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List of Jobs in Sport (UK)

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Searching for or working towards UK jobs in sport can be slightly overwhelming, especially since there is a widespread belief that they can be hard to come by

Here at OriGym, we are passionate about dispelling the myths surrounding careers in sport. We want to provide our readers with actionable advice on how to pursue opportunities that are both rewarding and profitable within the sport and leisure industry. 

Whether you’re looking for graduate jobs in sport, or you’ve been working for years and you’re now looking for a career change that matches your personal interests, we’ve gone the extra mile to provide you with all of the information that you need. 

Contents:

Before we dive in, head over to our Personal Training Diploma page, or download our full course prospectus here to learn more about how you can kick-start your career in sport and fitness. 

While you're here, feel free to download our "Day in the Life of a Personal Trainer" guide:

What jobs are there in sport?

We’ve got a full list of the UK sport jobs that are available as of 2021, yet there are a few things that you should know if you are new to the industry. 

To put it simply, there are two main options available to you when it comes to pursuing careers in sport. These are:

      • Selecting a career that is industry-specific
      • Selecting a career that could otherwise be pursued within different industries

To give some examples of this, industry-specific roles would include personal trainers, sports coaches or athletes. Roles that are transferable to other industries would include journalists, photographers, or lecturers, for example. 

We hope this clears things up for you, and gives you a better understanding of the different types of sport jobs that are out there. 

It’s difficult to separate these career paths into clear sections as some of them do overlap, since ‘sport science’ and ‘sport management’ jobs can be interchangeable at times, but we’ve done this in a way that makes sense throughout our article. 

Now that you’ve got an idea of the two main forms of sport jobs that are available to you, let’s jump right into our list! 

#1 - Jobs in Sport Science

Perhaps you’re a recent graduate of a degree in sport and exercise science, or you’re someone from a completely different industry looking for UK specific career change ideas. Whatever your current path, there are many different avenues to venture into when it comes to careers in sport science. 

The term ‘sport science’ is quite broad for a start, and there is a misconception that careers within this sector are reserved for those that have completed a degree in a related field, e.g. ‘BSc Sport and Exercise Science’. 

This isn’t true though. In fact, there are a range of careers in sport science that you can strive for without ever having to complete a formal qualification.

Personal Trainer 

what jobs can you get with a btec in sport

A personal trainer’s main responsibility is to offer personalised fitness programmes to their clients, whilst keeping them motivated to achieve the goals that they set for themselves. They can also offer some forms of nutritional advice (but more on this later). 

These goals could include weight loss, muscle gain, improved cardiovascular health, improved muscular endurance, or even be focused on an upcoming fitness event that they wish to participate in. 

Personal trainers can ensure that they are providing a fantastic service and boost their client retention (and therefore their income) by:

      • Keeping their sessions varied and exciting 
      • Regularly reviewing their client’s progress
      • Praising and rewarding their clients for hitting goals 

If you are someone who feels energised by the idea of coaching others, and enjoys providing them with levels of knowledge and confidence that they wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise, then this could be the perfect opportunity for you. 

Personal training is an incredibly rewarding career path, especially for diligent and self-motivated individuals that enjoy seeing something through to completion. 

Witnessing clients transform their fitness and go from having low self-esteem to constantly jumping every hurdle you throw at them is as fulfilling as it sounds, especially compared to roles that are solely focused on bringing in cash. 

That being said, becoming a PT can also be incredibly satisfying for those with an eye for business. There are a variety of ways that you can grow your business, including becoming an online personal trainer or setting up a group exercise program within your local area, which we also go into more detail about further on in this list. 

If you want a more detailed understanding of what this job role can look like, click here for our full personal trainer job description

One last note to make is that it doesn’t take too long to qualify in this area, and you can get set up in your new career relatively quickly. Many people wonder; how hard is it to become a personal trainer?, and the short answer is not at all. 

As we stated earlier, you don’t actually need a degree to become a PT. You only require an accredited qualification in Personal Training from a reputable training provider, which you can learn more about by visiting OriGym’s Personal Trainer qualification page.

What you’ll need for this role: 

Salary estimate: 

      • £21k-25k (average salary)
      • £41k-60k (experienced trainers) 

Strength and Conditioning Coach 

what jobs are there in sport

A career as a strength and conditioning coach is slightly more sport-oriented than personal training, yet it is directly related to this career path (which is great news for those who are looking to progress!). 

We have a full guide on how to become a strength and conditioning coach here for those interested in learning more about this role, but it is essentially a more specialised version of a PT. This means that the role also has the potential to be more lucrative, since your prospective clients will be looking for someone with expertise in strength training rather than a more holistic approach to health and fitness. 

