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Swimming teacher Swimming coach

Swimming teachers help people develop swimming skills and techniques, and to exercise in water.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: Variable average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need a qualification awarded by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) or the Swimming Teachers' Association (STA). You’ll need to be aged 17 before you can take these qualifications.

You’ll also need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

You may be able to get funding to help with the cost of courses. 

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • swimming ability
  • perseverance and patience
  • organisational skills
  • the ability to encourage people and put them at ease

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • teaching or coaching one-to-one or in groups
  • planning and delivering sessions
  • demonstrating swimming techniques, correcting faults and identifying ways to improve performance
  • making sure safety standards are followed
  • checking life-saving equipment is in working order
  • organising and supervising assistants and helpers
  • offering basic first aid

You’ll also support your swimmers by attending events and competitions.

4. Salary

Most swimming teachers and coaches work part-time and are paid an hourly rate.

You’ll usually start on around £8.27 to £10 an hour. With experience you could earn up to £30 an hour.

As a swimming coordinator or supervisor in a full-time role, you’ll earn around £18,000 a year.

Not all coaches earn money from coaching, and many, including assistant coaches will work on a voluntary basis.

Many coaching positions are unpaid, but a head coach with a swim club can earn up to £30,000 a year.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work evenings and weekends, especially during competitions. If you’re coaching swimmers at a high level, you’ll usually work long hours.

You’ll often need to travel to competitions and may need to spend time away from home.

You’ll work in schools, health centres, private health clubs and swimming clubs.

6. Career path and progression

With experience you could become a swim co-ordinator or lead swimming teacher, checking the quality of swimming teachers.

With experience you could become the head coach of a sports club or senior coach with a regional or national team.

With experience and qualifications you may be able to move into sports development or youth work.

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Last updated: 13 December 2016