Guide to the Best Jobs in Sports
Our mission at this website is to be a key resource for everyone out there who is in search of a meaningful career in the sports industry, health and wellness, and related fields.
For many of you who are just getting started, the first part of the process is achieving a bachelor’s degree or a masters degree to provide you with the foundation to succeed. Once you are properly equipped, we hope that this careers page will be a useful resource for helping you find opportunities and career paths that suit your interests and align with your career goals.
Throughout this page–and throughout this website–we have included useful links to other resources that we hope will come in handy during your search. We are constantly working hard to add relevant content and links to make our site one of the best hubs of its kind on the web.
We hope to be a valuable resource for you as you continue your path of linking your lifetime of passion for sports with a lucrative and exciting career in the industry.
Link To Career Field Pages
Job Outlook Overview
Below you will see an overview of some featured positions in sports along with their expected outlook over the coming decade.
Job Outlook Increase (2018-2028)
NOTE: The average projected job outlook increase across all occupations in the US is 5%. [source]
Nutritionist / Dietician
Popular Careers in Sports
Sports Marketing Agent/ Manager – Marketing takes many forms in the world of sports. There are two main routes- working for an organization or an agency. Many organizations will have a department dedicated to marketing and sales.
This would include selling ticket packages, functions, advertising space, as well as promoting the organization. It is common practice for organizations to collaborate with agencies to craft their own advertising and PR campaigns.
The agency would be involved in producing and creating content, as well as helping the organization manage their image and reputation in the community (or at a national level). A solid knowledge of your fan base, creative use of media, and the willingness to be omnipresent in the community are huge drivers of success in this industry.
Sports Event Manager – A Sports Event Manager would be helping to coordinate and organize large scale events. There is an incredible amount of planning that takes place whenever a professional golf tournament, F1 race, marathon, or another other sports event occurs.
Selling tickets, promoting, applying for permits and licensing, organizing parking, facilities, police details, the list goes on! There are many people who have forged a successful career specializing in planning events in a way that is enjoyable for the guests and allows the athletes to focus on their sport. It takes a great amount of attention to detail and commitment, but is incredibly rewarding!
Merchandising Manager – Any major sports organization will have a Merchandising Manager responsible for the marketing, sales, and creation of merchandise. Merchandise is a key piece of a sports organizations’ branding strategy.
It allows the fans to get excited about the team while fashioning their apparel and gear, it helps to advertise the organization, and is also a source of revenue. However, this is a complicated process. It requires an organized manager to source the materials and gear, control the quality, perform market research, and make sure that goods are produced on time.
Fitness Manager – For those with a knack for organization, people skills, and a passion for fitness, this is a great career option! A fitness manager would generally be working at a fitness facility helping to manage the day to day operations.
They would be responsible for meeting membership goals, planning courses and activities, ensuring the safety of members, as well as hiring, managing, and scheduling staff. Generally, a fitness manager is wearing many hats and has a wide range of responsibilities.
Sports Lawyer – Sports Law is a growing field, is thoroughly satisfying, and also very lucrative. A sports lawyer typically has athletes as clients and would be acting in the best financial and legal interest for their client.
They may help negotiate contracts and sponsorship agreements, help represent them in legal matters, manage their financial portfolio, minimize their clients’ tax exposure, and assist in the creation and execution of outside business ventures.
Sports/Athletics Scout – A scout is an integral and essential role for collegiate and professional sports teams. Having a solid system of player development is the best way for a team to increase their chances of long term success. A scout would be responsible for finding talented prospects and selling them on the benefits of the organization they represent. A scout is also responsible for compiling and interpreting statistics and data related to the prospect they are scouting.
Contract Negotiator – A Contract Negotiator could be working directly with an athlete, or for a sports organization, outside agency, or partner organization. A negotiator will ensure that their client is well represented and that they are receiving the maximum benefit available, as well as making sure that the contract is compliant with any laws, statutes, or union constraints.
Facilities Manager – A facilities manager is responsible for ensuring the maintenance and upkeep of the facility and surrounding area of a sports or recreational facility. A facilities manager very well could play a part in organizing large scale events and also would likely be responsible for managing a staff who would carry out the day to day work of cleaning, repairing, maintaining, and organizing the space that hosts the athletic events.
Physical Therapist – Physical Therapists work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other medical facilities, or they may have their own private practice. They will help their patients regain motor function that may have been affected by an injury or ailment through different exercises and movements. A Physical Therapist needs a solid base of knowledge relating to the human body, and the science of how it moves and operates.
