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Professional Coaching Continues Global Expansion

Latest Study of the State of the Coaching Profession Demonstrates Surge of Growth and Steady Opportunity Amid the Pandemic. Worldwide Growth Reaches 54% Between 2019-2022 .

LEXINGTON, Ky.April 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The International Coaching Federation (ICF) today released its 2023 ICF Global Coaching Study. The Global Coaching Study is the largest global assessment of the state of the coaching profession, and the newest edition of this 16-year-old study demonstrates that the coaching profession’s growth not only continued from prior surveys but accelerated between 2019 to 2022. As a result, coaching now surpasses the milestone of 100,000 practitioners worldwide.

This increase in coaching practitioners indicates 54% growth worldwide. This expansion is also reflected in total annual revenue for the industry, which grew to $4.564 billion (USD) — a 60% increase since ICF’s 2020 study. Growth was especially strong in Asia (+86%), the Middle East and Africa (+74%), and Eastern Europe (+59%).

“Coaching is uniquely suited to support people navigating the kinds of challenges that have been prevalent in recent years, such as changes associated with the pandemic, corporate efforts to address change management, hybrid workforce, and worker burnout,” said ICF CEO Magdalena Nowicka Mook. “As coaching grows all over the world, we are committed to supporting professionals and coaching clients with ICF’s gold standard for professional coaching and community support. It’s fulfilling to see coaching growing to offer support to individuals and systems alike, during this time of uncertainty and change,” Mook concluded.

Respondents indicated that top areas of specialization for coaching included leadership coaching, followed by executive coaching, and coaching in business and organizations. The overwhelming majority of respondents (80%) expressed that their clients in these areas expect coaches to be certified or credentialed.

As the profession grows, Generation X leads the way, representing almost half of all coach practitioners (48%). North America and Oceania are the only regions where Baby Boomers outnumber Generation X coaches while Millennials account for one in 10 coach practitioners globally, ranging from 21% in Eastern Europe to 8% in North America and 7% in Oceania.

At a time when women left the workplace in droves due to the pandemic and associated challenges, coaching saw woman enter the field at even higher rates than previous years. Women represent a steadily growing majority of coach practitioners, encompassing 72% of coach practitioners overall with the greatest increases in emerging regions. The majority of coaching clients (58%) are also female.

The survey, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, engaged over 14,500 participants in 157 countries. PwC’s methodology included survey fieldwork phase that commenced in 2022 with a six-week run. The 2023 study represents the fifth of ICF’s major research efforts to evaluate the size and scope of the coaching profession. The inaugural study was published in 2007 with follow-up studies in 2012, 2016, and 2020.

The executive summary of the study is available on the ICF website

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