Sports Jobs: What it Takes to Work with Professional Athletes

careers in sports

In the professional sports industry, people tend to focus on the athletes. However, the business employs a large number of people to perform a variety of tasks. For instance, professional sports teams frequently hire exercise physiologists and sports psychologists to maintain the emotional and physical well-being of their athletes.

Teams also hire statisticians to track the plays performed by the athletes. If you have an interest in acquiring employment in one of these fields, then you must have the proper education, degree and experience.

How Technology has Changed the Industry

During the last few decades, the sports industry has become more profitable due to the shift to televised games. With the transition, advertising sales have grown. Also, leagues and teams are now more corporate minded. Therefore, the industry is beginning to employ people who excel in the business world. The digital age, medical technology and new research have also transformed the industry.

Top Nonathletic Careers in Sports

In the sports industry, top nonathletic sports careers include working as an exercise physiologist. To obtain a job in the field, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in applied science along with a major in exercise physiology or similar educational field. You may be more employable in the sports industry if you take classes in nutrition, exercise science and anatomy. You may also need accreditation from your local national body.

Sports psychology is another career option in professional sports. To work as a sports psychologist, you’ll need to earn your master’s or doctorate degree in sports psychology, counseling or clinical psychology. Also, consider acquiring a double major by earning an exercise psychology or traditional psychology degree. After gaining your degrees, be sure to complete a one-year internship with an American Psychological Association careers in sports approved program. State certification is another requirement. Once you become a sports psychologist, you can expect to help athletes with personal and career issues as well as anxiety and performance problems.

With the industry shifting toward technology and business, you may consider attending school to become a statistician. The position will require you to collect sports statistics by recording each player’s performance. To work in the field, you’ll need a master’s degree in mathematics or statistics. You may also need experience in collecting sports data. If you have strong interpersonal skills, then the position is ideal for you as you may need to help other people in the industry understand a sport’s technical issues. It will also be up to you to keep track of statistical rule changes.

Salary Range

Today, careers in sports are diverse, and by choosing to work in the industry, you can expect to make a comfortable living. For instance, as an exercise physiologist, you will earn a median income of around $45,000 annually. If you would rather work as a sports psychologist, then you’ll make about $69,000 a year while statisticians usually earn around $73,000 annually.

Sports jobs are rewarding, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, career opportunities in the fields are expected to grow from 14 to 22 percent over the next few years. Therefore, you can feel confident in your decision to work in the industry.

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