Job title Head of Academy S&C and Sport Science
Employer Brighton and Hove Albion FC
Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, MSc Sports Performance, BASES Accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist, UKSCA Accredited Coach, ISAK Level 1 Accreditation
This job profile is taken from A Guide to Careers in Sport and Exercise Science by Human Kinetics and The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES). The guide is an excellent resource for anyone considering a career within the industry. A free version of the guide is available to download from the BASES website.
A sport scientist provides a range of scientific support to athletes and teams. The role is often multifaceted, with daily tasks including delivering warm-ups and pitch-based conditioning sessions; designing, monitoring and feeding back on squad training; delivering gym sessions; ensuring adequate preparation for training and competition; and working with athletes undergoing rehabilitation. A sport scientist also plays a major role in the longitudinal monitoring of athletes via physical performance testing, training load analysis and education provision to athletes.
‘A sport scientist provides a range of scientific support to athletes.’
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Qualifications, Training and Experience?
For entry-level positions, the majority of employers require an undergraduate and master’s degree in sport science, as well as previous experience working with athletes or teams. Increasingly, organisations are asking for recruits to have to be accredited, or be working towards BASES or UKSCA accreditations.
How Did You Get Here?
During the final year of my undergraduate degree, I completed a part-time internship at a professional football club. This allowed me to gain valuable applied experience alongside my academic studies. The following year I completed my master’s degree and completed another part-time internship at the same football club. Following my master’s degree I applied and was successful in gaining a full-time paid internship in football. This progressed into a role as a sport scientist the following season. Since then I have gained my BASES, UKSCA and ISAK accreditations.
Opportunities and Pay?
There are a growing number of opportunities for sport scientists aiming to work in professional sport. The introduction of the Elite Player Performance Plan in academy football has resulted in an increase in positions advertised, with opportunities also increasing in other professional sports. Typically, there is large competition for these positions, so it’s vital to ensure you meet the criteria and gain experience wherever you can. There is little reliable information on salaries, as few organisations operate with structured pay scales. Salaries can, therefore, range from around £18,000 for entry-level/junior roles, to in over £75,000 for senior and management roles in high performance sport.
Professional sports clubs, Home Countries Institutes of Sport and National Governing Bodies
Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club (Photographer: Paul Hazlewood)