Psychologist - Sport and Exercise

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Sport psychologists help athletes with the psychological aspects of sport. They build up confidence and motivation and help athletes to reach their potential. They also help referees and other professionals with the stress and demand of their roles.

Exercise psychologists work with the general public by encouraging them to lead healthier and active lives through sport.

Most psychologists would work in either sport or exercise, but some psychologists work across both areas.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

Starting salaries for sport and exercise psychologists range from around £20,000 to £22,000 a year. With experience this could rise to between £25,000 and £30,000 a year. Senior sport and exercise psychologists could earn much more than this.

Self-employed sport and exercise psychologists working as consultants with top athletes could charge anything up to £1,000 a day for their services.


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

Sport and exercise psychologists work in a range of settings and have a diverse range of clients including athletes, coaches, referees and the public. You could work as a consultant with professional bodies such as the British Olympic Association (TeamGB), national governing bodies of sport and commercial sports performance centres. You could also be working with groups of employees in workplaces, with patients referred by GPs or teaching in a college or university.

What Does it Take?

You need to be:

You need to have:


Getting On


Courtesy of Ross Cunningham


The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES)
Tel: 0113 8126162
Twitter: @basesuk

British Psychological Society
Tel: 0116 254 9568
Website (2):
Twitter: @BPSOfficial

NHS Scotland Careers
Website (2):
Twitter: @NHSScotCareers

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