Performance Sports ScientistJob Description:
Sports scientists use knowledge of how the body works to help people improve their health or sporting ability.Job Category:
What you will do:
You could work with elite sports professionals, or in research, healthcare or industry. Your day to day tasks will depend on the type of organisation you work for.
- help sports coaches and sports therapists to improve individual and team performance
- work with doctors to help people improve their health through exercise and fitness
- look at ways that health and fitness can be used to prevent or treat medical conditions like diabetes, heart conditions or cancer
- take part in research projects
- offer advice on the design and manufacture of sports equipment
- knowledge of biology
- knowledge of psychology
- the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
As well as:
- the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
- thinking and reasoning skills
- to enjoy working with other people
- excellent verbal communication skills (leadership skills)
- excellent written communication skills
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
You could take a degree in sport and exercise science. Courses that cover the 3 foundation subjects of biomechanics, physiology and psychology, will keep your job options broad.
Alternatively you could do a degree in a science related subject followed by a postgraduate qualification in sports science.
This may include subjects like:
- physical education
- natural sciences
It’s becoming more common for sports scientists to have or be working towards a postgraduate qualification.
Some universities will expect you to have studied physical education or a science subject like biology. A degree in sport and exercise science or in another relevant subject may also help you to gain entry to a degree in sports science.
Experience as fitness instructor, lifeguard, coach or through volunteering, for example with a sports club, may improve your career prospects.
It will help you stand out in a competitive jobs market if you have additional qualifications like:
- First Aid
- gym instructing
Working Hours and Environment:
A typical week consists of 37-39 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings/weekends attending events or appointments.
You could work in a public or private hospital, on a sports field, at a research facility, in an office, at a client’s business or at a fitness centre. Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.
Career Path & Progression:
You could find work with universities, schools and colleges, large sporting organisations, public and private enterprises and local authorities. It’s also possible to become self-employed or to work as a consultant.
You could also move into a related career area, like sports development or performance testing and research.