The clients that S&C coaches work with include:

      • Top level athletes
      • Amatuer athletes  
      • Professional sports teams 
      • University level sports teams 
      • Competition clients - those that compete in bodybuilding or fitness-style competitions 

As you can see, this is one of the most exciting sports career paths considering the range of clients that you could be working with. It’s also one of the most ideal retired athlete jobs, if you happen to be looking for a more long-term career that is still heavily linked to the industry since leaving a professional sport. 

It gives you the option to continue working as a PT if you prefer, and simply boost your existing personal trainer salary by taking on an increased range of clients alongside those that are simply looking to improve their fitness and body composition. 

What you’ll need for this role: 

Salary estimate: 

      • £21k-25k (average salary)
      • £30k-55k (head of S&C roles at universities or sports facilities) 

Outdoor Fitness or Sports Instructor 

There are a few routes that you can go down as an outdoor fitness/sports instructor, and we’re going to cover them briefly so that you can see all of the options available to you if you like the idea of working with clients in an outdoor setting. 

Outdoor Boot Camp Instructor 

uk sport jobs

This is yet another role that links in with personal training and can be done alongside it, but it can also transform into a pretty profitable and varied career path on its own if you prefer working with clients outside rather than in a gym setting. 

There are many bonuses to training outside, as it eradicates the cost of paying for a venue, and also has a range of mental health benefits for both you and your clients. It also adds variety to workouts, and allows you to mix up the location every couple of sessions if you’re practising within your local area. 

You can even get inventive and incorporate outdoor locations into the workouts - such as using parks or outdoor gyms to get your clients moving! 

If you’re looking to tailor your boot camp more to clients who have a strong background in sport, such as local amateur (or even more professional) athletes, then all you need to do is structure and then market it effectively for this demographic. 

You may find that a REPs accredited PT business course would help you with this, and you can also find out more by visiting our guide on how to start a boot camp fitness business

What you’ll need for this role: 

Salary estimate: 

This really depends on whether you’re running a boot camp alongside an existing coaching business within a gym or health club setting, or whether it is your main source of income. 

Typically, boot camp instructors charge per session, or get their clients to bulk buy their sessions in advance. Many of them are also qualified PTs who already have a large income from multiple streams (this being one of them). However, the typical salary is around:

      • £18k-25k

Outdoor Sports Instructor 

career in sports industry

If instead of going down the fitness instructor route you would rather focus on one specific sport or outdoor activity, you could pursue a career as an outdoor sports instructor. 

This has the potential to be an incredibly rewarding career, especially since you would usually be working with clients of all ages and ability levels. 

If you are fond of a particular sport or activity, it can be both challenging and exciting to coach others in it, and if this is what energises you as well as seeing others succeed then this could be the perfect opportunity to showcase your coaching abilities. 

These sports would include: 

      • Running 
      • Mountain walking 
      • Mountain climbing 
      • Diving 
      • Skiing 
      • Surfing 
      • Kayaking

As you can imagine, a role in this area of sport can be incredibly exciting, and even involve travelling to different areas of the world in order to coach clients in a specific activity. 

If you’re looking for UK sport jobs and wanted to get a taste for what a career within this sector would look like, you may find it a good idea to gain some experience working for an outdoor education provider such as PGL

Once you’ve decided whether a career as an outdoor activity instructor suits you, you could then gain further qualifications and specialise in coaching adults in one particular sport or activity. 

What you’ll need for this role:

It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact qualifications that you would find beneficial for a role in this sector since the activities can vary so greatly, but you usually require a relevant vocational qualification in the sport that you choose. 

For example, to become a ski instructor you would require a relevant qualification in skiing.

That being said, we can guarantee that a Level 2 fitness instructor qualification paired with a CPD fitness course in Group Exercise Training would always be beneficial in developing the basic knowledge and skills that a role in this area requires, especially if you’re not yet sure on the activity that you want to teach. 

Salary estimate:

Again, this is incredibly difficult to estimate since there are so many different roles within this sector. It depends on the sport that you are coaching, as well as your experience level.  

Going off Indeed and other popular job websites, the average salary is around: 

      • £18-23k (junior instructors) 
      • £24-30k (experienced outdoor sport instructors)

Sports Massage Therapist 

physio jobs in sport

Moving away from coaching jobs in sport science, one role that many graduates of sport  universities or vocational courses as well as those looking for a career change go into is that of a sports massage therapist. 

The clients that a SMT works with include people suffering from:

      • Lower back pain 
      • Neck pain
      • Knee pain 
      • Soft tissue injuries 
      • Rotator cuff injuries 
      • Tennis elbow 
      • General aches & strains from exercise 

As you can see from this list, this covers a wide range of people. From regular gym-goers to professional athletes, your clients could be anyone looking for pain relief or assistance with getting back on their feet following a sports injury. 

Do you have a local sports team, or a team that you’re particularly interested in working for as part of your dream career path? This is one of those careers in sport that could see you working with them. 

