experience
Life coach salary vs experience

So, it’s clear that as coaches gain more experience, their earning potential tends to increase significantly. This can be attributed to their enhanced skills, expanded network, and established reputation as authorities in their field.

Number of Clients

The last factor is the number of clients you have. The more clients you have, the more money you’ll make. Plus, filling your coaching schedule with clients increases your demand, which lets you charge more for your services.

In fact, the ICF study found that 73% of coaches expect to increase their revenue by growing their sessions or adding new clients.

Coaches grow their client base by automating their onboarding and by creating attractive websites that communicate the results their clients achieve.

How to Make More Money as a Life Coach

Now that we’ve covered what to expect for average income and looked at some of the more aspirational examples of top life coaches, what can life coaches do to make more money?

Expanding your own coaching business will take time, but how much time is entirely up to you.

Most of the top coaching businesses follow a predictable pattern of stages:

  • Launching: When you first start, fill your schedule with one-on-one clients.
  • Scaling: As your calendar fills, you’re ready to scale your business.
  • Expanding: This is where you manage a team rather than working with clients directly. 
Stages in evolution of top coaching businesses
Stages in evolution of top coaching businesses

Keeping these stages in mind, let’s look at ways to increase your income in whichever phase you find yourself.

Increase Visibility

In all stages of business, you need to get noticed to draw in more of the people who benefit from your services. Earlier stages generally rely on more organic marketing, where you use social media posts and direct messaging to establish a personal connection.

These early stages of marketing are vital because by talking about your business, you’ll create other opportunities to market and promote your business.

Here are a few examples of how to improve your visibility: 

  • Referrals
  • Guest on others’ podcasts
  • Featured speaker in summits
  • Short-form video posts
  • Affiliate programs
  • Your own podcast or YouTube channel
  • TED talks

Optimize Your Coaching Rates

You want to make it a regular practice to review your coaching packages as you increase your client base. This practice ensures you’re charging the best rate for you and your clients.

As you work with clients, pay attention to what you’re doing that works. It could be your signature method, approach, or a secret trick or tool you created, like Brooke Castillo’s Model or Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule. That thing you’re doing becomes part of your value proposition.

A few different pricing models can help you optimize your rates: 

  • Freemium: Offer something impressive for free to attract new clients. It could be one free session, a 14-day free trial to your group coaching, or the first chapter of your book. Choose this option only when you have the infrastructure to support it.
  • Tiered options: This option is where you have multiple price points for different budgets. It allows your clients to choose their level of investment and access to you.
    • Free: A Facebook group, a podcast, or tools
    • Low-cost: A $27 workshop or a book
    • Medium: A group coaching program
    • Premium: One-on-one coaching
  • Flat-rate: This option is the simplest; you have a fixed package with fixed features. Its simplicity is perfect for solopreneurs and automation.

As you experiment with new offers, you’ll get better pricing for your coaching packages and tools. This skill addresses the fear that you might be under or overcharging.

Scale Your Coaching Business

Scaling your business is one of the first ways to make more money without adding additional time to your calendar.

Two typical business models that let you scale include group coaching programs and courses. You can also offer a hybrid, where you continue offering one-on-one sessions as part of a group program or a course.

Each coach must develop a business best suited to their strengths and the needs of their audience.

Leverage Your Intellectual Property

Many skills and approaches you develop in one-on-one sessions become intellectual property you can monetize. Just as Brooke Castillo created her businesses on her model and Mel Robbins on her 5 Second Rule, you can do something similar.

For example, let’s say you devised a three-phased life coaching process for people seeking sobriety. What are some ways you could leverage this IP?

  • Write a book.
  • Train and certify other coaches.
  • Create a toolkit for other coaches or clients.
  • Sell branded merchandise.
  • Offer a membership for coaches or clients.

One example of a coach who leveraged his intellectual property is Mike Michalowicz. He created the Profit First accounting method. Now he makes money from writing books, training other coaches, and selling memberships.

Mike Michalowicz created success by leveraging his intellectual property for small businesses
Mike Michalowicz created success by leveraging his intellectual property for small businesses

Monetizing your intellectual property is like turning your genius idea into a full-time employee who works for you. This can add incremental revenue to your coaching business.

Conclusion

Becoming a life coach is more than just a job—it’s a passion. A good life coach will have an extraordinary impact on their clients and make a great living for themselves in the process.

While the average life coach salaries are great, the amount you can make as a life coach is up to you. Improve your skills, optimize your rates, and adjust your coaching model, and you can make a good living.

How do your coaching rates compare to these average figures? What changes do you plan to make to maximize your earnings? Please let us know in the comments below!

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