Hi everyone!

Welcome to our comprehensive article about the strength and conditioning coach job description.

When done with reading this article, you’ll have a clear picture of what strength and conditioning coaches do and what it takes to become one.

In summary, we’ll break down our discussion into:

  • Strength and conditioning coach duties and responsibilities
  • Strength and conditioning coach qualification
  • Core skills of strength and conditioning coach
  • The work environment for strength and conditioning coach
  • Strength and conditioning coach employment outlook

Let’s get started.

Strength and Conditioning Coach Duties and Responsibilities

Strength and conditioning coaches are tasked with facilitating athletes’ strength and conditioning training. 

They can be student-athletes, semi-professional athletes, or professional athletes.

To better coordinate athletes’ strength and conditioning training, these coaches perform several responsibilities and duties geared towards helping athletes reach their highest level of performance.

Read on to find out exactly what strength and conditioning coaches do. 

Design Training Programs

Designing comprehensive training programs that match individual athletes’ physical and metabolic needs is at the core of a strength and conditioning coach job description.

To design programs effectively, strength and conditioning coaches pay special attention to athletes’ training and performance to identify their weaknesses and strengths.

They also perform tests.

They design and administer tests to athletes and deduce the athletes’ strengths and weaknesses from the tests.

These preliminary evaluations are designed to help coaches better understand the athletes’ current performance.

From the evaluations, the coach and the head strength and conditioning coach are better placed to design athletic programs that match individual athletes’ sports training needs.

The coach caters to the individual training needs of athletes by designing specialized strength and conditioning training, aerobics, stretching, and weight training programs that align with the requirements of their chosen sport.

The goal here is to design programs that are not only effective but also safe to keep athletes’ injuries at a minimum and at the same time improve the team’s performance.

The strength and conditioning coach’s main focus when designing training programs is to ensure proper fitness movement and improve athletes’ performance.

Coaches often train athletes on a one-on-one basis.

This ensures that each athlete gets quality sessions and is better trained to reach optimal sports performance.

In other instances, coaches train the whole athletic team.

For example, a football coach will tailor strength conditioning programs to promote the overall team performance in their next game.

Educate Athletes on Preventative Safety Measure

While the strength and conditioning coach’s main responsibility is improving athletic performance, minimizing athletic injuries also takes center stage.

Effective strength and conditioning training capitalize on proper form.

And so, the strength and conditioning coach’s main job duty is to educate athletes on how to maintain proper form and prevent injury during training sessions.

In the unfortunate event of injuries, head coaches usually collaborate with sports medicine specialists to rehabilitate and aid athletes in quick recovery.

Some athletic coaches have additional training in sports medicine, and therefore they take care of injured athletes themselves.

Create Effective Nutrition Plans for Athletes

Nutrition plays a huge part in an athlete’s life.

And so, head strength and conditioning coaches must first assess the nutrition needs of athletes before carefully developing an individualized nutrition plan that fits the athlete’s needs.

Proper nutrition goes hand-in-hand with fitness.

And so, when athletes get proper nutrition, their performance will definitely be at its peak.

Further, a healthy, balanced diet speeds up recovery and boosts energy levels.

Athletes will ultimately perform better.

But then again, coaches can’t bank on the athletes, to be honest, on what they eat.

Hence, part of their role is to have a system to monitor and record the athletes’ nutrition plans and whether they adhere to the plan.

This way, coaches can easily determine what’s working and what’s not.

Maintain Athlete Records

Coaches are also required to write down detailed, accurate, and up-to-date athlete records to keep track of the athletes’ progress.

Records act as a reference point on whether the training load is enough and the exercise progression is effective.

It’s also the reference point to whether athletes are getting adequate training per the schedule.

Strength and conditioning coaches share the recorded information with head coaches to determine whether the training programs are effective and where to adjust.

Strength and Conditioning Coach Qualification

To become a certified strength and conditioning coach, you must meet certain requirements.

The requirements will depend on the job title.

But before we give you a snapshot of the different job titles and the qualifications, let’s highlight the basic qualifications for entry-level positions.

