Looking for strength and conditioning jobs with a sports team or athletic club? It’s a career that requires hard work and a lot of sweat, of course. But if you have a suitable fitness qualification and you’re looking for a rewarding, well-paid career, then it could be perfect.

 

In this article – we guide you step-by-step through finding, applying for, and securing your dream strength and conditioning job. 

 

  • Types of roles
  • Skills required
  • What to look for in a role
  • Finding your dream job
  • How to apply
  • Interview tips

 

Types of strength and conditioning jobs

If you have a strength and conditioning degree or qualification, then coaching is probably the first job that springs to mind. However, it’s not the only career path available.

 

In fact, there are a number of roles where knowledge of strength and conditioning is paramount. Here are just a few examples…

 

  • Strength and conditioning coach – probably the most obvious role, a coach works primarily with competitive athletes to improve their performance through strength training and aerobic conditioning.
  • Personal trainer – a personal trainer works with clients of all abilities to help them reach their fitness goals. Many personal trainers are employed by gyms or health clubs, while others are self-employed and source their own clients.
  • Physical therapist – sports and conditioning roles can also crossover into the medical sector, and physical therapy is one possible career path. A physical therapist works with patients to improve their movement and manage pain, often following a serious injury or illness.
  • Exercise physiologist – another hospital-based role, an exercise physiologist develops fitness and exercise programs to help patients recover from illness or injury, and to improve their overall health through physical activity.
  • Sports nutritionist – fitness and nutrition go hand-in-hand, so a role in sports nutrition is a possibility for anyone with a fitness and dietetics qualification. A sports nutritionist is tasked with improving their clients’ athletic performance through diet and nutrition.

 

What skills do you need for a strength and conditioning job?

Of course, the skills required for a strength and conditioning role will depend on the type of job you’re going for, as well the level of experience the role demands.

 

The expectations of a personal trainer will be quite different to those of a physical therapist, for instance. But there are certain skills that will be essential for any strength and conditioning-based role:..

 

  • Interpersonal skills – in any health or fitness role, you’ll be interacting with members of the public daily, often in a one-on-one scenario. You won’t have to be a super-confident extrovert, but you’ll need to at least feel comfortable building relationships.
  • Fitness knowledge – you’ll certainly need to have a knowledge of fitness and anatomy to succeed in any strength and conditioning job, since most roles will require the ability to build detailed fitness plans based on a client’s exercise goals or medical needs.
  • Self-motivation – when much of your role is focused on motivating others, it’s essential that you’re able to stay motivated yourself. A strength and conditioning role requires a real self-starter with a passion for helping others achieve their goals.
  • Communication skills – good communication is usually a pre-requisite of any role, but it’s especially important in strength and conditioning, since you’ll need to clearly communicate instructions and provide detailed, constructive feedback to your clients.
  • Attention to detail – part of the role of a strength and conditioning coach, a PT, a physical therapist or an exercise physiologist is creating extensive training and fitness plans for your clients, which requires plenty of dedication and a steadfast attention to detail.

 

What to look for in a strength and conditioning role

So, you’ve decided you want to explore a career in strength and conditioning, and you’re ready to start searching available roles in your area. But what should you look for in a job?

 

As with any new role, there are number factors to consider before you can land your dream gig…

 

  • Hours – health and fitness careers are rarely 9-to-5, so think about how your strength and conditioning role will fit around your other commitments. Will you opt for a part-time or a full-time role, for example? Maybe you’d prefer the flexibility of going freelance?
  • Salary – experienced fitness professionals can earn a more-than-comfortable living, while those just starting out will have to get by on a more modest wage. Research the average strength and conditioning salaries in your area, and think about whether your new career move is a sound choice financially.
  • Benefits – before you take on a new strength and conditioning role, check with your prospective employer what benefits they offer; do they provide a pension, a free gym membership, or access to personal development programs, for instance?
  • Location – unless you opt to become a coach who conducts sessions online (in which case location will be less of an issue), you’ll need to think about where your new role might be. Is it within a comfortable commuting distance? Would you be willing to relocate?
  • Environment – just as important as the location is your work environment: what type of workplace do you want to work in? If it’s a gym, for example, it’ll likely be fast-paced and energetic. If it’s a professional sports club, then it’s sure to be demanding. Does that sound like your kind of vibe?
  • Development opportunities – will your new strength and conditioning role offer the kind of career progression you’re looking for? Will there be opportunities to develop your skills and knowledge through on-the-job training?

 

How to find a strength and conditioning job

Now you know what you should be looking for in a strength and conditioning role, you can actively start searching for your ideal job. But where do you start?

