Jobs Coaching High School Football: Career Facts

Explore the career requirements for high school football coaches. Get the facts about education and licensure requirements, salary, and potential job growth to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Athletic Coaching degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a High School Football Coach?

High school football coaches help students participate in safe and healthy sports activities. As a football coach, you must be well-informed on the rules and regulations of football and able to teach these rules to players. You may create various plays to run during games and also oversee practices and athletic training to make sure the players are healthy and in good shape. Many coaches may also be employed as licensed teachers, teaching a variety of other academic subjects. Learn more about this job and its requirements in the chart below.

Degree Required Bachelor's
Education Field of Study Sports science, physiology or physical education
Key Skills Knowledge of emergency care and first aid
Certification Coaching certification through the American Sport Education Program or other qualified organization is typically required for public school positions; teaching certification may also be required
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% (for all coaches and scouts)*
Average Salary (2015) $34,800 (for elementary and secondary school coaches and scouts)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Educational Requirements For Jobs Coaching High School Football?

It's important that high school football coaches have knowledge of the strategies and rules of football. Additionally, it's beneficial to have played football in recreational or school programs or at football camps. Many coaches are actually academic teachers whom schools select to coach on a part-time basis. This is the most common situation for high school coaches, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( Going this route would require you to have a bachelor's degree and teacher certification in the subject you wish to teach.

If you're seeking a bachelor's degree program which pertains to specifically to coaching, you can major in exercise or sports science, physiology or physical education. Curricula for exercise science programs might offer classes on athletic health care, motor control, cell biology, community nutrition and basic sports, cardiovascular exercise programming, advanced sports nutrition, exercise science laboratory and science statistics.

Exercise physiology programs might include courses on such subjects as control and management of sport injury, medical terminology, gross anatomy, kinesiology, emergency care and first aid, chemistry, physics and general biology. A bachelor's degree program in physical education might provide you with training in wellness and fitness, physiology and anatomy laboratory, foreign language, physical fitness concepts, instructional strategies, student teaching analysis and exercise physiology.

How Do I Become Certified?

While coaches in private schools may not need certification, football coaches who work in public high schools must meet state-mandated certification standards to qualify for head coaching jobs. Certification may also be necessary for coaches who don't already have a teaching credential.

Many organizations award certification credentials to sports coaches. One such organization is the American Sport Education Program, which offers aspiring coaches an online course which aids in teaching and evaluating the skills of high school football players. At the end of the course, you'll be required to successfully complete a multiple-question examination, after which you'll be admitted to the National Coaches Registry. You can renew your certification after three years.

What Are Some Job Duties?

Some of your responsibilities as a high school football coach might involve instructing players in weight-lifting techniques, safety procedures, tournament and game scheduling, and the purchase of football equipment and supplies. You'll organize practice sessions, direct exercise programs and provide motivation and encouragement to build the stamina of your team members. Other duties may include maintaining records of team and individual performances, and evaluating the skills of opposing football teams.

What Salary Could I Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, coaches and scouts earned average annual salaries of $40,050 in 2015. The BLS reported that athletic coaches who worked in secondary and elementary schools earned average annual salaries of $34,800 in 2015. Compensation varied, depending on geographic location and the level of education attained. Job prospects in coaching were believed to be more favorable for those with academic teaching certifications.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are a number of other jobs in coaching that you may be interested in, depending on your interest level in other sports. You could become coach for basketball, tennis, baseball, soccer, or a number of other activities. You may also be invested in coaching students at a younger age and helping them learn the fundamentals of the sport. You could also pursue a career as an athletic trainer, which involves working with athletes to meet their fitness goals and preventing injuries. All of these positions typically require a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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