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Professional Sport Management Career Information

Sports management professionals may function as agents, managers, marketing experts or public relations specialists. Continue reading to learn more about the responsibilities, educational requirements and salaries associated with a career in professional sports management.

Career Definition for a Sports Management Professional

Sports management professionals oversee the business and promotional concerns of athletic organizations or athletes. Depending on the position, job duties can include negotiating contracts and monitoring the finances of teams and athletes. Sports management professionals may also create marketing programs, oversee ticket sales or engage in public relations activities.

Required Education Bachelor's degree for entry level positions; most sports management professionals have a master's degree
Job Duties Include negotiating contracts, monitoring team and athlete finances, creating marketing programs
Median Salary (2015)* $62,940 (agents and managers for individual athletes and other performers)
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 3% growth (agents and managers for individual athletes and other performers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics'

Required Education

While there are some entry-level positions available for graduates with bachelor degrees, most sports management professionals have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a master's degree in a pertinent area of study. Students interested in entering the field should take courses in business law, marketing, finance, public relations and accounting.

Skills Required

Sports management professionals should have a strong business foundation and excellent communication skills. They also need to be good salespeople and have a firm grasp of negotiating tactics and public relations.

Employment and Salary Outlook

The annual salaries for sports management professionals can vary. For instance, as of May 2015, agents and managers for individual athletes and other performers earned a median annual income of $62,940. This field is due to grow by 3%, per the BLS. General and operations managers for businesses in general (including sports teams) earned a median salary of $97,730 per year. That same month, marketing managers brought in $128,750 and financial managers earned $117,990 in median wages annually.

Alternate Career Options

Here are some examples of alternative career options:

Athletic Trainers and Exercise Physiologists

Athletic trainers identify, treat and help to prevent bone and muscle damage or injuries, and may be employed by professional sports teams. Individuals affected by chronic illnesses or who are interested in pursuing a regular fitness program may seek out an exercise physiologist. Candidates with a 4-year degree may qualify for an entry-level position; aspiring athletic trainers will most likely need a state-issued certification or license. In May 2015, athletic trainers and exercise physiologists earned corresponding median salaries of $44,670 and $47,010 a year, as reported by the BLS. Through 2024, athletic trainers can expect a 21%, or faster-than-average, growth in jobs nationwide, while physiologists jobs will grow by 11%, according to the BLS (www.bls.gov).

Coaches and Scouts

Coaches and scouts train and recruit amateur, college-based or professional athletes. A bachelor's degree in physical education, sports science or a closely related major is usually required to obtain a coaching or scouting job, along with experience or knowledge of a particular game. As reported by the BLS, coaches and scouts who were employed in their fields in May 2015 were paid median annual wages of $31,000. Employment opportunities for both coaches and scouts are projected to increase at a rate of 6% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov).

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