So You Want to Know More About the Sleep Consulting Profession…
Updated: Jul 10
Lucky for you, we sleep consultants are so research obsessed that we gathered our own data about the sleep consulting profession! And we’ve compiled it right here, just for you.
Maybe you’ve thought about becoming a sleep consultant yourself, or that lady up the street is one and you’re curious about the sleep consultant's average salary - we’ve got it all broken down here for you.
Some burning questions about the sleep consulting industry are coming your way! Here’s a quick list of what we’re going to go over in this post:
how long it takes to get the first client
how many clients do you average in a month
how many hours do you typically spend working in a week
How much income potential there is
What current sleep consultants would tell someone who is thinking of becoming a sleep consultant
How sleep consultants typically work
And the best part is…there are graphs included! We’re such sleep nerds - we hope you enjoy this post as much as we’ve enjoyed gathering the data, dissecting it, and putting it together in this post wrapped up with a pretty little bow on top!
Before We Dive into the Data: Sleep Consultant Contextual Factors
We surveyed a group of over 200 certified sleep consultants to gather our data.
We found that most sleep consultants who answered the survey had been practicing for 1-2 years, and most were working only as a side or part-time job with 1-10 clients in a month.
The sleep consultants surveyed were primarily from the United States and Canada, with other countries representing the field as well.
How long have you been practicing as a Sleep Consultant?
As you can see, the majority of those in the field who were surveyed are newer to the sleep consulting profession, which is to be expected. Sleep consulting is a relatively newer field, yet there are still quite a few who have been doing it for longer than three years.
The field is growing at a rapid pace, probably due to the flexibility it can provide families with young children and the ability to work from home on your own schedule. Much of the work is done virtually, too, so again, it is very flexible from that perspective.
How long did it take for you to get your first client after you officially launched?
It’s fairly rare to have to wait longer than three months to book your first paying client. Our goal with our Sleep Consultant Academy from the Collective for Family Rest and Wellness is to give you a solid foundation of both sleep knowledge and business knowledge so you can be successful with getting clients as soon as you’ve graduated from our program! We also offer a paid internship so you can gain experience with consulting even before you have your own one-on-one clients.
One thing we like to highlight in our program are the expert trainings that are included - we have a business coach specifically for sleep consultants who teaches a lesson exactly on how to get your first client.
How many clients do you have on average in a month?
Considering most of the sleep consultants who were surveyed are in their first few years of business and working part-time, it makes sense that the majority take on fewer clients.
Given the time it takes to work with each client, and if you were only working at a part-time capacity, 1-2 new clients per week is reasonable.
Over time, and as they gain more experience, sleep consultants can raise their prices, work with fewer clients, and make the same amount of money…in some cases more, depending on what you’re offering and how your packages are structured.
In the Sleep Consultant Academy, we have an entire module breaking down packages and pricing so that you can feel confident launching your offerings to the world. Additionally, after you graduate, you’ll receive a 3-month membership to The Sleep Sorority, which is business coaching exclusively for sleep consultants.
How many hours are you working in a week on average?
Only a small portion of sleep consultants actually work more than 33 hours per week. The majority of us only work part-time, while another large chunk is sleep consulting as a side job.
There are many ways to work as a sleep consultant, and one that’s gaining popularity is working under another sleep consultant on their team. In this instance, you wouldn’t run your own business but could work as an employee or contractor for someone else, or as part of an agency.
Joining an already-established business likely means you don’t have to do too much behind the scenes besides taking care of clients. Minimal marketing. No worries about finances or taxes.
Working for yourself includes all of those things, but can also be very rewarding to set your own hours, be your own boss, and reap the benefits of entrepreneurship.
The ability to make decent money while only working part-time hours from home is intriguing to a lot of moms in particular.
What is your average (most purchased) package priced at?
At $251-$399 per package, if you wanted to make $3000 per month, you’d need to work with 7-12 clients per month– something that, per the data, seems to be doable for many of the sleep consultants we surveyed.
If you charge a bit more and fall within that $400-$599 price range, you’d need to only work with 5-8 clients per month to meet your goal of $3000 per month.
Pro-tip: Price yourself accordingly to meet your monthly goals.
What is your monthly overhead cost to run your business?
As you can see here, the field of sleep consulting has a fairly low overhead. This means most of the money you make will end up in your pocket. Starting out, it is super easy to keep costs low. As you grow, you can invest more back into your business, and upgrade programs and memberships to meet where you are at.
Running a business is new to many sleep consultants, as we have a wide variety of prior experience. In our program, in particular, women were previously - or are currently while also building their business:
Special education teachers
RNs in the NICU, PICU, and OB
General practice MDs
Personal injury paralegals
Family services specialists
Middle school science teachers
You can see we’ve got a lot of different backgrounds in our program! Many of these professions too, simply can’t be compared to owning and running your own small business.
That’s not to say you can’t do it - most of these women ARE doing it! And they’re doing it beautifully…
We understand that starting a new career can be intimidating, so we have a module on Small Business Finances to help equip our students to feel more confident when it comes to owning and running a business. We aren’t just going to teach you about sleep and let you go.
We’re going to equip you and give you everything you need when it comes to the sleep knowledge, how to work with families, how to run and market a business, how to build a brand, and more!
We bring in the experts because, as Ashley says, we know a lot about sleep and a little about everything else.
And we needed to make sure our students were ready to hit the ground running upon graduation.
What is your top referral source for new clients?
As you work with clients and begin to change their life, they’re going to want to sing your praises and tell all their friends about you! As evidenced here, referrals are going to be a big driver of revenue for your business.
Many sleep consultants will have some form of a referral program. Perhaps they offer a 15-minute phone call or a $10 gift card in exchange for a referral who turned into a paying client. Think about what you can offer that’s valuable in exchange for a referral.
