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How to Become an Olympic Weightlifting Coach

How to Become an Olympic Weightlifting Coach

Do you have a passion for strength training and helping clients reach their peak physical performance levels? By learning how to become an Olympic weightlifting coach you can pursue a rewarding career helping to prepare athletes for competitions.

To ensure you understand everything this role requires, this article will cover:

But first, if you’re looking to create bespoke workout programmes that help clients achieve a specific goal, you need to complete a Personal Training Diploma. In doing so, you can develop a client’s physical fitness to prepare them for competitions.

Alternatively, download our FREE course prospectus here! To learn more about all OriGym qualifications.

About The Role of an Olympic Weightlifting Coach

Learn how to coach olympic weightlifting

When working as an Olympic weightlifting coach your two primary goals will be to train your clients to:

  • Perform a precise/safe snatch with as much weight as possible 
  • Execute a precise/safe clean and jerk with as much weight as possible 

To prepare athletes for competitions, you must ensure that they can perform these routines (snatch, clean and jerk) to the best of their abilities repeatedly without injuring themselves.

When you become an Olympic weightlifting coach, your exact roles and responsibilities will vary depending on what ‘level’ of qualification you hold. For example: 

  • Level 1 Coaches - Will supervise a training session for the safety and wellbeing of an athlete, ensuring that they’re following their bespoke programme.
  • Level 2 Coaches - Can design and modify training programmes for an athlete who is transitioning from a weightlifting beginner to a competitor.
  • Level 3 Coaches - Are responsible for designing annual programmes that ensure an athlete performs their best at key competitive events. 

Weigtlifting Client practices

For reference, the points given above are summaries of these positions and don’t fully encapsulate the entire role. They were simply given to highlight the idea that you will be expected to fulfil greater responsibilities as you gain experience. 

The amount of hours you will typically differ from one employer to another, however on average Olympic weightlifting coaches will work on a freelance/part-time basis.

In this position, you’ll likely see your working hours increase in the lead up to a competition. This is because athletes will want to ensure they’re at their peak performance level at this time, and will require a greater level of assistance. 

What is The Average Salary For an Olympic Weightlifting Coach?

olympic weightlifting coach salary

Naturally, when deciding if becoming an Olympic weightlifting coach is right for you, the salary associated with the position will come into question. 

However, there is very little information readily available regarding the total earnings of Olympic weightlifting coaches. This means that it’s difficult to give an ‘average’ estimate for this salary. 

We conducted thorough research into this position and were only able to find the following statistic from 2020, taken from a job advertisement for the University of Edinburgh: 

Become an Olympiuc Weightlifting coach ad

Keep in mind, that the salary given above is not reflective of the UK’s current minimum wage in 2024, which as of writing this article is £10.42 per hour.

However, back in 2020 minimum wage was £8.72 per hour, suggesting that employers within the Olympic weightlifting field pay relatively competitive wages. 

One thing to be aware of is when researching the salary of an Olympic weightlifting coach you’ll likely come across search results highlighting the average earnings of strength and conditioning coaches.  

Whilst the two job roles do hold some similarities in terms of working with athletes to improve physical performance for competitions, they are not the entirely same and neither are the position's associated salaries.

We’d recommend networking with professionals already working in this field. This will give you a better understanding of the salary and whether employers are making you competitive offers. 

 

Become a Level 3 PT in as Little as 4 Weeks!

Enquire about OriGym's award-nominated Personal Training Diploma and launch your career today!

What Qualifications Are Needed to Become an Olympic Weightlifting Coach?

Become an olympic weightlifting coach with this qualification  

In order to learn how to coach Olympic weightlifting, you will need to undergo vocational training with ‘British Weightlifting’. This organisation is the only of its kind in the UK, and is regarded as the ‘National Governing Body for Weightlifting and Para Powerlifting’.

As previously mentioned throughout this article, there are 3 possible qualifications that aspiring Olympic weightlifting coaches can pursue:

  • Level 1 - Assistant Coach
  • Level 2 - Independent Coach
  • Level 3 - Comprehensive Coaching Qualification

Get qualifed and learn how to coach olympic weightlifting

Remember, you will only qualify as an official Olympic weightlifting coach following the completion of your Level 2 qualification. Before this, you will only be regarded as an assistant, who is responsible for supervising an athlete during training and offering general advice/encouragement.

The Level 3 course can be considered as an ‘advanced’ qualification, that teaches you how to create long-term periodised training plans that can span an entire year. This additional training is not a necessity and is merely considered a ‘desirable’ attribute. 

This is echoed by British Weightlifting themselves, who will allow graduates to register on their database following the completion of their Level 2 qualification. In doing so, your credentials and contact information can be seen by employers and athletes looking to hire you.