 

Enquire to Become a Personal Trainer

Enquire to kick-start your career as a PT! 

One route that many SMTs go down is to combine their massage services with coaching services too, for one sole reason; they can easily refer clients between both sides of their business. 

Got a PT client that has injured themselves? Let them know you also offer SMT. Got an SMT client who is ready to get back on their feet with exercise? Refer them to your coaching services. 

It really is that simple, and both careers can easily go hand in hand with some simple planning. Plus, if you’re a PT looking to stand out from your competitors then having an SMT qualification can serve as a unique selling point to clients. 

We even have a 2021 guide on how to write a sports massage business plan for those interested in learning more about setting up their own business! 

What you’ll need for this role: 

Salary estimate: 

      • £25k-35k per annum (average full-time salary)
      • £30k-40k per annum (professional sports clubs) 

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Sports Physiotherapist 

lecturer jobs in sport

Contrary to popular belief, there is a significant difference between physiotherapy and sports massage, the main one being that physiotherapy is more medical and covers a range of issues besides those that are musculoskeletal. 

There are four different areas of physiotherapy that are covered during training; Neurology, Respiratory, Orthopaedics, and Musculoskeletal. Sports physiotherapists usually specialize in the musculoskeletal area, since they are usually called upon to treat aches and pains post-injury. 

A sports physiotherapist may work with amateur or top level athletes, and many of them will work alongside other sports professionals to provide treatment to aid the recovery of members of professional sport teams. 

Their role involves:

      • Identifying and diagnosing injuries 
      • Examining the cause of injuries
      • Creating individual recovery plans, including nutrition advice  
      • Recording the progress of a client’s treatment 
      • Providing timescales for professional athletes looking to return to their sport

The methods that sports physiotherapists use may include taping and strapping, massage, hydrotherapy, manual therapy, electrotherapy, or muscle-setting exercises. 

In order to qualify and work as a sports physiotherapist in the UK, you need to complete a degree that has been approved by the HCPC (Health Care and Professions Council), making it one of the most popular graduate jobs in sport science. 

There are clearly some drawbacks to this if you are someone looking for a swift career change, but if that’s the case then we would recommend considering sports massage therapy as a viable sport career path. 

Overall, this role can be incredibly rewarding if you are looking to work with professional sports teams, as not only are you supporting players through their injuries but you are also affecting the outcome of how well the team performs. 

If you get players back on their feet as soon as possible, you are personally responsible for their recovery and subsequent success, and will feel as though you are part of the team yourself! 

What you’ll need for this role:

      • BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, approved by the HCPC (Health Care and Professions Council)  

Salary estimate: 

      • £23k-25k (junior sports physiotherapists) 
      • £30k-45k (experienced) 

Sports Therapist 

best jobs in sport

Sports therapists work to prevent and treat injuries for their clients through many of the same ways that sports physiotherapists do, both through advising professional sports teams on the progress of an athletes injury and applying the same musculoskeletal techniques to boost recovery. 

That being said, the main difference between both of these graduate jobs in sport science is that sports therapy is more skills-based, whereas physiotherapy focuses on a larger range of medical issues. 

While you do not technically need to be educated to degree level to become qualified in sports therapy, you must possess a BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy qualification to register with the Society of Sports Therapists. 

This is highly recommended if you want to broaden your horizons in terms of landing a long-term career, as employers usually only hire sports therapists with this status. 

If you choose to become a sports therapist without a degree, then you should perform in-depth research on each qualification that you are considering. 

Remember: these qualifications will not be accredited by the Society of Sports Therapists, and therefore may not be reputable with prospective employers. If you are looking to provide these kinds of services to clients without a degree, you should consider a career as a sports massage therapist instead, as they are able to do so without it impacting their employability. 

The main responsibilities of this role include:

      • Assessing clients to identify injuries 
      • Advising clients on stretching exercises and warm up activities 
      • Performing massage techniques on clients 
      • Deciding whether athletes are able to play or not 
      • Referring clients to other sports or health professionals 
      • Advising clients on nutrition and diet 
      • Designing rehab programmes for clients 
      • Administering first aid (if required) 

What you’ll need for this role:

      • BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy (to become a member of the Society of Sports Therapists) 

Salary estimate: 

      • £18k-25k (junior sports therapist)
      • £30k-35k (experienced) 

Sports Nutritionist 

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This is a slightly different path than our previously mentioned jobs in sport science, but it can certainly be a lucrative one, especially when paired with a career in fitness coaching. 

Not only does being able to provide nutritional advice make your role in impacting a client’s lifestyle a more rewarding one, but it also gives you an edge over your competitors. It gives you a unique selling point, and as a result your prospective clients will feel as though you’re extremely capable of coaching them through their fitness journey in comparison to competitors. 

