Everything You Need to Know About Life Coaches

Not only should students consider using a life coach in college, they should explore becoming one.

By Rebecca Friou, University of New Orleans


Are you in a rut?

Do you need help reaching a goal?

It is time, my friend—time to seek a synergistic relationship: a life coach.

That’s right, despite the giant question mark that people pose when they hear the name, life coaching is actually a legitimate career. The position is built around potential: finding it, applying it and reaching the peak of it.

So how do you earn the right to boss around corporate businessmen and anyone undergoing a mid-life crisis?

First things first. You have to have your life together.

Life Coaching and You

Remember that small issue that always weighs on your conscience? That can’t be there. In order to provide the best for your clients, you yourself have to be in some of the best mental shape of your life. It sounds difficult, but most of us get there someday. So when that occurs, then it’s time to learn. Books, Masters courses, certifications, programs: They all play a vital role in prepping you for the position you’re about to play in someone else’s life.

From there, it’s all about perfecting your practice. Maybe you have a friend that could use a little motivating; you try out your newly refined skills on them and it works. Voila, you are on your way to becoming a life coach.

However, none of this happens overnight. These credentials take some serious time to rack up.

The International Coaching Federation (IFC) heads the industry by offering some of the highest quality training. Because many people choose this career as an adult and typically have other day jobs, earning the certification can take anywhere between six months to several years depending on how fast paced you are. Between 125-300 hours are required, specified by each program. It also isn’t cheap. Tuition must be taken into account when thinking about becoming a coach. Are you willing to spend $7,000-$15,000?

By now you might be iffy about the career, so let’s talk salary.

Life coaches charge anywhere between $100-$300 an hour. Executive life coaches, the kind that work with teams and businesses start around $500 an hour and can earn up to $10,000 per month.

But there are also non-monetary benefits too.

Helping others typically ends up helping you. You feel good, think more clearly, are more self-aware and can make wiser decisions.

Being someone else’s life coach is similar to being your own. You learn to take your own advice while also recommending positive approaches to someone else.

The typical session in a day of the life of a coach lasts between 30-60 minutes (via phone or Skype.) These arrangements can happen once a week or once a month—which, not to mention, is a pretty sweet deal. A second career that lets you work from home or virtually anywhere? For someone who loves to travel, this is ideal. After all, with all the benefits of hiring a coach, such as, motivation, clarity, awareness and energy, you’re really getting some bang for your buck.

Perhaps you’re in a transitional period in your life. You’ve just moved to a new town with no familiar places. You’ve graduated college and don’t know where to go. You’ve ended a long-term relationship and need some help directing your focus forward. These are all common scenarios in which life coaches can be helpful, amongst a variety of others. From the office to the homestead, advice and encouragement will be provided.

Students, take advantage of this opportunity. You should not only weigh the decision to seek out a coach if you need one, but also consider the idea of becoming one yourself. Whether now or later, the certification will always come in handy. If you’re studying psychology in school (which is about half of you) or counseling, maybe this is the right path for you.

What’s nice about becoming a life coach is that you can work at your own will. Most of these folks work privately and build a clientele as they go. So if you ever come across a new opportunity for a job, don’t sweat it. Put coaching on hold and move along your merry way. You have the ability to work as much or as little as you prefer which only adds to the appeal.

Now that you’re more in the loop about life coaching, hopefully you give it some credit. As a coach, you have to interview clients, learn their work and life habits, formulate plans and try strategies that may or may not work for them. You are simply passing along confidence and incentive to not only work harder, but actually enjoy yourself while doing it.