As a service-based business, you’ll also want to consider utilizing social media, email, and possibly even blogging, podcasting, or hosting a YouTube channel as other ways to market yourself and your services. These are typically free, or low-cost forms of marketing, but do take time to be consistent with - something you’ll want to focus on for keeping your business going.
As your business grows and you can invest more money into your marketing, you might consider utilizing paid ads or hiring someone to handle these other marketing things for you.
If these things sound intimidating to you, no worries! We have entire course modules on social media and search engine optimization.
What is your annual (gross) income?
Considering the sleep consultants surveyed are mostly in their first few years of business and are only working on a part-time basis, this data is logical.
You can also see there is a wide range with some pretty significant income potential. And that’s the part that makes us excited - you can build something you’re passionate about and the opportunities for success - and defining what that looks like to you - can vary greatly too.
For example, many of these consultants work part-time, but it’s because they only want to work part-time. They want to stay home and raise their children and they only work during nap times or while their kids are at school. This business, like many others, seems that the harder you work and the more you put into it, the more you may make and the more you may get out of it.
If you make $4,000+ per month, how long did it take you to reach that goal?
We love to see the variety here and do you want to know what this graph represents (besides that these consultants eventually made $4000+ in a month?) - it represents that this job is what you make it to be.
If you want this to become your new career and replace your 9-5, you can do that!
If you want to work part-time and contribute something to your household income while you stay home with your young child(ren), you can do that!
If you just want a little side hustle to make some extra money, you can do that!
If you just want to have this knowledge to help your own children sleep better, you can do that, too!
Sleep consulting is what you make it to be.
Wondering what our students and graduates at The Collective for Family Rest and Wellness would have to say about this profession? We polled them, too!
What would you tell someone who is thinking of becoming a sleep consultant?
Here are a few responses we got from our students and graduates:
“It’s hard but worth it.”
“The freedom to work for yourself doing something you’re passionate about is amazing!”
“You’ll change lives and make a difference.”
“I see a little bit of myself in all of my clients that pushes me to do the best I can to help them through their sleep struggles.”
If any of these things resonate with you, you’d probably make a great sleep consultant, and if you’re interested, we also have a quiz to see what kind of sleep consultant you would be!
The Most Typical Way to Work as a Sleep Consultant
Most sleep consultants will work with families on a one-to-one basis in a virtual coaching relationship.
This often looks like
The lead sets up a call with the sleep consultant
The lead pays an invoice and signs a contract online, and is now officially a client
The client fills out some sort of questionnaire or intake form
The sleep consultant uses the information provided on calls and from the form to write a custom sleep plan for the family to follow
The sleep consultant meets with the family via video chat and goes over the plan together
The sleep consultant provides support, accountability, and coaching via email, phone, app, voice, or text messaging (or a combination of these - you can build your packages however you want!) for a certain amount of time
Many sleep consultants will start their business by offering these one-on-one services and then expand their business by adding other options as well. Some love this one-on-one coaching so much that it’s all they focus on.
Other Ways to Work as a Sleep Consultant
You may decide to add other streams of revenue to your business besides working with people one-on-one and virtually.
You might offer in-home services for families who are local for a slightly higher price point.
Depending on what your business insurance allows you to do, you could provide a high-end done-for-you sleep training service where you are the one actually training the child. This is very hands-on, long hours overnight, and may include travel, so you’d price yourself accordingly.
Exploring group coaching is a way to help multiple families at once at a lower price point. It also provides accountability within the group that everyone is doing the same thing at the same time and having a shared experience. Sometimes, as parents, it’s nice to know you’re not alone in your struggles.
You could work as a night nanny, tending to the baby so the parents can get some sleep. This may or may not include sleep training, but you’d have to help with baby care, bottle washing, and helping with the baby’s laundry.
Provide postpartum doula services. This is more than just sleep coaching - it’s also taking care of the other kids, keeping up with the house, prepping or preparing meals, etc. Your pricing can - and should - reflect that!
Group speaking is another way to educate larger, more professional audiences. If you decide this is a route you’d like to take, it’s important to provide evidence-based information, something our sleep consultant certification course specializes in providing. Did you know we have research articles linked throughout the course modules so you can SEE exactly where we get our information from?!
Work for or under another sleep consultant or company - this is the perfect option if you don’t want to or don’t like running your own business.
Get into online courses. After a few years of experience and honing your skills, you may feel confident enough to put it into a course format, allowing you to help more families at a lower price point.
Offer an online membership. If teaching is a strength of yours and you like putting out educational content on a regular basis, why not roll it into a membership where you can actually get paid for it?!
Have a digital suite of guides. Tired parents often don’t have the time, energy, or capacity to read through a 500-page parenting book. Offer a quick solution to their problem in a quick guide format. A few ideas for you: a newborn sleep guide, a travel guide, a bedtime guide, a guide for implementing and using a rewards chart, etc.
Utilize affiliate marketing. You’ve got products you use and love, why not share them and make money while you’re doing it?! The options are truly endless in the parenting world.
There are SO MANY WAYS to make money as a sleep consultant, and the best part is, you can tailor the ways your business runs to highlight your strengths! Do you love being the center of attention and getting up in front of a room full of people? Focus on group speaking! Do you love sharing about your home and motherhood lifestyle? Focus on affiliate marketing. Do you hate the idea of running things behind the scenes? Work for another sleep consultant. Are you a teacher at heart? Make online courses. Do you love to write? Blog your little heart out - heck, write a book about baby sleep!
Phew! That was A LOT!
We hope this post has served its purpose of sharing all the ins and outs of the sleep consulting profession. We went deep!
And if you find you have more questions about this field, don’t hesitate to reach out to us or any of our graduates. We’re happy to answer your questions or provide an interview upon request.