How to become a football coach

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • specialist courses run by a professional body


There are undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications for football coaching as well as courses that combine football coaching with subjects like:

  • sports business
  • management
  • talent development

To apply for some courses, you may need an FA Level 1 Certificate in Coaching and experience of coaching in a team environment, alongside the academic requirements.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

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You could do a college course, which will help you to get started. Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Football Coaching Studies
  • Level 3 Diploma in Sport with Football
  • Level 3 Diploma Sport Development and Fitness

You'll need to check if your course includes the FA Coaching Awards, or if you need to take these separately.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

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You could do an intermediate apprenticeship as a sport community activator coach, if you want to work as a football coach in the community.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

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You could start as a volunteer at your local amateur football club.

This will help to build up your experience and could lead into training for professional coaching qualifications.

Other Routes

You can do coaching qualifications offered by The Football Association.

Qualifications start at beginner's Level 1 and go all the way up to the Level 5 UEFA Pro Licence for the professional game.

Contact your local County Football Association to get more details about courses.

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Career tips

You'll need some footballing ability so that you can demonstrate skills and techniques when coaching. Getting experience of working with players from a variety of backgrounds and abilities is also useful.

Salaries for coaches in English professional football are much higher than those working in education, the community and for smaller football clubs.

Further information

You can find out more about a career in coaching through The Football Association and UK Coaching.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • leadership skills
  • the ability to teach pupils how to do something
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

You'll also need to do The FA Safeguarding Children Workshop.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • plan and run amateur, semi-professional or professional coaching sessions
  • give feedback on performance and fitness
  • discuss individual player and team tactics
  • offer guidance on nutrition and injury prevention
  • keep up to date with good coaching practice
  • help players keep a positive mental attitude and self-discipline

Working environment

You could work in the community, at a school, at a college, at a university or at a sports arena.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers, physically demanding and you'll travel often.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

As a community coach, with further training, you could move into sports development or youth work. As a coach with a professional team, you could move to a bigger or higher profile club.

You could also move into a specialist area like sports psychology or goalkeeping coaching.

The FA Licensed Coaches' Club offers continuing training and progression for coaches.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Community Activator Coach

  • Wage: £8,200.00 Annually
  • Location:

Community Activator Coach Level 2 Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £153.55 Weekly
  • Location: Gateshead

Courses In England

Sport (Coaching & Sports Development) HNC

  • Start date: 30 September 2020
  • Location: Redhill

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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