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Strength & Conditioning Coach Job Description Explained

strength and conditioning coach job description

The strength and conditioning coach job description is a lengthy one, packed with important jobs and responsibilities that will see you having a valuable role in the health and fitness industry.

That being said, we have compiled the most important things you should know about what the job description holds, including:

Before we get straight into it, if you’re interested in getting started in the fitness industry and potentially working your way up to a career in S&C, why not browse through our personal training courses here at OriGym? Find this and many more courses in our downloadable course prospectus.

The Key Responsibilities Of A Strength & Conditioning Coach

#1 Designing and Implementing Sessions is in the Strength and Conditioning Job Description

strength and conditioning coach job description

Of course one of the biggest parts of a strength and conditioning coach job is to design and implement sessions for clients that are actually going to make a difference. 

The goal is essentially to improve the body as a whole, so that in turn, aspects of overall performance improve over time. With that in mind, you would be required to develop programmes that include the following factors

  • Mobility
  • Strength
  • Power 
  • Agility
  • Speed
  • Endurance

All of these factors working in tandem makes a great athlete. Though there will still be sport-specific exercises involved in your designing and implementation of S&C sessions, the importance of including every aspect of the body shouldn’t be overlooked.

On the other hand, your clients don’t have to be athletes or sports persons in order to take part in your S&C sessions. 

You might be required to design and conduct sessions for regular people who have a more specific goal, for example to improve a particular body part and reduce the severity of injuries and the overall risk of injury.

As well as this, you would be responsible for having the correct nutritional education behind you too. You need to ensure that the sessions that you design are complimenting their goal and or chosen sport, for example, they may benefit from a high protein diet if the training sessions are heavy impact, in order to assist in a faster recovery.

Each client will be different and so this design and implementation process will be repeatedly different- keep that in mind, strength and conditioning training is not a one size fits all.

#2 Tracking Client Progress & Acting Accordingly is Among Strength and Conditioning Coach Responsibilities

job description for strength and conditioning coach

An equally important part of designing and implementing S&C sessions is tracking progress.

Strength and conditioning is often focused on the likes of endurance, which cannot be measured by stepping on the scales.

You should be conducting tests to assess your clients- this is a huge part of the job description of strength and conditioning coach since you’ll often be training people who are already advanced when it comes to fitness. 

Because of this, it is unlikely that their goals are going to be to lose a dramatic amount of weight or to change their overall lifestyle habits. So, in order to assess their progress there are some tests you could do every 4-6 weeks approximately.

These include:

  • Muscular strength & endurance (muscular fitness)
  • Aerobic endurance (cardio)
  • Flexibility

Though you can sport specific tests, these are the most holistic examples of what is actually measured. 

Some of the popular tests include:

Grip Strength Test

  • Dead hang: This is helpful to measure progress for rock climbing athletes, tennis, powerlifting etc. 

Aerobic Endurance Test

  • Maximum Burpees in 5 minutes: This is helpful for measuring progress in cardiovascular endurance.

Anaerobic Endurance Test 

  • 300 Yard Shuttle: This test is good for sports that have a stop and start nature like football or CrossFit

Muscular Power Test 

  • Long Jump: This measures the power in which you can produce movement fast, good for powerlifters.

Be sure to track the results of these tests over a given period of time to visualise your clients’ progression.

These are just a handful of examples that can be incredibly beneficial when repeated over time to see what areas you should be working on and how much your training is improving their skills.

#3 Working Alongside Other Health & Fitness Professionals is Among the Roles and Responsibilities of a Strength and Conditioning Coach

certified strength and conditioning specialist job description

Something else in the job description for a strength and conditioning coach is the skill to cooperate among other health and fitness professionals; these could include but are not limited to:

  • Physiotherapists
  • Sports Medicine Professionals
  • Personal Trainers
  • Dietitians 
  • Nutritionists

The amount of these professionals, if any, of course depends on how advanced your client is. 

For example, if they’re an athlete that has to be consistently on top of their game, chances are they have more than one fitness professional on their team. Though you would know about nutrition, and are allowed to make recommendations, the only professionals allowed to design and prescribe meal plans are dietitians.

Working with a dietician can be hugely beneficial for your clients’ overall progress. Being in communication with other fitness professionals allows you to have insight into your clients overall wellbeing, like what their macro intake is and how this could be affecting their current goals of performance. 

