How to Become a Strength and Conditioning Coach


Becoming a strength and conditioning coach is an excellent idea for any personal trainers looking to work closely with athletes and assist them in achieving their best performance. This article will simplify the process to becoming an S&C coach,  presenting a guide to entering the profession. It will start by explaining what the role of an S&C coach involves. It will then break down your potential questions such as how much do S&C coaches get paid, and how one can become a strength and conditioning coach

What does the role of S&C Coach involve?

A strength and conditioning coach is usually tasked with improving athletes’ performance and overall physical fitness. This role is more specialised than that of a conventional personal trainer, often involving working with elite athletes and sports teams. They generally tend to understand and can coach more or specific components of fitness. The UK Sports Institute define an S&C coach as someone who “plans, delivers and reviews the physical and physiological preparation of athletes aligned to specific sports performance outcomes”

Responsibilities of an S&C coach can range from delivering tailored workout plans and conducting training sessions to monitoring athletes’ performance with testing, and coordinating with medical professionals and physios following athletes’ injuries.

The general aim of the role is to create stronger, more resilient athletes, who are not just fit, but can perform to their highest potential in their chosen discipline.

How much do S&C Coaches make?

While salaries can vary, data suggests an average yearly income of £24,387, with potential highs of £49,000 for those with specialised skills and a lot of experience. 

This profession also offers flexibility in working hours, catering to both full time and part time work, which is conducive to maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

How to become an S&C Coach

Starting Out

The first step to becoming an S&C coach is ensuring you have the correct qualifications. It is imperative that you at least have completed a Level 2 Fitness Instructor Course, and then from there it is highly advisable that you complete a Level 3 Personal Trainer Course, to ensure you have all the adequate knowledge and skills to not only become an S&C coach, but also increase your earning potential once qualified. 

The PFCA L2 & L3 Personal Trainer Course is a combined course, meaning that completion of it provides you with both the L2 and L3 qualifications, setting you up perfectly with the knowledge to start your journey to becoming an S&C coach.

The Next Steps

Once you have completed the Level 2 Fitness Instructor Course and a Level 3 Personal Trainer Course, it is time to take on specific education and qualifications for strength and conditioning, starting with a Level 4 Personal Trainer Course.

Level 4 is the highest qualification for personal trainers in the UK, and it allows PTs to specialise in a particular niche. There are many types of L4 Courses, which each specialising in a certain field, including but not limited to Nutrition, Weight Management, Back Pain, Management, and Diabetes Management. In order to become a Strength & Conditioning Trainer though, you’ll need to take a Level 4 Qualification in Strength and Conditioning.

Once you have qualified with your L4 Qualification in Strength & Conditioning, you are an S&C Trainer. In order to become a fully qualified Strength and Conditioning Coach, from there you will need to attend an UKSCA assessment day to become a UKSCA ASCC (UK Strength & Conditioning Association Accredited Strength & Conditioning Coach).

Career Opportunities

Upon obtaining your qualifications, a variety of career avenues may become available. Whether you aspire to work within sports organisations, educational institutions, gyms, or even start your own business, the demand for skilled strength and conditioning coaches spans a wide array of career opportunities. 

Be sure to check out the UKSCA careers page to find jobs specific for accredited Strength & Conditioning Coaches. Each environment offers unique opportunities to apply your skills and contribute to the athletic development of individuals or teams.

Developing Your Career

Gaining relevant experience and building a strong professional network are essential steps in establishing yourself in the field of Strength & Conditioning. Working under an employer or shadowing a more qualified coach initially can provide valuable insights into the industry, whilst also improving your portfolio or CV. Once you’ve built a good amount of skills, experience and expertise, it may be a good idea to venture into self-employment, and tailor your practices to areas that interest you to the highest degree.

If you already have a coaching business, and you’re looking to improve the potential of that business, then be sure to also check out our fitness business accelerator, GROW.


In conclusion, becoming a strength and conditioning coach is a fulfilling career choice for those dedicated to the athletic development of others. The path to becoming an accredited strength and conditioning coach is quite long with respect to all the education and qualifications required; however, it is also an opportunity to do something you are genuinely passionate about, and make money whilst doing it! If becoming an S&C coach doesn’t sound like something you want to do, if you are a personal trainer, you should still always strive to invest in continued learning!