Another great thing about this sports career path is the fact that the term ‘nutritionist’ isn’t a protected term here in the UK, which means that as long as you gain a relevant vocational qualification you can practice as a ‘nutritionist’ or ‘sports nutrition coach’ with confidence. 

From a legal standpoint, the only thing that you are not able to do is provide nutrition plans that claim to prescribe, diagnose, treat or cure medical conditions. If you want to learn more about what PTs or fitness coaches can and cannot do when they aren’t a registered dietitian, take a look at our guide; can personal trainers give nutritional advice? 

You can also learn more about pursuing this career in our guide on how to become a sports nutritionist in the UK

What you’ll need for this role: 

Salary estimate: 

      • £17k-25k (newly qualified) 
      • £30k-55k (experienced, paired with PT) 

Sports Development Officer 

part time jobs in sport

One of the most popular graduate jobs in sport development, this role is actually open to all graduates as well as those who have relevant BTEC or NVQ4 qualifications.

As a sports development officer, your role will be to arrange and run various sports campaigns and initiatives that encourage and inspire others to participate in sports. If your role is with a council, then this could be targeted at all demographics within a local community.

However, if you land a role within a sports organisation then your responsibilities could look pretty different. You could instead be in charge of organising such events for a particular company, charity or sports team. 

Settings that sports development officers work within include:

      • Local councils
      • Sports councils  
      • Sports governing bodies 
      • Community associations 
      • Charities 
      • Universities 

To give a better insight into the responsibilities of a sports development officer, you may find yourself managing budgets, obtaining funding, overseeing statistical and financial records, performing admin, assisting with PR and marketing, creating promotional material, communicating with other organisations, and recruiting and training other members of staff amongst other tasks. 

Overall, this could be seen as one of the most rewarding jobs in the sports industry, and would certainly suit those who are interested in managerial roles as there is much room for progression. 

Working your way up to becoming a senior sports development officer could see you earn a salary that far surpasses £30k, which makes this one of the highest paying jobs in sport considering the fact that it doesn’t necessarily require a degree! 

What you’ll need for this role: 

      • Relevant BTEC or NVQ4 qualification 
      • OR a relevant degree 

Salary estimate: 

      • £18k-23k (assistant sports development officer) 
      • £30k-40k (experienced) 

Gym Owner 

jobs in sports and leisure management

Once you have a few years of experience behind you in coaching clients, and if you’re in a position to do so, you could consider becoming the owner of a gym. 

Not only is the salary one of the main things that draws people to this role (it did make its way onto our 9 highest paying fitness jobs list), but the idea of cutting out the middleman and having no ground rent to pay is certainly desirable. 

Many successful trainers who have no space for new clients (and whose profit margins have stalled as a result) opt to buy their own venue. It is the natural route of career progression for these trainers, as there isn’t an alternative that provides as many benefits! 

The role of a gym owner usually involves:

      • Overseeing the running of the club 
      • Making financial decisions and managing budgets 
      • Managing statistical and financial records 
      • Recruiting and supervising new staff members 
      • Ensuring customer service standards are maintained  
      • Monitoring compliance with health and safety legislation 
      • Heading up enquiries and complaints 
      • Performing administrative tasks 
      • Implementing marketing and promotion strategies 
      • Maintaining gym equipment 

Since this role involves a lot of responsibility, it is suited to those who are incredibly passionate about business and marketing as well as fitness and health. It requires a lot of knowledge on these topics, as well as excellent management and leadership skills.

If you’re looking for a diverse role that requires a lot of hard work yet comes with endless rewards, this is one of the main careers in sport that can offer this to you. 

Not only will you build and manage a team of fitness professionals and aid them in their career development, but you will take an active role in improving the fitness of those in your local area. 

You will also have opportunities to grow your brand if you drive yourself to learn more about marketing your fitness business too - you can learn more about this by taking OriGym’s REPs Recognised Personal Trainer Business Course

What you’ll need for this role:

There aren’t any specific requirements for this role, as almost anyone can buy their own gym. However, it certainly helps to have knowledge of the industry and experience working as a PT yourself. 

That being said, if you decide to apply for a Fitness Centre Manager role (which is incredibly similar), then employers may prefer to hire university graduates with qualifications in sports science or health management.

They may require their candidates to have a qualification in personal training, along with the relevant experience that comes along with working in the industry yourself. 

Salary estimate:

      • £50k-100k per year (according to Indeed)

#2 - Jobs in Sport Education

Ever been drawn to the idea of teaching others? The fact that you’re reading this article to begin with shows that you already have a passion for health, fitness and sport, so combining both of these things only makes sense! 

There are a few options that you could choose from when it comes to browsing this section of our list of careers in sports, and each can be linked to a completely different work environment, so you may be surprised to find something that suits you that you hadn’t thought of before. 

