How to Be a Life & Relationship Coach

People looking to make major changes in their lives often require a little extra help. Whether it’s switching to a completely different career track, moving across the world or establishing new rules within a romantic relationship, people need some guidance, motivation and encouragement. A life and relationship coach works with clients to help identify their goals and then develop a process to achieve them. If you thrive on helping others succeed, this could be a good career choice for you.

Life and Relationship Coach Job Description

Life and relationship coaches begin by working with their clients to articulate the clients' objectives. Some people may not know what they want, while others may have very specific ideas about their goals. A life and relationship coach may begin with a discovery call to make sure that they are a good fit for the client, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Once the client and coach decide to move forward, the coach then develops a customized plan that helps the client to meet their targets. In the duration of their engagement, the coach and the client have regular meeting sessions where the coach offers guidance on how to deal with specific obstacles the client may be facing in relation to their goals. The coach also shares in the client's victories and helps them to celebrate important milestones.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the coaching sessions can last anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes. A coach may work with a client for a number of years, depending on the client's needs. Some life and relationship coaches meet in person with their clients, while others conduct sessions over the phone or through video conferencing.

Life and Relationship Coach Salary and Education Requirements

There are no formal education and training requirements to become a life and relationship coach. However, there are a number of unregulated training programs available in the United States. Having one of these certifications can help you stand out among other coaches in your area. The International Coach Federation is an organization that evaluates different coaching programs and also offers its own credentialing programs. The three different coaching programs offered by the International Coach Federation have different requirements, but they all include a specific amount of hours of paid coaching experience, in addition to a specific number of hours of training.

Many life and relationship coaches are self-employed. As a result, it’s important to know the basics of running a small business and have experience in marketing, networking, accounting and bookkeeping. Scheduling and logistics, as well as technical acuity, are also key to running a successful coaching business. In addition, life and relationship coaches need to have strong problem solving, decision making and leadership skills, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The average annual income for all coach practitioners, which also includes sports coaches, was $61,900 in 2015. In comparison to the median annual salary for all workers, this is well above average.

Life and Relationship Coach Industry and Trends

An ICF relationship coach or life coach may own their own coaching practice. In this case, coaches may work as consultants for other businesses, in addition to taking on private clients. Life and relationship coaches can also work in residential care or treatment facilities, working the organizations’ clients to help them overcome obstacles and reach their goals.

According to a 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study reviewed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 17,500 coach practitioners in 2015 in North America. However, not many coach practitioners work full time as coaches. Some may work part time while others may have another full-time occupation. Many choose to pursue their life and relationship coach jobs because they feel compelled to help others achieve their goals.