Career Coach: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Career coaches offer professional development guidance to high school students, college students and other individuals. They help clients identify and realize career goals through personal consultation. Many secondary and postsecondary schools employ career coaches, as do various organizations and businesses; self-employment is also an option for this profession.

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Career Coach Job Description

Career coaches help individuals in researching career paths and finding job openings. They identify specific skills required for employment and may help clients obtain these skills, as well as assist individuals in job application and interview preparation processes. Work with clients could span a week to several years, depending on an individual's needs. Clients may include students in high school or college, recent graduates and the unemployed, as well as individuals with physical disabilities or those looking to change or upgrade careers.

As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), during 2010-2020 employment of school and career counselors is expected to grow 19% (www.bls.gov). Payscale.com stated in December 2013 that the median annual salary for college career counselors was $46,490.

Job Duties of a Career Coach

Career coaches assist their clients in identifying personal goals, developing leadership skills and planning career moves. Daily duties may include helping clients hunt down new employment opportunities, providing feedback on resumes or cover letters and strategizing for a successful job interview.

Career coaches must keep up-to-date with current trends in employment resources. They hold workshops, network and maintain relationships to actively promote career opportunities.

Requirements to Become a Career Coach

According to Monster.com job listings in May 2011, employers typically prefer that applicants have at least a bachelor's degree, possibly in a field such as business or counseling. Work experience in a related field may also be desirable. Proficient communication skills - both verbal and written - are necessary. The ability to handle a variety of tasks, prioritize and problem solve are also important. Potential career coaches must have spreadsheet and database management skills.

Aspiring career coaches can also choose to undertake more targeted training through a college or university program in career or life coaching; the latter addresses both personal and professional development. Some of the courses may cover assessments and consultations, goal-setting and time management. Programs often culminate in a certificate. Completion may lead to eligibility for certification by the Center for Credentialing and Education or International Coach Federation.

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