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Life Skills Coach

Life skills coaches prepare learners to deal effectively with personal and professional issues. They guide learners using strategies such as self-discovery and activities like identifying barriers to success, growth, and development. They use exercises to identify new ways of thinking and behaving. They provide tools and resources to promote personal growth. Life skills coaches work with both individuals and groups.

Also Known As

Community Support Worker, Counsellor / Advisor, Employment Counsellor, Guide, Instructor, Job Coach, Mentor, Motivational Advisor, Rehabilitation Services Practitioner

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 4212: Community and Social Service Workers

2006 NOC-S

  • E212: Community and Social Service Workers

2011 NOC

  • 4212: Social and community service workers

2016 NOC

  • 4212: Social and community service workers

2021 NOC

  • 42201: Social and community service workers

2023 OaSIS

  • 42201.00: Social and community service workers
Updated Mar 31, 2024

Life skills coaches work with individuals and groups. Their duties and responsibilities vary from one position to another. In general, they:

  • Encourage independence and self-confidence
  • Motivate clients and provide resources to promote positive personal change
  • Help clients build resilience in adjusting to change and uncertainty
  • Teach and model interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills, and communication skills
  • Identify behavioural patterns, and recommend ways clients can modify behaviour
  • Help clients define personal behavioural objectives and develop progress plans
  • Create lesson plans, programs, and workshops according to the needs of clients
  • Modify and deliver lessons as required to respond to client needs
  • Support and guide clients in identifying and implementing constructive solutions to problems
  • Evaluate client performance and assist clients in self-evaluating their progress
  • Document and record relevant details about service delivery and client feedback
  • Refer participants to additional community resources
  • Follow a professional mode of conduct and respect client confidentiality and privacy

Life skills coaches work as part of a social service team and are often involved in case conferences and case management sessions. They also may deliver career development programs (for more information, see the Career Development Professional occupational profile) or administer work experience programs.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2024
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Life skills coaches work in a wide variety of settings, such as classrooms, conference rooms, and community centres. They may work from home or from an office. Their hours of work vary and may include evening and weekend hours. They may deliver sessions online or in person.

Life skills coaches may work with people who have a variety of factors impacting their lives. These may include physical, cognitive, emotional, or sensory challenges.

Because this work can be stressful, it demands emotional maturity.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Community and Social Service Workers

2006 NOC: 4212

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

Interest in consulting with social assistance recipients and pensioners to advise and aid them in locating and utitizing a variety of community resources; in referring clients to other social services; in counselling clients living in group homes and halfway houses and assisting in pre-release and release planning; in providing crisis intervention and emergency-shelter services; and in co-ordinating volunteer activities of community and social services organizations


Interest in compiling information to participate in the selection and admission of clients to appropriate programs; to assess clients' relevant skill strengths and deficits; and in maintaining contact with other social service agencies and health care providers involved with clients to provide information and obtain feedback on clients' overall progress


Interest in assisting clients to sort out options and develop plans of action, and in implementing and organizing the delivery of life-skills workshops, substance-abuse treatment programs, behaviour management programs, youth services programs and other community and social service programs under the supervision of social workers and health care professionals

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2024

Life skills coaches should understand the psychological principles behind both individual and group behaviour. They should be familiar with ethical methods and practices of behaviour modification, and the process of change within people. Life skills coaches need:

  • A genuine interest in helping people identify and work through challenges
  • Stress-management skills
  • Communication skills (both oral and written)
  • Listening skills
  • Empathy
  • The ability to be impartial, non-judgmental, and see situations from many points of view
  • A professional manner
  • Creativity in developing new approaches and programs
  • Decision-making skills
  • Critical-thinking skills
  • Analytical skills

Life skills coaches should enjoy:

  • Helping others
  • Compiling information
  • Developing innovative approaches to problem solving

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Social and community service workers

2016 NOC: 4212

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 149 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Dec 29, 2023 and Jun 18, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Construction Specialization: Excellent oral communication
Construction Specialization: Client focus
Construction Specialization: Excellent written communication
Security and Safety: Criminal record check
Construction Specialization: Judgement
Tasks: Administrative and office activities
Construction Specialization: Effective interpersonal skills
Construction Specialization: Flexibility
Construction Specialization: Team player
Tasks: Appraise clients' needs or eligibility for specific services
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2024
  • Minimum Education Varies

Academic qualifications vary greatly in this occupation. Most life skills coaches have post-secondary education in a related discipline such as psychology or social work. Post-secondary schools throughout Alberta offer suitable certificate, diploma, and degree programs. The ability to communicate in a language in addition to English (such as a First Nations language, French, or Mandarin) is an asset.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

ABES (Alberta Business and Educational Services) - Calgary
Alberta Business & Health Institute
Alberta Business and Health Institute
Bredin College of Business and Health Care - Edmonton
Bredin College of Business and Health Care - Red Deer
Cambrooks College - Downtown Campus
CLI College of Business Health & Technology - Calgary
CLI College of Business, Health and Technology - Edmonton North
MTG Healthcare Academy - Edmonton
Robertson College - Calgary
Robertson College - Edmonton
Sundance College
Sundance College - Edmonton
Thompson Rivers University

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2024
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2024


Life skills coaches may work for social service agencies. They may be employees or work on a contract basis. Without further education, advancement opportunities are limited. Life skills coaches with career development education or experience may have more employment opportunities.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 4212: Social and community service workers occupational group, 77.9% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 4212: Social and community service workers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 2% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 336 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2024

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Social and community service workers

2016 NOC: 4212
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 4212 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $35.54 $21.05 $18.00
Overall $15.84 $45.60 $23.98 $20.20
Top $18.00 $47.29 $26.99 $23.69

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Information, Culture, Recreation
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Educational Services
Health Care & Social Assistance
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
Vacancy Rate
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
  • Social, Community and Protective Services

Updated Mar 31, 2024. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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