Sports development officer

Sport and leisure

Career outlook for sports development officer

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would organise sports based projects and training to encourage people to take part in sport and to have a healthier lifestyle. Your aim would be to make it easier for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy sport.

You could:

  • Work with communities to find the demand for new activities
  • Improve access to sport for young people, people with disabilities and people from disadvantaged communities
  • Support initiatives to reduce crime and rehabilitate offenders

On a day-to-day basis, you would:

  • Find and train staff, coaches and volunteers
  • Organise, promote and run projects and activities
  • Check on the progress of projects
  • Find funding and make sure it is used well
  • Put local and national policies into practice
  • Go to meetings, seminars and conferences
  • Manage resources and budgets

You could work for a National Governing Body (NGB), for a particular school or for a local authority. 

You may have the chance to coach and supervise the sport for which you are qualified. You could concentrate on promoting this specific sport, or promote sport in general. 

Working conditions


If you have a full time role, you can expect to work 35 to 40 hours a week. You will need to be flexible with your hours as you may need to work some evenings and weekends.


You would have an office base, but you would also visit community groups, schools, events and sports venues.


Most sports development officers have access to their own transport as travel is usually a requirement of the role.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Positive attitude
  • Verbal communication
  • Creative
  • Developing a plan
  • Managing resources
  • Taking initiative
  • Time management
  • Coaching
  • Motivating others
  • Taking responsibility

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


There are no set qualifications for this role. Many sports development officers have an HNC/HND (SCQF Level 7/8) or a degree (SCQF Level 9/10) in a sport-related subject like: 

  • Sport development
  • Sports coaching
  • Sports science 

A degree isn't essential. You could get this job through work-based qualifications such as an SVQ in Activity Leadership (Level 2). You'd need coaching experience and specialist skills in a particular sport. 

You could also get into this job through a Modern Apprenticeship in Active Leisure, Learning and Wellbeing (SCQF Level 7).

To enter a sports degree (SCQF level 9/10) usually requires National 5 qualifications and at least three Highers.

You can enter Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or equivalent qualifications. 

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Physical education
  • Science subjects, in particular biology

You will also need

To be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland.

You may need to pass a fitness test for entry to some courses and jobs.

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show fitness and sporting skills such as Sports Leaders UK Award or Skills for Work Sports & Recreation (SCQF level 4/5).