Football coaches develop the skills and motivation of football players and teams.
Salary range: £14,000 to £30,000
How to become a football coach
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- specialist courses run by a professional body
There are undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications for football coaching as well as courses that combine football coaching with subjects like:
- sports business
- talent development
To apply for some courses, you may need an FA Level 1 Certificate in Coaching and experience of coaching in a team environment, alongside the academic requirements.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You could do a college course, which will help you to get started. Relevant subjects include:
- Level 2 Certificate in Football Coaching Studies
- Level 3 Diploma in Sport with Football
- Level 3 Diploma Sport Development and Fitness
You’ll need to check if your course includes the FA Coaching Awards, or if you need to take these separately.
Entry requirements for these courses vary.
You could do an intermediate apprenticeship as a sport community activator coach, if you want to work as a football coach in the community.
Employers will set their own entry requirements.
Volunteering and experience
You could start as a volunteer at your local amateur football club.
This will help to build up your experience and could lead into training for professional coaching qualifications.
You can do coaching qualifications offered by The Football Association.
Qualifications start at beginner’s Level 1 and go all the way up to the Level 5 UEFA Pro Licence for the professional game.
Contact your local County Football Association to get more details about courses.
You’ll need some footballing ability so that you can demonstrate skills and techniques when coaching. Getting experience of working with players from a variety of backgrounds and abilities is also useful.
Salaries for coaches in English professional football are much higher than those working in education, the community and for smaller football clubs.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- leadership skills
- the ability to teach pupils how to do something
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
- excellent verbal communication skills
- knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to use your initiative
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- be over 16 years of age
- pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults
You’ll also need to do The FA Safeguarding Children Workshop.
What you’ll do
In this role you could:
- plan and run amateur, semi-professional or professional coaching sessions
- give feedback on performance and fitness
- discuss individual player and team tactics
- offer guidance on nutrition and injury prevention
- keep up to date with good coaching practice
- help players keep a positive mental attitude and self-discipline
You could work in the community, at a school, at a college, at a university or at a sports arena.
Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers, physically demanding and you’ll travel often.
You may need to wear a uniform.
Career path and progression
As a community coach, with further training, you could move into sports development or youth work. As a coach with a professional team, you could move to a bigger or higher profile club.
You could also move into a specialist area like sports psychology or goalkeeping coaching.
The FA Licensed Coaches’ Club offers continuing training and progression for coaches.