Having an accredited degree and being a member of the Association of Sports Therapists can really help you land a job as an sports therapist
As an exercise therapist, when exercise and exercise-related injuries occur, you respond immediately and bring patients back to health. You also offer advice and support to help prevent injuries in the first place.
Your work will be based on the principles of exercise and exercise science, using physical techniques to assist patients and develop rehabilitation and injury prevention programs.
Patients can be adults or children who play sports or fitness at an amateur or professional level, or for general fitness and recreational purposes.
Refer patients to the appropriate healthcare provider if the injury or health issue is outside of your practice.
You can find sports therapy jobs at sports injury clinics or directly with professional and amateur sports clubs or athletes. Many therapists combine work in this discipline with other movement-related roles.
As an exercise therapist, you must:
- Conduct fitness assessments of those involved in sports and exercise and provide exercise advice prior to activities or events
- Tests for joint mobility and range, pain, and dysfunction
- Prepare athletes mentally and physically for competition, using strapping, tapping and massage techniques when necessary
- Emergency and basic life support in sports and exercise settings
- Investigate and evaluate injuries and determine whether sport and exercise participants can safely continue the program or activity
- treating and treating injuries to relieve pain
- Injury rehabilitation using manual therapy techniques and exercises
- Design and monitor a rehabilitation program appropriate to the injury and/or sport and level
- Deciding on the need for additional treatment and coordinating referrals to other practitioners
- Implement training, conditioning, core stability and injury prevention programs, alone or in collaboration with coaches, trainers and/or fitness consultants, to help athletes achieve and maintain peak performance
- Collaborate with other health professionals in the athletic department and general practice.
- If you work in a clinic, salaries start at around £18,000. As a rule of thumb, this can add up to around £30,000.
- Working in the private sector usually pays better and you can earn £40,000-£45,000 in some private practices or specialist teams. These positions are usually open to more experienced candidates. But more and more jobs are opening up in professional sports, especially football, where sports therapists are an integral part of teams.
- Both flexible short-term contracts and part-time jobs are available and pay different rates. For example, smaller sports clubs offer conference work to cover training or match days, with wages of around £20 an hour. Earn around £40 an hour working part-time at professional clubs in the evenings and weekends.
- Opportunities are starting to arise in the NHS for sports therapists to be part of the musculoskeletal (MSK) team. Starting salaries are usually between £21,000 and £24,000.
Salaries vary based on many factors, including your location, experience, and the type of employer, such as a national sports team or private practice, and whether you are employed or self-employed.
Revenue figures are for reference only.
You typically work about 37 hours a week, but the hours are often irregular. Evening and weekend work is common.
If you work on a sports team, you must be available for weekend activities and 7 days a week during the season.
Part-time opportunities are also available, and jobs can also be seasonal as sports teams/individuals are busier when they have more games and events.
what can you expect
- As an athletic therapist, you are usually part of a wider medical and performance team.
- You often work in a treatment room with special equipment. However, the job may involve spending time outdoors with 24/7 exercise equipment and training.
- There are jobs all over the UK.
- Possibility to join one or more gyms that can refer you to members to grow a private patient/client base.
- You can work part-time in different clinics and in different amateur or professional sports clubs. Other typical part-time jobs include teaching, tutoring, and personal training.
- The position may require frequent travel to games, conferences and other events, and many positions require a driver's license.
- Working with a sports team may require you to travel domestically or even internationally.
While you don't need a degree to work as a sports therapist in the UK, many jobs now require a qualification level and membershipSociety of Sports Therapists (SST).
To become a member of SST, you must have completed their accredited bachelor's or graduate degree. While not required, membership is a good idea because it shows employers and clients that you meet certain criteria and are capable of working as an athletic therapist at the required level.Search for accredited BSc programs.
If you do not have an accredited preparatory education or have not taken courses in another field, preferably sport and exercise or similar, you may consider an accredited Masters in Exercise Therapy. Look forAccredited MSc and MSc programs.
SST also requires that you have a valid and medically-examined first aid certificate, which you must maintain to maintain your membership.
There are also different levels of alternative qualifications, but do your research to make sure each one meets your career goals and allows you to find work as an exercise therapist.