Most job descriptions require sports coaches to have a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, kinesiology, physical education, physiology, or any other related field.

An additional requirement for this role is the possession of a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) certification.

The CSCS certification program is provided by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

This certification holds the highest regard within the strength and conditioning industry.

And that’s all about the basic requirements.

Suppose you are applying for a higher position, say collegiate strength and conditioning coach.

A master’s degree in an exercise science-related field will help you progress to the next level.

Other positions, like an assistant coach, require a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree will be even better.

When it comes to the position of the head CSCS coach, a master’s degree is mandatory.

However. It is important to note that the qualifications required for a coach will vary depending on the specific job position and the duties and responsibilities associated with it.

Core Skills Strength and Conditioning Coaches

Apart from having specific qualifications, there are several skills that coaches must have to train better.

Communication Skills

Communication skill is an integral part of any career. 

Sports performance coaches who do well in the industry exhibit strong communication skills.

Communication comes in handy during training sessions and interaction with other professionals in the industry.

During training, coaches constantly communicate with the student-athletes or professional athletes.

They also interact with the high school faculty, administrators, sports medicine professionals, other coaches, and sometimes the media.

These interactions require a coach to pass a clear message, whether verbally or written.

Analytical Skills

One of the core skills of strength and conditioning coaches is collecting, evaluating, and analyzing information.

Analytical skills help a coach to make informed, well-thought-out decisions.

Again, analytical skills help a coach to solve issues between team members easily.

Ultimately, when issues are properly resolved, the team’s productivity shoots, and the solidarity between members also improves.

Attention to Details

Paying attention to details about things like form when athletes are weight training is truly what makes a great coach.

Being detail-oriented ensures that conditioning and strength training are completed accurately, no matter the training program’s complexity or size.

Integrity and Morality

Integrity and morality signify the adherence to professional standards and moral principles within the strength and conditioning profession.

It also implies adhering to the employer’s professional code of conduct.

Integrity allows coaches to be dedicated to their job, stick to the job description, and provide high-quality services.

Interpersonal Skills

Teamwork calls for strong interpersonal skills.

Hence, for a coach to better build a strong relationship with the team members, they have to be good listeners.

Actively listening allows one to show empathy.

It’s also crucial when providing guidance.

Interpersonal skills are also manifested through conflict management and teamwork.

Leadership Skills

Strong leadership skills allow strength and conditioning coaches to guide athletes towards improving their performance and overall goals.

While these are the core skills of head coaches, the employer may highlight other advanced skills in their job description, depending on the nature of the job.

Strength Conditioning Coach Education and Experience Requirement

If you’ve checked all the boxes in the core skills section, you are halfway to your journey of becoming a strength and conditioning coach.

The next step would be meeting the education requirement.

So, what are the education pre-requisites to becoming a strength and conditioning coach?

The answer is straightforward:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification in a sports-related field.
  • Have a valid CPR/AED or first aid certification.

While some strength and conditioning jobs would stop at that, many would require candidates to have certification.

The most respected certification is the CSCS certification offered by NCSA.

To join this certification program, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an NCSA-approved institution.

In case you currently hold a position as a collegiate or professional level strength and conditioning coach it might be worth noting that obtaining certification from the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association can prove advantageous. Referred to as strength and conditioning coach certified (SCCC) this specific certification comes highly recommended within industry circles.

When it comes to experience, many job descriptions highlight different years of experience.

Being a head coach requires hands-on experience in maintaining the weight room, designing coaching programs that are safe and effective, and coaching athletes, among other duties and responsibilities of a strength and conditioning coach.

You’ll also need to be familiar with the work environment, which, more often than not, is a collegiate athletic department.

This experience can be in the form of an internship, working with head coaches to learn about their coaching techniques, designing training programs, and managing the weight room and gym floor.

Volunteering, writing publications about strength and conditioning and making presentations can equally contribute towards the experience requirement.

The years of experience required for a job opportunity will depend on the position.

Another important aspect of meeting strength and conditioning job requirements is being part of industry groups.

