What Are Some Sports Management Careers?

If you are a sports fan and have always wanted to work alongside athletes, you might want to pursue a sports management career. Read on to learn about some of the professions in sports management, including employment prospects and potential salaries. Schools offering Education - Sports Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Sports Management Defined

Sports management is a broad term that refers to the business side of the sports industry. It can include any function that keeps a sports team operational and profitable. This encompasses the general care and upkeep of athletes and teams, marketing and event planning. Sports managers work in all sectors of the industry, including recreational, professional and college sports. Common careers in the industry include coaching, scouting, and athletic training.

Important Facts About Sports Management Careers

Coaches and ScoutsAthletic Trainers
Mean Salary (2018)$43,870$49,280
Job Outlook (2016-2026)13% growth (faster than average)23% growth (much faster than average)
Required EducationCoaches for college and professional teams as well as professional scouts are typically required to have a bachelor's degreeBachelor's degree; requirements for certification and licensure vary by state
Key SkillsCommunication skills, decision-making skills, resourcefulnessAbility to be detail-oriented, compassion, interpersonal skills

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Coaching is one of the most common sports management positions. As a coach, you will help organize and lead an athlete or a team of athletes. You will train these athletes by planning and implementing drills and fitness routines while monitoring their performances in order to identify their strengths and weaknesses. You may work one-on-one with singular team members to improve performance. You'll also develop plays and strategies for games and provide advice and direction during competitions.

Coaches typically specialize in one sport such as soccer, football, baseball, basketball, golf or tennis. Coaches must have a strong knowledge of a given sport's rules and tactics, and they should ideally have extensive experience playing in or speculating the sport in which they specialize.


In a scouting position, you discover new athletes for the team or organization you represent. It is your responsibility to observe players in action at sporting events and to determine their potential. You may do additional research such as conducting interviews, reading about athletes' performances and watching videos of their games. If players are being considered for a draft, you might ask them to perform drills or additional demonstrations. This career requires a degree of subtlety; you want to avoid revealing your interest in a player to other scouts who might try to recruit that player first or interfere with your recruiting methods.

Scouts are usually employed by a specific team or scouting organization. It may also be possible to freelance. This involves finding and representing players through contract negotiations with professional sports teams. Depending on your experience or area of focus, you might scout athletes at the high school or college levels. Experience and a thorough understanding of the sport you are working in are absolutely necessary.

Athletic Trainer

When athletes need help recovering from injuries, they turn to athletic trainers. In this healthcare-related profession, you examine, assess and treat illnesses and injuries related to bones and muscles. These types of injuries and illnesses are often the result of intensive gameplay and practice. You will also help reduce the risk of future injuries by educating athletes about proper exercise and equipment usage.

As an athletic trainer, you might be employed directly by a sports team or athlete. In this capacity, you could help athletes if injuries occur on the field. Alternatively, you could work in a rehabilitation center, where athletes go to restore function after an injury.

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