5 jobs in Sport

The key to a long and successful career is working with great people, in an industry which attracts those with a shared passion, here are 5 jobs that you can apply for in Sport.


The key to a long and successful career is working with great people, and the field of sports attracts those who have a shared passion, which is not always the case in other industries. 

Here are five jobs which you can go into with a career in sport: 

Performance Sports Analyst 

What is a performance analyst? 

Sports scientists, or analysts use knowledge of how the body works to help people improve their health or sporting ability, with the assistance of cutting-edge technology and facilities. 

Do I need a degree? 

Yes – You could study a degree in sport and exercise science. Courses that cover the 3 foundation subjects of biomechanics, physiology and psychology will keep your job options broad.

Alternatively, you could do a degree in a science-related subject, followed by a postgraduate qualification in sports science.

This may include subjects like:

  • Physical education
  • Natural sciences
  • Physiology
  • Psychology

In order to gain enough UCAS points to progress onto Higher Education at University, you will need to study Sport and Exercise Science, or an equivalent course at Level 3 or higher, to view the range of courses at Oaklands College, click here

What will I do? 

You could work with elite sports professionals, or in research, healthcare or industry. Your day to day tasks will depend on the type of organisation you work for.

You could:

  • Help sports coaches and sports therapists to improve individual and team performance
  • Work with doctors to help people improve their health through exercise and fitness
  • Look at ways that health and fitness can be used to prevent or treat medical conditions like diabetes, heart conditions or cancer
  • Take part in research projects
  • Offer advice on the design and manufacture of sports equipment

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital, on a sports field, at a research facility, in an office, at a client’s business or at a fitness centre or even outdoors. 

What salary could I earn? 

As a fully-qualified performance analyst, you could earn anywhere in the region of £20,000 as a post-graduate, to £60,000 as an experienced professional. 

Sports Therapist/Physiotherapist 

What is a sports therapist/physiotherapist? 

Do I need a degree? 

Yes – You can get into this job through:

  • A university course
  • An apprenticeship
  • Working your way into this role

You could aim to study a Physiotherapy degree, approved by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Or, a fast-track postgraduate course if you’ve got a first or upper second class honours degree in a relevant subject like:

  • Biological science
  • Psychology
  • Sports science

What will I do? 

As part of your day-to-day duties, you could:

  • Examine and diagnose injuries
  • Plan treatment programmes
  • Use methods like manipulation, massage and electrotherapy
  • Give advice on how to avoid sports injuries
  • Keep records of patient’s treatment and progress
  • Give accurate timescales for when players may be able to play again

What salary could I earn? 

Graduates could expect a starting salary of around £23,000. Whilst more experienced individuals could earn up to £45,000. 

Personal Trainer 

What is a personal trainer? 

Personal trainers work with clients to improve their health and fitness, often as freelancers or as part of their own business, however some personal trainers do work for fitness gyms. 

Do I need a degree? 

You can get into this job through:

  • A college course
  • An apprenticeship
  • Applying directly

A Level 2 or Level 3 course in personal training would provide you will the qualifications, knowledge and skills required to begin a career as a personal trainer. Oaklands College offer a dedicated Level 3 Personal Training course here

What will I do? 

On a daily basis you might be:

  • Setting short-term and long-term goals and planning programmes to reach them
  • Educating, motivating and coaching clients to help them follow their programmes safely and effectively
  • Giving advice on health, nutrition and lifestyle changes
  • Helping clients with their workouts
  • Checking and recording clients’ progress, using methods like measuring heart rate and levels of body fat

What salary could I earn? 

Depending on how many clients you have, a personal trainer can earn anywhere between £14,000 – £22,000 a year. 

Sports Development Officer

What is a sports development officer? 

Sports development officers organise projects and training to encourage people to take part in sport and have a healthier lifestyle.

Do I need a degree? 

Yes and no – You will need to progress onto University in order to gain the knowledge, understanding and qualifications required to meet the criteria for this job role. A university degree will enable you to apply for roles with a higher salary band. Alternatively, you can apply for roles similar to this via the apprenticeship route. 

What will I do? 

In this role, you could: 

  • Find and train staff, coaches and volunteers for projects
  • Promote and run projects and activities
  • Monitor and evaluate projects
  • Find funding, manage resources and budgets
  • Put local and national policies into practice
  • Attend meetings, seminars and conferences
  • Coach or supervising sport

What salary could I earn? 

A starting salary would on average be around £20,000. In order to reach the higher salary bands of up to £50,000 – You will need to gain extensive experience within the industry and may need to further your qualifications. 

Sports Coach

What is a sports coach? 

A sports coach teaches sports skills to individuals and teams of all abilities. 

Do I need a degree? 

Not necessarily – You can do a general sports qualification such as the following:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Sport
  • Level 3 Diploma in Coaching

There are also many courses which are specific to a particular sport, for example coaching tennis or basketball.

If you are already working in a sports related field, your employer may encourage you to take a work based qualification such as:

  • Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Sports Development

What will I do? 

If you’re working with schools and community groups, you’ll:

  • Plan fun, engaging coaching activities, sessions and programmes in a safe environment
  • Give feedback on performance and help to improve technique
  • Work with young people, schools, community groups and sports organisations to promote the sport

If you’re working with young people involved in competitive sport, you’ll:

  • Design basic training programmes
  • Work on developing more advanced techniques and tactics
  • Support performers at events and competitions

If coaching at national or international level you’ll:

  • Design challenging and varied training programmes
  • Monitor the physical condition and mental attitude of the people you coach
  • Work with experts in sport like sports scientists, nutritionists, physiotherapists and programme managers
  • Mentor other coaches
 What salary could I earn? 

The average starting salary would be around £16,000 per year, stretching to £35,000 for more experienced professionals. 
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