High School Coach: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

May 11, 2021

High school coaches motivate, instruct, and coach high school athletes. Their primary responsibility is improving the performance of these athletes. They are typically required to have a bachelor's degree and state teaching credentials.

Essential Information

By working with high school students interested in sports, a high school coach provides the necessary practice, support and advice for the team to be successful against opposing teams in a sports season. Possessing a bachelor's degree and a state teaching certification is often required for this career. Requirements for high school coaches also often include cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training, a background check, drug testing and job training. Communication and leadership skills are also necessary.

Required Education Bachelor's degree is common, though requirements may vary
Other Requirements State teaching certification generally necessary, CPR training, job training, leadership and communication skills, drug test and background check usually required
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)* 12% for all coaches and scouts
Median Salary (2020)* $36,330 for all coaches and scouts

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

High School Coach

A high school coach has to be familiar with the rules and regulations of the sports they plan on coaching. This is acquired through playing and studying the sport. There are no specific education requirements for high school coaches, but many possess a bachelor's degree in sports science, exercise, kinesiology, fitness, physical education or physiology. Additionally, many teachers work as high school coaches in part-time positions. If a high school coach goes this route, they also have to meet the necessary requirements to be employed as a high school teacher.

Job Description

High school coaches typically work in teaching positions with the school. When they aren't performing their teacher duties, a high school coach has to work additional hours during the sports season. This can result in a work week over 40 hours. Working nights, holidays, evenings and weekends are common for high school coaches. Additionally, they may coach several different sports throughout the year depending on their official position within the school. A high school coach has to be prepared to work in bad weather and be willing to travel with the team to different locations for games. They also run the risk of injury due to being on the sidelines during sports games.

Job Duties

A high school coach holds tryouts for students of a high school to attend. By observing the students' skills with trials and practices, a high school coach then decides who makes the team. With an organized team, the high school coach then begins to train the students throughout the preseason process. The coach assigns everyone specific positions and comes up with drills and organized game strategies.

After the season starts, the high school coach attends every game and guides their team throughout the match-ups. If any necessary changes have to be made during the game, they will be in charge of authorizing and implementing them. High school coaches continue this process throughout the year with different sports they're assigned.

Job Requirements

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), high school coaches employed with local schools need to meet state certification requirements ( A coach has to be trained in CPR and partake in any necessary training or education programs required by the state. If an examination or other requirements need to be completed, then a high school coach completes them prior to working. Schools generally work with their high school coaches to get them certified with the state.

A high school coach must also possess leadership and communication skills. He or she has to set an example for the players, and having these skills allows a high school coach to inspire players and work with them on improvement. The BLS also noted that schools require high school coaches to complete a drug test and a background check.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS reported that jobs for coaches and scouts are expected to increase 12% between 2019 and 2029, mainly due to overall population growth and more individuals participating in coached sports. As of May 2020, the BLS listed the median annual salary of coaches and scouts at $36,330.

High school coaches help high school athletes with understanding the techniques required to compete in sports and competitions. Many high school coaches have a bachelor's degree and state teaching credentials. They also participate in CPR training and a thorough background investigation.

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