The sheer size of the sport industry in the UK means that there are so many options for those looking to get started with a career in sport. You could work in a more hands-on role and become a fitness instructor or coach a team, or you could get involved in something like sports media, for example sports PR and marketing, or sports journalism.
See the careers available in the sport industry, the skills you need to secure those roles and the benefits of working in sport.
- Why work in the sport sector?
- What careers are available in sport?
- What skills are needed to work in sport?
- What degrees help with a career in sport?
1. Why work in the sport sector?
There are a range of roles available in sport. Whether you would like to spend most of your time away from a computer, interacting with people and taking part in physical activity, or if you would enjoy a more computer-based office role – you can find a job that suits your working style. People who work in sport also have the opportunity to work across many different companies, such as schools, charities and even government bodies.
Turn a hobby into a career
If you are considering looking for a job in sport, the chances are you already have a passion for sport itself. Whether you enjoy watching sport, playing sport or have had the opportunity to coach a team, a career in the sport sector would mean turning your hobby into a fulfilling career.
Make a difference
There is no doubt of the positive impact that sport can have on people’s lives. Pursuing a career in sport could give you the chance to be part of that. You could work with charities that include sport as part of their activities, you could work for an organisation that seeks to increase access to sport for underrepresented groups, or you could lead fitness activities with groups of all ages and abilities.
2. What careers are available in sport?
Teaching or coaching roles
Are you someone who enjoys the people interaction that comes with being involved in sport? Whether you like seeing how people work together as a team, encouraging someone to achieve their personal best or enjoy the opportunity to pass your knowledge and skills onto others, a teaching or coaching role might be the career path for you.
These types of roles take lots of different shapes. You could work with people of all ages and abilities, from young children to older adults. There are many workplaces that require sports coaches and trainers too, from sports clubs and gyms, through to schools, community centres and charities.
Development roles in the sports sector help organise projects and initiatives that encourage people to get involved in sport.
The positive side of this type of job is that no two days will look the same. One day you may be raising funds for a project you are involved in, and the next you may be running an event, training volunteers or developing partnerships with local clubs and schools.
As with a teaching or coaching role, sports development vacancies are available across a range of employers, including government bodies, charities, schools and the NHS.
Perhaps your interest in sport is more to do with the physical and mental wellbeing of the athletes or players in question?
There are a variety of healthcare roles within the sport sector, including:
- Nutritionists provide nutritional advice to support the health and wellbeing of individuals
- Sports psychologists help teams and individual athletes to cope mentally and emotionally with the demands of sport
- Sports therapists or physiotherapists support athletes with physical exercise and sport-related injuries
As with healthcare roles, there are also many roles available in sports media. If you’re someone who would love the opportunity to promote what’s happening in the world of sport to a wider audience, a career in sports media is worth looking into.
Jobs in sports media include:
- Sports journalists work for TV and radio stations, newspapers, magazines and websites to share the newest stories from the sports sector
- Sports marketing, PR and communications involves promoting the work of athletes, teams, sports clubs or organisations. The day-to-day work of a sports marketer might involve writing press releases, producing videos, securing media coverage or running social media channels
3. What skills are needed to work in sport?
Due to the amount of careers available in sport, it’s not possible to say which skills are needed for each job. However, there are a few skills that would benefit you in any role within the industry:
- Written and verbal communication skills
- Team work
- Creativity and innovation
- Problem solving
- IT skills (being able to use programs like Word and Excel)
If you are interested in a specific role within sport, we would suggest finding job adverts for those roles and looking at the job description and person specification. Here you can identify the skills and experience you already have and where you need to improve in order to meet the essential criteria for the role.
4. What degrees help with a career in sport?
There are many routes to a career in sport – you don’t necessarily have to attend university. As with figuring out what skills you need for a specific sport role, take a look at the person specification included in the adverts for the types of jobs you are interested in and see if they list a degree as part of the essential criteria.
If they don’t list a degree as necessary and you meet the essential criteria listed, then start applying! If a degree is listed as part of the person specification, there are a few subjects you could consider:
- Sport or sports performance
- Sport science
- Sport and exercise science
- Sport management
- Hospitality, leisure and tourism
- Marketing and public relations, photography or journalism – look for courses that would allow you to take modules on sport within these industries
Last updated on 16 March 2022Share this article