Athletes, Coaches, Sport Officials, and Referees

(NOC 5251, 5252, 5253)

in All NS Occupations

People in these jobs administer, supervise, and participate in recreation programs and sports. Athletes participate in competitive sports events on an amateur or professional basis; or in games such as poker or chess. Athletes are employed by professional team organizations or they may be self-employed. Coaches prepare and train individual athletes or teams for competitive events. They are employed by national and provincial sports organizations, professional and amateur sports teams, sports clubs and universities or they may be self-employed. Sports officials and referees observe and enforce rules and regulations governing sporting events, athletic games and sports competitions. They are employed by national, provincial and local sporting commissions, organizations and leagues.

Job Outlook

Limited

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 40 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All NS Occupations

  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 33315 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “limited”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is below average when compared with other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent and jobseekers may face competition. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment (yet overall job prospects are still considered limited). With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Athletes, Coaches, Sport Officials, and Referees may either be working full-time or part-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically temporary positions (such as a term, contract, or casual work).

The median employment income for 36% of Athletes, Coaches, Sport Officials, and Referees who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $38,075. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$11.00

Minimum

$12.50

Median

$25.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$1,044

Minimum

$16,068

Median

$77,210

Maximum

Compared to: All NS Occupations

Hourly Pay

$11.00

Minimum

$19.89

Median

$40.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,872

Minimum

$29,983

Median

$83,126

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

People in these jobs administer, supervise, and participate in recreation programs and sports. Athletes participate in competitive sports events on an amateur or professional basis; or in games such as poker or chess. Athletes are employed by professional team organizations or they may be self-employed.

Coaches prepare and train individual athletes or teams for competitive events. They are employed by national and provincial sports organizations, professional and amateur sports teams, sports clubs and universities or they may be self-employed. Sports officials and referees observe and enforce rules and regulations governing sporting events, athletic games and sports competitions. They are employed by national, provincial and local sporting commissions, organizations and leagues.

Job duties

Athletes perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Train under the direction of a coach or trainer to qualify for competition.
  • Attend scheduled practice and training sessions.
  • Participate in local, regional, provincial, national or international competitions and sporting events.
  • Assess performance after an event to identify strengths and weaknesses.

Coaches perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Identify strengths and weaknesses of athletes or teams.
  • Plan, develop and implement training and practice sessions.
  • Nurture and develop athletes' potential skills and abilities.
  • Develop, plan and coordinate competitive schedules and programs.
  • Motivate and prepare athletes or teams for competitive events or games.
  • Formulate competitive strategies, develop game plans and direct athletes and players during games or athletic events.
  • Analyze and evaluate athletes' or teams' performances and modify training programs.

Sports officials and referees perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Officiate at sporting events or athletic competitions to maintain standards of play and to ensure that game rules and safety regulations are observed.
  • Record lapsed time and keep scores during events or competitions.
  • Judge the performance of competitors, award points, impose penalties for infractions and determine results.
  • Compile scores and other athletic records.
  • Establish and maintain rapport with coaches, players and organizing committees.
  • Verify credentials of athletes or animals engaged in sports or related special events, and respond to written protests.

Sample job titles

  • athlete
  • athletics judge
  • coach
  • gamer - video games
  • referee
  • scoreboard operator
  • scorekeeper
  • sports official
  • sports scout
  • umpire

Skills

To work in this field, you should be determined, patient, and self-confident. You must be able to organize and plan activities as well as motivate and encourage others to perform at their best. Leadership and decision-making skills may be needed in coaching and training. Both verbal and written communication skills are essential for teaching and instructing. Good physical stamina and an interest in sports and physical fitness are also advised. Athletes are required to have a demonstrated ability in a particular sport and must train extensively under a coach. Coaches may be required to have a degree in physical education and must have technical knowledge of the sport. Completion of the National Coaching Certificate program is usually required. Sports officials require certification and registration with a sport governing body or commission. Referees require completion of an officiating program offered by a sport governing body.

Job requirements

  • A background combining athletic training and college or university studies is strongly recommended.
  • Demonstrated ability in a particular sport is required.
  • Experience in and technical knowledge of the sport is required.
  • Extensive training under the supervision of a coach is required.
  • Certification with a particular sports federation may be required.
  • Completion of the National Coaching Certificate program is usually required for individual and team sports coaches in all sports.
  • National Coaching Certificate Level 3 is usually required for provincial coaches.
  • National Coaching Certificate Level 4 is usually required for coaches of national team athletes.
  • A degree in physical education may be required for coaches.
  • Sports officials require certification by and registration with a sport governing body or commission.
  • Sports referees require completion of an officiating program offered by a sport governing body.

Other considerations

Depending on the job, workers may work only part of the year and be unemployed in the fall and winter.

By the numbers

Quick look

390

employed in 2016

51.9%

employed full-time

11.5%

self employed

28.5%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
71.5%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
N/A

median age

Compared to: All NS Occupations

427,305

employed in 2016

78.0%

employed full-time

10.0%

self employed

49.2%
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50.8%
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38.2

median age

Where will I likely work?

66.2%

Halifax

15.9%

Northern

8.6%

Annapolis Valley

6.6%

Cape Breton

2.6%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

42.0%

Information, Culture & Recreation

39.5%

Educational Services

8.6%

Other Services

2.5%

Agriculture

2.5%

Construction

What is the age of Employment?

51.7%

15-24

17.2%

25-34

10.3%

35-44

6.9%

45-54

6.9%

55-64

3.4%

65+

Compared to: All NS Occupations

43.8%

35-44

35.4%

45-54

12.5%

25-34

8.3%

55-64

4.2%

65+

Top levels of education

37.3%

Bachelor's degree

$22,002 median annual income
28.5%

High school

N/A
12.0%

Doctorate

N/A
9.5%

Less than high school

N/A
7.6%

College certificate or diploma

N/A

Compared to: All NS Occupations

27.5%

Bachelor's degree

$19,705 median annual income
26.2%

High school

$7,127 median annual income
20.3%

College certificate or diploma

$20,158 median annual income
10.2%

Less than high school

$2,298 median annual income
8.0%

Master's degree

N/A

Education & training

Kinesiology and exercise science

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any scientific program that focuses on the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and biophysics of human movement, and applications to exercise and therapeutic rehabilitation. These programs include courses in biomechanics, motor behaviour, motor development and coordination, motor neurophysiology, performance research, rehabilitative therapies, the development of diagnostic and rehabilitative methods and equipment, and related analytical methods and procedures in applied exercise and therapeutic rehabilitation.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Department of Health and Wellness - Active Living
PO Box 488
Halifax, NS B3J 2R8
Tel: (902) 424-4807
Sport Nova Scotia
5516 Spring Garden Road, 4th Floor
Halifax, NS B3J 1G6
Tel: (902) 425-5450
Fax: (902) 425-5606
Coaching Association of Canada
1155 Lola Street, Suite 201
Ottawa, ON K1K 4C1
Tel: (613) 235-5000
Fax: (613) 235-9500

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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