How Much Does It Cost to Qualify as an Olympic Weightlifting Coach?

How much does it cost to to become an olympic weightlifting coach?

The prices for these qualifications increase as the ‘Levels’ progress, with the total cost being influenced by how students choose to study and whether they hold membership with British Weightlifting:  

For example: 

  • Cost of a Level 1 Qualification - £333 - £375
  • Cost of Level 2 Qualification - £428 - £500
  • Cost of Level 3 Qualification - £808 - £850

This means you could be paying anywhere between £1,569 - £1,725 in total to obtain an Olympic weightlifting certification at Level 3!

How Long Does it Take to Obtain All Your Olympic Weightlifting Certification?

How long does it take to learn how to become an olympic weightlifting coach

Within each qualification, there are unique prerequisites that can potentially affect the duration of a student’s study time. For reference:

  • Level 1 Students - Must be at least 16 years old and have general experience in lifting weights.
  • Level 2 Students - Must be at least 17 years old and have previously completed the Level 1 qualification.
  • Level 3 Students - Must be 18 or over and have previously completed the Level 2 qualification.

Therefore, for some students, it could take up to three years to become a fully qualified Level 3 coach.

What Are The Job Prospects Like for Olympic Weightlifting Coaches?

Learn how to coach olympic weightlifting on the job

Those interested in learning how to become an Olympic weightlifting coach need to be aware of the current state of the industry, and what job prospects await them following the completion of their qualifications.

In truth, there isn’t a vast amount of full-time opportunities to pursue in the UK for this specific niche. This will become all too apparent when conducting employment research of your own.

Typically, Olympic weightlifting coaches will be hired on a freelance/zero-hour basis, when clients contact you directly from British Weightlifting’s catalogue of coaches. 

Even in this instance, you may struggle to attract clients due to the competitive nature of the role. For example, if another coach has years of experience over you, the client is likely going to want to train under them.

For all these reasons, it will be worth gaining additional experience working in other job roles. Not only will this offer financial stability and consistent work, but it will allow you to develop vocational skills and knowledge that will directly benefit your coaching style.

Complementary Fitness Careers to Pursue Alongside Working as an Olympic Weightlifting Coach

Other careers to explore when becoming an olympic weightlifting coach

Now that you’re aware of how competitive this field is, you will naturally be questioning what other employment opportunities you can explore in addition to becoming an Olympic weightlifting coach.

This section will explore 2 such examples, exploring services that you can offer in addition to weightlifting coach:

#1 - Become a Personal Trainer

Do personal training alongside becoming a olympic weightlifting coach

The primary responsibility of personal trainers is to create bespoke workout programmes that help their clients meet unique fitness goals. 

Those operating in this role will typically work in gyms and fitness centres, but can also operate in a variety of other locations including a client’s own home.

To pursue this career you will need to hold a Level 3 Personal Training Diploma at a minimum!  This can be seen in the job advertisement below:

Personal Training Job example for Olympic Weightlifting Coaches

The only prerequisite associated with this course is that we ask students to be aged 16+, before enrolment. This lower age restriction allows gain vocational work experience as a personal trainer whilst simultaneously completing all your remaining weightlifting levels. 

But how does personal training benefit the career of Olympic weightlifting coaches? Well, as previously stated, when working as a PT you will create and deliver bespoke workout programmes for clients to help them achieve a specific goal.

This prior experience will inform how you plan and deliver an athlete’s training programme, to prepare them for a weightlifting competition.

Student who has just qualified to Become a Olympic Weightlifting coach & PT

Even when you fully qualify as an Olympic weightlifting coach you won’t have to give up your role as a personal trainer either. You can run these complimentary services side by side, fitting your new responsibilities around your existing PT schedule. 

You could even cross-refer your clients, offering to create bespoke whole-body workout programmes that will benefit an athlete in preparation for their weightlifting competition. To learn more about this role check out our article on ‘becoming a personal trainer’.

What is the Average Salary of a Personal Trainer? 

Olympic weightlifting PT salary

For some, becoming a personal trainer alongside their existing coaching responsibilities will be a purely financial decision. If you fall into this category, let’s discuss how much you could potentially be earning as a PT along with some factors that may influence this final figure. 

Thankfully, there is plenty of data on personal trainers’ salaries online. For example, according to employment experts at Indeed, the average salary of a personal trainer is £22.93 per hour, which roughly equates to £29,111 a year:

Olympic Weightlifting Coaches can earn this much with personal training

When looking at these stats, it’s important to remember they are a calculated average sum collected from the data of the site's users. 

