Life Coach

Job Description:

Life coaches support and encourage people to help them make informed decisions in their working and personal lives.

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

As a life coach, you could:

  • Work with people face to face, online or on the telephone
  • Use questioning techniques and listening skills to help people identify areas for development
  • Discuss with clients their situation, values, attitudes and beliefs
  • Encourage people to find their own solutions
  • Help them to set and achieve suitable goals for change
  • Look at ways of overcoming barriers and setbacks
  • Help them stay motivated and committed
  • Maintain records of your coaching practice
  • If you are self-employed, promote your work and do business admin tasks


You’ll need:

  • Knowledge of psychology
  • To be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • Counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • Customer service skills
  • The ability to understand people’s reactions – empathy, active listening and emotional intelligence
  • Sensitivity and understanding
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Adaptable
  • To enjoy working with other people (teamwork)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

School Subjects

Becoming a life coach typically does not have strict GCSE subject requirements, as the field focuses more on interpersonal skills, communication, and personal development. However, certain subjects can provide a foundation for the knowledge needed, such as:

  1. English: Strong communication skills are essential for a life coach, as you’ll be working closely with clients to help them set goals, overcome challenges, and improve their lives. English can help you develop your writing, speaking, and listening abilities.
  2. Psychology: While not commonly offered at the GCSE level, an understanding of basic psychology concepts can be beneficial for understanding human behavior, motivation, and thought processes.
  3. Counselling Skills: If available, a counselling skills course can provide you with techniques for active listening, empathy, and effective communication.
  4. Mathematics: Basic math skills are useful for managing your own business finances if you decide to work as an independent life coach.
  5. Social Sciences: Subjects like Sociology or Social Studies can provide insights into human relationships, group dynamics, and societal influences.
  6. Health and Wellbeing: An understanding of health, nutrition, and overall wellbeing can be beneficial when helping clients set holistic goals.

You can get into this job through:

  • A university course
  • A college course
  • Applying directly
  • Specialist courses offered by a professional body

If you already have a degree, you could study for a postgraduate award in coaching.

Courses at this level tend to focus on sport, performance management within organisations, coaching and mentoring in education or coaching psychology.

You’ll have an advantage if you’ve got qualifications and membership of a professional organisation. A good starting point would be to choose a course that is approved by an independent coaching body.

It’s important that you gather as much information as possible before choosing a course, as costs vary widely. Courses are available through online and face-to-face learning, so you can choose the one that suits you best. Apart from your studies you would need to make time for practical coaching sessions and preparation activities.

Check that a course offers:

  • contacts with coaching and mentoring bodies
  • testimonials from coaches who have attended the course
  • good resources for developing skills
  • practical training, like workshops and seminars
  • some supervised work with a practising life coach or assessor
  • advice on setting up a business
  • opportunities for continuing professional development

If you want to work within organisations coaching individuals and teams to improve their work performance, you could do a coaching professional higher apprenticeship.

This typically takes 14 months to complete as a mix of learning in the workplace and off-the-job study.

Direct Application
Life coaching is not regulated in the UK, so anyone can work as a life coach if they feel they have the necessary skills and qualities.

You may be able to work towards accreditation from a coaching professional body to improve your job prospects.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 16-37 hours of work. You could be required to freelance/be self-employed.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could:

  • Specialise in a particular type of life coaching like business executive, spiritual or health and wellbeing coaching.
  • Work part-time, sometimes alongside another job, building their hours as they grow their caseload of clients.
  • Set up your own business and employ other coaches.
  • Use your skills and experience to train or supervise people new to coaching.