Sports jobs and what they pay
You can take your love of nearly any sport into overtime with these careers.
The end of your college sports team days doesn’t have to mean the end of playing your favorite game. You can take your love of nearly any sport into overtime with sports management jobs and other athletics-related professions.
A communications major who played soccer—just not well enough to land a spot on a professional team—will still head to the field everyday if she’s working in the publicity department for a pro team. A career in sports medicine will have science and pre-med majors working with athletes all day. And sporting-goods manufacturers can be excellent employers for jocks of all types.
Employers want the skills jocks learn playing sports, says Randy Gartz, managing director of technology search and consulting at Fairview Search Group in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Some of the key hiring qualifications requested by employers in today’s market include leadership, perseverance, dedication to continuous improvement and strategic thinking, all of which you learn early and often in athletics,” he says.
Employers are also looking for professionals who work well with others, inspire those around them, and show calm under pressure. “People who have excelled in sports are consistently put in situations that require quick thinking and the ability to comprehend concepts instantaneously, which aids them in accelerating their career,” Gartz adds.
Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some great jobs for sports lovers and a glimpse at what they pay.
What you’d do: You can still be at the big game—just on the sidelines ready to help injured student athletes—when you work as an athletic trainer at a college, university, high school, or athletic club. You could also work at a hospital or doctor’s office to treat patients healing from injuries.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree is typically required. Nearly all states require athletic trainers to have a license or certification.
What you’d make: $46,630 per year.
Corporate communications manager for a sports-related company
What you’d do: Sports management jobs not only include working to manage a team, but also to manage that team's image. That's where communications and public relations come in. Put your powers of persuasion to work when you share your love of sports as a communications manager for a sports-related company. Great written and oral communication skills will help you create plans that bolster the brand and support marketing efforts.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, or public relations is a good starter, though some positions will require a master’s degree.
What you’d make: $111,280 per year.
Event marketing associate for a sports company
What you’d do: Put on entertaining events for a sports magazine or other sports-related company as an event marketing associate. You’ll work with advertising sales, public relations, creative services, client marketing, legal and the business office.
What you’d need: Most event-planning jobs require a bachelor’s degree.
What you’d make: $48,290 per year.
What you’d do: You can stay in college sports forever when you become a sports coach of a major college team. Heads up: Your hours are definitely not 9 to 5, so expect to be working over the weekend, during the holidays, and evenings.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree is typical, and you obviously need expertise in the sport.
What you’d make: $44,340 per year.
What you’d do: If you like children, you can get paid to play sports all day by getting a teaching certificate, and then landing a job as a physical education teacher. At the secondary level, you’ll teach students about the benefits of nutrition, exercise, and overall health.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree is a must; if you’re in the public school system, you’ll also need to be licensed by the state in which you teach.
What you’d make: The median teacher salary is $59,170 per year.
What you’d do: If you were intrigued by what you experienced when you were injured playing your sport, consider working with patients as a sports medicine physician or nurse.
What you’d need: Physicians typically need a bachelor’s degree, a degree from a medical school, and, depending on their specialty, three to seven years in internship and residency programs. Registered nurses are required to have a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), or a diploma from an approved nursing program, and they must also be licensed.
What you’d make: Median salaries for doctors are equal to or greater than $208,000 per year; median nurse salaries are about $70,000 per year.
Find jobs in sports medicine.
How to score a job
The job search is far from a slam dunk. Just as you need stamina and strategy on the field, you also need it in your quest for a new job. Could you use some coaching? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to different types of sports jobs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Additionally, you can get customized job alerts emailed right to your inbox, which cuts down on the amount of time you’d spend combing through ads. As in sports, speed and accuracy count in the job search, so let Monster's experts set you up for a great new job.