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A guide to sport massage qualifications

A sports massage qualification will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to become a sports massage therapist.

What is a Sports Massage Qualification?

Sports massage is a form of physical therapy which involves manipulating soft tissues of the body to encourage recovery and limit the risk of further injury. A sports massage qualification will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to become a sports massage therapist. Dependent on the route you want to take there are numerous different sports massage qualifications available which vary from 7-8 months of studying to 3 years.

When studying a sports massage qualification such as a Level 3 you will learn about Anatomy and Physiology, principles of health and fitness, professional practice, understanding of soft tissue dysfunction and sports massage treatments. This level of education will provide you with specialist skills to work in the sports massage industry. This sports massage qualification includes both practical and online learning elements, the practical experience is important to have before starting to work, it allows you to test and apply your knowledge before kick-starting a sports massage career. 

sports massage on legs

What are the different types of Sports Massage Qualifications?

As previously mentioned there are different types of sports massage qualifications or diplomas you can choose to study depending on whether you are looking to take the academic route or to study outside degree level. Degree-level sports massage courses will often include more in-depth knowledge in rehabilitation and incorporate this into other sports science-based subjects like physiology, biomechanics and research methods. Typically when studying for a degree you will be looking at anywhere between 3-4 years, these will usually take more time than a training provider course where it is a degree. If you chose to study a degree level sports massage qualification, it will be more tailored to those wanting to work in clinics or professional sports.

A Sports massage qualification or diploma will range from Level 3-5 in training and qualifying, the most common and widely recognized is a Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy outside a degree. The Level 3 Sports Massage Course is an entry-level course ideal for anybody who is looking to become a Sports Massage Therapist. The course content includes all the required elements needed to work as a proficient and effective sports massage therapist. This is a full package diploma that provides you with the knowledge to plan, deliver and evaluate sports massage techniques and treatments for the general public and athletes. 

There are also advanced courses such as a Level 4 certificate in sports massage, which is considered a progression stage from the Level 3 Diploma. Often people will continue their studies at this level if they are looking for a broader or deeper knowledge in Sports Massage. To understand more on different Sports Massage Qualifications explore our handy guide on Sports Massage Levels.

What skills do I need to complete a Sports Massage Qualification?

Depending on what sports massage qualification you are looking to do, entry requirements or skills set may vary. For example, if you are looking to study a degree-level qualification in sports massage, you are likely to need GCSE’s, A levels or Btechs to meet the university entry levels. In terms of skills, everything you need to know to become a sports massage therapist should be taught to you over the 3 year period of your degree, if you lack knowledge in this field this isn’t something that should put you off applying. 

On the other hand, a course such as the Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage is an entry-level course which can either be completed with no prerequisites or can be studied on top of a personal training qualification to gain Cimspa points. Often personal trainers will qualify at a Level 3 Personal Trainer course and later on they want to learn more and start to research sports massage therapy courses, this can be a good way to increase earning potential. Students that choose to study a course receive continuous support and numerous resources to help guide them through their diploma successfully. 

Nutrition coach completing online learning on Ipad

What opportunities are there from a sports massage qualification?

Sports massage is no longer limited to therapy available to professional athletes on sports teams who suffer from sports injuries, it goes beyond this into the fitness industry. The opportunities are dependent on the sector you go into with your sports massage qualification. This includes sporting events, physiotherapy clinics, sports clubs, exercise & fitness clubs or self-employed.

With the specialist units and training, you will be able to offer a wider spectrum of services to your existing PT client base or supply bespoke sports massage therapy. Either can be offered as an employed or self-employed sports massage therapist. In addition to this, you will be able to obtain the relevant insurance and apply for membership to organisations such as the Sports Therapy Association.

How much can you earn after a sports massage qualification?

The salary you can earn as a sports massage coach can vary depending on the route taken once completing your qualification. According to payscale sports, massage therapists can earn anywhere between £19,000 to £34,000. Many external factors such as location, level of qualification, hours they work and the number of clients they have will all directly impact the salary sports coaches earn. 

It is important to be aware to improve your earnings as a sports massage coach you will need to build on your experience and client base to increase your overall salary, it takes time to build up to the high salary point.

Sports massage improving leg circulation

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