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Sports coach

Alternative titles for this job include

Sports coaches teach sports skills to individuals and teams of all abilities.

Average salary (a year)

£19,000 Starter


£28,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)


You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Sports coach

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • volunteering


You can take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • sports coaching and development
  • sports and exercise science
  • sports studies
  • physical education

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information


You can do a college course as a way into this career, for example:

  • sport
  • sports coaching and development
  • coaching sports and fitness

You may be able to do a coaching qualification that's specific to your chosen sport. 

Sports include:

  • tennis and cricket
  • netball and basketball
  • hockey
  • martial arts

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More Information


You can apply to do an apprenticeship to begin your career in coaching. 

These include:

  • Community Activator Coach Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Personal Trainer Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Community Sport and Health Officer Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Sports Coach Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship

These can take up to 2 years to complete.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information


If you're working in sport already, for example in a leisure centre, as a sports teacher or with a sports club, you can take a professional coaching qualification recognised by the national governing body for your sport.


You could get experience as an assistant sports coach by volunteering for a few hours a week with a club or amateur team. This is a common way to start a coaching career.

More Information

Career tips

Coaching pay can vary, as many jobs are part-time or paid by the session.

Further information

You can find out more about coaching from UK Coaching.

What it takes

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

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

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

You may need a first aid certificate for some jobs.

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 sports coach, you could:

  • plan fun, engaging and safe coaching activities and sessions
  • give feedback on performance and how to improve skills and technique
  • motivate and inspire your students to fulfil their potential
  • offer advice on nutrition, lifestyle and preparation
  • design advanced programmes for elite sportspersons
  • support performers at events and competitions

Working environment

You could work at a fitness centre, on a sports field, at a university, at a school or at a college.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a coach development officer, helping other coaches improve their skills and gain qualifications.

You might also move into:

  • sports development in the community
  • sports psychology
  • physical education teaching
  • coaching people who have specific conditions or impairments

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Community Activator Coach

  • Wage: £9,984 a year Annually
  • Location: Sunderland

Sport Coach Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £9,984 a year Annually
  • Location: 2nd Floor, 26 Goodge Street, London

Courses In England

Sports Coaching & Performance

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Waterlooville

BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Bishop Auckland

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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