Tutor and Assessor 

performance analyst jobs in sport

Already an experienced personal trainer looking for a change in your career? Or perhaps you’re just looking for jobs in sport education that aren’t particularly linked to a formal education environment, or that don’t require degree-level qualifications. 

Whatever your case, you’ll be glad to know that this role serves as a missing link between teaching PE in schools and lecturing in universities. If neither of these pathways suit you but you’re still set on educating others within the fitness industry, then you’re bound to enjoy this one.  

A fitness tutor and assessor is someone who is responsible for teaching new personal trainer students as they study towards their qualifications. 

These include Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4 fitness courses that are taught through blended learning. This includes dynamic practical sessions paired with online portfolios, so every day will be varied enough to keep you on your toes! 

Tutors and assessors will usually work either part-time or full-time for universities, fitness training providers, or independent registers such as REPs. Since there is actually a shortage of qualified individuals within the industry, this has the potential to become a lucrative career choice, and is a hidden gem when it comes to UK sport jobs.

 The role usually involves: 

      • Teaching and assessing both practical and written aspects of fitness courses
      • Using and creating lesson plans 
      • Teaching in accordance with timetables 
      • Delivering lessons that are engaging and enjoyable for the students 
      • Answering student queries and guiding them through their studies
      • Liasing with other staff within the institution 

There are usually opportunities for individuals to move into higher positions once they have gained some experience, and Senior Tutors will usually oversee a team of Junior Tutors to ensure that all teaching is consistently being delivered to a high standard. 

You don’t even need to be qualified as a PT yourself to pursue a career in this area, although it could be beneficial since some institutions ask for this. It’s also extremely flexible if you are just looking for a part-time role to supplement your career. 

All that you need is a Fitness Teaching and Assessing qualification from a reputable course provider, a DBS check, and you’re good to go! 

What you’ll need for this role:

Salary estimate:

      • £18k-21k
      • £26k (experienced)

Physical Education Teacher 

best paid jobs in sport

One of the most popular jobs in sport education, working as a PE teacher can be an incredibly enriching experience, as you will be working with younger generations to boost their awareness of fitness and health. 

In a world rife with childhood obesity, working as a PE teacher will allow you to shape the outlook that many children and young adults have towards exercise for the rest of their lives. That’s no small task, so if you enjoy a challenge then you should strongly consider this role. 

It’s no secret that there is a serious need for inspiring and motivating teachers within the physical education subject area. If you can bring your passion for fitness and a fresh approach to your role, you will be able to effectively engage the children that you teach and inspire their love of fitness; what could be more rewarding? 

The roles of a PE teacher include: 

      • Teaching students about the importance of health and fitness 
      • Planning and delivering lessons that are active and engaging for students 
      • Teaching students a range of physical skills
      • Teaching students how to maintain a physically active and healthy lifestyle 
      • Filling in relevant paperwork 
      • Organising after school clubs and activities 
      • Coaching school sports teams and arranging events/matches 
      • Coaching students through important qualifications such as GCSEs and A Levels 

It’s clear from this list that it’s a huge responsibility to work as a PE teacher, but those looking for jobs in sport education will thrive in an environment such as this. 

It has its challenges, but if you feel a sense of pride when you’re the one helping others to learn more about fitness and succeed in their goals that they set for themselves then this could be the perfect opportunity to integrate this into your career. 

What you’ll need for this role:

      • GCSEs (A-C) in english, maths and science 
      • Relevant A Levels or equivalent (A Level PE, BTEC Sport)
      • Relevant undergraduate degree (B.Ed in Physical Education, BA Physical Education) 
      • QTS status 
      • DBS check 

Salary estimate: 

      • £21k-24k
      • £25k-40k (experienced) 

Lecturer in Sport Science 

commercial jobs in sport

If you’re an individual who is extremely interested in both sport and academia, then this should be on the top of your list of potential graduate jobs in sport education. 

Of course you will require a PhD to work full-time as a lecturer in sport science, so be expecting to enter into further study if you haven’t already achieved this level of qualification. 

Although it can take some time to become fully qualified, one major bonus to selecting this career path is that it is actually one of the highest paying jobs in sport. 

To give you an idea of its potential for progression, the highest recorded salary for this role on Indeed is £61k, so rest assured that it is a great choice if you are looking to enter into this kind of position in the future. 

The role of a sport science lecturer usually involves: 

      • Teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate students on relevant programmes
      • Marking work and assessments from students 
      • Supporting students in their learning outside of lectures and seminars 
      • Contributing to the research profile of the programme (publishing research journals) 
      • Securing research funding for the university 
      • Performing administrative tasks that support the upkeep of learning programmes 

As you can see from this list, the high salary is certainly due to the workload that lecturers find themselves having to manage. However, many individuals who are self-motivated and driven find this engaging and thrive on being able to display and develop their extreme time management skills. 

