Non-Playing Careers in Sports

Athletic Director National Average Salary: $63,704 per year

Primary Duties: An athletic director is the head of the athletic department of a college, university or high school that handles all or most of the department’s daily operations. The most critical duty of an athletic director is managing public relations. Other duties include creating and maintaining budgets, arranging travel and supervising staff. Depending on the size of the high school or college, an athletic director may handle tasks like ordering equipment and balancing budgets.


Athletic Scout National Average Salary: $61,890 per year

Primary Duties: An athletic scout evaluates the talent of athletes to sign them to represented teams. They watch high school, college and professional athletes perform and review their current talent levels and potential. Primary duties include attending games, monitoring news outlets, watching game footage and speaking with coaches to discuss individual athletes and their potential.


Athletic Trainer National Average Salary: $36,333 per year

Primary Duties: Athletic trainers are health care professionals who work under the supervision of physicians to treat and prevent athletes’ injuries and other medical conditions. Preventing injuries, for instance, involves advising athletes on exercises that improve balance and strength, correct use of the equipment and proper nutrition. If there is an injury, an athletic trainer provides immediate care and proposes a treatment plan. Other tasks may include administrative duties, such as writing reports and record maintenance. Athletic trainers who work with sports teams sometimes have to be present at practice sessions and games, which may require working nights and weekends.


Athletics Coach National Average Salary: $41,777 per year

Primary Duties: An athletics coach works with athletes or teams to help players grow their skills and abilities in their chosen sport. They may work with amateur, high school, college or professional teams. Coaches and their assistants are responsible for motivating their teams to perform their best. They monitor competitors and develop strategies to help a team win. Coaches and assistants create training schedules, advise about practice methods and assess players’ physical and mental well-being and provide support as necessary.


Contract Negotiator National average salary: $86,429 per year

Primary Duties: A contract negotiator is a professional who negotiates contracts with teams for their athlete clients. Their goal is to get the most profitable deal for their client. Other duties may include handling marketing and endorsements, developing trustworthy relationships with clients, recruiting athletes, signing contracts, complying with rules and regulations, understanding business ethics and maintaining contracts.


Event Coordinator National Average Salary: $42,916 per year

Primary Duties: An event coordinator or planner in the sports industry coordinates all aspects of a sporting event. They work closely with people in security, ticketing, concession stands and other event extras to ensure the event runs smoothly. If the sporting event is being televised, the event coordinator is responsible for ensuring television viewers have a positive experience.


Exercise Physiologist National Average Salary: $35,476 per year

Primary Duties: An exercise physiologist develops training plans to help athletes reach their maximum performance abilities. They also help athletes recover from and prevent injuries. Exercise physiologists may focus on a particular area of an athlete’s abilities like their flexibility or cardiovascular function. Some exercise physiologists help design sports gear that athletes wear when training and playing.


Facility Operations National Average Salary: $62,740 per year

Primary Duties: A sports facility operations manager, also referred to as a “stadium operations executive or arena manager,” is responsible for operating sports stadiums, facilities or arenas. They are involved in day-to-day tasks, including planning and coordinating events, leasing, buying and selling facilities, supervising sports facilities staff, redesigning and constructing facilities and other managerial tasks. Strategic and operational skills are a must, and most facilities managers will possess exceptional communication and leadership skills.


General Manager National Average Salary: $53,333 per year

Primary Duties: A general manager is responsible for a sports team’s or organization’s daily activities. They may serve as a spokesperson during media briefings and are responsible for its marketing and finances. Because general managers are responsible for building a winning team, they typically oversee the recruiting and signing process, manage the coaches and oversee the development and support teams. They also negotiate contracts with players and their agents and advise about players’ promotional pursuits. Baseball, basketball, football, hockey and soccer teams all employ general managers.


Kinesiologist National Average Salary: $47,187 per year

Primary Duties: A kinesiologist tests muscles and develops treatment plans to improve their function. They may be able to identify sources of stress—also known as “imbalances”—in structural, chemical and emotional energy, in the body and provide rehabilitation to eliminate them. Kinesiologists can work in a variety of settings, including offices, laboratories, recreation facilities, hospitals, schools and residential facilities. They work for organizations that develop and implement fitness plans for individuals or that study human movement.


Marketing Manager National Average Salary: $65,276 per year

Primary Duties: A sports marketing manager, also known as a sports marketer, specializes in managing the marketing efforts for players, teams, leagues, stadiums and events. They usually work at marketing firms and have developed their careers into management after years of experience in related jobs like marketing coordinators or consultants. Duties include advertising sporting events, building relationships with brand representatives and pursuing sponsorship opportunities for teams, events and athletes. They may also take part in market research, draft ideas to increase interest and awareness and create strategies to meet marketing goals. Most sports marketers are responsible for increasing attendance and viewership or selling merchandise. They use a variety of media outlets, including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and social media.


Materials Engineer National Average Salary: $95,032 per year

Primary Duties: A materials engineer researches and develops sports apparel and tools that help the athlete function better in their sport. They review requirements, design equipment and test it to ensure its functionality. They use computer software to aid in the design and testing process.


