track coaching in the USA

It might not be the right place to post this, but couldn’t find anything relating more to my question.

I’m currently coaching athletics and studying Sport Science in the UK, but the problem is, the clubs in here are ran by volunteers - coaches, organizers, referees, everything.

So I’m trying to relocate to USA and get a job as an (assistant) track coach, either high school or middle school.
What kind of qualifications/degrees/awards one needs to apply for such a job?

Any help would be appreciated.

Honestly, virtually no requirements as far as coaching. In some school districts, you are required to teach at the school or at least within the district. In other regions, typically more rural areas, one might not need anything more than the willingness to coach-provided they pass a background check, of course-in some areas this might not even happen.

Many schools have difficulty finding someone to coach some sports and new teachers, in some instances, are required to coach, for example, the first 2-3 years of their contract. From what I’ve heard, such a practice is actually becoming more infrequent.

Thanks a lot Pioneer

So, a degree in Sport Science, some British system qualifications, and some experience would do for a high school coaching position?

By background check you mean a criminal record right?

Also note that I’m looking for something paid, not a voluntary job.

Double post sorry

Yes, you would be over-qualified. Note that in order to make a living coaching middle school or high school track and field you’ll need to teach or at least find a job that you can work as your primary source of income. Middle and high school coaches receive coaching supplements, not salaries. This is true in all of the examples I’m aware of though such jobs may exist. (?)

Coaching supplements can vary widely from very poor to decent money (a percentage of a teacher’s salary-5%-10%- as an example) but it hardly constitutes a salary. Coaching high school American football, on the other hand, in some states can be very well paid to just coach (and possibly not teach at that or any other school) but in track and field that is not likely to happen.

By background check, yes I’m referring to seeing if you have a criminal record.

Ok, thanks, that explains it then.

Could you please be more specific regarding the coaching supplements? Roughly how much would one get paid for a year?

Sorry double post

Hard to be specific. It varys very widely. In my last year of HS coaching (my 12th) I only made about $800 for a season as an assistant for outdoor track(about 3.5 months) and about $1100 (about 3 months) as the head coach for indoor track. Note that these are pre-tax numbers I’m providing so my take home pay from these supplements was obviously lower.

Important to point out, I believe, that my supplement was on the low end-most are paid better than that but the upper end is not that great either. I’m sure some other HS coaches could weigh in on their particular situations. Sorry I can’t be more specific than that but there are differences.

I know of one coach/teacher in Ohio (I offer only as another example) who made about 50k with a masters degree and about 15 years teaching experience who’s supplement was about 10% of his salary.

My main point is don’t expect to make a living off of coaching alone at that level. Most coaches are also teachers. I worked a separate job in addition to coaching-i.e. I did not teach, other than occasional substitute teaching.

Some coaches supplement their income further via private coaching and/or conducting camps/clinics (at any point during the year but primarily during the summer).

Ok, thanks a lot, that was very helpful.

For a teacher, I think you mean being a PE teacher right?

If so, what sort of qualifications are needed for that?

Thanks again

Double post again, apparently something wrong with the submit button

One more question: any ideas about where such jobs would be advertised for somebody located overseas? Im mostly talking about internet websites.


Any kind of teacher. Many coaches are from PE but not all-some history, some English, various science related and so on.

You would need a Bachelor’s degree and a teacher’s certification. How you go about getting the cert. to teach you’d have to research a bit about the details since my degree was not oriented towards teaching.

With regards to how to find such jobs, you’d probably have to contact specific school districts about potential openings. Again, I don’t really know as I did not go that route. There are some high school coaches who possibly teach on this site so your question would be better answered, potentially, by them.