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Sports Nutritionist Salary UK: Ultimate Guide (2020)

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If you’re looking to start an exciting new career and you want to know more about the sports nutritionist salary then you’re in the right place!

Below we’ve explained the average salary of a sports nutritionist, factors that can affect your income, and how you can boost your earnings by starting your very own business.

Whether you just want a general idea of how much you can expect to earn or some guidance on which career path is best for you, we’ve got you covered.

But first, why not enquire about our REPs recognised Level 4 Sports Nutrition course or download our latest prospectus here and kick-start your new career today!

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How Much Does A Sports Nutritionist Make A Year?

Before you go ahead and choose a new career, it only makes sense that you want to know what you can expect in terms of income.

If you’ve already researched how to become a sports nutritionist, you’ll know that working in sports nutrition can be really rewarding.

But at the end of the day, the point of any job is to earn a living! 

A little further on, we’ll discuss how the sports nutritionist salary in the UK varies between different sectors and types of employment, but first, here’s our breakdown of the average salary for a sports nutritionist.  

How Much Does The Average Sports Nutritionist Make?

We searched tons of job boards and review sites so that we could find the most accurate and up to date average sports nutritionist salary in the UK, so here it is!

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According to Glassdoor, the average base salary for sports nutritionists in the UK is £23,934.

If you work in London, the average wage is a little higher, falling at around £25,000 a year.

This might not seem like much at first, but don’t be put off just yet!

There are plenty of ways that you can reach the higher end of the sports nutritionist salary range, all of which we are about to explain within this article.

With the right qualifications, skills, and experience, sports nutritionists can earn up to £55,000 according to Prospectus. 

Remember that your salary will increase with the more experience you acquire, and if you commit yourself to your career you’ll be sure to get promoted to an even better-paid position.

Plus, don’t forget that if you choose to take the self-employed route, your earning potential will be completely unlimited. 

When you’re first starting out, you can expect your salary to be anywhere between £15,000 and £25,000, with the average employer offering around £21,500 a year according to leading job sites.

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The main factors that will affect this starting salary include the amount of relevant experience that you have, and the level of qualification that you hold.

For example, if you have a Master’s degree or experience in a similar job, say you’ve worked as a personal trainer nutrition coach, then your employer might offer you more money than a candidate who is less experienced.

However, this is not guaranteed and really depends on the employer and whether the role is in the public or the private sector. 

Typically, you will earn more in the private sector, with the starting salary usually starting at £20,000 compared to £15,000 in public sector jobs.

This is just one of the reasons why we would say that the sector that you choose to work on will have a significant impact on how much you earn. To explain that a little more, check out our private vs public sector salary breakdown below.

Average Sports Nutritionist Salary: Public vs Private Sector

Researching average wages is definitely the easy way to answer ‘what is the salary of a sports nutritionist?’. 

However, the sheer number of factors that can affect income in this industry means that determining an average salary for sports nutritionist jobs in general isn’t that simple.

Above, we briefly mentioned that private sector jobs tend to pay more than jobs in the public sector. But what is the difference between these sectors? Allow us to explain!

Salary For Sports Nutritionist: Public Sector Jobs

A job in the public sector is any role where you are working for a state-funded company. Typically, that includes:

  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Universities
  • Community Fitness Centres

The main place of work for sports nutritionists is usually local council-run fitness centres. 

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Sometimes, public sector sports nutritionists can be based in the hospitals that are partnered with these local fitness centres, usually working closely with exercise referral specialists and their clients.

Whichever of the above routes you choose to take in the public sector, you’ll need to consider whether you want to get a degree or study for an accredited vocational qualification. 

This degree can be in a directly relevant subject, ie BSc Sports Nutrition, but as long as the qualification is approved by the Association for Nutrition (AfN), any Nutrition related qualification will be sufficient. 

These strict job requirements do come with financial benefits, with fully qualified and experienced nutritionists in the public sector earning anywhere between £24,214 and £37,267 a year.

If you really want to reach a higher sports nutritionist specialist salary, working in a University as a researcher or as a lecturer is one of the most lucrative career options. 

The most senior roles in Universities pay a salary of up to £80,000, however, you will need a strong academic record and some relevant work experience before you can work up to this position.

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Although taking the degree route and working in the public sector can pay off in terms of financial security and stability, with that comes the burden of paying off student loans for the majority of your working life.

The House of Commons estimated that in 2018, the average graduate finished their studies with £36,000 worth of student loan debt.

So before you jump straight to the conclusion that getting a degree is your best option,  consider that upto 9% of your earnings will be deducted from your wages for student loan repayments. 

