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Careers R REALISTIC for Sports Lovers


SPORTS match most closely to the REALISTIC Holland Type

Susan Adams Forbes Staff

I cover careers, jobs and every aspect of leadership.full bio →

LEADERSHIP 2/04/2013 @ 4:14PM 158,737 views

The 10 Best Careers In Sports

At Forbes we’re known for our annual rankings of the highest-paid athletes and the highest-paid coaches. Boxer Floyd Mayweather tops the athletes’ list, with a year’s earnings of $85 million as of our most recent calculation in June 2012. On our coaches list, the New England Patriots’ Bill Belichick had the top compensation as of May 2012, with an annual take of $7.5 million...

For this list, CareerCast again applied its own metrics. It gathered data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau and trade association studies. For its overall best and worst jobs listing, which comes out in April, CareerCast reviews some 200 professions. For its sports career list, it culled from that master list.

Though CareerCast doesn’t rank its list of ten sports jobs, I’ve listed them according to salary, from statistician at the high end, which pays $73,000 according to BLS numbers, to coach/team manager at the low end, at $28,000. The coach salary is quite low because CareerCast takes into account coaches who work at the high school and even middle school level, some of them part-time, and obviously earn a tiny fraction of the Patriots’ Belichick.

Players don’t even make the list because, according to CareerCast’s criteria, which take into account physical demands and the need to travel, those jobs aren’t as desirable as ones like sport psychologist or physical therapist.

For those interested in a player’s career, the BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) says the median income was $44,000 as of 2010, there were 16,500 jobs throughout the U.S. that year, and the jobs outlook, or growth potential, was greater than average, at 22%. If I had composed the list, I would have included players, since I think anyone who can make a living as a professional athlete probably has high job satisfaction. But it’s incredibly tough to become a professional athlete, and the health risks and physical demands are certainly high.

With those caveats in mind, click here for CareerCast’s ten best careers in sports…
(CWebner chart with BLS & other noted data points.)

1) Physical Therapist

Many teams employ full-time physical therapists. They can also do well in private practice.
Media salary: $76,000

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.

DPT programs typically last 3 years. Most programs require a bachelor’s degree for admission as well as specific prerequisites, such as anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, and physics.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Physical therapists are often drawn to the profession in part by a desire to help people. They work with people who are in pain and must have empathy for their patients.
Detail oriented. Like other healthcare providers, physical therapists should have strong analytic & observational skills to diagnose a patient’s problem, evaluate treatments, and provide safe, effective care.
Dexterity. Physical therapists must use their hands to provide manual therapy and therapeutic exercises. They should feel comfortable massaging and otherwise physically assisting patients.
Interpersonal skills. Because physical therapists spend a lot of time interacting with patients, they should enjoy working with people. They must be able to explain treatment programs, motivate patients, and listen to patients’ concerns to provide effective therapy.
Physical stamina. Physical therapists spend much of their time on their feet, moving as they work with patients. They should enjoy physical activity.
Resourcefulness. Physical therapists customize treatment plans for patients. They must be flexible and able to adapt plans of care to meet the needs of each patient.

Online tool to find college programs with certified Physical Therapy & Physical Therapy Assistant programs -


Job Outlook, 2012-22 36% (Much faster than average)

Physical Therapist

2) Statistician

Sports analytics is a growing profession.
Median salary: $73,000

Required subjects for a BA degree in statistics include differential & integral calculus, statistical methods, mathematical modeling, & probability theory. Adding courses in a related field (computer science, engineering, physics, or mathematics) makes statisticians particularly desirable to many employers.

Critical-thinking skills. Statisticians use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Math skills. Statisticians use statistics, calculus and linear algebra to develop their models and analyses.
Problem-solving skills. Statisticians must develop techniques to overcome problems in data collection and analysis, such as high nonresponse rates, so that they can draw meaningful conclusions.
Speaking skills. Because statisticians often work in teams, they must be able to present statistical information and ideas so that others will understand.
Writing skills. Good writing skills are important for statisticians because they write reports explaining technical matters to persons without their level of statistical expertise.


Job Outlook, 2012-22 27% (Much faster than average)

3) Sport Psychologist

Sports psychologists focus on mental preparation for top performance.
Median salary: $69,000 (BLS median salary for general psychologist)

Psychologists typically need a doctoral degree or specialist degree in psychology, a master’s degree is sufficient for some positions. Practicing psychologists also need a license or certification.

Athletes don't just consult sports psychologists when they're having difficulties. Sport psychologists can also help athletes:

  • Enhance performance. Various mental strategies, such as visualization, self-talk and relaxation techniques, can help athletes overcome obstacles and achieve their full potential.

  • Cope with the pressures of competition. Sport psychologists can help athletes at all levels deal with pressure from parents, coaches or even their own expectations.

