What Is A Life Coach? Roles, Skills And How To Become One

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 27 December 2022

Published 13 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Becoming a life coach allows you to bring a positive change to a client's life and ensure they reach their full potential. Life coaches work with clients and help them tackle different situations and identify personal strengths to accomplish goals in specific areas. If you are empathetic, it might prove beneficial to learn more about this job role to make an educated decision. In this article, we answer “What is a life coach?”, explore what they do, discover their average salary, understand how to become one and learn about the skills required for a fulfilling career in this field.

What Is A Life Coach?

If you are looking for an answer to, “What is a life coach?”, they are professionals who mentor and consult with people to strengthen their life skills and help them reach their full potential. A life coach uses interpersonal skills to understand and learn more about the client. The primary goal is to identify ways to create a change in your client's desire. These professionals offer support and motivate the client. A life coach can help people pass through major life crises. They change the social and emotional disorders that impact a client's life.

The specifics of the life coaching process depend on the niche you chose. Even when working in the same niche, these coaches can take a different approach depending on their knowledge, skills and clients' requirements. For instance, a health coach focuses on improving a client's health, while a career coach focuses on a client's career.

Related: How To Become A Soft Skill Trainer: A Complete Guide

What Does A Life Coach Do?

Apart from helping a client achieve their personal goals, a life coach performs the following duties:

  • Interviewing new clients: To help clients achieve goals and improve their skill set, these professionals' interview new clients. A life coach understands the client's personality, goals, struggles and background through the interview.

  • Setting goals: These professionals help clients decide and develop actionable plans to help them achieve their goals.

  • Collaborating with clients: A life coach collaborates with clients on skill development, problem-solving, preparation and money management.

  • Promoting client's progress: Often, a life coach helps promote a client's progress by constantly communicating with them and helping them reach their personal goals faster.

  • Motivating clients: Another essential job role of a life coach is inspiring and motivating the clients to achieve personal goals.

  • Building strategies: A successful coach creates effective strategies that help clients transform their lives.

  • Holding clients accountable: Life coaches are professionals who hold clients accountable and ensure the client's work towards achieving their professional goals.

  • Administering tests: A part of their job role involves administering various personalities and skills that help clients understand how to excel or improve.

  • Educating clients: These professionals educate the clients on emotional, communication and interpersonal skills.

Related: Essential Skills For A Life Coach (With Improvement Tips)

Average Salary Of A Life Coach

The national average salary of a life coach in New Delhi is ₹97,035 per month. The salary you can earn depends upon many factors, such as your niche, location, marketing skills and professional conduct. For instance, the national average salary of a health coach is ₹21,141 per month, the national average salary of a career coach is ₹24,678 per month and the national average salary of a life skills trainer is ₹20,085 per month.

A life coach with a reputation of achieving results and continuously upskilling themselves can enhance their earning potential. Your salary might also depend on your education level, employment type and certifications.

Skills Of A Life Coach

A life coach requires different soft skills and in-depth knowledge of the niche to excel in their career. Some common skills to master are:

Communication

A life coach requires excellent communication skills to convey ideas to clients. Using communication skills, they help a client explain the changes they plan to make. This skill set helps a life coach develop healthy relationships with clients. It can motivate the clients to speak about emotional and complex topics. This makes it easier for you to motivate clients and identify ways to achieve their goals.

Compassion

Employers expect a life coach to be empathetic because it helps you understand your clients' struggles. It is an important skill set because it helps you connect with others and identify what might motivate, inspire and make your clients happy. When you are empathetic, it helps you impart lessons to identify the client's requirements.

Goal setting

As these professionals set achievable goals for clients, a life coach requires proficiency in goal setting. The ability to set short- and long-term goals and identify paths of success can help you solve your client's problems. Also, proficiency in SMART goal methods can help you set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based goals.

Related: SMART Goals: Definition And Examples

Observation

These professionals require keen observational skills to examine and listen to clients and offer practical solutions to their problems. The ability to notice minor details about which you are clients are unaware is essential for a successful career. Also, being observant allows you to understand the traits of clients and create coaching based on the client's requirements.

Related: What Are Life Skills? Examples And How To Improve Them

Adaptability

Being adaptable is another essential trait of a life coach because it helps them change their techniques to match the client's requirements. The ability to adapt to what works best for their clients rather than having a rigid approach helps a coach guide their clients to success. Adaptability makes a life coach's job easier and provides their clients with the best possible coaching.

How To Become A Life Coach?

Here are a few steps to become a life coach:

1. Choose a niche

Choosing the right niche is essential for a fulfilling and rewarding career. There are various types of life coaches, including personal, performance, career, financial, life transition, personal development, health, executive and parenting coaches. So it is important to choose your preferred niche. For instance, if you love to improve the health and fitness of your clients, you can consider becoming a health coach, but if you want to help clients with their financial goals, you can become a financial coach.

Related: 11 Important Benefits Of Coaching In The Workplace: A Guide

2. Complete your education

Relevant education and certification can make it easier to enter a particular niche. Most companies prefer hiring life coaches with at least a bachelor's degree in a field related to the selected niche. If you plan to become a freelance or independent coach, you have various options. Someone with a diploma or 10+2 degree can become a successful life coach as well.

3. Pursue certification

While certifications are not essential for a role as a life coach, they definitely help verify your skills and knowledge. This can help you generate new clients and increase your earnings. You can consider completing a certification from the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Many organisations prefer hiring candidates with relevant certifications. Also, it proves as a value addition to your resume and helps you get hired for a desirable job.

4. Complete a training program

Based on your niche, you might complete a specialised training program. Often, many life coaches choose to complete a short training program rather than completing a master's or post-graduate degree. These training programs can help you improve your core competency and communication skills and help you learn about coaching ethics.

Related: 6 Types Of Motivational Speaking Jobs And How To Get Hired

5. Search for clients

Once you have completed the training program and earned relevant certifications, you can look for clients. One effective way of doing so is using a professional website and creating a strong online presence. You can even tell people in your network about your life coaching skills and the services you provide. Another way to attract clients is to volunteer and organise free coaching sessions in the community. This can help in increasing your popularity and client base.

6. Update your skills

Upgrading your skills is essential for a fulfilling career. There are many ways to update your skills. For instance, you can take an online course. Consider courses with a focus on practical training so that you can practise the acquired skill. Updating your skills can add value to you and your client's lives. You can also attend seminars, consider pursuing a post-graduate degree or read books to improve your skills.

Related: What Is Upskilling? (With Benefits And How To Upskill)

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Explore more articles