Executive coaching sounds quite exciting — you work with leaders, help unlock insights that have significant impact on an organization and possibly, the world.
But nobody tells you how to become an executive coach, and all of the important details or particulars seem to be shrouded in mystery. From our experience, most of these conversations around pricing and clients happen behind closed doors.
Today, we’re hoping to provide some transparency, so that every executive coach can get a sense of how they’re doing amongst their peers.
- General overview — who we surveyed.
- Coaching education — do you need a certification?
- Executive coach pricing and rates — how much do executive coaches charge? And for what services?
- Executive coaching clients — on average, how many clients do executive coaches have? Are they remote or local?
- Building an executive coaching business — where do clients come from, how do coaches manage their business?
Let’s get into it.
We had 73 executive coaches participate in our survey, here's where they're from:
It’s a pretty even split between full-time and part-time coaches.
- This is my full time gig (53%)
- Part-time, with the hopes of going full-time in the future (25%)
- Part-time, and intending to stay part-time (22%)
Most have been coaching for at least a year, some are veterans!
Executive coaching certifications — do you need one?
From our survey, 59 out of 73 coaches said they have a certification (81%).
How does certification affect number of clients or pricing?
Number of clients:
- Median number of clients for those without certification: 9
- Median number of clients for those with certification: 15
- Median 1:1 coaching rate for those without certification: $300-500
- Median 1:1 coaching rate for those with certification: $151-300
Conclusion: Many executive coaches have a certification, but based on median coaching rates being higher in those who don’t have certification, it seems like you don't need a certification, particularly if you have relevant experience that people want to learn from.
A great example is our co-founder, Julien Smith, who started coaching first time CEOs once he had been a CEO for over a decade. He doesn't have any formal certifications yet, but his clients have been seeing incredible results.
If you are looking for certifications, some of the most recognizable are from ICF, Co-Active, IPEC and CTI.
Continuing education goes well beyond certifications, and it seems like most coaches invest heavily in it.
Here’s how much executive coaches tend to spend annually on professional development:
How much do executive coaches charge?
- 99% of executive coaches offered 1:1 sessions
- 86% offered group coaching
- 38% sold courses
- 7% have a community membership.
On average, coaches tend to charge:
- $151-$300 for an individual session (41.6% of respondents)
- $500-1000 (19%) and $1000+ (24%) for a group session
- $1000+ for a course (53.5%)
How does tenure affect their coaching rates?
Interestingly, when we overlayed coaching tenure (how long someone has been a coach), with coaching rates — there wasn’t a correlation.
How long you’ve been coaching doesn’t seem to have an effect on coaching rates/prices.
How many clients do executive coaches have?
The executive coaches we surveyed had an average of 12.8 clients, and the average retention of clients was 6-12 months (37%), with a close second being 3-6 months (31.5%).
Going one step deeper:
- Full-time coaches had an average of 17.9 clients, who typically stayed with them for 6-12 months (49%).
- Part-time coaches had an average of 8.5 clients, who typically stayed with them for 3-6 months (47%).
What about where these clients are from?
What’s interesting is that the majority of executive coaching clients for the coaches that we surveyed are remote (61.58%). Only 38.42% were local (defined as in the same city).
How do executive coaches find their clients?
This one is pretty unanimous. Far and away, executive coaches find their clients through Word of Mouth and Professional referrals.
P.S. If you need a way to package up your offering for those professional referrals — we have a free coaching pitch deck template.
What tools do executive coaches use?
Overall, a majority of executive coaches tend to manage their coaching business manually, or tape together a bunch of separate tools.
There’s a correlation between number of clients and how coaches manage their business — the higher the range, the most common it is to use a coaching platform.
P.S. Practice is a coaching platform that helps new and establish coaches get more time back by reducing manual admin work. Request access to the product by filling out this form.
That’s it for this segment of our 2022 State of Coaching Report (full report coming soon).
If you’re interested in getting a free copy of the report when it’s released, send us an email at email@example.com with the subject line: 2022 SOC Report please!