  • Recover from injuries. After an injury, athletes may need help tolerating pain, adhering to their physical therapy regimens or adjusting to being sidelined.

  • Keep up an exercise program. Even those who want to exercise regularly may find themselves unable to fulfill their goal. Sport psychologists can help these individuals increase their motivation and tackle any related concerns.

  • Enjoy sports. Sports organizations for young people may hire a sport psychologist to educate coaches about how to help kids enjoy sports and how to promote healthy self-esteem in participants.


Job Outlook, 2012-22 12% (As fast as average)


Sports agents negotiate contracts and endorsement deals.

Median salary: $65,000.

Sports agents most often have degree in business &/or law (labor contracts).  An example of a large corporate agency with a sports department is CAA ( with branches as close as St.Louis & Chicago.

Job Outlook, 2012-22 4% (Slower than average)

5)Public Relations Manager

Public relations managers protect and promote the image of professional athletes and teams.

Median salary: $58,000

A BA degree in public relations, communications, English, fundraising, or journalism is generally required. However, some employers prefer a master’s degree, particularly in public relations, journalism, fundraising, or nonprofit management.

Public relations managers typically do the following:

  • Write press releases and prepare information for the media
  • Identify main client groups and audiences and determine the best way to reach them
  • Designate an appropriate spokesperson or information source for media inquiries
  • Help clients communicate effectively with the public
  • Develop their organization's or client’s corporate image and identity
  • Assist and inform an organization’s executives and spokespeople
  • Devise advertising and promotion programs
  • Assign, supervise, & review the activities of staff
Job Outlook, 2012-22 13% (As fast as average)

  • 6)Advertising Account Executive

Sporting events offer some of the top opportunities in advertising.

Median salary: $45,000

A bachelor’s degree is required for most advertising, promotions, and marketing management positions. For advertising management positions, some employers prefer a bachelor's degree in advertising or journalism. A relevant course of study might include classes in marketing, consumer behavior, market research, sales, communication methods and technology, visual arts, art history, and photography.

BOLD Worldwide is example of corporate advertising agency (

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers typically do the following:

  • Work with department heads or staff to discuss topics such as budgets and contracts, marketing plans, and the selection of advertising media
  • Plan advertising and promotional campaigns
  • Plan advertising, including which media to advertise in, such as radio, television, print, online media, and billboards
  • Negotiate advertising contracts
  • Evaluate the look and feel of websites used in campaigns or layouts, which are sketches or plans for an advertisement
  • Initiate market research studies and analyze their findings to understand customer and market opportunities for businesses
  • Develop pricing strategies for products or services marketed to the target customers of a firm
  • Meet with clients to provide marketing or technical advice
  • Direct the hiring of advertising, promotions, and marketing staff and oversee their daily activities

Job Outlook, 2012-22 12% (As fast as average)

Advertising Account Executive

7)Event Coordinator

Event coordinators take care of seating, security, media, and many other behind-the-scenes necessities of sporting events.

Median salary: $45,000

Most meeting, convention, and event planning positions require a BA degree. Job opportunities should be best for those with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality or tourism management.

Meeting, convention, and event planners coordinate all aspects of professional meetings and events. They choose meeting locations, arrange transportation, and coordinate other details.




Job Outlook, 2012-22 33% (Much faster than average)


The most high-profile sports broadcasters can earn salaries close to the paychecks of the athletes they cover but many broadcasters report on local events and get paid a low per-game stipend.

Median salary: $36,000

Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts inform the public about news and events happening internationally, nationally, and locally. They report the news for newspapers, magazines, websites, television, and radio.

Reporters and correspondents spend a lot of time in the field, conducting interviews and investigating stories. The work is often fast paced, with constant demands to meet deadlines and to be the first reporter to publish a news story on a subject.

Employers generally prefer workers who have a BA degree in journalism or communications along with an internship or work experience from a college radio or television station or a newspaper.


Job Outlook, 2012-22 -13% (Decline)


Many sports organizations hire their own staff photographers but the salaries of photojournalists have also been squeezed by the declining fortunes of newspapers and magazines.

Median salary: $29,000

Although college education is not required for portrait photographers, many take classes since employers usually seek applicants with a “good eye” and creativity, as well as a good technical understanding of photography. Photojournalists and industrial and scientific photographers often need a BA degree.




Job Outlook, 2012-22 -13% (Decline)


Top-earning coaches make seven figures but there are also many coaches who earn very low wages working in middle and high schools. Many work part-time while holding down other jobs.

Median salary: $28,000

Coaches and scouts typically need a BA degree. They must also have extensive knowledge of the game. Coaches typically gain this knowledge through their own experiences playing the sport at some level.

Many former college athletes who want to become coaches gain coaching experience, networking, and credibility as graduate assistants. Here is website that helps find GA positions at hosted by the NCAA (

Job Outlook, 2012-22 15% (Faster than average)