This is because without this sort of communication, you may feel lost as to why their progress is slow.

 

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Enquire about our CIMSPA-accredited Personal Training Diploma and become a qualified PT in as little as 4 weeks.

For example, maybe they set a goal with you to reduce overall body fat, but their dietician isn’t aware of the programme you have designed. Let’s say they also set this same goal with their dietician, without the communication between the two professionals, your client could potentially be falling into a calorie deficit.

There should be a correlation between what is being taken in (food) and the amount of physical exertion and the only way to get to the finer details of this is to correspond with your peer professionals. 

Similarly, physiotherapists are another professional that if your client is working with, you should be in direct contact. This is because they’re the person who is taking care of any problematic areas, so you need to know what to avoid and what to work on. 

You don’t want to do more harm than good, so clearance of your session with their designated physiotherapist can be extremely beneficial for your client in case it slips their mind to tell you about any issues they’ve been having that could do without aggravation. 

#4 The Responsibilities of a Strength and Conditioning Coach Include Helping Athletes That are in Recovery

s&c coach job description

Among the many responsibilities in the strength and conditioning coach job description, there is also the inclusion of helping athletes that are in the recovery process. 

Since strength and conditioning assists in the improvement of the musculoskeletal system, there is a direct correlation between this practice and improved recovery times. 

This is particularly true when it comes to clients who have been injured and have had to take a significant break from their sport or exercise. 

This would make quite the difference from pushing your clients to their limits, it would be a slow yet informed re-introduction into exercise habits and in particular, the areas of which they have injured should be at the forefront of your programme. 

Communication is of course vital, but in order to heal and return to their sport, they need to work the area just the right amount. So much so that it won’t aggravate the area but works it enough to encourage healing prospects. 

#5 Tailoring Sessions to Increase Performance in Specific Sports is in the Job Description Of a Strength and Conditioning Coach

responsibilities of a strength and conditioning coach

As we mentioned earlier, design and implementation of effective strength and conditioning programmes are at the forefront of your job role as a coach, but there is a particular focus on increasing performance for particular sports. 

This is where there is a stark difference between a strength and conditioning coach and a personal trainer, as this is what strength and conditioning coaches are trained to do. 

In order to be efficient in a particular sport, there are generally no areas of the body left untrained. As an S&C coach, you would be expected to focus on each muscle group in order for your client to grow and progress. 

Just like we spoke about earlier, there is a reason there are tests for aerobic endurance and muscular endurance and this is because your client should be progressing in both areas to actually improve in their sport. 

For example, lower body power is crucial for performance in a huge array of sports, not just the likes of football! Thus, an increased performance in this area can help the progression and performance in your clients sport no matter the sports focus - plus, it is easy to measure progress this way too.

Similarly, as we spoke about rehabilitation and preventing injury, this is a huge part of success as a sportsperson. With that in mind, a continued effort in strength and conditioning can be extremely effective in discouraging injury and reducing the overall risk. 

 

Launch Your Fitness Career With OriGym!

Enquire about our CIMSPA-accredited Personal Training Diploma and become a qualified PT in as little as 4 weeks.

3 Crucial Skills Found In The Job Description Of A Strength And Conditioning Coach

If you’re considering this as a career, it’s likely that you want to know what crucial skills are included in the strength and conditioning coach job description. These are the top 4 things you should think about working on before choosing this career. 

#1 Leadership Skills are Needed in a Strength & Conditioning Coach Job Role

roles and responsibilities of a strength and conditioning coach

Within an S&C coach job description, it is typical to find a common theme of leadership. 

More often than not, it is going to be just you as the S&C coach who is providing the session(s), so you must be able to show this. Take a look at this job advertisement below for example.

roles and responsibilities of a strength and conditioning coach

As you can see, the first sentence of the strength and conditioning job description details your level of responsibility in the role, and we’re sure that you can agree that this is a heavy workload to handle if you don’t have leadership skills down to a T.

In this particular role, you’re solely responsible for the first team players’ physical development. Thus, you’re going to definitely need leadership skills to handle a football team on match days among other responsibilities. 

Many job advertisements are for teams. Whether it is football teams, rugby teams or university sports teams there is typically more than one person who you’ll be coaching. While it is still widely popular to have 1-2-1 sessions in S&C, small group training is a typical approach too.