If you are working with children, you must have a Disclosure and Prohibition Service check (England and Wales) or the equivalent check in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
You will need:
- Ability to motivate and encourage others to participate in their own care and recovery
- Ability to work well with groups, individuals and professional colleagues
- Flexible and innovative way of working
- Positive attitude towards problem solving
- Ability to work proactively and achieve results
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills to connect with patients
- Firm but encouraging and empathetic attitude
- Collaborative skills and the ability to work independently
- Ability to identify and manage risk
- Organizational and time management skills
- good health
- self-motivation and self-confidence
- Sensitive and tactful, especially when the injured patient's skills and self-confidence are compromised
- IT skills.
If you're freelance or opening your own practice, you'll also need business, marketing and networking skills.
A full UK driving license is usually required.
It is highly recommended that you have experience with fitness training, as you will need to understand the different sports in order to provide proper treatment. You don't necessarily have to be an athlete, player or coach, but a lot of people in the industry have that background.
Look for vacations, weekends, and evening jobs that can add to your resume and network. Administrative positions, such as a receptionist at a sports injury clinic, can also add to your knowledge and skills.
You need to develop your network and connections to build a reputation and increase your visibility. This can be done with:
- An individual involved in a sport, such as a player or coach
- Gain work experience in sports clubs and clinics
- Join a local sports organization.
If you are studying a sports therapy course accredited by the Society of Sport Therapists (SST), you can apply for study membership. You'll receive special publications and be eligible to attend courses, seminars and conferences, among other benefits.
Read more about the different typesWork Experience and Internshipsusable.
Most exercise therapists are self-employed or have two or more side jobs. Or, they can combine the two options. This means you can work for different types of employers at the same time.
There are the following options:
- Amateur sports clubs and teams (at the national, state or local level, usually part-time or freelance)
- Professional sports clubs or teams that employ full-time or part-time sports therapists or sports masseurs
- Sports Injury Clinic, either part-time or full-time contract or freelance
- Private health clinics, where different practitioners offer different treatments, such as podiatry, osteopathy and reiki (this work is often part-time or casual)
- NHS, in the musculoskeletal (MSK) team
- Health and fitness clubs and gyms
- Sports and leisure centers (municipal and private sector)
- sports development
- Sports Science Support
- higher education and higher education.
It is also possible to set up and run your own sports injury clinic and offer courses in sports and sports injury assessment and treatment. This usually requires a good experience and client base.
With more experience, it is possible to provide consulting services, for example for television and film productions.
The level and content of your qualification will affect the type of organization you work for, as some employers specify specific qualifications and expertise.
For more informationindependent employment.
Search job openings by:
Sports magazines occasionally post suitable job openings, as do job websites and the nation's top sports organizations.
Vacancies can be filled through contacts or personal recommendations. Socializing and getting involved in sports at any level are great ways to find a job.
Also worthy of targeted speculative applications. National governing bodies for individual sports may have lists of sports clubs that you can contact.
With new treatments, research and theories constantly being introduced into the field, you'll need to keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date throughout your career.
Membership in the Society of Sports Therapists (SST) is helpful and offers many benefits, including professional malpractice and public liability coverage. To maintain membership with SST, you must complete Continuing Professional Development (CPD) annually and have a CPD portfolio which the Society may require at any time.
CPD activities can include:
- Attend and speak at conferences and exhibitions
- Offers short courses, workshops and seminars
- Read and research relevant articles, magazines and scientific papers
- reflective practice
- Participate in professional events and meetings such as committees, panels and focus groups
- give lectures
- Gain a higher qualification in exercise therapy.
SST has a list of relevant courses, webinars and CPD opportunities, often managed by third parties, some offering discounts to members. CheckSST coursefor reference only.
Often, throughout your career, you will maintain a general interest in different sports, as this can open up important new perspectives. However, you may want to focus on certain aspects of injury and technique, such as strength and conditioning and manual therapy. This can be done by taking courses and reading trade journals.
If you have a Diploma in Exercise Therapy, you may choose to transfer to a part-time Masters while working. Improving and building qualifications will enable you to deliver a wider range of treatment and may lead to increased employment opportunities.Find a Graduate Program in Exercise Therapy.
If you are an independent exercise therapist, you pay for your own training and attend it on your own time.
Most therapists begin building their careers using the portfolio approach, often supplementing their income with other part-time jobs.
Starting at university, it is important for career development by making and maintaining contacts in sport, exercise therapy and wider nursing and complementary therapies. Athletic therapists often find jobs through personal referrals or word of mouth.
