Sports coaches, instructors and officials


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Sports coaches, instructors and officials work with amateur and professional sportsmen and women to enhance performance, encourage greater participation in sport, supervise recreational activities such as canoeing and mountaineering, and organise and officiate at sporting events according to established rules.


There are no formal academic requirements although individuals must have experience in their sport and the relevant coaching and refereeing qualifications. Applicants to coaching courses must normally be over 18 years old and hold a first-aid certificate. Some courses encompass coaching awards within broader programmes of study. NVQs/SVQs in coaching are available in the context of certain sports. Background checks including a CRB check are required for those working with children.

Typical tasks

  • coaches teams or individuals by demonstrating techniques and directing training and exercise sessions;
  • controls team selection and discipline and recruits ancillary staff such as coaches or physiotherapists;
  • monitors and analyses technique and performance, and determines how future improvements can be made;
  • deals with administrative aspects such as arranging matches, contests or appearances for athlete or team, and organising required transport and accommodation;
  • provides information and develops facilities to encourage greater participation in sport, and to enhance the standards of participants;
  • understands health and safety aspects of various activities and ensures any statutory requirements are met;
  • inspects and maintains specialised clothing and equipment;
  • manages the playing areas and competitors, starts race, competition or match and controls its progress according to established rules.

Common job titles

Coordinator, sports
Instructor, outdoor
Officer, development
Officer, leisure
Tutor, bound, outward
Official, racecourse
Instructor, pursuits, outdoor
Teacher, swimming
Officer, recreation
Officer, development, sports
Instructor, activities, outdoor
Instructor, gliding
Scout, football
Officer, development, sport
Pilot, balloon
Leader, pursuits, outdoor
Instructor, education, outdoor
Official, sports
Instructor, riding
Steward (race course)
Trainer, development, outdoors
Teacher, riding
Instructor, scuba
Teacher (outdoor recreational activities)
Instructor, arts, martial
Signalman (yacht club)
Instructor (outdoor pursuits)
Instructor, driving, carriage
Master, riding
Agent, sports
Coach, sports
Manager, team
Worker, education, outdoor
Scorer, cricket
Instructor, swimming
Instructor, sailing

Education background

Destination of Leavers survey, supplied by the Higher Education Statistics.