This is why leadership is so important, you’re often an important part of the mechanics and overall success of a sports team, this means that whether it’s a 1-2-1 or a group session, leadership is vital.

Your clients need to be able to trust your judgement and trust that you know exactly what the best option is for their progress. By exerting leadership qualities, your clients will feel happy in your care.

#2 You Must have Optimal Organisational Skills as a Strength & Conditioning Coach

strength and conditioning coach responsibility

You’ll often find organisational skills being a predominant part of many industries and reading a certified strength and conditioning specialist job description won’t be any different!

This is because although an S&C coach is a very active and ‘hands on’ job, there are still many administrative tasks that need to be done too in order to effectively track your clients. 

For example, take a look at this job advertisement below looking for a strength and conditioning coach:

strength and conditioning coach responsibility

We mentioned earlier that one of the key responsibilities within the strength and conditioning coach job description is tracking progress. This takes a lot of work when it comes to admin, along with the organisation of all of this information. 

Some things you need to think about are how you’re going to store this information?

It is going to be personal data so it needs to be secure, will it be on a drive? PC? Hard copies? These sort of organisational skills shouldn’t be overlooked since there is no way of telling their progress if you don’t have any data to compare it to!

#3 Teamwork Skills are a Certainty in a Strength & Conditioning Coach Role

strength and conditioning coach job description example

More often than not, within the role of a strength and conditioning coach, teamwork is non-negotiable.

We mentioned how working with sports teams is a big part of the strength and conditioning coach job description, this is exactly why you need to have the ability to handle more than one client and ultimately, work together.

This goes beyond the ability to work with clients too, it also relates to the aforementioned responsibility of working with other health and fitness professionals, particularly if you’re working for a big sports team.

This is because you’ll often travel with the sports team that you work for, along with the likes of any other physiotherapists and professionals alike to ensure that your clients are in top shape for their game.

Similarly, whether you work with groups or singular athletes the goal remains the same, thus, you should think of you and your client as a team. Without input from your client, you can’t create an effective programme so you need to make them feel like they’re really a part of your team. 

This way, you build trust so that they feel comfortable in telling you when they have an issue or if they’re struggling with nutrition. After all, you're there to help them to become the best they can be and you can only do this with maximum effort from both parties.

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For some more information on what it takes to become a strength and conditioning coach, check out our articles below:

The Necessary Qualifications On A Strength And Conditioning Coach Job Description

s and c coach job description

It goes without saying that you need particular qualifications to get into the field of S&C coaching, so let’s take a look at what routes get you on the ladder of employment.

Option 1: Vocational Training 

Vocational qualifications are frequently listed on Strength and Conditioning job descriptions advertised by employers.

They are extremely beneficial if you’re looking to develop practical skills, increase your chances of employability, and complete your training in a shorter period, compared to an academic program.

Completing a Level 3 Personal Trainer Diploma, for example, is a great way to earn a vocational qualification that will make you eligible to apply for these positions.

With this CIMSPA-recognised qualification, you could apply for this Personal Trainer/Strength and Conditioning Coach position at T4 Physio Clinic:

s and c coach job description

Securing employment in this role is a great opportunity to gain experience as a Strength and Conditioning coach whilst simultaneously working as a Personal Trainer. 

You can apply the skills you learned from your PT Diploma to set fitness goals and create customised programs for both your PT and Strength and Conditioning clients.

Option 2: Degree and Higher Education

An alternative approach is a degree and higher education courses. 

This qualifies you to apply for the more prestigious roles like S&C coaches for football teams or private S&C coaches. For example, take a look at this job advertisement below from Brighton Football Club:

s and c coach job description examples

As you can see, they require a minimum of an undergraduate degree and are specific in what degree that is too.

Among other experiences, this is often non-negotiable when it comes to bigger roles. This is largely due to the fact that your knowledge needs to be extensive when you’re working with clients of a high value like football players.

Football clubs pay millions of pounds on players and you are one of the people responsible for their progression, rehabilitation and skill development. With that being said, employers are not going to hire just about anybody. 

However, something that you need to remember is that taking this option comes with 3 major drawbacks:

  • High tuition fees
  • Student debt 
  • It will take years to complete 

Which is why many people may prefer a vocational route. The choice you make is dependent on the future you want to make, both offer successful careers so that’s something you can guarantee.

