Athletic Scout: Job Duties & Career Info

Mar 07, 2019

Job Description for an Athletic Scout

Athletic scouts work for sports teams as talent evaluators. They watch athletes perform at the high school, college and professional levels to determine the talent, potential and style of the players. Common duties of athletic scouts include monitoring news sources, attending games and speaking with coaches to locate promising players, as well as watching game footage and studying statistics to determine athletes' potentials. They also meet with players to discuss incentives.

Athletic scouts may be self employed or work for universities, professional teams or scouting organizations. People in this position often work outdoors and spend much of their time traveling across the country and sometimes internationally. Athletic scouts frequently work evenings and weekends and may work long hours, especially during their sport's season.

Education Former player or coach; bachelor's degree may help
Job Skills Knowledge of covered sport, interpersonal skills, decision-making, eye for detail
Median Salary (2017)* $32,270 (for coaches and scouts)
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 13% (for coaches and scouts)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

The majority of athletic scouts are former players or coaches with in-depth knowledge of the sport. Some employers require experience in college or professional sports. Higher-level athletic scouts may be required to have a bachelor's degree. Programs in sports management, which typically include courses in athletic administration, sports psychology, statistics and sports law, can help athletic scouts develop an understanding of professional sports operations. People in this field often start their careers as local, part-time talent scouts.

Required Skills

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that athletic scouts must possess the following traits:

  • Extensive knowledge of the sport they cover
  • Keen eye for detail when observing athletes' performances
  • Strong interpersonal skills to connect with players
  • Ability to make numerous decisions when recruiting

Employment and Salary Outlook

The BLS reported that the median salary for athletic coaches and scouts was $32,270 in 2017. Employment in this field was expected to increase 13% between 2016 and 2026, which was faster than the national average for all occupations. There is strong competition for scouting positions at the college and professional levels, where there are typically few open jobs.

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