Sports science careers
The extensive scope and reach of the sports sector means a wide variety of professions are open to sports science graduates. The career you enter will largely depend on which field of sports science you’ve chosen to specialize in, as many sports science careers require specialized knowledge and skills. Additional work experience alongside your degree will also help when competing for job opportunities.
Personal trainer/fitness instructor
Personal trainers and fitness instructors help those pursuing exercise to engage in activities safely, as well as challenging them to develop their fitness levels. Personal trainers typically provide one-on-one sessions, while fitness instructors lead group activities and classes. Both may work freelance and/or be employed by a gym or other organization. As well as leading sessions, additional aspects of the role may include setting and tracking clients’ personal fitness goals, and providing general health and nutrition advice.
After completing a degree in sports science, you may choose to become a sports coach for a professional or amateur sports team. Your role will be to give direction, instruction and training to individual players and to the team as a whole. The main goal is to help athletes improve their performance. Of course, in order to be a sports coach, you need to have highly specialized knowledge of the particular sport in question.
Fitness center/gym manager
A fitness center or gym manager is responsible for the day-to-day management of an organization dedicated to sports, leisure, health and fitness. This role may involve managing budgets, overseeing the maintenance of facilities and equipment, ensuring compliance with relevant regulations, directing marketing campaigns, and implementing strategies to increase membership and profitability. This career path is likely to appeal to those with an aptitude for team leadership and an understanding of business administration and finance.
Physical education (PE) teachers help children and young adults develop their physical abilities and try to engage them in sports and healthy lifestyles. To work as a PE teacher within a school, you’ll usually need to complete an additional qualification (such as the one-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education in the UK), but you may also find employment in organizations such as charities and community centers. Like many sports science careers, this requires excellent communication skills, and an understanding of youth psychology may also help.
A sports therapist helps athletes to train and compete safely, and to recover from injuries. While the role is specifically concerned with conditions arising from sports participation, sports therapists do need a broad understanding of human anatomy and some basic medical skills in order to practice. Aspects of the role include conducting physical assessments; treating injuries through techniques such as massage, strapping or electrotherapy; developing and tracking rehabilitation programs; and liaising with other sports and health professionals.
In addition to these sports science careers, you could also use your sports science degree in a range of other sectors, including policy development, non-profits and charities, marketing and advertising, healthcare, youth work, events, hospitality and leisure or outdoor pursuits.