 

There are a multitude of job sites across the web and these are sometimes useful places to start. But it’s best to cover as many avenues as possible…

 

  • Browse the major job websites such as Indeed, Monster and Reed (these sites will all have plenty of fitness-related jobs among their listings) but be sure to check out fitness-specific job sites like Leisure Jobs and Leisure Opportunities too.
  • Check out industry job boards and S&C vacancies advertised on Twitter.
  • Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and it says that you’re open to work, so any recruiters or hiring managers within the health and fitness sector know you’re open to new opportunities – that way, your dream role might find you.
  • Go directly to the websites of the brands or companies you might be interested in working for, such as professional sports teams or athletic clubs. They’ll usually have a ‘careers’ section where you can browse their available vacancies.
  • Visit your local gym, fitness center, health club or hospital and see if they’re hiring; it might be the ‘old fashioned’ way of job hunting, but it shows you’re willing and it gives you the opportunity to create a lasting first impression.

 

How to apply for a S&C job

Once you’ve set your sights on a specific role, here’s how to apply successfully…

 

Create a killer resume

Recruiters often receive hundreds of resumes for a single vacancy, so it’s crucial you avoid yours being filed in the ‘no’ tray.

 

Your CV should be professionally laid out and easy to read so avoid fancy yet unreadable fonts. It’s always a good idea to tailor your resume specifically to each role you apply for.

 

As a minimum, your resume should include…

 

  • Contact details
  • Employment history
  • Education and qualifications
  • Your key skills
  • Hobbies and interests (optional, but it helps to add a little personality)
  • Any extracurricular activities, awards etc. (if applicable)

 

You might also like… Our resume guide & templates for fitness professionals.

 

Fitness Professional Resume Template

 

Write a cover letter

So many job applicants overlook the importance of including a cover letter when applying for a job. However, it’s a vital way of helping you stand out among your fellow hopefuls.

 

A good cover letter should provide a number of compelling reasons why you’re the best fit for the role. Highlight your relevant experience, shout about your applicable skills, and let your personality shine through. Is there a unique or diverse perspective that you can bring to the team? Be sure to point that out so you set yourself apart.

 

Interviewing for a strength and conditioning job

So, your killer resume and your awesome cover letter secured you an interview. Great! But what next?

 

The interview stage is often the hardest part, and even for an experienced strength and conditioning coach it can be a nerve-wracking process.

 

Whether your interview is face-to-face or over a video conferencing app like Zoom, follow these steps…

 

#1 – Do your research

This is a vital part of any interview and one which can often trip up an applicant. It’s also one element that’s completely within your control, so take full advantage.

 

Make sure you do plenty of research on the company and the job itself beforehand. It shows you’re passionate about the role and is likely to impress any would-be manager.

 

#2 – Prepare, prepare, prepare

You know what they say about failing to prepare… It’s vitally important that you go into the interview fully prepped, otherwise you’ll come off as careless and uninterested.

 

Plan your outfit, map your route (if you’re meeting in person) and think about the questions you might be asked…

 

Why do you want to be a strength coach? What skills can you bring to the role? Why should they hire you over other qualified applicants? What have you achieved while working with other teams, clubs, or athletes?

 

#3 – Be yourself

You’ve likely been told this several times before, but it’s important to be yourself and let your personality come over in the interview. Interviewers will see through any falseness – they want to see you, not a fabricated version of you.

 

#4 – Highlight your skills

Of course, one of the main things an interviewer will be looking for is for you to demonstrate your skills. Whether you excel as a communicator or you have an expert knowledge of sports nutrition, make sure you talk up your credentials and showcase your relevant experience.

 

#5 – Ask questions

You’ll always be given time at the end to ask any questions you may have, but there’s never a bad time to ask a question during an interview. It’s important to show that you’re engaged and you’re fully invested in the role and the company, so prepare a list of questions beforehand.

 

Good strength and conditioning interview questions include…

 

  • Why has the role opened up? This gives you an idea of what the incumbent went on to do and potential career progression in the role.
  • What’s the most challenging aspect of the role? I ask this in every interview as it helps me understand the drawbacks of the role before I commit. Remember, you’re interviewing them just as much as they’re interviewing you. Interviews really love this question as it’s not very common so sets you apart from other applicants.
  • What learning and development opportunities does the organisation offer? This demonstrates that you’re committed to self-improvement and also helps you understand how you might grow and develop in the role.

 

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to land your dream strength and conditioning role, it’s vital to know the types of roles available, what a strength and conditioning job entails, how find and apply for strength and conditioning jobs, and how to nail the interview.

 

Follow the above steps and you’ll be well on your way to securing your next role as a strength and conditioning coach. Good luck!

 

Strength Conditioning Job Guide Pinterest