Plus, it’s an incredibly rewarding role for those with a strong academic background in the area of sport. It allows them to take an active role in ensuring that undergraduate and postgraduate students receive a high level of education, and therefore go out into the world and contribute to the maintenance of health and fitness in society. 

If you want a clearer insight into where you could find yourself working as a sport lecturer here in the UK, check out our list of the best sport universities here

What you’ll need for this role:

      • PhD in a relevant subject

Salary estimate: 

      • £23k-30k (newly qualified)
      • £30k-60k (experienced) 

#3 - Jobs in Sport Media

Sports Journalist

list of careers in sports

This is one of the most sought after roles for those interested in sport who also have a creative flair. If you have strong skills in writing or public speaking/presenting, then this is a role that you will thrive in and thoroughly enjoy. 

While some may tell you that journalism is dying along with print publications, this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Online news websites are popping up everywhere in 2021, both surrounding niche topics and holistic news, and many of those working within this field would argue that there has never been a better time to get into journalism. More media channels means more coverage, so that’s something to think about! 

Sports journalists can work for a variety of different media organisations or outlets, including: 

      • Newspapers (both local and national) 
      • Online newspapers 
      • Online sport news websites 
      • Sport news channels 
      • Radio stations 

As you can see, there is the opportunity to work within a varied range of areas when it comes to journalism roles. You may even prefer to work as a freelance sports journalist, and write or present for a mixture of these publications; many journalists specialising in one niche opt for this. 

What you’ll need for this role: 

      • BA (Hons) Journalism, accredited by the NCTJ (National Council for the Training of Journalists)
      • OR, a different undergraduate degree followers by a postgraduate journalism course accredited by the NCTJ

Salary estimate:

      • £17k-24k (newly qualified)
      • £25k-40k (experienced) 

Sports Commentator 

safeguarding jobs in sport image

While the differences between sports journalists and commentators may not seem too vast, they are certainly discernible. They’re actually two very different roles, although they do sometimes interlink. 

As we discussed above, journalism leans towards covering news topics surrounding sports, whereas the role of a sports commentator is more geared towards guiding viewers or listeners through matches or events in the form of a voiceover. 

They are also heavily involved with analysing sports, and providing their expert opinions during half-time breaks. It’s important for a commentator to have extensive knowledge in the sport that they cover, and they usually have a genuine passion for it. 

Sports commentators usually work in TV or radio, and either specialise in one sport or cover many at a time. 

A sports commentator’s role will usually consist of: 

      • Researching clubs and individual players prior to attending events or fixtures 
      • Conducting pre and post-match interviews with coaches, players and managers 
      • Liaising with production teams to plan the commentary for an event 
      • Communicating with and taking direction from on-site production teams
      • Providing coverage prior to, during and after the game/event 
      • Providing expert analysis during breaks in the game/event 

While it’s an incredibly competitive field, the main pathway to becoming a sports commentator is to first become a volunteer or intern for a professional sports club and take it from there. Alternatively, you can opt to provide commentary for amauteur teams in your local area, or even for matches at schools or colleges. 

What you’ll need for this role: 

While there’s no direct route to becoming a sports commentator, you may find it helpful to gain one of the following:

      • BA (Hons) Journalism/Sports Journalism
      • BSc (Hons) Sports Business Management
      • Internship with a local or major sports club 
      • Work experience/placement with BBC Careers or ITV (if you’re looking for UK sport jobs)

Salary estimate:

      • £13k-17k (starting out)
      • £80k (experienced) 

Sports Photographer 

graduate jobs in sport management

One of the more practical and creative jobs in sport media is that of a sports photographer. The role is pretty self-explanatory, but we will give you an overview so that you can decide whether this is something you would want to pursue. 

The role itself involves capturing photos during sporting events, for either professional sports teams or newspapers/magazines on a freelance basis. It therefore requires a flair for photography and good knowledge of the equipment involved in creating it. 

Working hours can vary depending on event/match times, and a lot of travel is involved if the sports that you are photographing are held in different locations across the country during a season. 

It is quite a competitive industry to enter into, especially due to the advancement in technology (such as motion capture settings on modern cameras). This means that you’ll have to practice regularly and become an expert in capturing great photos of live matches, to give yourself the best chance of standing out from the crowd. 

Our list of the 29 best fitness photographers may give you an insight into related forms of photography, in case you were interested in building your portfolio or branching out into different careers in sport and fitness. 

