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Assistant Coach (College Level): Salary, Duties and Career Info

College-level assistant coaches need to have a great deal of knowledge about the respective sport. Learn about the education, salary information and job duties to see if this is the right career for you.

Information detailing job growth and work duties is good to know before pursuing this line of work. Coaches working at the college level typically collect an annual salary based on the team's division and ranking, so earnings can vary. Having a degree in a sports-related field can help you get started if you decide to become an assistant coach.

Essential Information

An assistant coach at the college level helps the head coach in many areas of team management. Depending on a school or team's ranking, the level of education and prior experience needed is subjective, although most universities require at least a bachelor's degree. At the university level, all assistant coaches work within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) guidelines.

Required Education A bachelor's degree or, preferably, a master's degree in physical education, sports science, sports medicine or kinesiology
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% (coaches and scouts)*
Mean Annual Salary (May 2015) $40,050 (coaches and scouts)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Salary Information for an Assistant Coach

An assistant coach's salary often depends on the team and school's ranking and division within the NCAA. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the May 2015 mean annual wage for coaches and scouts was $40,050. The BLS notes that the head scout is often an assistant coach (www.bls.gov).

Job Duties

The duties of an assistant coach range from directly coaching a team to scouting opponents, scheduling home and away visits and recruiting athletes. Generally, the head coach will conduct the day-to-day practices and team coaching, while the assistant coach will deal with team business and long-term goals.

Assistant coaches might record game statistics, recruit players from high schools and junior colleges, help conduct team workouts and professionally represent the college. The assistant coach needs a thorough understanding of NCAA rules and regulations. He or she might need to coach players on either offense or defense, so an understanding of strategies for both is important.

Career Information

Previous experience is necessary for becoming an assistant coach at the collegiate level. Typically, a bachelor's degree is required for assistant coach positions, and master's degrees are preferred. Appropriate majors for aspiring coaches include sports science, physical education, sports medicine and kinesiology. It's also important for assistant coaches to hold cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification, according to the BLS.

Other requirements vary between schools and sports. Essentially, success and advancement as a coach depends on the accomplishment of his or her teams. If an assistant coach displays unique and positive leadership skills that result in winning records, advancement to a head coach position is possible. Promotion to a better team or professional level is also possible after years of experience with lower-ranking teams.

College-level positions require at least a bachelor's degree. Leadership skills, interpersonal skills, and dedication are among the key attributes of an assistant college coach. This profession consists of various salaries depending on the college or team, and, for the most part, job growth will increase about as fast as average for coaches at all levels through the year 2024.


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