All across the country, people are dealing with rising costs of living, lower wages and major changes in the way people work and live. As a result, people are starting to re-examine their careers, work/life balance and relationships, and doing some serious soul searching about their purpose and goals. The focus has shifted from a “grind” mindset to one of health, wellness and spirituality. Self-care is no longer a luxury but a necessity. 

This is where the demand for life coaches comes in. 

According to a 2017 report by Market Research on the self-improvement industry, the U.S. self-improvement market was worth $9.9 billion in 2016. It’s forecasted to grow 5.6% annually from 2016 to 2022, with the potential to be worth $13.2 billion.

What Do Life Coaches Do? 

Life coaches work with clients to address areas in their lives that need improvement or change. Using techniques like active listening, open-ended questions, behavioral and positive psychology, life coaches help clients address anything from losing weight, to managing people, to making a job change or even breaking a bad habit. 

Who Works with a Life Coach?

Coaches are hired by individuals and companies. Individuals typically hire a life coach for personalized, one-on-one coaching in areas like health and wellness, personal development, new business development, family and parenting skills and interpersonal relationship issues. 

Companies hire coaches for executive and employee development in the areas of leadership and management skills, team building and communication. Providing coaching in these areas helps to improve employee performance, morale, coping skills, resilience, job satisfaction, and ultimately increases the company’s bottom line.    

Good life coaches should be patient, great listeners, and provide a sounding board for their clients. They’re able to ask questions that dig deep, help their client make personal breakthroughs, provide accountability, and show some tough love when necessary. 

Here are some of the biggest trends to watch out for this year in the life coaching industry.

1. “Niching” or Specializing in Area of Coaching Expertise

People want to work with a life coach who has expertise in the area they need help in. While there are some “generalists,” life coaches typically focus on one area of expertise. From the perspective of a coach, the more specific your niche is, the easier it is to market. Some common niches include:

  • Health and wellness coaching (including nutrition, weight loss, hormones, stress management and fitness)
  • Executive coaching (to develop strategic planning, leadership and team-building skills
  • Career coaching (to find a job or a new employment path, or to level up in a current career)
  • Business coaching (for entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, time management and public speaking skills)
  • Family and parenting coaching
  • Dating and relationship coaching
  • Personal development coaching (to help with grief, communication skills, assertiveness and self-confidence)

2. Coaching Industry Regulation and Credentialing

The life coaching industry is currently not regulated. Certification or formal training isn’t required to be a life coach, but it is valued as it establishes credibility. Individuals and companies are looking for experienced and credentialed coaches from qualified training programs like the Health Coach Institute.  

As the life coaching industry grows, professional coaching organizations are developing standards to hold coaches accountable and to ensure quality, efficacy and ethical practices.

3. Technology and Online Life Coaching

Technology allows people to coach anybody, anywhere, anytime. Video conferencing for live coaching sessions, webinars, masterminds and telesummits, online courses, coaching apps, blogs, podcasts, websites and e-books have all but replaced in-person and telephone coaching.

The pandemic has also contributed to the change in how life coaching is delivered. People are more comfortable doing everything online and are less inclined to gather for large in-person meetings. People now have the option to attend in-person events or experience them virtually. 

4. Coaching Has Become a Mainstream Profession

The Internet has made life coaching mainstream. With people searching the web daily for information and answers, they’re being connected with life coaches through websites, blogs and podcasts. A Google search for the term “life coach” brings in about 1.8 billion results.

According to a 2022 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than half of the employees surveyed listed coaching and professional development as a benefit they would like to see in the future. In the health coaching sector, a 2021 MarketData survey on the health coaching market indicated that 60% of Americans want health coaching but 80% of them have never had it offered to them.

Life Coaching Facts and Statistics

So just how popular is life coaching becoming? Here are some interesting statistics from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) 2020 report

Is Life Coaching a Growing Industry? 

Life coaching is the second-fastest-growing industry in the world with an average yearly growth of 6.7%. Globally, there were an estimated 71,000 coach practitioners in 2019, an increase of 33% from 2015. The estimated global total revenue from coaching in 2019 was $2.849 billion U.S. dollars, representing a 21% increase over the 2015 estimate. 

What Training or Credentials are Required to Be a Life Coach? 

While no training or credentials are required to be a life coach, nearly all coach practitioners (99%) report that they have completed some coach-specific training. More and more, training is available through programs accredited/approved by a professional coaching organization (93% in the 2020 study, up from 89% in 2016). 

The vast majority of coach practitioners (95%) said they had completed 60 or more hours of training, up from 93% in 2015 

Almost three in four coach practitioners (74%) said they currently hold a credential or certification from a professional coaching organization—like Health Coach Institute—up from 70% in the 2016 study.

How Much Does a Life Coach Make? 

The average income from coaching services globally is $47,100 and in North America $62,500, but a life coach salary can vary based on your client portfolio. This number doesn’t include other income earned from additional services offered such as consulting, training and facilitating. There are so many ways to earn income as a life coach— private coaching, group coaching, virtual workshops, live events, VIP days, the list goes on—that your income potential is essentially unlimited. HCI can show you how to choose the right coaching business model for you, so your bank account can flourish right along with you!

Key Takeaways for Life Coaches in 2022

Recent changes in how we work and live have increased the demand for life coaching and how it’s delivered. The use of technology, online and hybrid delivery methods has increased and is expected to continue. As life coaching becomes more mainstream, companies and individuals want to hire life coaches who have a specific area of expertise, experience, training and credentials from a reputable, accredited coaching program, like HCI. 

Get Your Dual Health and Life Coach Certification

If you’re one of the many Americans joining the Great Resignation and looking for a career shift, this is the sign you’ve been waiting for! Join our six-month Become a Health & Life Coach or Nutrition Coach course, where you’ll receive the skills and foundation you need to transform your health and the health of others. If you’ve already completed the initial certification and are looking to take your skills even further, check out our 12-month Coach Mastery program which is focused on sales, marketing and advanced coaching techniques.

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Health Coach Institute provides aspiring Health and Life Coaches with the tools, training, and support to make a great living transforming lives.