The role usually involves:

      • Capturing fast action photographs of live sport events 
      • Editing photographs post-shoot 
      • Repairing and maintaining photography equipment 
      • Liaising and negotiating with staff at newspapers/magazines or sports clubs
      • Keeping up to date with the sport you’re photographing 
      • Keeping up to date with the latest photography technology 
      • Networking and building relationships within the industry 
      • Travelling to and from events 

The best advice to follow if you’re looking for a break in this industry is to seek out any relevant experience that you can, and always remember to network. Many roles in sports photography come about from putting yourself in front of the right people! 

You can also market yourself on social media by showcasing your portfolio - check out our guide to creating a fitness Instagram account here for more on how to grow your presence on the platform. 

What you’ll need for this role: 

You do not necessarily need anything for this role, but the following are certainly desirable:

      • BA (Hons) Photography 
      • BA (Hons) Journalism/Sports Journalism
      • Experience in sports photography (usually gained through an internship or volunteering) 

Salary estimate:

      • £17K-19K

#4 - Jobs in the Professional Sport Industry

There’s no shame in dreaming big, and we’re here to show how tangible careers in sport can be when you’re passionate about your chosen area and willing to put in the hard work. 

While it’s entirely possible to become a professional athlete (we talk more about this below), we realise that not everyone is looking to go down this route when it comes to finding jobs in the sports industry. 

For that reason, we’ve covered how to actively pursue roles that involve refereeing and coaching professional sports teams within this section! 

Coach 

graduate jobs in sport development

Typically, coaches are tasked with designing training programs for and evaluating the performance of sports teams. Many sports coaches will provide this for local teams in their spare time, but coaching at high levels will involve working with professional sports teams. 

While it’s true that a large portion of sports coaches in the UK are volunteers and do not receive payment, it is entirely possible to make coaching your full-time career when you have a clear pathway ahead of you. 

It is a highly competitive field, but that’s not to say that you shouldn’t do everything in your power to pursue one of the most sought after careers in the sports industry. If you take the right pathway, such as gaining a degree or relevant fitness qualification, then you also have something else to supplement your career while you are waiting to get your foot in the door. 

The role of a professional sports coach will usually involve: 

      • Creating and implementing training programmes
      • Monitoring and evaluating sports performance of individual team members 
      • Providing feedback on sports performance to individuals and the team as a collective 
      • Delivering new strategies and techniques to the team 
      • Providing transport for the team, both to and from training sessions and matches/events 
      • Applying for sponsorships 
      • Liaising with other sports professionals, such as S&C coaches, physiotherapists, sports massage therapists and nutritionists 

The best way to improve your chances of becoming a professional sports coach, or to gauge if you are right for the job would be to gain some experience in coaching local sports teams. 

This will give you an insight into the amount of work and accountability that coaching an entire team requires (such as travelling across the country and staying away from home overnight), and also provide you with relevant experience that will boost your employability. 

You may also find it useful to perform some research on the National Governing Body (NGB) of your chosen sport, as these organisations are responsible for creating the prerequisites for the coaching qualifications for each sport. 

To give some examples, the NGB of football in the UK is The FA (The Football Association), and the NGB of rugby league in the UK is The RFL (The Rugby Football League). 

What you’ll need for this role:

      • A coaching qualification that is recognised by the NGB of your chosen sport 

Other helpful pathways include a BSc (Hons) in Sport Science or Sport Coaching, or a UKCC (UK Coaching Certificate). 

Salary estimate:

      • £15k-£25k (starting out)
      • £30k-£35k (employed by National Governing Bodies) 
      • £100,000k+ (working with professional sports teams/at the highest level)  

Referee

uk sport jobs

The main role of a referee is to officiate at sports matches and events. While many individuals referee for local teams in their spare time, those at high levels work for professional sports organizations and officiate at major sporting events. 

Referees are expected to work unsociable hours, including evenings, bank holidays and weekends, as this is usually when matches are held. The role can involve a lot of travel, since matches are held across the country. 

The working environment can also be pretty unpredictable in the UK, as weather conditions can vary greatly. That being said, for anyone passionate about the sport that they wish to referee for, this is often easily overlooked! 

Since the role involves refereeing a large number of sports professionals at any given time, it requires a specific set of skills. These include patience, communication, reasoning, willingness to accept criticism, attention to detail, and the ability to work well under pressure, amongst others. 

The role of a referee typically involves:

      • Inspecting pitches and equipment prior to a match 
      • Checking that equipment such as cards, radio technology and stop watches are in place 
      • Meeting with team managers 
      • Training and briefing assistant referees 
      • Communicating with assistant referees during a match 
      • Explaining and imposing the rules of the sport
      • Signalling the beginning and end of a match 
      • Tracking the time duration during a match  
      • Assessing penalties 

To succeed in this field, you should have a clear understanding of the type of referee you wish to become before pursuing it as a full-time career. 

This clarity will give you a much greater chance of breaking into the industry, as it is highly competitive and only those who possess the correct temperament and skills, have expert knowledge of their sport, and who have the drive to remain professional at all times will stand out from the crowd. 