Sports Nutritionist Salary: Private Sector Jobs

If you really want to maximise your sports nutritionist wage, then you should know that your earning potential will be much higher if you work in the private sector. 

Public sector jobs provide financial security and a decent income, but it’s understandable that a lot of people are put off by the cost of student finance and the time it takes to get a degree.

The private sector has a lot more flexibility. There are endless different career paths that you can take, all of which have a generous earning potential if you’re prepared to put the work in.

Despite typically paying more, employers in the private sector are a lot more lenient when it comes to qualifications and job requirements. 

Employers value vocational qualifications, like a Level 4 Sports Nutrition certification, just as much as a degree or academic qualifications.

Sports Nutrition Salary: Private Sector Career Paths

Wondering what kinds of sports and fitness nutritionist jobs are available in the private sector? Below are the best career paths to consider for a generous sports nutritionist salary (UK).

Gyms & Private Health Clubs

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Similar to working in a local fitness centre, sports nutritionists can also find employment in big chain gyms and private health clubs.

Depending on the facility, this role can include providing generic nutritional guidance to gym-goers or work with clients on a 1-1 basis, creating personalised nutrition programmes based on their individual goals.

This usually involves working with clients with certain exercise goals, usually based around losing weight or building muscle.

The average salary for sports nutritionists in this kind of role is typically higher than positions at council-run fitness centres, mainly because private health clubs have a greater income.

Some private gyms will offer a base pay similar to positions in the public sector, but this is almost always compensated for with generous commission schemes. 

For example, you might have a set salary of £21,000 with the potential to boost your income by reaching targets, such as singing members up for 1-1 nutrition sessions. 

Personal Training

Whilst some health clubs will hire a specific sports nutrition coach, many gyms look for employees who are all-rounders. 

A lot of gyms will advertise for a personal trainer nutrition coach with the knowledge to create the nutrition plan and the training programme to complement it, so it might be a good idea to look into how to become a personal trainer, too.

For example, this position advertised at the DVCC:

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If you check out the full job description on indeed.com, you’ll see that they are offering a starting sports nutrition wage of £15 an hour for each client session that you run, which then increases to £18 per hour after 6 months in the role.

This role is based in Northampton, but the DVCC hire people up and down the UK on a similar basis. 

There are tons of similar jobs to this advertised, some advertising an hourly rate, some on a freelance basis, and others offering a competitive salary.

As you can see in the job description, these roles value knowledge, passion, and relevant experience much more than formal qualifications. Making this just one example of how you can make a good sports nutritionist salary without studying for a degree.

Want to know more about working as a personal trainer? Check out our full guide to personal training salary here.

Working In A Private Practice

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If you like the idea of working in a hospital setting but with a more attractive average sports nutritionist salary, then you should definitely consider working in a private practice.

Public services are often overwhelmed, with long client waiting lists and limited time with clients when they do eventually get a session.

In a private setting, you can truly design tailored nutrition plans by taking the time to understand the individual and their goals. On the other hand, public services are usually overstretched and forced to take a much more holistic approach.

For that reason, a lot of clients are willing to pay to go to a private practice. That way, they avoid weeks or even months waiting for an initial consultation, and they receive a much higher quality service.

It’s no wonder that interest in private services has been increasing over the years, especially in specialised areas like sports nutrition. 

And what does this increase in demand mean? A healthy salary for you!

Who knows, if you think you have what it takes to set up your own business, you could even open up your own private practice! Sound like something you'd be interested in? Don’t go anywhere because we’ll discuss starting your own business very soon.

Nutritionist For Professional Sports Team Salary

One of the most popular career paths in the private sector is becoming a sports nutritionist for a particular sports team or athletic club.

Professional and Amateur teams and clubs hire sports nutrition specialists or ‘Performance Nutritionists’ to create nutrition programmes that can help athletes and sports persons to reach their specific goals. 

For example, check out this job description for a sports team nutritionists at Norwich City Football Club:

Working for a sports team is a really exciting opportunity, especially if you land a position within a sport that you have a genuine passion for.

Not to mention, working as a nutritionist for professional sports teams provides a competitive salary, especially if you get a job working for a professional level club or team.

Compared to the general public, competitive athletes have the means to pay the price of the highest standard of service, especially when it comes to something that affects their performance as much as nutrition does.

If you’re already qualified, you’ll know that a good nutrition programme can have a huge impact on an athlete’s performance, so it only makes sense that a professional sports teams nutritionist salary reflects the importance of their role.

Foods & Supplements industry

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Once you’ve acquired sports nutrition experience in one of the above roles, you could go on to work in the sales or marketing department of a sports nutrition brand. 

Companies that sell sports supplements or vitamins value experienced sports nutritionists for their understanding of vitamins and supplements, and their overall passion for the products. 

