What Is a Job Coach? And Who Might Hire One

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Job coaches support people with disabilities as they get ready to enter the workforce, working with them to secure employment, learn job tasks, and adjust to their new roles.

[Featured image] A job coach sits in a chair in his office leaning toward the camera and ready to learn about his new client.

A job coach supports people with disabilities as they prepare to enter the workforce. They may work with a person individually or in a group setting, either in or out of the workplace, as they build the skills and habits necessary for success in a specific job function.

In this article, we’ll cover more details about a job coach’s responsibilities, skills, and qualifications, as well as offer some guidance on where to find a job coach.

Job coach vs. career coach vs. career counsellor

There are many options for people seeking support with their careers. If a job coach doesn’t sound right, you may be interested in finding a career coach or career counsellor.

A career coach supports individuals as they navigate their career path, offering guidance through job changes, the application process, or settling into a new role. A career counsellor may have a psychology or human development background and supports individuals as they assess their career goals and desires.


What does a job coach do?

A job coach empowers people to fulfill their job functions without ongoing one-on-one assistance. Some key responsibilities of a job coach include:

  • Connecting an individual’s capabilities and interests to potential jobs within their community

  • Coordinating with employers to secure employment and negotiate customized job responsibilities on behalf of the individual

  • Facilitating job training for tasks specific to the individual’s job function

  • Working with the individual as they adjust to their new role

  • Advocating for the individual throughout their employment period

Hear more about the day-to-day tasks of a job coach from Toni Voliton, a Career Navigator with Goodwill Industries:

Who might work with a job coach?

Broadly, a job coach may support any person with a disability. Aide Canada identifies job coaching as a way to provide job strategies to individuals with autism or intellectual disability [1]. Other people who might benefit from job coaching include:

  • An individual with an anxiety disorder

  • A person with Down Syndrome

  • A person with a cognitive disability

  • An individual on the autism spectrum

  • A military veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Job coach qualifications

Although they work closely with various personality types and job functions, job coaches often don’t require extensive qualifications. Typically, a job coach will need a high school diploma and strong interpersonal skills, and they’ll receive role-specific training upon their hiring.

Job coaches often find employment with government agencies or help networks that serve people with disabilities. Some employers may look for job coaches with experience working with people with specific disabilities, knowledge of government support services, and established connections with local businesses. Specific requirements will vary depending on the employer’s needs.   

Job coach vs. occupational therapist

While a job coach helps individuals prepare for a specific job, an occupational therapist treats patients with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities as they recover or develop the physical ability to accomplish daily tasks. They typically need a master’s degree in occupational therapy and a license issued from the territory or province they wish to practise in.


Job coach salary and career outlook

The average salary for a job coach is $49,676 annually, but salaries can range between $39,000 and $65,000 [2]. The job outlook for a job coach is “Moderate” to “Good” through 2026 in a handful of provinces, but most have an “Undetermined” outlook [3].

How to find a job coach

One way to find a job coach is to contact an organization such as Canada Career Counselling to get matched with the right professional for your needs. If you already work with a non-profit organization for other services, they may also be able to provide job-specific support or refer you to an organization that can.

Keep learning with Coursera.

If you are interested in exploring your own career success potential or helping others discover theirs, consider the Career Success Specialization from the University of California, Irvine’s Division of Continuing Education, available on Coursera. Work through each online course at your own pace from anywhere with an internet connection.

Article sources


Aide Canada. “Accommodation and Compliance: Job Coaches, https://aidecanada.ca/docs/default-source/downloads/toolkits/t14-job-coaching-toolkit.pdf?sfvrsn=56908b02_7.” Accessed May 7, 2024.

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