Volunteer work can lead to paid work, and part-time or casual positions can become full-time employment. You can find other part-time jobs with local sports clubs and team members as well as individual athletes.
After a few years of experience, full-time employment with a sports club or team may be an option, possibly requiring supervisory duties as an assistant. Working at the top level can take years.
It is also possible to open your own private practice after gaining some experience, or specialize in a certain sport or therapy technique.
In addition to working as an sports therapist for a club or team or in private practice, some sports therapists choose to enter related work fields such as fitness consulting, personal training or health promotion.
Another option might be to transfer to secondary or higher education or to transfer into education.
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- Phase 1 - Control Pain and Swelling.
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- Phase 4 - Proprioception/Balance Training & Sport-Specific Training.
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- Sports medicine. Physical therapists who specialize in sports medicine treat professional and amateur athletes. ...
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- Neurology. ...
|Industry||Annual Mean Salary|
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|Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)||$100,760|
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A 30-minute session is more than adequate to perform a neck a perfectly good neck and shoulder treatment for someone who spends most of their day stuck at a desk. But, with 45 minutes, the lower back could be included too. A general leg treatment can be done in 30 minutes or a more intensive one in a 45-minute session.What are the 7 principles of rehabilitation? ›
- A: Avoid aggravation. It is important not to aggravate the injury during the rehabilitation process. ...
- T: Timing. ...
- C: Compliance. ...
- I: Individualization. ...
- S: Specific sequencing. ...
- I: Intensity. ...
- T: Total patient.
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- Healing constraints and Proving Need. ...
- Controlling Joint Effusion / Inflammation. ...
- Restoring Range of Motion. ...
- Restoring Strength and Proving Progress. ...
- Restoring Function. ...
- Proving Outcome.
- Preventative Rehabilitation.
- Restorative Rehabilitation.
- Supportive Rehabilitation.
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Deep tissue massage is often administered as a full body massage, rather than focusing on a specific area of the body. Sports massage, on the other hand, is a targeted massage approach that focuses on specific areas of the body that are in need of healing or relief.What is the difference between a sports massage and a relaxation massage? ›
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Deep tissue massage is excellent for more intense sports injuries since they target the deeper layers of tissue and muscle, not just the superficial layers. Swedish massages are beneficial for everyone, regardless of whether you're an athlete or not.How many categories of sports massage are there? ›
Sports massage can be divided into four types: pre-event, post-event, maintenance, and rehabilitation. The athlete's body responds differently to each type of massage, and therapists have a variety of techniques they can use to achieve the desired results.
Here, Thai massage is similar to sports massage as it can improve flexibility and mobility. The movement and stretching of muscles will lead to improved flexibility, especially if carried out on a regular basis.
In summary, a deep tissue massage is the best option for relief from general pain and tension; whereas a sports massage will suit anyone looking for the treatment of injuries or repetitive sprains or strains that have built up over time in specific soft tissue and muscle areas.What is the most relaxing body massage? ›
- Swedish Massage. The most common type of massage therapy, Swedish massage will help to relax you with a combination of specific movements including: ...
- Hot Stone Massage. Another very relaxing type of massage is the hot stone massage. ...
- Chair Massage. ...
- Aromatherapy Massage.
Shiatsu massage is best for people who want to feel relaxed and relieve stress, pain, and tension. It's a Japanese type of massage that: promotes emotional and physical calm and relaxation.Do you wear clothes during a sports massage? ›
Most therapists are happy to work around you and what you're comfortable with but for best results, having no piece of clothing on your top half allows the therapist to massage smoothly without clothing getting in the way.Who needs sports massage therapy? ›
It is useful for anyone who exercises to increase flexibility, prevent injuries and help with healing after a sports injury. The aim of sports massage is to reduce the stress and tension that can build up in the soft tissues of the body during exercise. This form of massage is used to: increase endurance.Do professional sports teams have massage therapists? ›
Most NFL teams contract several licensed massage therapists to work on players during the season at the team facility.What does a sports massage target? ›
Sports massage is proven to release and reduce tension in muscles, improve circulation and encourage the removal of waste products such as lactic acid during high intensity activity and can help to relax the body. All of this helps promote recovery and reduces the chance of muscle injury.Do sport massages focus on one muscle? ›
The therapist uses a deep pressure to relieve tension, muscle tightness and mobilise tissues. If you are playing a sport, the therapist may focus more on the specific muscle groups used for your sport.