Both sales and marketing roles can have a really generous salary, with sales jobs often offering unlimited bonus schemes, and marketing roles having a pretty much unlimited room for career progression.

The variety of job roles in the supplements industry is endless, but for one quick example, here’s an advert for a Social Media Manager position at Wild Nutrition.

As you can see, this job offers a pretty generous certified sports nutritionist salary of up to £35,000.

With the right experience, this career path has a huge earning potential. Plus, you’ll learn tons of valuable skills that will help you to start up a successful business of your own.

Now that we’ve answered ‘how much does a sports nutritionist earn in the UK?’ why not check out our full nutritionist salary guide to see how this compares to other nutrition careers.

How To Earn A Top Sports Nutrition Career Salary

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As we mentioned earlier, careers in the private sector have much more flexible role requirements. Plus, these jobs offer an increased average sports nutritionist salary compared to similar roles in the public sector.

The same goes for anybody starting their own business, too. 

When you’re your own boss, you have full control over how much of your profits that you take home, and you get to decide the qualifications that you need.

It’s not really surprising that these private sector jobs can be pretty competitive, with everybody eager to land the sports nutritionist jobs that offer the most competitive salary.

Starting your own business is no walk in the park either, but with the right skills you have every opportunity to be really successful.

In the next section, we’ll talk all about how to get the top salary of a sports nutritionist by starting up your very own business.

But first, what can you do to make your business stand out, or to land that high paying job? Here are our top tips for a successful career.

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#1 Complete CPDs 

If you really want to stand out as a sports nutritionist, you’ll need to show that you’re passionate about nutrition and health, and that you’re truly dedicated to being good at your job.

Without a doubt, the best way to show your commitment to any career is to regularly complete CPD (continuing professional development) courses.

This means, constantly looking for ways to expand your existing knowledge and add to your level of expertise. 

For example, as a sports nutritionist, you might complete a CPD course in Hydration for Sport and Exercise Management, to improve your knowledge of liquid hydration.

#2 Find A Niche

Having a niche for your business is a brilliant fitness marketing strategy. It allows you to attract a certain target audience who perceive you as an expert in one particular area of sports nutrition. 

Plus, professionals or people with a passion for a certain sport will often pay more for a sports nutritionist with qualifications in that area.

So, if you want to work with amateur and professional boxers, you should definitely look into a boxing and pad work course to better understand the kind of training plan that your clients will be sticking to.  

Alternatively, if you want to set up your own sports nutrition business specifically for helping people get healthier from their own homes, then it would be a good idea to complete a bodyweight training CPD so that you could create workouts to suit your nutrition plans.

The more qualifications you have in a particular area, the more you can charge clients for your expertise, making CPD courses a very rewarding investment.

#3 Business Skills

Whether you're working for a small business, a freelancer in a private health club, or running your own business, a good understanding of sales, marketing and advertising will help you to go far.

Even if you don’t have your own business, selling techniques are essential in the private sector, as your salary will often be dependent on factors such as how many clients you sign up, or how many 1-1 sessions you run. 

Brushing up on your business skills can really help you to progress in your current role or grow your own business, both of which will lead to an increase in your sports nutrition consultant salary.

There are tons of good resources online, but if you want to properly understand the skills that you’ll need in the health and fitness industry specifically, we recommend you enquire about OriGym’s exclusive fitness business qualification.

How To Earn A Top Sports Nutritionist Wage: Starting Your Own Business

If you want to reach the higher end of the sports nutritionist salary range, starting your own business is the best way to boost your income.

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By becoming your own boss, you will have full control over your working life, and most importantly, you will be responsible for setting your own wages.

In terms of what kind of business you want to set up, you have a couple of options. You could open up your own sports nutrition practice, work on a mobile freelance basis, or take your business online.

If you complete a personal training diploma, you could become a self-employed personal trainer nutritionist. Within this role, you could work in a gym or private studio as a freelance trainer, or become self-employed with the help of our personal trainer business checklist.

Of course, the higher your profits, the more you’ll earn. So you’ll need to develop a good fitness business plan to ensure that you have money coming into your business. 

Once you’ve established who you want your customers to be and whether you want to establish a niche for your business, the main thing to consider is your pricing - here’s why.

How Much Should You Charge Your Clients?

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If you register as self-employed or as a limited company, your sports nutritionist wage will vary greatly depending on a few key factors:

  1. How many clients you have
  2. How much you charge your clients
  3. How many hours you work
  4. Who your clients are

At first, a lot of people make the mistake of choosing a low pricing structure, expecting it to attract a lot of new clients, and therefore make a lot of money.