Connecting with other coaches in the national association for the sport you are coaching could be the key to unlocking opportunities that could potentially take your coaching career to the next level.

There exist various national organizations catering to the needs of football coaches, high school athletic coaches, athletic trainers, and professional athletic trainers, among others.

Work Environment for Strength and Conditioning Coaches

Strength and conditioning coaches work in a wide range of environments.

Here is a breakdown of the places you’ll find strength coaches.

Many coaches work with specific sports teams in high schools.

In this setup, they train student-athletes in sports like American football, but they may sometimes work with individual athletes.

The second work environment is institutions of higher learning.

In college, head coaches train college-level athletes.

Coaches also work with professional athletes’ teams.

Other times, they may be employed by the military or police to train tactical athletes.

Furthermore. It is worth mentioning that strength and conditioning coaches also have the option to pursue a career in the private sector.

In the private sector, coaches work in sports performance gyms.

They may also choose to work independently.

Sometimes, head coaches work in high school or colleges and then delve into private practice during the off-season.

Lastly, coaches may work online.

Online coaching is convenient as strength and conditioning coaches can reach athletes from wherever they are.

The training schedule is also flexible.

The only disadvantage is that the coach may not monitor the form accurately online.

Other than that, it’s a great way for head coaches to help athletes improve sports performance.

Strength and Conditioning Coaches Employment Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for fitness professionals, including personal trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, athletic trainers, etcetera, are projected to increase by 12% in the next decade.

The future for fitness professionals looks brighter. 

And so, if you are interested in becoming a strength and conditioning coach, the industry is promising.

Perhaps it’s time to give it a shot.


That’s all we had today about the strength and conditioning coach job description.

We’ve covered the main responsibilities and duties of a strength and conditioning coach.

We’ve also highlighted the core skills, qualifications, work environment, and job outlook.

We hope you are now familiar with what strength coaches do and what is required to become one.

Consequently, if you have the skills we’ve mentioned in the article and are passionate about fitness and motivating others, perhaps you should consider a career in sports performance training.


What is required to be a strength and conditioning coach?

1. Earn a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
2. Get strength and conditioning certification. Here are some options.

-Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist-NSCA
-Performance Enhancement Specialist -NASM
-Strength and Conditioning Coach Certified -CSCCa
-Strength Conditioning Coach -ISSA

3. Have an active CPR/AED certification
4. Gain experience

What is the salary of a strength coach?

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual income for strength and conditioning coaches is $46,219.

The salary ranges from $35,000 to $54,000.

The top earners in the industry take home around $70,000.

The salary one earns is influenced by several factors, including education level, years of experience, and location.

What kind of hours do strength coaches work?

Strength and conditioning coaches work long hours.

It can go up to 12 hours a day.

Sometimes they may work on the holidays, weekends and evenings.

Coaches working in colleges or with professional athletes may work even longer hours during the sports season.

What kind of certifications do strength coaches need?

Coaches must have CSCS certification from the NSCA or SCCC certification from the CSCCa.

There are other strengths and conditioning certifications from other organizations, like PES from NASM and SCC from ISSA.

Additional certifications like the USA Weightlifting Coach (USAW) can also give one an edge in the competitive market.

What distinguishes a strength coach from a personal trainer?

Personal trainers work with the general population to help individuals boost their health and wellbeing.

Strength and conditioning coaches work with athletes and athletic teams to support them improve their athletic performance.

Personal trainers often work in gyms, while strength coaches work in learning institutions and the private sector.

What do strength coaches do?

-Design training programs that match athlete’s training needs, depending on their sports
-Educate athletes on preventative safety measures to minimize injury during training and games.
-Create an effective nutrition plan for athletes. Nutrition boosts energy levels and promotes muscle recovery.
-Maintain athlete records to track athlete progress

Is it necessary to have a masters’ degree in order to become a strength and conditioning coach?

It is not a must to have a master’s degree.

However, a master’s degree is mandatory in some strength and conditioning job positions.

Required for individuals pursuing a career as a strength and conditioning coach in college. A masters degree holds utmost significance.

A head coach position will also require a master’s degree.


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