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Sports development officer

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

Annual Salary

£18,000 to £30,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

36 to 38 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; attending events or appointments

Future employment

There will be 0.5% more Sports development officer jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

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 supervise sports activities

Working environment

You could work in an office, at a school, on a sports field, at a fitness centre or at a college.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying directly

You'll find it useful to have a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a related subject like:sports development or management; sports coaching; sports science; leisure studies

It's important to get work experience in community sport during your studies as most employers expect this. Talk to your university careers service for help and advice on finding internship, year placement and volunteering opportunities.

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
For more information

You could take a course in college to give you some of the skills and knowledge to start out as a trainee in this role. Courses include:

  • level 2 Qualification in Community Sports Leadership
  • level 3 Certificate in Sports Development

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
For more information

You can work towards this role by starting with an advanced apprenticeship as a community sport and health officer.

This typically takes around 16 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and study with a college or training provider.

For more information
Volunteering and work experience

You can get useful experience by playing sports, volunteering as a coach, helping out on community and holiday sports schemes, or working with a local sports club.

This can help to build up your skills and confidence and may lead to getting professional coaching qualifications.

You can search for opportunities through:

Direct application

You can apply directly for jobs if you've got some of the relevant skills and knowledge needed for this role, for example through coaching qualifications.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Career tips

There's a lot of competition for jobs, so getting work experience and making contacts through networking will give you more chance of finding work.

Having experience of playing or coaching a range of sports can also be useful.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in sport from The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences.

UK Coaching has more on how to get coaching qualifications in any sport.

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With experience you could become a sports development manager or a regional manager.

You may be able to move into policy development or work as a consultant on a freelance basis.

You can find out more about careers in sport from The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences.

UK Coaching has more on how to get coaching qualifications in any sport.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • leadership skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work on your own
  • knowledge of English language
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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