Executive Coaching: Job Description & Salary

Executive coaches can help professionals transition smoothly to new roles or help employees identify and achieve work-related performance goals. This article looks at executive coaches' roles in greater detail.

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Career Definition of an Executive Coach

Executive coaches assist professionals in the workplace. While the name might suggest exclusively working with executives, executive coaches may work with managers and other employees as well. They may work for a specific individual who wants to improve his or her skills and performance in the workplace. They may also be hired by a company or organization to help facilitate organizational changes, which can involve working with recently promoted executives or managers to help them adapt to their roles effectively.

The core responsibilities of an executive coach involve meeting with clients, clarifying their specific objectives and developing a strategy that will help their clients achieve those goals. Since they focus on individuals in the workplace, their tasks may be influenced by changes in the organization, company philosophies or other factors. They help their clients embrace their potential for growth and improvement. Unlike training specialists, their objective isn't to teach clients but to help them alter their thinking so that they can facilitate improvements in their performance. Ongoing assessment is part of a coach's responsibility. They provide their clients with prompts to get them to think about situations differently so that they can change their strategies for dealing with specific issues.

Educational Requirements No formal academic requirements, optional certificate or certification recommended. However, most Executive Coaches will have a business background and MBA.
Job Skills Communication skills, interpersonal skills, analytical skills, problem-solving skills, ability to maintain confidentiality, leadership skills
Median Salary (2018)* $95,000
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 13% (all school and career counselors)

Sources: *PayScale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Executive coaches have no clear academic requirements; some may pursue this career with nothing more than business experience, while others may earn a bachelor's or master's degree to prepare for this career. Since their work involves understanding what motivates human behavior, executive coaches can benefit from studying psychology. Completing courses in business can also be an asset because it will help coaches understand the business environment they will be working in. It may not always be required, but obtaining professional certification as an executive coach may be an advantage when competing for work in this field. It is also an option to complete a certificate program in executive coaching.

Required Skills

Interpersonal skills are very important because executive coaches need to be able to put clients at ease and build strong working relationships with them. They need to have effective communication skills so that they can produce plans that are clear. They also need analytical skills so that they can effectively assess clients and identify issues that may be hindering their workplace performance. Confidentiality is important, since they commonly work with managers and executives and need their clients to trust them in order to be able to work effectively with them.

Career Outlook and Salary

Executive coaches took home a median income of $95,000 as of 2018. This figure was reported by PayScale.com. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not separate executive coaches from its listing for school and career counselors. Over the ten-year period from 2016 to 2026, the BLS expects school and career counselors to experience a 13% increase in jobs.

Related Careers

If a career as an executive coach sounds appealing, then you may also be interested in other occupations that involve helping people prepare for their careers or acquire work-related skills. Some roles that share similar duties or objectives with those of executive coaches are discussed further in the articles linked to here.

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