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How to become a Sports Scientist

What is a sports scientist?

Sports scientists have an intimate knowledge about how the body works and use it to help improve sporting performance. The main aim is a supportive role as part of a team of people with specialised knowledge in aspects of sports science. Usually this work involves a few component parts, namely improving health and fitness, preventing injury and aiding recovery.

What qualifications do I need to become a sports scientist?

The traditional way into the industry is to take a degree in sports science. It is also possible to break into sports science with a degree in any science-related subject and then specialising with your postgraduate studies.

What skills/experience will an employer look for?

As well as an extensive knowledge of physiology, psychology and biomechanics, sports scientists need to be able to work as part of a team and communicate their ideas effectively. Organisation is an important part of the role too. Some experience of working in the field – perhaps through work experience during your studies – would be particularly useful but isn’t essential.

Who might employ a sports scientist?

-Sports clubs


-Private sector


What salary can I expect?

A starting salary for sports scientists might be around £20,000, but it has the potential to increase considerably. Experienced sports scientists can command salaries in excess of £60,000.

What is my career progression?

With experience sports scientists can usually progress within the same field to positions offering more opportunity to shape policy. There is also the chance to become self-employed and work in an advisory capacity which, with a portfolio of experience behind you, can also be a lucrative career path to take.

What are the best things about becoming a sports scientist?

Excellent earning potential and the opportunity to work within sport, perhaps with high-performing athletes are just two of the benefits of becoming a sports scientist. There is also the fact that you can be at the forefront of sporting research in a field that’s continuing to grow and contribute more to the sports industry.

Are there any drawbacks?

Sports science is a very popular and competitive industry, so it can be difficult to break into even with extensive qualifications. The nature of the job might mean you have to work unsociable hours.

Why not view our latest vacancies in sports science or sign up for job alerts.

More information:

For more information, advice and guidance about careers in PE, Sport, Training and Fitness and Activity Holiday Jobs, visit our careers advice centre; including job hunting tips,  CV guide and much more.

Useful links:

For more information on the sports science industry, visit the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences website.