Sports Management Majors: Salary and Career Facts

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue with a degree in sports management. Read on to learn more about career options along with education requirements and salary information. Schools offering Education - Sports Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Career Options for Sports Management Graduates?

Study related to sports management could lead to a variety of careers in the field of sports and athletics, either professional or amateur. Two possible career tracks for graduates in this field include sports agents and athletic coaches. Sport agents work on behalf of athletes, developing professional contacts, scheduling promotions, negotiating contract and collecting payments. Coaches assess the abilities of their players and uses that knowledge to develop game plans. They also plan training schedules and physical conditioning programs. The table below focuses these jobs' duties, growth potential and salary information.

Sports Agent Athletic Coach
Degree Required Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Licensing/Certification None Certifications required and provided by state high school athletic associations
Education Field of Study Business
Kinesiology
Physical education
Kinesiology
Sports medicine
Key Responsibilities Negotiate contracts; handle other business-related matters; maintain client and industry relationships Lead practice sessions; identify and recruit players; teach proper form and technique; establish conditioning regimens; teach sportsmanship
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 2% - 4% (for all agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes) 6% (for all coaches and scouts)
Median Salary (2015)* $62,940 (for all agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes) $31,000 (for all coaches and scouts)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Sports Management Degree Program is Right for Me?

Sports management degree programs are typically part of a college or university's business school or kinesiology department. Programs housed in a business school are essentially undergraduate business management degrees with a sports emphasis. Sports management majors that are part of a college's kinesiology program include more exercise science courses and fewer business management courses. In both types of programs, you'll take classes in sports administration, sports facility management and sports event marketing. You'll also take business courses in accounting, finance, management and legal aspects of the sports business.

If you're interested in a particular type of sport, you can find degree programs that allow you to focus your studies on a single sports industry, such as motorsports, golf or swimming. In other programs, you can focus on one aspect of sports management, such as sports law, sports event management or athletic administration. The type of program you choose depends on your career goals.

How Can I Use My Degree?

After completing a bachelor's degree program, you could begin your professional career in an entry-level position. These jobs can be found in sports and fitness organizations or collegiate sports programs; you could work as a health club administrator, a recreation program assistant or a sports event coordinator.

With experience, your bachelor's degree could help you become the manager or facilities director of a sports arena. Additional coursework in human resources and facility management may be required. Your career path could also lead to a management position with a collegiate or professional sports team. Responsibilities of a team manager may include negotiating contracts with players or assessing budgetary concerns.

Other sports management jobs include sports marketing for a team or league; you could also become a sports agent. If you prefer the exercise side of sports management, you could eventually find work as a coach or athletic director. These jobs can be found at high schools, colleges and universities.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), sports management is a competitive field (www.bls.gov). In an article on sports management programs, Bloomberg Businessweek notes that completing an internship while you're in college can help you gain experience and network with prospective employers, giving you an edge in the job market (www.businessweek.com).

How Much Could I Make?

Salaries for sports management majors are as varied as the potential careers. Some employees in this field, such as sports agents, take a percentage of a negotiated contract; your salary would be dependent upon the contract you get for your client.

According to the BLS, the median annual salary for agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes as of May 2015 was $62,940. During the same year, coaches and scouts earned a median salary of $31,000.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Depending on which career path you choose there are a number of related careers. Related to coaches and scouts, fitness trainers and athletic trainers work with clients to help them achieve or maintain a level of physical fitness. Physical fitness trainers may only need a high school diploma, however athletic trainers need a bachelor's degree in a related field, and have the extra responsibility of working with athletes to avoid and treat injuries. Related to sports agents advertising managers, promotions managers and public relation managers all work to improve or maintain a positive image of a brand, company or person. People in these careers usually have a bachelor's degree in a related field, but some get by with an associate's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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