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Getting in

Do you want to work in an area that will encourage people to be fit and active?

Do you see yourself working in a leisure centre, at a sports club or in a school teaching children?

If so a career in the sports sector could be for you!

Key facts

  • To be successful as a coach or instructor, you have to be patient, enthusiastic, work as part of a team, follow instructions, solve problems and be able to communicate well.
  • 12 per cent of the UK population are registered members of a health and fitness club or gym and almost 90 per cent of people live within two miles of one.
  • Many further education colleges and many local universities offer sport and leisure-related courses. The University of Bath, for example, tops league tables for its teaching of sports science.

Routes into this sector

There are various types of qualifications available at different levels

  • GCSEs in English, maths, science and PE will help get you into this sector. 

  • At 16 you could do A Levels, which are general academic subjects or develop your knowledge and skills for this sector through an apprenticeship/traineeship or through a vocational qualification.

  • At 18 or 19 you could do a higher education/degree-level course, with 8 out of 10 A Level students choosing this pathway and half of all BTEC National students. However there are also other routes into your chosen career - through apprenticeship and vocational qualifications.

    There are jobs in this sector where you can start with few qualifications and receive training on the job through an apprenticeship and others such as a physiotherapist which require a degree.

Use the Course Search

Use the relevant search options on our Course Search to find college and university courses as well as vacancies for apprenticeships.

More help finding courses and training

Do a free, short, online course to find out more (looks great on your CV too!)

Future Learn have lots of free, short, online courses that will improve your knowledge of this job sector and improve your chances of landing your dream job. Check out the available courses related to sport.

Spotlight on: Sports coaching

Sports coaches work at helping people participating in sports to work towards achieving their full potential. They may support professional sportspeople, sports teams, community teams or school groups, working with them closely to improve performance.

They may have a role in encouraging underrepresented groups or young people to participate in sporting activities.

Many of the sports coaches working in the UK are volunteers and this is an excellent route into the career. See Sports Coach UK for more details

Relevant degree and HND/ Foundation degree subjects are:

  • Health Science
  • Sports Coaching
  • Sports Management
  • Sports Science

To become a qualified coach you will need to achieve the appropriate coaching qualification offered by the National Governing Body (NGB) of your chosen sport. You can find a list of NGB's by clicking on this link UK Sport - Links

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