Athletes at all levels rely on sports conditioning coaches for strength, speed and endurance training. Depending on the sport, these conditioning specialists help tailor flexibility and strength exercises to enhance athletes' overall performance. They earn salaries that are relatively low compared to other occupations.
Salary and Qualifications
Sports conditioning coaches earned average annual salaries of $34,000 as of 2013, according to the jobsite Indeed. The minimum requirement to become a sports conditioning coach is a high school diploma. But if you only have a high school degree, you will likely need to be certified as a conditioning coach through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Many employers will prefer that you have a bachelor's degree in physical education, exercise science, kinesiology or athletic training. Other essential requirements are an attention to detail, a working knowledge of physiology and anatomy, and decision-making and interpersonal skills.
Salary by Region
All sports and conditioning coaches earned within $11,000 or $12,000 of one another within the four U.S. regions in 2013, according to Indeed. In the West region, they earned the highest salaries of $38,000 in California and the lowest of $24,000 in Hawaii. Those in the South made between $29,000 and $40,000 per year, respectively, in Louisiana and Washington, D.C. If you worked in the Northeast, you'd earn the most in New York and the least in Maine – $42,000 or $30,000, respectively. In the Midwest, your salary would range from $26,000 to $37,000, respectively, in South Dakota or Illinois.
You may earn more in certain industries as a sports conditioning coach. For example, all coaches earned some of the highest salaries of 59,270 working in the spectator sports industry as of May 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is nearly $23,000 more than the industry average for coaches – $36,680. Coaches employed at college and universities also earned relatively high salaries at $49,860 annually. You may also earn more in spectator sports or with colleges and universities as a sports conditioning coach; the BLS likely included them in their coaches' salary data.
The BLS doesn't report job opportunities for sports conditioning coaches. It does project a 29 percent increase in jobs for all coaches and scouts – a growth rate that is well above average. A greater interest in sports at all levels should increase job opportunities for sports conditioning coaches. People of all ages are also more aware of the importance of strength and conditioning training. Therefore, even older participants may hire these professionals independently to improve their quality of life.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Coaches and Scouts: Job Outlook
- U.S. Bureau of LStatistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Coaches and Scouts
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Athletic Trainers: Job Outlook
- Saint Louis University: Strength & Conditioning Coach/Olympic Sports
- Indeed: Sports Conditioning Coach Salary in Maine, and New York
- Indeed: Sports Conditioning Coach Salary in Hawaii, and California
- Indeed: Sports Conditioning Coach Salary in Louisiana, and Washington, DC
- Indeed: Sports Conditioning Coach Salary in South Dakota, and Illinois
- Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images