These are the same people who will try to work every waking hour to cram in as many clients as possible, forgetting that rest can actually have huge benefits for your productivity. 

But, this isn’t always the best way to go. 

If your prices are really low, then potential customers might question why your services are so much cheaper than your competitors, usually coming to the conclusion that your services must be of a lower quality.

It’s a good idea to research your competitors and see how much they are charging as this will give you a good idea of how much your potential clients are willing to pay.

If you do this, you’ll probably see that the average sports nutritionist charges around £60 per hour.

Sports nutritionist job salary price vs value scale

You can choose to set your prices a little higher than your competitors as this can earn you more money per session and it can give the impression that your business is better than the cheaper options out there.

This is especially true if your business has a niche, as clients will often pay more for a service that is specialised in their particular sport compared to a plan from a generic nutrition business. 

However, if you’re going to push for premium prices, it’s really important that you have the relevant qualifications and a good level of experience to justify this.

You’ll need to find the right balance between charging enough to earn a good wage and overcharging your customers without offering anything more than your competitors.

Sports Nutrition Careers Salary: Starting An Online Business

Taking your business online is probably the most effective way to maximise your potential income.

Just ask anyone who has taken the steps to become an online health and fitness coach!

Starting an online business means that you can reach a much wider audience, with your location no longer being a barrier between your services and your consumer. 

This could allow you to finally move away from the busy city centre and to a more remote location without compromising your career and your earnings.

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Plus, not having to worry about location makes it more realistic and profitable to target a really niche market of consumers without having to worry about whether there is enough demand in your area. 

You can cut back on your outgoings as you’ll no longer need to pay to rent an office or space to meet your clients, and you will save yourself some time commuting back and forth to work.

With this extra time, you could add to your client base, giving your income a little boost. And, with the money that you will save by going online and working remotely, you could consider reducing your prices to make your business more affordable for potential consumers. 

Not convinced that starting an online business is the best way to maximise your professional sports nutritionist salary? Check our Case Study of online health & fitness Entrepreneur Grace Beverly, below.

Sports Nutrition Salary: Online Business Case Study

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If you’re considering starting your very own online sports nutrition business and wondering  what that would mean for your sports nutrition career salary then you should definitely look at Grace Beverley and her successful ‘Shreddy’ app for some inspiration.

Grace Beverly used the power of Youtube and social media channels, such as Instagram and Facebook, as well as her passion for health and fitness, to create a hugely successful online fitness brand.

After her online ‘Grace Fit Guides’ were used by more than 350,000 women in just 2 years, Grace decided to turn her fitness guides into an app that covers all of the basic aspects of fitness and nutrition.

When users download her app ‘Shreddy’, they are asked to fill in details of their height and weight, their lifestyle, and their fitness goals. Then, users receive access to a personalised nutrition and exercise programme based on their preferences and based on their goals.

For example, the app produces a different plan depending on whether the user prefers to exercise at home or in the gym, and depending on whether their goal is to shred fat, tone up, or build muscle. 

Her app includes workout classes, exercise routines, and a full nutrition plan complete with recommended meals and snacks so that subscribers have the perfect nutrition plan to match their exercise routine.

As of March 2020, SensorTower estimates that the app generated $90k in revenue, with over 1000 users having signed up to pay a monthly subscription of £9.99 a month. 

Considering the app only launched in October 2019 and Grace has achieved all of this without a degree in sports nutrition or dietetics, we’d say this is definitely proof that the chance to start a successful online sports nutrition business is definitely within your reach. 

Before You Go!

Hopefully, now you’ll have a good idea of how much a sports nutritionist earns and how you can reach the top sports nutritionist salary.

If you want to get started with this exciting new career, then you can enquire online for our Ofqual regulated sports nutrition qualification.

Want to know more about the range of courses that we offer here at OriGym? Go ahead and download our latest course prospectus for more information.

 

Become A Nutrition Coach!

Enquire about our level 4 Nutrition for Sport qualification and get started with a career in nutrition 

Written by Abbie Watkins

Fitness Content Executive, OriGym

Join Abbie on Facebook at the OriGym Facebook Group

Holding an MA Marketing Communications and Branding as well as a BSc Psychology from the University of Liverpool, Abbie’s experience encompasses the retail, hospitality and fitness industries. Since joining OriGym, she has become a qualified Personal Trainer and gone on to complete a specialist qualification in advanced Sports Nutrition. Abbie’s main focuses cover staying up to speed with YouTube fitness influencers, identifying successful and innovative content formats. She has contributed to various publications, including the Daily Express. Beyond OriGym, she describes herself as a ‘work-hard, play-hard’ type going on scenic runs and upbeat exercise classes, and often found on the front row of a Saturday morning spin class. 

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