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Sports therapist Apprenticeships

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Helping you find a career as a Sports therapist

Sports therapy is a fast-growing area of the health and fitness industry which helps to rehabilitate and prevent injuries in sport and exercise. Roles range from testing the ability of older people to exercise, to rehabilitating elite athletes after injury.

The sports therapy market is increasingly dominated by graduates in the field but a degree is not necessary, just very helpful. If you do study a related degree, make sure it is accredited by The Society of Sports Therapists.

What does a Sports therapist do?
Sports therapists typically work with patients or athletes on a one-to-one basis. Their responsibilities might include:

  • Rehabilitating athletes from injury

  • Assessing fitness levels of participants

  • Testing joints for range of movement, and for the sources of aches and pains

  • Providing emergency aid

  • Referring athletes and participants to healthcare professionals

  • Advising exercise participants on diet and nutrition

  • Treating injuries

  • Preparing players and athletes before competition

Skills & interests required for a Sports therapist
Sports therapists need to be passionate about sport, that much is obvious! They need to be able to practice to a decent level in their chosen disciplines, as well as having an exceptional level of physical fitness. Keeping up-to-date with the latest training techniques and theories in their sport is also a must for any aspiring sports therapist.
What hours does a Sports therapist typically do?
It is unlikely that a newly qualified sports therapist will walk into a full time job. As a result you will have to work flexibly and build up experience. Networking is important in gaining clients, as is marketing yourself and working flexibly.
What environment is a Sports therapist based in?
A fitness club, gym, swimming pool or sports centre. You may also be attached to a professional sports team and work from their training centre, or you could be required to visit individual clients at their homes.
How much does a Sports therapist travel?
If visiting individual clients at home then there may be daily travel within your local area. If you work at elite level you may have to travel globally with your client athletes.
How much does a Sports therapist get paid?
It’s hard to determine an average salary for a role that, for many, is built on flexible working. However if you move past freelance work and get employed, for example, in a clinic, you could be paid £17,000 to £28,000 per annum depending on experience.

If you work as a private therapist you could earn £25 to £45 per session. Those working with professional athletes are likely to earn significantly more (both in permanent roles and working on a session-by-session basis), although these positions are highly sought after and require significant experience to secure.
Perks & benefits
You will work in and around centres for sport and fitness, giving you good access to them yourself. You might even get free memberships as part of your role if you are a full time employee of a fitness centre.

If working with professional athletes you may also be offered free tickets to major sporting events which they are competing in.
What qualifications does a Sports therapist need?
Degrees in Sports Therapy, Physical Education, or Health-related subjects can be a massive boost to a career in this field but there are other routes into sport therapy careers if you can gain experience: you may be able to secure an apprenticeship with a gym or sports club which can provide you with hands-on practical experience as well as supporting you to secure a formal qualification.

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