How much do Executive Coaches make?

A question I get asked a lot by individuals who are eager to jump in to the executive coaching train ask me is “Hey Iftikhar, how much money do executive coaches make in a year?”  While it is true, that coaches – whether they are in the fields of business coaching, leadership coaching, life coaching or CEO coaching – depends upon a number of factors.

Where in the world you’re based in has a drastic effect on the income/revenue you will generate from coaching. For example, an exhaustive study conducted by the International Coaching Federation and PwC in 2016 gathered income and revenue data from 73 countries and concluded that the average income from coaching globally in 2016 was $51,000. This was also a steady growth from the years 2011 to 2015. Furthermore, to view the entire seven continent breakdowns, please have a look at the graph below:

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To elaborate further, the research concluded that three out of four coaches with an active set of clients (75%) said they expect their number of coaching clients to increase over the next year. A similar number of coaches (75%) said they expect an increase in annual revenue from coaching. More than six in 10 (63%) said they expect their number of coaching sessions to increase. Coaches, however, are somewhat less confident in an increase in average fees (45%). However, very few coaches (2%) said they expect average fees to decline.

So how much do Executive Coaches make on average? First of all, it’s important to state that the use of executive coaching increases with the level of the executive, and the rates that companies and organizations are willing to pay for executive coaching varies widely. Based on my research and experience:

  • The average hourly wage that companies and organizations pay to executive coaches’ ranges to well over $500 per session at all levels of the organization. And the average coaching engagement ranges from 3 to 12 months. This can make the average coaching revenue range from $12,500 to $25,000
  • The biggest range in rates paid can be found among organizations with small revenues
  • In general, coaches’ hourly rates tend to rise as the executive being coached reaches the higher levels of an organization, and as a company’s revenues increase.
  • Executive coaching is reaching junior executive levels of some organizations, and includes leaders more than three to five levels below that of the CEO
  • Large organizations are the least likely to provide coaching services to executives two to five levels below the CEO and companies with revenues of $20 billion or more do not coach their lowest remaining leadership levels
  • Executive coaching is also being used outside the United States. A study conducted by the Conference Board Council concluded that approximately 60 percent of rates around the world match those of the United States. When not matches with US rates, they are usually lower

Average Breakdown by Industry

Please see the chart to below to see the average rates paid to Coach as CEO, to Coach employees 2 to 5 levels below the C-Suite, and to Coach the remaining Leadership Levels by industry.

Breakdown by Company Revenue Size

Please see graphs below to find see the size of companies that pay to Coach their CEOs, size of companies that pay to Coach employees 2 to 5 levels below the CEO, and size of companies that pay to Coach remaining leadership levels.

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Rate Structure for Executive Coaches

Executive coaching has become more standardized over the years.  For example, in a 2008 survey conducted by the Conference Board Council, 54 percent of respondents said that they pay a standard fixed rate per engagement, and 43 percent said that they pay a standard fixed rate by the hour or day, up from 48 percent and 32 percent, respectively, in 2006.

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Surveys reported fees ranging from low as: $13,000 to as high as $30,000 for a six-month engagement.

  • For example, a company stated that for a six month engagement it pays between $15,000 and $25,000 for C-suite coaching and from $10,000 to $15,000 for coaching at the next levels.
  • Another company says it pays $25,000 for CEO coaching, $15,000 to coach its upper management, and between $7,000 and $10,000 to coach middle management.



 

As you can probably tell by the end of this article, the executive coaching rates do vary – even though evidence has started to show some standardization in the rates over time. Also, always remember that just like any other profession, you never enter in it just for the money, but because you’re truly passionate about the work you do. Feel free to discuss in the comments below.

 

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