How Much Experience Do You Need For A Strength & Conditioning Role?

experience for a strength and conditioning coach job

The level of experience that you need is completely dependent on the role that you’re applying for, that being said, we have two examples for those who are at entry level and those who are looking for more advanced roles with experience behind them.

The higher level job roles like this advertisement below for a lead S&C coach will have some level of hands-on experience as well as an educational background.

experience needed for a strength and conditioning coach job

As you can see, the sections highlighted are all regarding the specific areas in which you need to have experience to apply for the role. This goes beyond a previous S&C coaching experience, there are direct specifics including:

  • Working in a gym based environment
  • Working with elite level athletes
  • Strategic planning
  • Strategic delivery of sessions
  • Monitoring S&C programmes 

You can see clearly that there is much more necessary when it comes to a lead role, which is understandable when you’re earning more and are working for a company with a high level reputation. 

So, though this job role doesn't specify how many years of experience you need, you must be able to show how you have experienced these more specific factors. 

On the other hand, you can find entry level S&C coach jobs, which can still offer a healthy income and fulfilling career without the need to have years of experience behind you. 

For example, this job ad below for a university doesn’t specify any experience in their requirements, just a passion to train athletes!

what experience do I need for a strength and conditioning coach job

This isn’t the only role out there that doesn’t specify any length of experience, so there is no need to worry if you’re at entry level, there is still going to be work out there for you. 

Starting off here is a great start before working your way up to a higher level S&C coach.

The Hours Expected on As Part Of A Strength And Conditioning Coach Job Description

s&c coach job role

When sifting through the many job advertisements, you should pay attention to the amount of hours expected from you in the strength and conditioning coach job description.

This is because they can vary greatly from the typical 9-5.

However, this can be one of the most exciting parts of the job. You can actually escape the usual schedule and travel with football teams and have a more varied schedule.

Though it is heavily subjective on who you work for and the level of which you work at too.

Often, if you decide to work for a football team, you’re always going to have the bulk of your workload during the playing season. 

Similarly, if you decide to work for a university sports team, you could expect to have hours only during term time. Take a look at this job advertisement for example:

experience for a strength and conditioning coach job

This role is part time and only during term time like many others so in order to accompany these hours you could work as a freelance personal trainer and S&C coach to maximise your income.

You can expect to see roles for S&C coaches ranging from full-time, part-time and on or off season specific hours. Be sure to keep this in mind when looking for the role right for you.

How Much Could You Earn As An S&C Coach?

income for stregnth and conditioning coaches

Similar to how many hours that you’re expected to work, ranging substantially from job to job depending on the experience you have and ultimately, how valuable you are.

Not only that but salary can be impacted depending on the type of role, for example, like we just mentioned there is a huge range of hours required for different levels of advancements so salaries of course reflect this too.

So you can see how this varies, we have compared two different S&C coach roles below and their salary.

income for stregnth and conditioning coaches

income for stregnth and conditioning coaches

As you can see there is a dramatic difference between the two, with the second example showing a relatively more common job advert that you might come across during your search. 

Like any job role, climbing the ladder is how you’re going to earn more and more over time. Experience in other areas of fitness and exploring the expanse of the S&C job role description can help you to reach a job like a director of S&C and earn upto 45k a year!

Set your prospects realistically though, but keep in mind that there is big money to be made in this job role since you can work with prestigious sports teams and individuals once you have the right amount of experience and education behind you.

Before You Go…

We hope that by now, you feel confident in what to expect in the job description of a strength and conditioning coach and if you’re ready to apply, go for it!

If you want to check out some vocational training courses here at OriGym, why not start by looking through our range of personal training courses

You can learn about this course and many others by downloading our course prospectus

Written by Kimberley Mitchell

Editor

Having gained a B.A Hons degree in Media, Culture and Communications, Kimberley has gained experience in areas of web journalism, website production and marketing.

Alongside this, Kim expanded her knowledge and passion for fitness, by becoming a fully qualified fitness instructuor and personal trainer. Kim has also gained specialist qualifications in yoga, nutriton, spin and many more.

After working in the industry as a PT, Kimberley went on to study an MA in Digital Marketing and continues to expand her knowledge in the industry. Her main focus is to keep up with current trends and communications with a focus around health & fitness, writing and being creative.

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