Which Sports Psychology Degrees and Schools Fetch You High-Paying Jobs?

A sports psychology degree validates and corroborates a professional’s understanding of how mental processes and athletics connect. This credential is critical for individuals who aim to become coaches or work with athletes. Does such a prospect interest you? If yes, we have got you covered. Let us look at the popular sports psychology degrees, careers, and schools that can pave the way to a glittering career!

Various strategies for success can help you advance your sports management career. But before you delve into them, it is important to understand the highest-paying careers in sports psychology and the educational credentials you need to be eligible for them.

Sports Psychologists

Sports psychologists are mental health professionals who employ psychological techniques to help enhance the performance of athletes. They aid them in focusing on their performance and dealing with the crippling pressure of competition.

Salary Range

Low Range: $49,000 per year

High Range: $101,000 per year

Median Pay: $76,927 per year

Source: Payscale

Degrees Required

Becoming a sports psychologist requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in psychology. But that is not the limit: most sports psychologists have a master’s degree or doctorate in their specialized field. Holding considerable experience working with athletes is also essential to land a high-paying job in the field.

Wellness Director

Wellness directors chalk out and implement fitness programs at an organization or workplace. Their primary responsibility is to decrease the risk of chronic disease development in employees and help them get healthier.

Salary Range

Low Range: $52,000 per year

High Range: $131,000 per year

Median Pay: $81,878 per year

Source: Glassdoor

Degrees Required

The position of wellness director requires a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, nutrition, or exercise science. Although most students in this field have health and fitness degrees, they can also opt for a bachelor’s degree in wellness management.

Physical Therapist

Physical therapists help patients recover from illnesses and injuries affecting their joints, muscles, and bones. They usually aid people with hampered mobility due to surgeries or accidents, along with those suffering from these impairments due to cancer or stroke.

Salary Range

Low Range: $81,946 per year

High Range: $112,294 per year

Median Pay: $97,201 per year

Source: Salary.com

Degrees Required

Physical therapists require a graduate degree in physical therapy to attain licensure in their state of work. They must also hold practical expertise, such as being well-versed in exercises, electrotherapy, and joint manipulations.

Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists help individuals with disabilities, or those who sustain life-altering injuries become as independent as possible. For this, they help them practice daily activities such as cooking and getting dressed.

Salary Range

Low Range: $60,000 per year

High Range: $155,000 per year

Median Pay: $95,816 per year

Source: Glassdoor

Degrees Required

Occupational therapists require a master’s degree in occupational therapy to be eligible for work. But that is not all: they must also pass a national certification exam and earn state licensure for a high-paying position.

Performance Psychologist

Performance psychologists are tasked with diagnosing and treating sports athletes for their mental wellness, behavioral issues, developmental disorder, and their impact on their academic performance or career growth. They may choose to work at a clinic, school, or at a hospital as a counseling psychologist.

Salary Range

Low Range: $85,000 per year

High Range: $99,000 per year

Median Pay: $89,076 per year

Source: Glassdoor

Degrees Required

Performance psychologists require a high level of education like a Master’s or PhD performance psychology degree as well as sports management degree to be able to understand the nature of those who work with athletes and their work environment.

Other Popular Professions in this Field

  • Sports psychology professor
  • Clinical sports psychologist
  • Sports psychiatrist
  • Fitness and performance training for the military

Which Schools Can Fetch You High-Paying Jobs In Sports Psychology?

Let us look at the popular schools that can aid your search for a well-paying sports psychology job.

Popular Undergraduate Degree Schools And Programs for Sports Psychology


TAMU-Kingsville’s Department of Health & Kinesiology offers sports psychology as an optional degree path. Aspirants can undertake a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology, with concentration areas focusing on Sport Psychology, Sports Business, Physical Education, and Exercise Science. But this degree program requires a minor in psychology.

Students who take up this program can pursue a career in human services, coaching or undertake graduate work in rehab therapy and sports psychology. TAMU-Kingsville also has a state-of-the-art Human Performance Lab equipped with top-notch equipment and resources for athlete support and research.

California State University – Long Beach

The California State University – Long Beach offers a Kinesiology Bachelor’s degree in Sports Psychology and Leadership, with concentration options in the two domains. The program boasts high academic standards and thus requires many prerequisite courses. But its Department of Kinesiology is well-equipped and even offers department-specific resources and scholarships for aspirants of sports psychology.

Popular Master’s Degree Schools For Sports Psychology

University of Denver

The University of Denver offers a Master of Arts in Sports and Performance Psychology (MASPP), focusing on developing professional and academic skills in mental health, athletics, performing arts, and fitness. Students are required to complete 72 credits, along with a specialized culminating capstone project.

It also offers practical training through coaching placements and consulting. Interested students can also enroll themselves in the school’s online masters program in Sports Coaching and Strength and Conditioning Fitness Coaching.

Springfield College

Springfield College offers a Master of Science (MS) and a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Sport and Exercise Psychology. The MS program offers a thesis option and focuses primarily on research, making it a suitable option for those interested in pursuing a doctoral study.

The M.Ed., in contrast, is a non-thesis track with a primary focus on applied work and connections with collegiate and high school sports programs. Springfield College also offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Sport and Exercise Psychology.

Pennsylvania Western, California

Pennsylvania Western, California, offers an online Master of Science (MS) in Exercise Science and Health Promotion with a concentration in Sport Psychology. The program equips students with the ability to identify and aid others in recovering or rehabilitating injuries sustained because of fitness and sports.

It also offers flexible scheduling options for working students and one-on-one mentoring with faculty mentors. This 36-credit-hour program requires 12 months of full-time study or 17 months of part-time study.

Students have various optional focus areas, including Rehabilitation Science, Applied Sport Science, Wellness and Fitness, Nutrition, Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention, Group Fitness Leadership, and Wellness Coaching.

Admission requirements include a minimum of 2.5 undergraduate GPA, but aspirants with a low GPA can attain conditional admission if they satisfy additional requirements.

Popular Doctoral Schools For Sports Psychology

Oregon State University

Oregon State University offers a Ph.D. in Kinesiology with a concentration in Psychosocial Kinesiology or Biophysical Kinesiology. The Psychosocial track focuses on the sociology of sport and motor development, whereas the Biophysical track emphasizes exercise psychology and biomechanics.

Nonetheless, both concentrations lay emphasis on the social psychology of physical activity and research in respective domains. The institute also offers an Adapted Physical Activity option as a voluntary add-on to its graduate program.

Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 to apply for this program, along with a personal statement and letters of recommendation for admission.

University of North Texas

The University of North Texas offers a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with an elective cluster in Sports Psychology. Students undertaking this program can benefit from the diverse counseling psychology education it offers and develop specialized skills for working with sports teams, athletes, and coaches.

It also prepares them for certification as a sport consultant and for licensure as a psychologist. Students must complete a practicum to graduate.

The length of the program varies depending on prior education. It is six years long for bachelor’s degree holders and five years for master’s degree holders. Admission requirements include GRE scores, GPA, and a statement of career goals.

Summing Up

Take healthcare and make it interesting, and you have sports psychology! Getting a sports psychology degree from an accredited institution can help you land a high-paying job in the field, no matter which area you choose to specialize in. So make sure you do your homework and choose a degree and school that aligns with your career and professional goals!

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