Successful sports agents often possess a combination of traits and skills, which might include a background in accounting as well as a passion for sports. While a bachelor's degree with a specialization in sports management is not a requirement, it may help to advance one's career. Keep reading for more details about what's involved in becoming a sports agent.
Sports agents handle financial and legal matters for their professional athlete clients. Some of their duties include negotiating salaries and securing contracts. A love of sports coupled with a legal or accounting background make the ideal combination for this career. Although formal education isn't always necessary, it's common for sports agents to hold a bachelor's degree in a field such as sports management or sports business. Individuals may also need up to five years of related work experience before finding a sports agent position.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree related to sports management|
|Other Requirements||Up to five years of work experience; legal or accounting background|
|Projected Job Growth||3% for all agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes from 2014-2024*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$62,940 annually for all agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Employment Information for Sports Agents
Sports agents secure contracts and negotiate salaries with sports teams on behalf of individual athletes. They find endorsement deals for their clients and advise them on career and financial matters. In the highly competitive world of representing professional athletes, sports agents must often travel to meet with clients or other business people and work on holidays and weekends.
Many agents once were athletes themselves or have had personal experience working with athletes in some other capacity. While it is not impossible to work independently, most agents work for large international agencies because clients tend to prefer companies rather than solo agents to represent them. Although the vast majority of sports agents are male, there are slowly more females entering the profession, particularly in the representation of female athletes.
Wage Information for Sports Agents
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes earned a median annual wage of $62,940 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). The highest concentrations of agents are found in California and New York, followed by Tennessee, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.
Requirements for Becoming a Sports Agent
No formal education requirements exist for a career as a sports agent, but approximately half of all agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes have a bachelor's degree. College students looking to become sports agents can major in sports management, sports administration or sports business. Colleges with these majors offer curricula with courses that include sports psychology, business law, sports business strategies and sports marketing.
Because many decisions made by sports agents involve legal and financial matters, many agents are lawyers or have backgrounds in finance, business or accounting. Aspiring sports agents may want to consider attending law school after college and paying particular attention to tax and business law courses.
A few years of related work experience in a field such as accounting, management or law can be beneficial prior to beginning a career as a sports agent. In terms of education requirements, bachelor's degrees are most common. Sports agents can expect slower-than-average job growth from 2014-2024, and they may travel during off hours, such as weekends and holidays.