Accredited Sports Scientists to secure pay day with new ESSA salary guide

20 September 2021

Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) has launched a salary guide for Accredited Sports Scientists today, to future-proof the vital work that the profession has been recently conducting to bring home gold for Australia and in the lead-up to the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games.

“Accredited Sports Scientists are highly qualified and experienced professionals with the vast majority holding post-graduate credentials, dedicating years supporting athletes, teams and coaches to enhance the nation’s sporting performance,” said ESSA Chief Executive Officer, Anita Hobson-Powell.

“Similar to Australia’s elite athletes, the nation’s sports science industry is highly competitive. The current scenario with COVID-19 has added a layer of complexity with funding cuts leading to downward pressure on salaries and tightly-held workforce opportunities.”

The terms and conditions of employment for Accredited Sports Scientists have varied wildly over the past decade from half a million-dollar contracts offered in pro sport, to industry expectations for sports scientists to work for free in other sports. For qualified professionals, the latter is clearly against the rules set out by the Fair Work Commission.

The purpose of the guide is to provide suggested wage grades with associated salary ranges for Accredited Sports Scientists based on the complexity and seniority of a role. The information has been drawn from a range of sources including people working in the sport sector and organisations currently employing Accredited Sports Scientists.

"It is rare to find a professional group without specific award coverage and ESSA aims for the salary guide to be used across a variety of settings to assist employers in providing fair and reasonable remuneration for sports science employees and contractors,” added Ms Hobson-Powell.

To compound the issue, there is no Industrial Award that covers Accredited Sports Scientists and employers are left to work out which award is the best fit. Many turn to the Sporting Organisations Award 2020, Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2020 or the Fitness Industry Award 2020. Some sports scientists are employed under the Miscellaneous Award. Yet none of these adequately meet the terms and conditions practical for the employment of Accredited Sports Scientists.

“While ESSA explores the development of an award that is fit for purpose, we will promote the salary guide to better support the industry and ensure the profession who has helped Australia’s recent Olympic teams achieve the nation’s best Olympic outcomes since 2004 is acknowledged, valued and fairly remunerated.”

To obtain a copy of the Accredited Sports Scientist Salary Guide visit the ESSA website here.

For further information regarding pay salary advocacy for Accredited Sports Scientists, please contact Judy Powell, ESSA Policy and Advocacy Advisor on [email protected].

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