What you’ll need for this role:

      • Variable 

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what an individual needs to become a referee in their chosen sport, as every sport has its own governing body in the UK. That being said, it usually involves training with a professional body, completing a degree in a relevant field, or gaining experience through volunteer work. 

Salary estimate:

      • Variable

Salary for referees is incredibly variable, depending on experience and the sport that you choose to work within. To give an example though, top level Premier League Football referees can earn up to £70,000 per year. 

Athlete 

jobs in sport management image

Athletes spend most of their time in training for sporting events, as well as competing in and travelling to them. Usually, they have specialized in their chosen sport since childhood or early adolescence.

That being said, it is still possible to become a professional athlete after gaining enough skills and experience in your sport, even if you feel as though you’re behind others in the sport; determination and consistency are the main requirements. 

The average age of competitors in Olympic track-and-field events has risen from 22 to 26 since the early 1900s, for example, and the Williams sisters are still achieving titles at ages 39 and 40, so age is only a barrier if you enable it to be. 

It is a lot harder to pursue as a career if you haven’t been competing at a high level whilst still in education, but not entirely impossible. 

One option could be to start out as an amateur athlete, and market yourself on social media to make a name for yourself, or even gain a supplementary income. Take the below account as an example:

uk sport jobs

It’s clear from this post that Drew Clark, the aspiring triathlete in question has sponsorship deals due to his growing social media presence. From doing a little research, this has also helped him to be featured in the online blogs of his sponsors, such as Sundried

It truly depends on the sport that you hope to compete in, what level you are currently at, and how determined you are, but the best way to find your feet on the path you are hoping to go down is to observe how others are getting there, including your direct competitors. This will give you a much clearer picture of what you need to do in order to get there. 

What you’ll need for this role:

      • Exceptional athletic skills in your chosen sport 

Unlike most of the other sport jobs mentioned on this list, an individual doesn’t require any formal qualifications to pursue a career as a professional athlete. 

That being said, they must possess exceptional skills in their chosen field, and these are usually obtained through a mixture of natural talent and professional training from an athletic coach/trainer. 

Salary estimate:

      • Variable 

Although the role of a professional athlete is among the highest paying sports jobs (depending on their success), it is incredibly difficult to estimate the average salary for individuals within this bracket. 

Due to the fact that the majority of an athlete’s income comes from the various sponsorship deals that they obtain prior to competing in sporting competitions, it’s impossible to track what they earn or even work out an estimated figure when the figure they earn from each deal isn’t widely known information.  

Some athletes earn a regular wage if they have an employment contract with an organisation, but others earn money on a less regular basis. 

The Best Resources for UK Sport Jobs

Once you have a clear vision in mind when it comes to your chosen career in sport (or at least a better idea of the type of roles you wish to apply for), it’s time to hunt down some relevant opportunities. 

Here is a list of the top resources available to those searching for sport career opportunities in the UK:

Alongside using these resources to search for opportunities, we would also suggest that you keep your eyes peeled on individual websites of the companies or organisations that you wish to work for. This is not only to learn about pathways into that organisation, but also of any vacancies they have. 

It could also be a good idea to join various Facebook groups within your niche, so that you can network with like minded people and connect with those who may be recruiting. 

Some recruiters actively post opportunities in groups such as these as they are looking for individuals who are incredibly passionate about their niche, so it’s certainly a good idea to join. 

By following the above steps, you can maximise your chances of finding your ideal opportunity as soon as possible. 

Conclusion 

We really hope that our article has given you a real insight into UK sport jobs, and that you’re left feeling more optimistic about the truth surrounding these kinds of roles. 

All too often we hear people saying that friends and family members have said ‘but there aren’t any jobs in sport!’ or ‘working for a professional sports team isn’t an option’, but hopefully we’ve dispelled those myths and give you the confidence that you need to take that next step into your dream career. 

If the mention of coaching others struck a chord with you, take a look at OriGym’s online personal training qualifications that are fully REPs and CIMSPA endorsed. 

Alternatively, download our full course prospectus for more information on the range of courses that we offer. 

Written by Chloe Twist

Fitness Content Manager, OriGym

Join Chloe on Facebook at the OriGym Facebook Group

Chloe graduated with a BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing from Liverpool John Moores University and prior to OriGym worked at J&R Digital Marketing Agency on the Liverpool 'Female Founders' series. Since joining the company, she has become a qualified Personal Trainer and advanced Sports Nutrition Specialist. Chloe’s professional interests intersect content-development and the world of online fitness, especially across social media and YouTube, and Chloe has herself contributed pieces on fitness and weight loss to sites including the Daily Star and The Express. Outside her day-to-day role, Chloe enjoys playing the guitar, gaming and kettlebell training. 

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