The cost of life coaching varies widely. Life coaching is a relatively new field, and as such, the prices, standards, and practices are still being established. As a general rule, established coaches charge more than coaches who are just entering the profession. Some coaches specialize in offering advice to high-income professionals and charge considerably more for their services. The certification status of a life coach and the structure of the coaching sessions also generally influence the cost of life coaching.
Life coaches rely on their reputations to attract and keep clients. Coaches with excellent reviews are usually in greater demand and are in a position to charge more for their services. A life coach who has only just entered the field will not have the same sort of social capital to draw on, and the cost of life coaching from such a professional will typically be significantly lower, as he or she must focus initially on attracting clients and building a positive professional reputation.
Certain life coaches are primarily focused on offering advice to individuals working in very stressful and highly-paid fields, such as business and finance. These coaches usually focus primarily on advice that is useful in advancing within these high-profile careers. Few coaches are able to build reputations for success at this level, and those who can do so are typically also able to charge a great deal for their services. Clients who reap great benefits from work with such coaches are typically both willing and able to pay a premium for their services, and the cost of life coaching from such professionals reflects this fact.
Organizations to certify life coaches do exist, but no universally-accepted set of standards, practices, and certification requirements is in place. A certified life coach may charge more for his or her services than a coach who has not been certified. The degree to which prices vary between certified and non-certified coaches depends, to some extent, on the reputation of the agency providing the credentials. Coaches with strong reputations will typically charge similar fees regardless of certification, however.
Sessions with a life coach are most often conducted over the phones or other communication devices rather than in person. Personal meetings may cost more than phone consultations. Many coaches also offer package programs that provide lower prices per coaching session for clients who are able to commit to longer-term periods of coaching.
Some coaches offer free life coaching sessions to men and women who are trying to determine if life coaching would be helpful for them. A few organizations also offer free or deeply-discounted coaching sessions to individuals who might benefit from coaching for whom the cost of life coaching would be a major burden. The lack of standardization in the field means that such pro-bono services are rarely supported by government agencies and that their availability is highly variable.