What is a Coach

While you may have grown up resenting your basketball coach for making you run so much, you probably realize now how important they were in your life. Did you know that coaches have an odd schedule when it comes to earning their paycheck? Instead of working 9-5, they often work evenings, weekends and holidays.

On top of that, coaches are relied on for working more than your average 40 hours a week, especially during the sports season. So on top of supporting, encouraging and motivating their players, coaches also work crazy hours. This perspective makes you have a little more respect for your high school tennis coach, doesn't it?

What Does a Coach Do

Coaches teach amateur and professional athletes the skills they need to succeed at their sport. Scouts look for new players, evaluating their skills and likelihood for success at the college, amateur, or professional level. Many coaches are also involved in scouting potential athletes.

Learn more about what a Coach does

How To Become a Coach

Coaches and scouts typically need a bachelor’s degree. They must also have extensive knowledge of the sport. Coaches typically gain this knowledge through their own experiences playing the sport at some level. Although previous playing experience may be beneficial, it is not required for most scouting jobs.

Education

College and professional coaches must usually have a bachelor’s degree. This degree can typically be in any subject. However, some coaches may decide to study exercise and sports science, physiology, kinesiology, nutrition and fitness, physical education, and sports medicine.

High schools typically hire teachers or administrators at the school for most coaching jobs. If no suitable teacher is found, schools hire a qualified candidate from outside the school. For more information on education requirements for teachers, see the profile on high school teachers.

Scouts must also typically have a bachelor’s degree. Some scouts decide to get a degree in business, marketing, sales, or sports management.

Other Experience

College and professional coaching jobs also typically require experience playing the sport at some level.

Scouting jobs typically do not require experience playing a sport at the college or professional level, but it can be beneficial. Employers look for applicants with a passion for sports and an ability to spot young players who have exceptional athletic ability and skills.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most state high school athletic associations require coaches to be certified or at least complete mandatory education courses.

Certification often requires coaches to be a minimum age (at least 18 years old) and be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid. Some states also require coaches to attend classes related to sports safety and coaching fundamentals prior to becoming certified. For information of specific state coaching requirements, contact the state’s high school athletic association or visit the National Association of State Boards of Education.

Although most public high school coaches need to meet these state requirements in order to become a coach, certification may not be required for coaching and sports instructor jobs in private schools.

Some schools may require coaches to have a teaching license and complete a background check.

Certification requirements for college coaching positions also vary.

Additional certification may be highly desirable or even required in order to become an instructor in scuba diving, tennis, golf, karate, or other individual sports. There are many certifying organizations specific to the various sports, and their requirements vary.

Part-time workers and those in smaller facilities or youth leagues are less likely to need formal education or training and may not need certification.

Advancement

To reach the ranks of professional coaches, a candidate usually needs years of coaching experience and a winning record at a college. Some coaches may not have previous coaching experience but are nevertheless hired at the professional level due to their success as an athlete in that sport.

Some college coaches begin their careers as graduate assistants or assistant coaches to gain the knowledge and experience needed to become a head coach. Large schools and colleges that compete at the highest levels require a head coach with substantial experience at another school or as an assistant coach.

Other college coaches may start out as high school coaches before moving up to the collegiate level.

Scouts may begin working as talent spotters in a particular area or region. They typically advance to become supervising scouts responsible for a whole territory or region.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Because coaches instruct, organize, and motivate athletes, they must have excellent communication skills. They must effectively communicate proper techniques, strategies, and rules of the sport so every player on the team understands.

Decisionmaking skills. Coaches must choose the appropriate players to use at a given position at a given time during a game and know the proper time to utilize game-managing tools such as timeouts. Coaches and scouts also must be very selective when recruiting players from lower levels of athletics.

Dedication. Coaches must attend daily practices and assist their team and individual athletes in improving their skills and physical conditioning. Coaches must be dedicated to their sport, as it often takes years to become successful.

Interpersonal skills. Being able to relate to athletes helps coaches and scouts foster positive relationships with their current players and recruit potential players.

Leadership skills. Coaches must demonstrate good leadership skills to get the most out of athletes. They also must be able to motivate, develop, and direct young athletes.

Resourcefulness. Coaches must find a strategy and develop a game plan that yields the best chances for winning. Coaches often need to create original plays or formations that provide a competitive advantage and confuse opponents.

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Average Salary
$38,330
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
17,116
Job Openings
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Coach Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Coach

Coaches in America make an average salary of $38,330 per year or $18 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $61,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $23,000 per year.
Average Salary
$38,330
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12 Coach Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Coach Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Coach resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Coach Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. McKinsey & Company Inc Jobs (66)
  2. IBM Jobs (69)
  3. T-Mobile US Jobs (90)
  4. Nike Jobs (36)
  5. Boys & Girls Clubs of America Jobs (55)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Coach Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Coach templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Coach resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Coach Resume
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Coach Demographics

Coach Gender Statistics

female

51.7 %

male

48.3 %

Coach Ethnicity Statistics

White

67.2 %

Hispanic or Latino

13.7 %

Black or African American

9.3 %

Coach Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

58.1 %

French

11.9 %

German

3.8 %
Job Openings

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Coach Education

Coach Majors

16.9 %

Coach Degrees

Bachelors

62.1 %

Associate

12.2 %

Masters

11.6 %

Top Colleges for Coachs

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

2. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

3. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

4. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

5. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

6. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

7. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

8. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA • Private

In-State Tuition
$17,653
Enrollment
16,405

9. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,094
Enrollment
32,974

10. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$26,756
Enrollment
6,166
Job Openings

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Online Courses For Coach That You May Like

Professional Life Coach Certification PCELC Coach Training
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Life Coach Training to Coach Professionals Level 2 Grads Accredited Certification and Professional Life Coach Directory...