Your actual salary as a PT can be influenced by numerous factors such as:

  • The amount of experience you have - Newly qualified trainers will typically earn less than those already working in the industry
  • How many hours you work - The more hours you do, the more money you make!
  • Where you are located - Due to the cost of their living expenses, trainers in London typically earn more than anywhere else in the country.

This latter point is supported by independent research conducted by OriGym which compared the salaries of trainers in 10 of the UK’s biggest cities.

Think about it this way, you could be earning a lucrative salary as a full-time personal trainer, whilst building on this income by offering additional coaching sessions for Olympic weightlifters.

 

Become a Level 3 PT in as Little as 4 Weeks!

Enquire about OriGym's award-nominated Personal Training Diploma and launch your career today!

#2 - Become a Strength & Conditioning Coach

Olympic weightlifting coaches can do S&C alongside their career

If you’re passionate about coaching and want to continue training athletes, a career in strength and conditioning could be the perfect choice for you! 

Whilst operating in this position you will help athletes improve their performance by building on their speed, strength, endurance and power specifically for their chosen sport or discipline.

As a strength and conditioning coach, you will be responsible for duties such as:

  • Writing tailored workout programmes 
  • Creating a periodic exercise schedule 
  • Monitoring the physical and mental well-being of your clients
  • Liaising with medical staff to help with an athlete's injury rehabilitation 

Examples of which can be seen below in a job advertisement for Strengthworks Limited:

Olympic Weightlifting Coach S&C job ad

This is another ideal role to explore alongside your career as an Olympic weightlifting coach. Here, you’ll gain valuable experience working with athletes, creating programmes designed to help improve their athletic performance.

You could even offer to cross-refer athletes, ensuring they have an S&C programme that directly benefits their goals in Olympic weightlifting. For more information on this role check out our article on ‘How to Become a Strength and Conditioning Coach’.

What is the Average Salary of a Strength and Conditioning Coach?

Again, before pursuing this job role many would like to know the expected earnings associated with becoming a strength and conditioning coach.

According to data collected by Payscale, strength and conditioning coaches in the UK earn an average of £24,590 per year:

What can an Olympic Weightlifting Coach earn with S&C

Remember, when taking into consideration the average salary of a strength and conditioning coach on these sites is calculated by collecting data, and formulating an average.

Again, this salary can be influenced by several factors such as location. This is proven by Glassdoor, which states that coaches in London earn an average salary of £33k a year!

What can an Olympic Weightlifting Coach earn with S&C in London

This is another example of a lucrative career to explore alongside becoming an Olympic weightlifting coach. Not only will you be able to attract an entirely new demographic of clients, but you can also keep your current ones engaged with training programmes that support their competitive development.

Do I Need Insurance to Become an Olympic Weightlifting Coach?

Do I need insurance when learning how to coach olympic weightlifting

As stated at the very beginning of this article, one of your main responsibilities in this role is ensuring that your clients can routinely perform a snatch, clean and jerk without injuring themselves.

But accidents can happen with even the best of coaches, so you must ensure you’re legally protected with the correct insurance. 

When working with clients on 1-on-1 as a fitness professional you are legally required to invest in the following insurance policies:

  • Public liability insurance - Protects you in the event that you injure someone or damage third party property. 
  • Professional indemnity insurance - Protects you in the event that advice you give clients leads to a resulting injury.

Failure to properly protect yourself could result in legal fines and even jail time in server instances. Other coverage that we’d personally recommend investing in includes:

  • Personal Accident Insurance - Covers you in the event that you accidentally injure yourself whilst training. 
  • Loss of Earnings Insurance - Protects your income in the event that you injure yourself and are unable to work as a result. 
  • Equipment Insurance - Covers the cost of your equipment in the event that it’s stolen or damaged. 

Providers such as Insure4Sport allow you to protect yourself with up to £10 million, with a monthly payment programme!

Before You Go! 

You now have all the necessary information required to become an Olympic weightlifting coach. In this incredibly rewarding role, you will be able to help clients achieve their goals as they compete across the country.

Remember, earning a diploma in personal training is a great option for those looking to work with clients on a one-to-one basis. 

You can also download our course prospectus for FREE, to learn more about all of OriGym’s qualifications!

 

Become a Level 3 PT in as Little as 4 Weeks!

Enquire about OriGym's award-nominated Personal Training Diploma and launch your career today!

Written by James Bickerstaff

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

James holds a BA (Hons) in Creative Writing and Film Studies and has recently gained a MA degree in Film, both of which he attained from Liverpool John Moores University. After taking up the couch to 5K challenge on a whim, James found a new passion for running, which he combines with his love for healthy cooking and writing. All of this led him to becoming a copywriter for OriGym.  

When he is not writing content for the site, James can be found researching new recipes, writing music reviews, reading and watching latest film releases.   

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