How to Become a

Football Coach

The complete career guide to be a Football Coach: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $40,050
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 5.9%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Fast Paced Career
    Career Attribute

Football coaches train individual football players and teams to become more skilled. They teach players and teams effective techniques, new and original plays, and teamwork skills that enable teams to win games and championships. They work with teams during practice and games to improve success rates.

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What is a Football Coach?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in football coach roles:

  • Train football teams to be successful on the field and in games
  • Educate players on techniques and plays that will enable them to improve their skills and abilities as players
  • Establish practice schedules and create routines for practice
  • Determine rosters for games, including starting players and substitutions
  • Call plays during games and provide guidance to players during breaks and time-outs

A Day in the Life

Football coaches are specialists in the sport of football. They work with football teams to train individual players and overall teams how to succeed, improve their talents, and win games. This may include a variety of responsibilities. They oversee quarterbacks, kickers, punters, linemen, and other roles and are responsible for teaching each player how to improve his skills. Additionally, they work with the team as a whole and teach players how to work together effectively to win games through teamwork.

Football coaches work at many different levels. They may work for school-aged teams, coaching elementary, middle, or high school teams, or they may coach for colleges or professional sports organizations. They set the practice schedule for teams, conduct practice sessions, and oversee games. During games, the coach provides education, guidance, and motivation to players, calling plays, telling players about things they may not have noticed on the field, and encouraging teamwork and optimism.

Football coaches usually work alongside a scout who finds players for college and professional teams, though the coach may have a role in this process as well. Often the coach will have a better understanding than anyone else what the team needs, and which football players have the skills required to work well with the team and improve it. This makes the coach important to the scouter who may only be looking for the best football players—not the best players for the overall team.

Typical Work Schedule

Football coaches are generally required to work evenings and weekends, as this is when most games occur. At the college or professional level, overtime is common during the football season, though the coach may be able to work fewer hours off-season. At the elementary, middle, or high school level, football coaches often work part-time and have other full-time jobs to earn incomes.

Football Coach Specializations

Football coach specializations may depend on the age-level of teams coached. They may coach elementary, middle, or high school football teams, or they may coach college or professional teams. At the college or professional level, football coaches may have a specialization. They may work as assistant coaches and focus on coaching specific types of players, such as kickers or linebackers, or they may work as head coaches and oversee the overall team, it coaches, and its players.

Career Progression

  • Early Career: Athlete, Assistant Coach
  • Mid-Career: Football Coach, Sports Scout
  • Late Career: Athletic Director, Head Coach

Typical Employers

Football coaches are commonly hired by both public and private schools at the elementary, middle, high school, and college levels. Additionally, proficient football coaches may be hired to work for professional sports organizations.

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How To Become a Football Coach

Pre-collegiate football coaches (for elementary, middle, or high school aged teams) may not need to have completed a college education in order to qualify for open coaching positions. Often—depending on the visibility of the program—these positions are volunteer-based and filled by parents, community members, or teachers. Some positions are unpaid, and others may come with a small stipend. However, most of these roles are filled as a second job in addition to a full-time role elsewhere.

To serve as a football coach at the college or professional level, a bachelor’s degree is usually required. Aspiring coaches can get a degree in any field. Some study related disciplines like sports administration or sports science, and other study unrelated disciplines like business, finance, or accounting. Because high-paying coaching roles are very competitive, many aspiring coaches study in other disciplines to ensure they can find work if coaching does not pan out for them.

The most important quality of a football coach is ability. Coaches must know football inside and out—the rules, tactics, best practices, etc. Additionally, they must be proficient at guiding athletes to become better players—both individually and as a team. Watching a lot of football games can help with this by analyzing different playing and coaching styles, and a history as a football player is also useful in preparing for the role. Many coaches are former football players from the college or professional level.

Football Coach Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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How do Football Coach salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Football Coach's can make an average annual salary of $40,050, or --- per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $20,140 or --- per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #530 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Football Coachs

  • 2.2%   Doctorate
  • 14.2%   Masters
  • 42.7%   Bachelors
  • 7.9%   Associates
  • 21.5%   College
  • 9.8%   High School
  • 1.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Football Coach job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 14,800 jobs for a total of 265,400 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 5.9% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #379 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Football Coachs

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Other schools and instruction; private 44,400 7,700 8%
Elementary and secondary schools; local 43,900 -2,000 -2%
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; private 31,000 2,400 2%

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