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Hello!

Welcome to the one and only Trainer Academy article written to sharpen your knowledge of the average salary of a Strength and Conditioning Coach.

We’ll discuss:

  • The average annual salary for Strength and Conditioning Coaches
  • Factors and career paths that impact S&C Coach salary
  • Popular S&C Coach FAQs

I am aware that sometimes discussing the S&C Coach salary can be very confusing, especially if there are many caveats.

But upon reading this article, I promise that you’ll develop a clearer understanding of the typical Strength and Conditioning Coach base salary.

Let’s proceed!

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Strength and Conditioning Coach Salary

So you want to become a Strength and Conditioning Coach.

How much does a strength and conditioning coach make?

Well, it depends.

Getting certified with one of the best personal training certifications is an important step toward making a solid certified strength and conditioning specialist salary.

There are many programs accredited by the National Commission For Certifying Agencies (NCCA) to choose from.

NCCA accredited certifications are a gold standard in the fitness industry and demonstrate your competence in the field and commitment through arduous work to get certified.

This holds true for all fitness professionals, including even nutrition coaches.

The best nutrition certifications are also accredited.

The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE) are two of my favorite personal trainer certifications.

Curious about personal training?

Take a look through the following:

You can even compare NASM vs. ACE altogether.

Before I move on to the next section, I saved the best personal trainer certification for last; the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA).

You can compare NASM vs. ISSA as well.

Keep in mind, though, that personal trainer salary potential may increase depending on what experience, educational background, other skills, and certifications you may have.

In fact, you may want to become a personal trainer first because doing so is a great place to launch your budding CSCS career.

How long does it take to become a personal trainer?

This varies for everyone and if you chose to go that route, and you’re ready to obtain your CSCS certification, grab whatever CSCS study guide information you can, then test your knowledge with its respective CSCS practice test.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national average salary for a Strength and Conditioning Coach is $46,764.00 in the United States.

The average athletic performance coach salary will most likely start at around $36,330.00 per year.

Depending on your level of education, additional relevant certifications, additional skills, and years of experience, you can potentially earn between $38,353.00 and $51,879.00 per year as a full-time coach.

The best Strength and Conditioning Coaches who work independently earn $48,584.00 annually.

According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) 2018 study and salary survey, this is higher than the average pay for a personal trainer.

Moreover, the top Strength Coaches, specifically those who work with professional sports teams in the weight room, may earn roughly $76,772.00 or more per year, which tops the pay for most Athletic Trainers.

A Master Strength and Conditioning Coach’s salary estimates are about the same as that.

Overall, it’s important to remember that Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist’s salary depends on many factors, such as the following:

  • Level of education
  • Years of experience
  • Other certifications
  • Skills and areas of expertise
  • Geographic location
  • Employment type

Also, if you search for new jobs online or sign up for job alerts, each related job will most likely have varying yearly salaries and hourly wages.

To get more information, read The Best Strength and Conditioning Certifications.

Strength and Conditioning Career Path Salaries

Besides the obvious job title, Strength and Conditioning Coach, the nature of this career is much more complex.

In other words, there are other job titles for other types of Strength and Conditioning Coaches and progressions in the career of Strength and Conditioning.

In this article, we’ll briefly discuss the salaries of the following popular Strength and Conditioning Coach career paths:

  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Professional Sports Coach
  • High School Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • College Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Military Strength and Conditioning Coach

Let’s now explore these coaching jobs and the national average yearly income for each!./

Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach

Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach requirements on the job include shadowing the best Strength Coaches, as they often aspire to be Head Coaches, who generally design the strength and plyometric exercises for the athletes.

As of 2021, the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Specialist’s salary in the United States is $46,233.00 annually.

That said, the Assistant CSCS salary is about $22.23 per hour, which is similar to the personal trainer hourly rate, and, for the math geeks out there, equates to $889.00 per week or $3,853 per month.

Not bad.

An educative piece: The Best Personal Trainer Certifications

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Professional Sports Coach

The national average Professional Sports Fitness Coach salary is about $16.97 per hour.

In the United States, the typical salary range falls between $33,740.00 and $49,925.00 annually. 

The highest paying cities for Professional Sports Coaches are Austin, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Antonio.

There are also many sports to choose from when coaching professional sports, and this would be another great factor that influences total salary.

Now let’s discuss the following coaching careers and their respective annual salaries:

  • NFL strength coach
  • NBA strength coach
  • MLB strength coach

Because these are sport-specific coaching roles, the pay is often much higher.

NFL Strength Coach salary is typically around $500,000.00 per year, similar to most USA Today College Coaches salaries.

USA Today College Football Coaches’ salaries are always in the hundreds-thousands.

According to an analysis from Forbes, the average annual NFL Strength Coach’s salary is more than $6 million.

New England Patriots Head Coach, Bill Belichick, was the highest-paid coach in the NFL in 2019, generating $12.5 million.

Million!

