Sport Scientist

    If you are wondering how to become a sport scientist, below are tips and advice on training for and beginning careers in this field, as well as science, sports and leisure job prospects for the UK.

    The Job Description
    A sport and exercise scientist helps his or her clients in improving sporting performance and overall health by using scientific knowledge from areas including as biomechanics, physiology and psychology.

    The goal of sports science is to support sports clubs and athletes. Exercise science looks at preventing illness, improving health and assisting recovery through physical activity.

    The roles of exercise and sport scientists could involve the following:

    – work alongside colleagues like sport coaches and therapists to monitor athletes and teams, helping to improve their performance
    – work with doctors, assisting people to improve health through exercise
    – work with hospitals or care trusts on cardiac rehabilitation, health promotion and research projects
    – making contributions to development and manufacture of sport related equipment.

    Person Specification
    The key personal attributes of good sports scientists include:

    – an interest in sport
    – strengths in analysis and organisation
    – interest in the application of science
    – excellent communication abilities
    – good teamwork skills.

    How to become a sport scientist
    You would usually require a degree, generally in sport / exercise science or you could have a degree in another relevant subject like physiology, PE or psychology, as well as subsequent postgraduate study.

    BASES – the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences – publishes details of courses as well as advice on how to chosse one.

    Following a degree, career prospects could be improved with practical work experience within roles such as fitness instructor, lifeguard or sports coach.

    Training and Development
    A qualified sports scientist can join BASES and by presenting evidence of work, gain accreditation recognised across the UK. This may be beneficial when job hunting.

    BASES members can participate in workshops and conferences programmes to keep abreast of industry developments.

    Further study could be a good idea to gain expertise in a niche such as cardiology or health promotion.

    The Pay (a rough guide)
    A qualified sports scientist can earn anywhere between £20k and £40k per annum.
    An experienced sports scientist involed in high level competitive sport could earn £60k+.

    Job Prospects
    Sports science has gained importance as the health benefits of exercise have become more widely recognised. Most athletes now see sports science as integral to effective training, but gaining a job in this field is still highly competitive.

    You may be able to find an opportunity with a university, sporting organisation or public / private sector enterprise. Many industry professionals are self-employed and work as consultants.

    You could move into a wide range of areas, including performance testing or sports development.

    Useful leisure or sport resources:
    BASES – British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences
    Leeds Metropolitan University
    Carnegie Faculty of Sport and Education
    Fairfax Hall
    Headingley Campus
    Beckett Park
    West Yorkshire
    LS6 3QS
    Tel: 0113 283 6162

    This page is for sport scientist careers advice and training opportunities.

    Recent Articles


    Related Stories

    Stay on op - Ge the daily news in your inbox