For athletes to perform to the best of their abilities, most need to optimise their strength and conditioning. Strength and physical conditioning coaches work with individual athletes, student athletes and sports teams to design and implement exercise programs that focus upon these key areas affecting performance. They monitor the athletes' development and may also advise on nutrition as it relates to strength and conditioning. Salary levels for the occupation vary depending upon factors such as location and employer.
For the purposes of its national employment survey carried out in May 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics categorised strength and conditioning coaches alongside other athletic coaches and sports scouts. It reported that the mean yearly salary across the classification was £23,367, equivalent to £449 per week and £1,947 a month. Those in the top 10 per cent of earners received salaries in excess of £41,418, while their counterparts in the corresponding bottom bracket earned less than £10,647.
Salary by Industry
The bureau reported that the industry sector in which the largest number of coaches and scouts are employed was elementary and secondary schools. The mean annual salary within this sector was £20,871. The mean wage for positions within other schools and instruction -- such as sports clubs and academies -- was £19,064 -- while coaches employed within other amusement and recreation industries -- for instance, gyms -- earned a mean wage of £22,360. Higher salaries were paid to those working within colleges, universities and professional schools at a mean of £31,941.
Salary by Geography
Having surveyed pay levels for strength and conditioning coaches in some major U.S. cities, SalaryExpert.com reported that as of 2011, wages were highest in New York City and Miami, averaging £40,196 and £31,460, respectively. Atlanta and Houston had comparable salary levels -- £28,775 and £28,496 -- while Orlando had amongst the lowest rates, just £21,715. The bureau listed District of Columbia and Mississippi as places in which coaches and scouts were likely to secure the highest salaries, with means of £34,762 and £32,084, respectively. In contrast, Maine was listed at just £14,995.
The BLS expects employment opportunities across the sports field -- those for athletes, coaches, umpires and similar workers -- to grow by around 23 per cent over the decade from 2008 to 2018. This is significantly faster growth than is predicted for the entire nation, estimated at between 7 and 13 per cent over the same time. An increasing population with an attendant expansion of professional sports teams, allied to a growing trend for individuals to seek sports instruction to maximise their potential, will be the primary reason for this growth, which should mean salary levels for sports professionals, such as strength and conditioning coaches, remain very competitive.