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Top Skills For a Coach

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 23.3% of Coaches listed Customer Service on their resume, but soft skills such as Communication skills and Dedication are important as well.

  • Customer Service, 23.3%
  • CPR, 8.3%
  • Communication, 7.9%
  • Action Plans, 5.7%
  • Safety Rules, 4.6%
  • Other Skills, 50.2%

Best States For a Coach

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Coach. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and New York. Coaches make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $60,747. Whereas in Hawaii and Massachusetts, they would average $58,799 and $51,198, respectively. While Coaches would only make an average of $49,131 in New York, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Hawaii

Total Coach Jobs:
31
Highest 10% Earn:
$86,000
Location Quotient:
1.64
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Louisiana

Total Coach Jobs:
128
Highest 10% Earn:
$80,000
Location Quotient:
1.77
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New Jersey

Total Coach Jobs:
158
Highest 10% Earn:
$106,000
Location Quotient:
0.88
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Coaches

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Top Coach Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ Coaches and discovered their number of Coach opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that CrossFit was the best, especially with an average salary of $32,740. Sitel follows up with an average salary of $28,032, and then comes T-Mobile US with an average of $35,358. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a Coach. The employers include Twitter, Natera, and Humana

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Becoming a Coach FAQs

How long does it take to become a Coach?

It takes 3 years of professional experience to become a coach. That is the time it takes to learn specific coach skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 6 to 8 years years to become a coach.

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Can I coach without a degree?

Yes, you can coach without a degree. While you will not be teaching at a school, you can coach non-school-related sports and other lifestyle activities. There are many different types of professional coaches, from sports to life to career coaches - most of which you can do without a college degree.

To coach non-school-related sports, such as community, citywide, or state sports leagues, you will need to have previous experience with the sport and coaching.

There are also options to become a private coach by looking for people interested in smaller-scale sports who require coaching, such as figure skating, track, tennis, and other sports not played in teams.

Non-sports coaching, such as that of a career or life coach, requires a strong understanding of the industry and excellent people skills to essentially run your own business.

There are also certifications in coaching across various fields available online and some in person. This is a wonderful way to hone the skills needed to excel and improve your chances of landing your dream coaching gig.

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How do I start a career in coaching?

To start a career in coaching involves developing a varied skillset and a high level of dedication. Whether the subject is sports, life skills, or career advancement, all coaching requires focus, patience, and academic knowledge.

Step One: Earn a college degree or online certification in the subject you'd like to coach. For example, if you wish to coach at a school or for a professional sports league, consider majoring in sports psychology, sports management, or coaching.

Step Two: Gain a thorough understanding of the area you wish to coach, including its history and those who have been successful in this field. Really become an expert in the fundamentals of the subject you wish to couch.

Step Three: Seek out opportunities to immerse yourself in the subject you wish to coach, particularly if it involves working under the tutelage of a successful coach. Mentorship is an excellent way to build your skills and network in the field.

Step Four: Go beyond the fundamentals and delve into the intricacies of the area you wish to coach. This means continuously staying up to date on materials and research related to your subject to identify techniques that have proven successful.

Step Five: Seek out classes devoted to leadership and management. Develop the know-how to identify mistakes and adapt your strategy to achieve the desired outcome. If your goal is to coach career or life skills, focus on developing long-term positive habits among those you work with.

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How much do coaches make?

Coaches make between $30,000 to $150,000 a year. What a coach makes largely depends on what type of coach they are. There are many different types of coaches from sports, career, marketing, and life.

Common Types of Coaches and Pay Rate:

  • Sports Coach averages $34,840 a year (range: $23,950 to $53,980 a year)

  • Career Coach Salary averages $55,000 a year (range: $33,000 to $79,000 a year)

  • Personal Coach averages $57,040 a year (range: $34,380 to $96,090 a year)

  • Life Coach averages $59,682 a year (range: $35,650 to $99,760 a year)

  • Accountability Coach averages $45,467 a year (range: $34,650 to $68,760 a year)

  • Executive Coach averages $101,139 a year (range: $81,342 to $137,247 a year)

  • Leadership Coach averages $64,682 a year (range: $42,650 to $99,760 a year)

  • Strategic Coach averages $48,652 a year (range: $30,650 to $57,840 a year)

  • Team Coach averages $54,682 a year (range: $32,950 to $79,760 a year)

  • Speciality Coach averages $76,682 a year (range: $44,650 to $106,760 a year)

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