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Sport and exercise psychologist

Alternative titles for this job include

Sport and exercise psychologists work with athletes, teams and coaches to improve their motivation and performance.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter


£48,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends attending events or appointments

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Sport and exercise psychologist

You can get into this job through a university course.


To become a sport and exercise psychologist, you'll need to:

Psychology conversion course

You may be able to do an approved psychology conversion course if:

  • your psychology degree is not accredited by the BPS
  • you have a degree in a subject other than psychology

Postgraduate qualification

To apply for a postgraduate qualification in sport and exercise specialism, you’ll often need:

  • a first or 2:1 (upper second class) degree
  • excellent research skills
  • relevant work experience

You might want to check the postgraduate entry requirements with the admissions department where you want to study.

You can find out more about all of the different specialisms and postgraduate training from The British Psychological Society (BPS).

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 3 A levels or equivalent
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

More Information


It can be helpful to get some volunteering experience in a healthcare or education setting before you apply for a course.

You can also find volunteering opportunities through The National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Do IT.

More Information


Professional and industry bodies

You can join The British Psychological Society for professional development opportunities.

Further information

You'll find more details about working in sports and exercise psychology from The British Psychological Society and The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • knowledge of psychology
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a sport and exercise psychologist, you'll:

  • assess clients' needs to develop fitness plans and recommendations
  • set up activities to improve team and individual performance
  • advise coaches and managers on team communication
  • support athletes in coping with injuries, confidence and motivation
  • teach people psychological techniques to improve their wellbeing and performance

Working environment

You could work at a sports arena, at a fitness centre, at a health centre, in a prison or on a sports field.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could work for a local health authority, or on a GP exercise referral scheme. You could also assess exercise programmes in workplaces, prisons or psychiatric settings.

With experience and further study you could:

  • become a senior psychologist
  • work as a consultant
  • move into lecturing or research

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Sport and exercise psychologist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Access to HE - Science

  • Provider: Harrow, Richmond & Uxbridge Colleges (HRUC)
  • Start date: 16 September 2024
  • Location: Twickenham

Access to HE: Science

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Ipswich

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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