Occupational Therapist – An occupational therapist uses their knowledge of the human body, how it moves and operates to help people recover from injury and perform day to day tasks. A successful occupational therapist will use their knowledge of Kinesiology, Anatomy, and Physiology along with their ability to work directly with patients to help them make progress towards their goals.
In some cases, patients are recovering from serious injuries and ailments and are looking to achieve basic mobility and independence, and in other cases, a patient is looking to return to their past peak of performance.
Athletic Director – Athletic Directors are responsible for managing the entire athletic program of a school or university, ranging from middle school all the way up to university level. They are generally responsible for ensuring compliance of all sports, athletes, and coaches, and creating and enforcing the budget across the board. The Athletic Director is also responsible for hiring and training all staff.
Athletic Trainer – An athletic trainer works directly with athletes in many ways. Trainers will help athletes maximize their performance, assist in injury recovery, and also help athletes to prevent injuries. Oftentimes, trainers also provide emergency first aid during sporting events. Athletic trainers need to have a background in Kinesiology and Physiotherapy.
Physiatrist – This field is fascinating and is an excellent choice for people looking to take their passion for sports and interest in science to a professional level. Studying exercise science could mean studying Kinesiology (the study of movement of the human body), or working towards a professional certification to be an Athletic Trainer, a Coach, Physical Therapist, Kinesiotherapist, or many other fields. Generally someone working in the field of exercise science would be working with athletes to help them recover from injury, or to maximize their performance on the field.
Sports Management – Sports Management can be seen as an umbrella term for the various management positions available within a sports organizations and their related entities. A degree in Sports Management is a great first step to launch a career in sports and it gives graduates well-rounded knowledge of different business principles necessary to advance oneself in this industry.
Sports Agent – In this day and age, sports agents have a wide range of responsibilities. Sports agents assist in helping their clients make the best professional and financial decisions, while also representing them in different scenarios.
A sports agent, or a team of agents could help an athlete negotiate their contract, manage their assets, obtain sponsorship agreements, help bolster their public image and also represent them legally. Agencies specializing in athlete representation have evolved into being large, multi-faceted organizations. However, there are still many smaller agencies operating around the world.
Sports Medicine – The field of Sports Medicine has grown to encompass a lot of different and interesting roles and professions. Ranging from Athletic Trainer to Physician and everything in between, there is an increased need for people who have the skills to diagnose, treat, and help athletes recover from different injuries and ailments.
Sports Analytics Expert – Sports Analytics is a quickly growing field that rewards those who are both passionate about sports and have the ability to parse through large amounts of data and find trends and valuable insights.
Many analysts in the field have a basic background in statistics, computer programming, and analytics. Analysts may be working directly for a sports organization or they could be working for an outside agency that specializes in Sports Analytics.
Nutritionist/Nutritional Science – Most Registered Dieticians and Nutritionists will have a background in Nutrition Science. By studying and collecting data about different foods and their effects on the body, they can form specialized plans to help patients live a healthy and fulfilling life.
These professionals could be working with patients directly, or working with a hospital, nursing home, or another type of medical facility. Some nutritionists will lead workshops and seminars for people to learn healthier habits and more about nutrition.
Camp Owner/Director – Being the director of a camp requires many skills being brought together. Organization, management and delegation, creativity, and problem-solving are all required to make a fun and engaging environment for campers and a positive place for staff to work at. Handing concerns of parents, campers, and staff while providing a transformative experience for those attending the camp makes the job dynamic and satisfying.
Chiropractor – By manipulating joints, bones, and soft tissue, a Chiropractor can ease pain, as well as prevent injury, and improve the mobility of their patients. This is a complicated process and requires a deep understanding on how the body works. Generally, a Chiropractor will need to complete a Doctor of Chiropractor (D.C.) which is a 4 year program, as well as fulfilling the state and local requirements to practice business.
Clinical Exercise Specialist – A Clinical Exercise Specialist works to improve their patients lives by taking advantage of the therapeutic benefits of exercise. A Clinical Exercise Specialist will craft programs based on each client’s goals and needs. A common goal is to prevent decline and injury, and to help patients maintain or improve their health.
Coach – A successful coach has not only a strong understanding of the coach they are playing, but many also have a solid foundation of kinesiology as well as management skills. There is a lot that goes on in the background.
Keeping a positive work environment for the athletes and staff, handling administrative tasks as well as representing the organization they are working for. Depending on the level of the team, the tasks and responsibilities vary.
