Being a Strength and Conditioning Coach can be a very rewarding career, but what about the actual reward? How much money will you make as a Strength Coach? Depending on the job you have, the salary range can be pretty wide but we will break it all down for you here. Other things like your certifications and educational background will also play a pretty big role in how much money you will be able to make.
High School Strength and Conditioning Coaches
These jobs are getting more popular but there are still many high schools that don’t have a full-time Strength and Conditioning Coach. A quick search through job listings shows a range of $25k-$68k for high school Strength and Conditioning jobs and I have even seen a few internship roles which will likely be less than $25k and no benefits to go with that.
As these jobs become more popular, you can expect salaries to increase (slowly) but for now, I would set your sights on roughly $35,000-$40,000 for full-time, entry-level positions.
College Strength and Conditioning Coaches
The two things that will influence your salary the most is the school that you work for and the sport that you coach. Schools in the Power 5 Conferences (Big 12, SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC) will have the biggest commitment to their athletic departments thus the biggest commitment to their Strength and Conditioning department. Mid-major schools will have a wide range of salaries and number of salaried employees. Some of these schools will be much more committed to their Strength Coaches than others. Some Division-1 schools only have one Strength Coach on staff. Outside of D1, salaries will typically range from roughly $28,000-$45,000.
The other major component to consider is the sport you work with. In football, the top Strength Coach earns over $800,000 per year. In D1, football strength jobs range from $54,000-$800,000. Outside of D1, you can expect to be quite a bit lower. It is unlikely that you will be near a six-figure salary.
In men’s basketball, high-level D1 jobs will earn a couple hundred thousand per year and as around $45,000 on the low end in D1.
Most beginners will work with Olympic sports and the wages will range from $30,000-$50,000 until you gain experience and promotions which can boost you into six-figure positions over time.
Professional Sports Strength and Conditioning Coaches
At the highest levels of sports, Head Strength and Conditioning Coaches will typically make $120,000-$400,000 (there are some exceptions). Sports like football will emphasize this department quite a bit more than other sports given the nature of the sport so you can expect higher salaries in football.
In the pros, the organization will consider the cost of living in their city, so you can expect salaries to be higher in New York and Los Angeles compared to those in Memphis and Oklahoma City.
Assistant level coaches can make as low as $40,000-$50,000 but can even sneak up in to the six-figure range for some.
Minor League jobs are fairly popular entry-level positions. The NBA, MLB and NHL all have minor leagues. Many of these roles are internship positions but the full-timers can make as low as $25,000 and as high as $38,000 but these roles are evolving and salaries are improving. There are likely a growing number of exceptions above this range.
Private Sector Strength and Conditioning Coaches
The private sector is the Wild West of Strength and Conditioning. You can make as low as $0. No, that is not a typo. But you can make over $1,000,000 if you are savvy enough. The thing to keep in mind is that your salary in the private sector will come down to your entrepreneurial skillset and ability to scale. If you create your own, successful business, the sky is the limit.
If you opt to work at a gym like Crunch or Equinox, your salary will be dependent on your ability to acquire and keep your clients. Many gyms offer salary incentives to gain more clients and book more sessions. The more you book the more you earn.
Lower tier trainers at big gyms can make less than $12,000/year but some can make over $100,000. Again, this all comes down to how many clients you can add to your book.
If you decide to join the team at a smaller, more private gym, you can expect to be in the $30,000-$40,000 range.
Lastly, independent trainers will follow this formula. Multiply the number of sessions you do by your price. Then subtract your fees. As you may have gathered, it comes down to your price point and ability to acquire and maintain clients.