Strength and Conditionining Graduate Assistant

Are you passionate about exercise and sports performance? If so, you may be interested in becoming a strength and conditioning graduate assistant.

This job gives you the chance to get valuable experience in an industry that can be tough to break into without it.

But you can’t just pull up the NCAA job board and get hired for strength and conditioning jobs on the spot. You’re going to need a plan to make it happen.

That’s why we’ve put together this article. It covers everything you need to know about strength and conditioning graduate assistant programs and how to find graduate assistant jobs.

Let’s get started.

What is a strength and conditioning graduate assistant?

Strength and conditioning is a field that involves using what we know about exercise and the human body to improve performance. Many strength and conditioning programs focus on helping people improve their:

  • Speed
  • Strength
  • Endurance
  • Power
  • Patterns of movement
  • Durability

A graduate assistant who works in strength and conditioning helps design, teach, and execute strength and conditioning strategies for student-athletes at their university.

Before going any further, note that you typically need to be a graduate student in a program relevant to strength and conditioning to qualify for this position.

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Duties and responsibilities

The specific duties and responsibilities for someone in this role can vary amongst different strength and conditioning jobs. But the following are relatively common:

  • Use your understanding of strength and conditioning to design programs that help athletes improve their performance
  • Consult with the director of strength and performance to implement their strategies
  • Train with athletes
  • Assist with the monitoring and scheduling of team workouts
  • Help to create and implement rehabilitation plans for injured athletes
  • Help with some logistical aspects of workouts, like setting up and tearing down equipment

Do strength and conditioning graduate assistants get paid?

Strength and conditioning graduate assistants do get paid for their work. The average hourly wage for one is about $22, which comes out to a little over $46,000 per year if the employee works full-time. 

Benefits of becoming a graduate assistant

There are many good reasons to look for a job as a strength and conditioning graduate assistant. You can enjoy each of the following benefits by doing so:

  • Get practical experience in a field that you’re passionate about
  • Earn a living doing something that you love
  • Increase your chances of getting a job in this industry in the future
  • Form relationships with professionals and athletes who could help your career move forward in the future

In short, you can get a ton out of pursuing one of these positions – especially if you’d like to continue working in the field once you complete your grad school program.

But the question of what it takes to become a strength and conditioning graduate assistant still remains.

How to become a strength and conditioning graduate assistant

If you want to become a strength and conditioning graduate assistant, there are a few qualifications you’ll need to earn before you start looking for jobs. We’ll cover all of them in this section.

Education

One of the first things that an employer will look at when reviewing your application is what degree you have. They’re going to want to see that you studied a field relevant to strength and conditioning (like kinesiology) in undergrad.

If you’re still in undergrad and aren’t majoring in one of these programs, see if you can change. Or, if that’s no longer possible, you may be able to make up for the lack of relevant education with stellar qualifications in other areas.

Certification

Most strength and conditioning graduate assistant jobs will want to see that you have a certification in this field. To complete this requirement, you could earn the NSCA, CSCS, or the SCCC.

Some of these certifications aren’t as simple as passing an exam. For example, the SCCC requires a 9-month internship, and you need to complete your undergrad degree before you can earn the CSCS.

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Internships & experience

Internships and experience are where you can create an application that really stands out from the pack. Employers want to hire people who have proven that they can do the work. And the best way to show that is by having been successful in similar job opportunities in the past.

That being said, internships can be a bit difficult to find in this industry. So you may have to be proactive and create your own.

A good place to start is in your school’s weight room. You should be spending time there anyway since you’re going to need to be in good shape if you want to be taken seriously as a strength and conditioning graduate assistant.

In your school gym, volunteer to help coaches and existing strength and conditioning employees with anything. 

Don’t be afraid to start by wiping down machines. 

The first goal is proving yourself to be useful. After that, the relationship can grow into something more relevant to your eventual career goals.

Finding opportunities

The easiest way to get hired as a strength and conditioning graduate assistant is to apply for jobs at your college. But there may or may not be any available while you’re searching.

That’s why it’s essential to use other resources to find new opportunities. For example, you can use the NCAA job board and JobsInSports.com to find the best positions as soon as they’re available.

Applying

While applying, make sure that you put some thought into your resume and cover letter, which should be free of error and well-written. This is a professional position, and you need application materials that make you look like a professional to qualify.

Additionally, make sure that your email address sounds professional. People won’t take you seriously if you use a joke address you created in college.

Strength and conditioning graduate assistant job opportunities

If you want to find the best strength and conditioning graduate assistant positions in your area, you should check out JobsInSports.com.

We maintain the most up-to-date list of all of the top sports jobs in the U.S. You can use us as a resource to find the best strength and conditioning graduate assistant opportunities before everyone else does.

So why wait? Sign up today to access the most up-to-date graduate assistant job opportunities & internships and start applying.