Corporate Wellness Manager – A Corporate wellness manager will help an organization in many ways. Many organizations have come to realize that ensuring the mental and physical health of employees is not only good for the morale and longevity of their staff, but it also has a positive impact on the bottom line.
A healthy workforce will save the company significant costs in terms of health care (both actual costs and lost productivity due to illness or health-related reasons), but it also increases morale and productivity. A Corporate Wellness Manager helps craft programs which will improve the health, morale, wellness, and productivity of the workforce.
Exercise Program Director – Depending on the Organization, an Exercise Program Director could have a wide range of roles. At a gym or fitness center, the Director would be responsible for creating and organizing a range of programs which are geared towards different customers.
Anything from beginners Calisthenics to Advanced Yoga Classes. Making a suite of programs fun and engaging is crucial to many business models to retain their customer subscriptions. A Director not only designs these programs, but also ensures the quality and safety of the courses and activities.
Fitness Instructor/Specialist – A fitness instructor could work for themselves or for a gym or fitness center. An instructor is responsible for creating a fun, motivating, safe, and engaging environment for participants. There are programs which help students achieve the proper certifications, the most prominent beings (ACE).
Performance Enhancement Specialist – A Performance Enhancement Specialist works to help athletes achieve their maximum performance. Whether you are working at a professional sports organization or a fitness center, a certification or degree in this field can set you apart from competition. Learning how to apply cutting edge technology to human physiology and athletics is incredibly interesting and will help improve the strength, condition, and performance of your clients.
Personal Trainer – A Personal Trainer is sometimes employed by a fitness center, or they can be in business for themselves helping people achieve fitness goals in a safe and healthy way. A successful Person Trainer should have proper certifications and a very solid base of Kinesiology or Exercise Science as well as Anatomy and Physiology.
Having a solid base of knowledge in these areas will help you to craft tailor exercise and fitness plans which can benefit their clients as effectively as possible.
Recreation Therapist – Being a Recreation Therapist can be an immensely satisfying career. A Recreation Therapist helps people recovering from illness, injury, and adjusting to a new life situation by creating fun and engaging activities that stimulate their mental and motor functions. It is common for Senior Centers or Health Care facilities to employ recreation therapists to help plan and execute a patient’s recovery plan.
Rehabilitation Therapist – A Rehabilitation Therapist could work in a fitness center, a clinic, rehabilitation center, or a private practice. A Rehabilitation Therapist helps craft exercise and fitness plans and works with their patients through the execution of the plans. In many cases, rehabilitation therapy is prescribed from a Doctor to patients who have recently undergone surgery, had an accident, or are recovering from an illness or injury.
Sports Administration – Sports Administration is an umbrella term, but it can encompass many exciting and fulfilling career options. As an example, a degree in Sports Administration can lead to roles in Venue and Event Management, Merchandising Management, Public Relations Management, as well as various other positions within sports organizations, fitness centers, athletic leagues, and Marking and Management consulting firms.
Sports Massage Therapist – A Sports Massage Therapist is an expert at soft tissue manipulation and can work to achieve benefits for their patients such as improved circulation, stress relief, injury prevention or rehabilitation. A Therapist could work directly for a sports organization, or also work in a spa, fitness center, gym, or health clinic.
Sport Psychologist – Sports Psychology is a fast growing field. A Sports Psychologist could be working with professional athletes and coaches to help manage the immense stress and pressure that goes along with high-stakes competition. It has proven effective with many athletes that consulting a psychologist can improve their performance off the field as well as their own mental health. Outside of the scope of professional athletics, Sports Psychologists, can work with people of varying athletic abilities to help them learn about sports and keep them motivated to participate in exercise programs.
Strength & Conditioning Coach – A Strength and Conditioning Coach works with athletes, teams, and personal clients to safely help individuals meet their fitness goals. A strong foundation in kinesiology and exercise science is necessary to be able to break into this career and be successful. The health and safety of athletes is paramount, so it is important that Strength & Conditioning Coaches know in-depth how the body works and also how to get the maximum benefit from exercise and activity.
Umpire/Referee – Becoming a Referee or Umpire varies based on the sport you are interested in. However, there is generally a certification that must be passed, before one can be considered. In many cases, a Training Course or Rules Clinic must be attended and an oral and/or written exam must be passed. Referees and Umpires in professional leagues make a great salary, however many have “put in their time” officiating lower level leagues for smaller salaries, but like many jobs, a solid performance and track record is rewarded with advancement.