Sports Agent: Career and Salary Facts

Explore the career requirements for sports agents. Get the facts about job duties, education requirements, certification, and salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Education - Sports Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Sports Agent?

Sports agents handle business affairs, such as contracts and negotiations, for their athlete clients. Sports agents must always be on the lookout for new and upcoming talent in various sports. They typically need to build relationships with the athletes they want to represent in order to get them signed and then keep them as clients. Once an athlete is a client, the agent must work in the best interest of their client to negotiate contracts and salaries. These professionals need to know the salaries and conditions of other athletes in similar positions to negotiate the best deal possible. The table below outlines the general requirements for a career as a sports agent.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Business or sports management
Key Skills Critical thinking, customer service, organizational, sales and marketing
Certification Optional certifications available
Job Growth (2014-2024) 3%(for all agents and business managers)*
Median Salary (2017) $60,349 **

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com.

What Are the Job Duties of a Sports Agent?

You would arrange meetings, handle contract negotiations, field offers of employment or endorsement, offer financial advice and handle financial transactions. As a sports agent, you would be the one that gets the deals done and gets both sides to sign on the dotted line. You may be called upon to travel frequently, attend certain functions and solicit offers and endorsement deals.

What Education Do I Need?

Although there is no specific educational path to becoming a sport agent, you could begin by earning a bachelor's degree in business or sport management. Graduate degree programs, such as a Master of Science in Sport Management and Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Sport Management, are also available. Bachelor's degree programs typically take four years to complete, while master's degree programs typically take 2-3 years to complete.

A degree in law is another possible educational path, especially because sports agents deal with legal contracts and financial transactions. Certificate programs in sports law are available to law students who have completed an established number of law courses. Topics that may be covered in a certificate program include sports organizations, athlete representation, society and sports, labor laws and trademark laws.

How Do I Break Into The Business?

Networking and word of mouth can go a long way and unearth potential job opportunities. Sports agents are often either self-employed or part of a sports management firm. Consider an internship position while you are still in college; this could help you establish important contacts in the industry. You could also volunteer to work for a professional sports organization. Once you graduate, you might consider and entry-level position with a sports management firm to get your foot in the door.

What Certifications Can I Earn?

There are a numbers of sports organizations that offer certification programs for sports agents, including the Major league Baseball Players' Association, National Football League Players' Association and National Basketball Players' Association. Most organizations will require you to pay substantial membership fees and have a combination of education and experience. If you earn a law degree, you could join the Sports Lawyers Association, through which you could improve your job marketability by taking continuing education courses.

What Can I Expect To Earn?

The median salary for sports agents in January 2017 was $60,349, according to PayScale.com. Salary, however, can also be determined by other factors, such as commissions and bonuses, which are common in the sports industry. In 2017, PayScale.com reported that sports agents typically received bonuses around $10,000.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Some related careers that require a bachelor's degree include buyers and purchasing agents, cost estimators, and top executives. Buyers and purchasing agents must also negotiate contracts and deal with different suppliers as they acquire products and services for their organization to sell. Cost estimators analyze and predict the different variables that go into creating a product or providing a service, such as the time, cost, materials and more. Top executives oversee the daily operations of an organization and aim to apply policies and strategies to make it more successful.

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