Become an Athletic Scout: Education and Career Roadmap

Learn how to become an athletic scout. Research the education, career requirements and experience required for starting a career as an athletic scout.

Should I Become an Athletic Scout?

Athletic scouts evaluate the athletic ability of amateur and professional players. At the college level, many scouts act as assistant coaches, in addition to scouting. At the professional level, scouts typically search for players for the team they represent. Some scouts work independently and provide information about athletes to teams.

The job often requires traveling to sporting events. Since many games and practices take place outdoors, scouts should be comfortable in various weather conditions. Games often also occur on weekends and evenings, so scouts usually must work during these times.

Career Requirements

Degree Level None, but some employers may prefer a bachelor's degree
Degree Field No specific field of study required
Licensure or Certification None required
Experience Prior experience playing a sport is important
Key Skills Strong knowledge of sports, dedication, resourcefulness, be detail-oriented and possess strong communication observation and leadership skills, knowledge of human resources and basic clerical practices
Salary (2014) $30,640 (median for all Coaches and Scouts)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*Net Online.

Step 1: Play a Sport

According to the BLS, most scouts played a sport at some time in their lives. Playing sports may help aspiring scouts become familiar with the rules of different games and the desired talents for players of those games. It may also provide opportunities to interact with players and coaches.

Success Tips:

  • Develop connections. While on a sports team, players can interact with scouts. Developing relationships with scouts can lead to assistant or internship positions in the future.
  • Complete an Internship. Scouting or scouting-related internships are available. For example, the Arena Football League offers internship opportunities to prospective football scouts. Applicants for this internship were required to be dedicated to sports, detail oriented and have strong writing skills.

Step 2: Consider Attending Scouting School

Professional sports organizations may offer scouting schools. For example, Major League Baseball offers a school that teaches aspiring scouts how to evaluate talent and determine how well a player's skills will translate to the major leagues. While not required to work as a scout, attending one of these schools may offer individuals who didn't play sports at a high level the opportunity to break into the field.

Step 3: Gain Experience Working in the Field to Advance Your Career

Many scouts possess years of experience working in the field prior to working as a scout. Aspiring scouts might consider entering the profession on a part-time basis or as an assistant scout. These workers may assist scouts as they evaluate talent and help teams find the right players to draft, trade for or sign to their teams. Beginning a scouting career on a part-time basis or as an assistant may make it easier to acquire full-time employment in the field.

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