The best strength and conditioning jobs are far and few between. Many hours of education, gaining experience, and networking are associated with this highly fragile field. The turnover rate, as well as the competative nature of the job has turned away many from this path. However, if you are motivated enough to stick through the lean times, you can gain employment in this highly rewarding and exciting field. Here are the five best strength and conditioning jobs in the industry.
- Professional Sports. A professional sports team’s strength and conditioning coach is sometimes more of a friend than a coach. Therefore, in the NBA setting especially, it is VITAL that the strength and conditioning coach have a great reputation among the athletes. In the NBA and NHL, travel is heavy. A trainer needs to be able to communicate and motivate the athlete consistently as they travel from city to city, night after night. In MLB, a trainer often gets his foot in the door via the minor leagues, and attempts to get promoted to “The Show” in that manner. In the NFL, the strength and conditioning coach possesses more power over the athlete, and travels less. This means more time in the weight room or on the track running sprints.
- College Sports. In this scenario, a college strength and conditioning coach often gets his break by entering the team as a Graduate Student Intern. Networking is HUGE here. If you are friends with the Athletic Director or another coach, and have put in your work as undergraduate, you may have the upper hand in a college setting. College teams usually start their trainers as volunteers, then move them up as they prove themselves. College trainers have more control over an athlete’s regimen, so a trainer can go full bore, for the most part, in a campus situation..
- High School Sports. In the high school realm of strength and conditioning you will find the extreme of about every phase of this industry. You may work in an underfunded school district in Oregon and be the PE teacher, the basketball coach, and the strength and conditioning coach (Provided there is one that exists). Conversely, you may be the strength and conditioning coach at a highly funded high school football team in the Dallas-Ft.Worth area, spotting on the Bench Press for the next Larmarcus Aldridge or Reggie Bush. Again, aggressive seeking people and those who can network are the ones that generally land these jobs. The high school setting provides the best balance of all the strength and conditioning jobs, especially if you are teacher already. You can gain experience while earning an income in a mostly non-pressure environment, and have more time to network in order to move up the ladder, if you so desire.
- Private. In the private portion of strength and conditioning, you can learn the business from a different perspective. You could gain knowledge and experience as an employee of a private club, while doing personal training as part of the clubs overall program. This could lead you building up a clientele, opening opportunities for entrepreneurship within the fitness industry. It could also give the training needed to compete for a strength and conditioning job within professional sports or college sports.
- Volunteer. This is the way a vast majority of people get started within the fitness industry. Call high school and college coaches in your area. See if they need help in any facet with their strength and conditioning program. This is a great method to utilize in gaining a network and learning the inner workings of strength and conditioning, as well as providing the flexibility to continue your full time job, until you land a full time strength and conditioning position.
Strength and Conditioning jobs are part of a dog eat dog world. But if you contain the intestinal fortitude and the willingness to put in the time, hours, and gain the necessary experience and education, you can be a part of a rewarding, growing, and exciting world that will bring you immense satisfaction and income.