I’m a qualified sports therapist. I decided to retrain as a Physiotherapist due to lack of work options once qualified as an ST. Please remember this is just my opinion based on my experience. It’s not a positive one.
Sports therapist’s aren’t regulated by a governing body in the way Physiotherapists are. Please research into sports rehab/sports science/sports therapy to understand this.
My work is mainly at a sports club during their season doing a clinic 1-2 times a week and a game day pitchside on Saturdays. If it’s an away game, it could be a 10-12 hour day which you only get paid for 3 hours.
Other work has been working in a clinic offering sports massage and resistance band rehab. This is all ok if you live at home with parents but if you’re renting your own or paying mortgage then it’s a massive struggle.
My advice for anyone thinking about ST, SR or SS is to not do it. Harsh, I know, but there is absolutely no guarantee of regular money coming in.
Further advice is to train as a Physiotherapist BSc. They are regulated by a governing body (HCPC). There are so many more options for areas to work in and gain experience, promotion and earn more. Guaranteed monthly wage once qualified.
Further advice is at the end of the Physiotherapy 1st year, do a sports massage course. They condense them now into 3-5 day courses. This gives you a level 3 qualification. At the beginning of your 2nd year you could apply to a local sports club to offer your time to work in their clinics eg local amateur rugby club. This will be for one or two evenings a week usually eg 7pm-9pm
They’ll love having a student physio there. You’ll learn about MSK injuries by the bucketload and get experience shadowing pitchside. You’ll get to massage players and learn how to develop relationships with players which is really important for any type of therapist.
Nothing gives you the MSK knowledge around injuries like a impact sport like rugby. The injury/rehab knowledge is so valuable. There are also plenty of online learning resources to access so you can build your understanding of health conditions.
Physios Matters podcast and learning symposiums are outstanding. Also, ‘Clinical Edge’ podcasts.
Once you’ve qualified as a Physiotherapist you can apply for work with a local sports club to further your knowledge and gain some regular income but it’s only seasonal and a few hours a week.
While I totally understand you might not want to work in a hospital this is more about what you can do with the qualification. You can work abroad as a Physiotherapist. You can’t with the others albeit for maybe a couple of places as far as I know.
You don’t get the career opportunities to improve in position/finance and experience imo as an SS, ST or SR.
The amount of people I’ve heard who qualified as ST, SS or SR but then retrained as physios is ridiculous. All because of lack of employment opportunities. These ‘Sports’ are sold really well. The very tiny majority get to work in a club at a higher level.
If your heart is set on a Sports related degree then I wish you all the best and I hope it gives you everything you hope for. You can of course do an MSc after qualifying.