Both NFL Strength Coach and USA Today College Football Coaches salaries are among the top in the field of Professional Sports.

And now for some baseball.

NBA Strength and Conditioning Coach salaries sit around more than $80,000.00 annually, which is higher when compared to basketball Strength Coach salaries, but definitely lower than NFL Strength Coaches salaries.

The average salary for a professional baseball Strength and Conditioning Coach for MLB is $53,064.00 per year.

But A MLB Strength and Conditioning Coach salary can also range from $49,237.00-$53,220.00 per year.

According to the BLS, employment for Professional Sports Coaches is expected to increase 12% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the 4% average for all occupations.

NCAA strength and conditioning jobs in professional sports are sure out there.

High School Strength and Conditioning Coach

A High School Strength and Conditioning Coaching salary is approximately $49,000.00 per year, according to the 2018 NSCA Coaches Salary Survey.

That same study also found that High School Strength and Conditioning Coach salary ranges from an average of $41,000.00 per year with a Bachelor’s Degree to $84,000.00 per year with a Doctoral Degree.

The salary range for a High School Strength and Conditioning Coaches with a Master’s degree is somewhere around $48k – $76k per year.

The BLS reports that High School Strength and Conditioning jobs are expected to grow 15% from now until 2029, with the popularity of sports and increased interest in fitness and conditioning.

Read this: The Best Health Coach Certifications

College Strength and Conditioning Coach

A typical College Football Strength and Conditioning Coach salary is approximately $49,286.00 per year, according to an NSCA salary survey.

But overall, a College Football Strength Coach salary may actually range from $120,000.00-$400,000.00 per year, depending on factors such as education, years of experience training student-athletes, other certifications (i.e. powerlifting certification), place of employment, and location.

Typically, the average Head Strength and Conditioning Coach salary for college football and College Strength and Conditioning Coach salary for other college sports are around the same amounts.

Though top Strength and Conditioning Coaches in College Football earn higher amounts than coaches for other sports, generally closer to $300k+ per year.

On the other hand, USA Today Football Coaches’ salaries are mostly always the highest among other Head Strength and Conditioning Coaches for other USA Today sports, such as basketball and baseball.

Furthermore, a USA Today coaching salary database’ annual review of coaches’ compensation found that the average salary for Collegiate Head Football Coaches in 2020-21 is $2.7 million.

That’s a 1.1% increase from last year’s average.

USA Today College Football Coaches’ salaries are among the highest paying in professional, and collegiate sports overall.

Division-1 Strength Coaches perform similar duties as football coaches, except for different sports as well as football.

Some Division-1 schools only post job listings to hire one Head Strength Coach on staff.

Moreover, in men’s basketball, the high-level Division-1 Strength and Conditioning Coach salary is approximately six figures per year but may lie around $45,000.00 on the lower end.

According to the NSCA salary report, the median Division-1 College Strength Coach salary is $49,286.00 per year.

In all, college strength and conditioning salaries can definitely maintain the cost of living but always varies based on sport, location, education, and years of experience in the field.

College Strength and Conditioning Coach jobs are always in demand and are even expected to grow by around 12%, according to BLS.

See Also: The Best Fitness Certifications

Military Strength and Conditioning Coach

According to NSCA 2018 salary survey on CSCS certification salary, the typical Tactical Strength Conditioning Coach salary is about $69,437.00 annually.

However, in entry-level positions for Military Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach salary is generally slightly lower, between $57k – $67k per year.

But overall, it’s safe to say that Military Strength Coach jobs pay fairly decent.

On a larger scale, the Military CSCS salary range actually falls typically between $57k and $70k on a yearly basis.

According to the BLS, Military Strength and Conditioning jobs are always in demand, and in fact, Tactical Coaches and the personal trainer job outlook is nearly 12% higher than average.

Check this: Best Exercise Science Careers

Strength and Conditioning Coach Salary Report

Below is a comprehensive salary report for the different strength and conditioning coach career paths.

Let’s take a look!

Job TitleMedian Annual Salary
Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach$46,233.00
Professional Sports CoachVaries
($50k-$500k+)
High School Strength and Conditioning Coach$49,000.00
College Strength and Conditioning CoachVaries
($49k-$500k+)
Military Strength and Conditioning Coach$69,437.00

As shown above, the highest paying Strength and Conditioning Coach jobs are Professional Sports Coach and College Strength and Conditioning Coach, each earning salaries falling between $49k and over $500k per year.

Military Strength and Conditioning Coaches take second place as top earners.

And then, you can see that High School Strength and Conditioning Coaches come in third, earning roughly $49k or more annually, similar to group exercise instructors.

Now get this.

While Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coaches are below the Head Certified Strength and Conditioning Coaches, the salaries only differ by a few hundred dollars, Head Certified Strength, and Conditioning Coaches salaries are only higher by a hair.

So if you want to make money as a personal trainer who specializes in strength and conditioning, you can see for yourself which profession may be most worth your while.

