Two coaches pass the £1m earnings barrier at coaching firm Shirlaws

Has the day of the £1m a year coach dawned?

According to coaching firm Shirlaws it did in 2007 year when two of its coaches passed the £1m earnings barrier. “We’ve got two at the moment,” said chairman Peter Harford. “I can’t name them but they have business development skills and the ability to sell themselves.”

The duo are employed on a partnership basis and are full time with Shirlaws. Harford says they command high fees and also manage teams of coaches – in one case four in another 12. “This is a very profitable way to operate,” said Harford. “They’re also rewarded on the basis of results rather than time put in.

“On a monthly basis they might do 10 days a month but this can include telephone coaching. A typical daily rate for one of our coaches ranges from £2,000 to £15,000.”

Very high earnings are the exception rather than the rule for coaches, says Association for Coaching founder and vice president Gladeana McMahon.

“A few specialist coaches can command a significant fee for their services and these tend to be people who have held prestigious positions in high level organisations, have a niche specialism and very high credibility with senior executives. This top 1% could command up to £5,000 per 90-minute session.

“But an average coaching rate in the corporate sector is around £300 for a 90 minute session. Some salaried coaches can be on about £110,000 a year which can be increased by performance-related commission.”

The International Coaching Federation’s 2007 survey said the average annual coaching fees for UK respondents was £32,500 though for full time coaches the average was £55,994. The survey was undertaken by PriceWaterhouseCoopers which polled 5,415 respondents.

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