But, I recommend you choose a career path you want.

You could also become an online personal trainer and make a whole lot more!

Never limit your earning potential.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about strength and conditioning coach careers and, most importantly, salaries.

What is the average Strength and Conditioning Coach salary as of this year?

According to the BLS, the average Strength and Conditioning Coach salary is $44,517.00 as of this year, which is about the same as the salary for related fitness careers, such as Personal Trainer and even Wellness Director salaries. However, keep in mind that the Strength Conditioning Specialist salary range falls between $38,020.00 and $51,428.00 annually.

Who are the highest-paid Strength and Conditioning Coaches?

The highest-paid Strength and Conditioning Coach is Chris Doyle, Strength and Conditioning, University of Iowa, making a whopping $595,000.00 per year. Next in line is Scott Cochran, Director of Strength and Conditioning, University of Alabama, generating $525,00.00 per year.

What are NCAA Strength Coach salaries?

The base salary for Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches ranges from $38,353.00 to $51,879.00 with an average base salary of $44,907.00 annually, which is similar to the typical Sports Performance Coach and Athletic Training Coordinator salary.

Who are the top 3 most popular female Strength and Conditioning Coaches?

The most popular female strength and conditioning coach is Coach Andrea Hudy, Head Coach of Basketball Strength & Conditioning at the University of Texas. Then, there’s Coach Jeanne Rankin, Strength and Conditioning Coach at the Eastern Connecticut State University, and Coach Liane Blyn, Director of Sports Performance & Olympic Sports at the Arizona State University.

Is S&C Coach pay better than Personal Trainer pay?

Honestly, in most cases, the average coach salary and CPT salary are around the same. The average salary for a personal trainer is around $40,116.00 (2020), while the average salary for strength and conditioning coaches is $40,318.00 (2020).

What is the Strength and Conditioning Coach job outlook?

The Strength and Conditioning Coach job outlook is 10-15% between now and 2026.

Can I learn how to become a Strength and Conditioning Coach?

In order to become eligible for a CSCS certification, you must meet the CSCS requirements. These are as follows: have a bachelor’s degree in exercise science or a related field, have experience with personal training, and successfully pass your CSCS certification exam.

What are the best college strength and conditioning programs?

The Nebraska Cornhuskers are known for their tough football and claim an outstanding, “nation’s best” strength and conditioning program. Next, the Florida Gators have been doing very well in college football for decades, which popularized the strength training program. And lastly, LSU football is always one of the most competitive in football. It has some of the nation’s best facilities and is home to a great strength coach, Tommy Moffitt, who is a tough motivator and pushes his players beyond their limits. The LSU Tigers program produces some of the toughest players in the U.S.

How can I become certified as a Strength and Conditioning Coach?

To become certified as a Strength and Conditioning Coach, professional coaches can be certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). You must be 18 years of age or older, have a high school diploma or the equivalent (GED), be CPR and AED certified, and have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited higher education institution in a related field (i.e. exercise science, kinesiology, etc.). Then, you’ll be eligible to take the CSCS course, earn your CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) certification, and take it from there!

Conclusion

All in all, I hope that you now have the gist of the Strength and Conditioning jobs salaries and some factors which may affect your income.

Basically, for most Strength and Conditioning careers, the median salary falls somewhere between $40k-$50k per year.

Whereas the entry-level Strength and Conditioning Coach earns the lowest pay, typically $34,618.00 per year, Professional Sports Coaches and Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches earn whopping amounts of $50k-$500k+ per year.

USA Today Coaches salaries, especially USA Today Football Coaches salaries are often the highest when compared to other Professional Sports Coaches salaries, like baseball and basketball.

However, please note that your salary may be fixed in certain places, but your total income, for the most part in a fitness career, is limitless and entirely what you make of it.

For example, some online or independent Strength and Conditioning Coaches, or even Celebrity Strength and Conditioning Coaches, may actually earn more than even some of the highest-paid Professional Sports Coaches.

Now that you’ve explored the potential salaries of each Strength and Conditioning Coach career, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what you’d expect to earn in your career as a Strength and Conditioning Coach.

But just remember, if you start comparing the salaries and salary ranges, the number one thing that holds true for all of these Strength and Conditioning Coach salaries is that it’s all up to you.

References

  1. Weldon A, Duncan MJ, Turner A, LaPlaca D, Sampaio J, Christie CJ. Practices of Strength and Conditioning Coaches. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2020;Publish Ahead of Print. doi: https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0000000000003773
  2. ‌Judge LW, Petersen JC, Bellar DM, Craig BW, Gilreath EL. CSCS Certification and School Enrollment Impacts Upon High School Strength Facilities, Equipment, and Safety. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2013;27(9):2626-2633. doi: https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0b013e3182576fd2
  3. ‌Duehring MD, Ebben WP. Profile of High School Strength and Conditioning Coaches. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2010;24(2):538-547. doi: https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0b013e3181c7c772

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