Nutritionist National Average Salary: $41,527 per year

Primary Duties: A nutritionist, also known as a “sports dietitian,” designs dietary plans for athletes. They may recommend vitamins and supplements to the player or advise them on how best to improve their health so they can reach optimal performance on the field or court.


Orthopedist National Average Salary: $133,711 per year

Primary Duties: An orthopedist works with athletes who are experiencing musculoskeletal injuries. Their work includes assessing and treating bones, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues so that the athlete can play without pain or limitations. An orthopedic surgeon may be needed for more extensive injuries.


Personal Trainer National Average Salary: $36,330 per year

Primary Duties: A personal trainer in sports works with athletes on a particular fitness program created specifically for that person. They help athletes meet their fitness goals by establishing specific workouts and routines. Personal trainers may work for teams or athletes who are recovering from an injury.


Physical Therapist National Average Salary: $82,000 per year

Primary Duties: A physical therapist is a medical professional who helps patients with any pain and mobility problems. Physical therapists often work closely with athletes to treat sports-related injuries. They may also develop a plan to prevent injuries. If an athlete is injured, the physical therapist provides rehabilitation to help them get back to their peak physical condition. Using different therapies and methods, physical therapists develop treatment plans and oversee the rehab process. These professionals strive to help athletes move freely, reduce pain and prevent additional injuries. Physical therapists often work in training facilities, where they collaborate with physicians, trainers and coaches. Those who work with sports teams are typically present on game days, evaluating injured players and helping them get back on the field.


Referee National Average Salary: $37,324 per hour

Primary Duties: Sports referees are professionals who officiate competitive sports games. This position involves keeping track of time, judging infractions and deciding on penalties, monitoring the safety of players and ensuring that all players adhere to the rules. In a dispute, the referee makes the ultimate decision. They enforce the rules within the sport, which may mean assigning penalties to teams. Their duties include signaling the start and end of games, stopping the game as necessary to review plays and inspecting equipment before a game begins. Their job includes traveling to sports events and working nights and weekends when games most often take place.



Sports Massage Therapist National Average Aalary: $50,169 per year

Primary Duties: A sports massage therapist provides rehabilitation to the sore muscles of athletes by offering deep tissue massage. Their work relieves pain, prevents further injury, increases flexibility and eases knots formed by lactic acid.

They are also experts in suggesting techniques that could restore a patient’s health after an injury using customized rehabilitation programs. Sports massage therapists usually work with athletes who have a high-performance rate and require muscle conditioning.


Sports Medicine Assistant National Average Salary: $37,576 per year

Primary Duties: A sports medicine medical assistant typically works with athletes who have fractures, swollen muscles, sprains and strains, dislocations and shin splints. They communicate with the patient about their injuries, prepare them for diagnostic tests, offer wound care assistance and help the head physician with else anything involving the patient and their care.


Sports Medicine Physician National Average Salary: $247,516 per year

Primary Duties: A sports physician treats athletes suffering from a sports injury. They may work with an athlete on an ongoing basis or respond to an emergency if a player gets injured during a game. Sports physicians treat sprains, concussions, fractures and other injuries to body parts, like the shoulders, hands and feet. They use tests to diagnose patients’ illnesses and injuries and develop treatment plans for patient rehabilitation. They also advise patients about health, nutrition and exercise. Sports physicians may work for professional teams or treat individual athletes.


Sports Psychologist National Average Salary: $94,6I 91 per year

Primary Duties: Sports psychologists are mental health professionals who specialize in helping athletes achieve their top performance. They develop treatment courses to help athletes rehabilitate mentally and emotionally after injuries. Sports psychologists also advise players about addressing anxiety and dealing with the pressure of competition. Sports psychologists often work for college or professional athletic teams, where they motivate players to do their best.


Sports Statistician National Average Salary: $96,496 per year

Primary Duties: A sports statistician, also known as a “sports analyst,” uses data to assess the chances for a range of outcomes. They collect, monitor and analyze complex data sets for players, teams and leagues. Their analyses help teams decide whether to recruit or trade athletes and place certain players in their lineups. Sports statisticians typically work for college or professional teams.


Umpire National Average Salary: $57,460 per hour

Primary Duties: Umpires monitor baseball games and apply rules and regulations as necessary. These professionals are experts on the rules of the sport and are responsible for both identifying when a player breaks a rule and deciding the penalty.

They must maintain total concentration during a game and immediately react to game events. Although some umpires work for single teams, many travel to oversee games for a variety of teams.



Social Media Manager National Average Salary: $45,270 per year

Primary Duties: A social media community manager engages with fans through social media platforms. They create educational, fun and engaging content; develop campaigns; host giveaways and carry on conversations with fans who comment on posts. Social media community managers usually attend home games so they can share some of the play-by-play action with their audience.


Sports Anchor National Average Salary: $30,716 per year

Primary Duties: A sports anchor is someone who discusses sports-related news on sports channels and news programs. While most anchors are familiar with a wide variety of sports, many focus on one sport. Depending on how popular the sports program is, the anchor may write their own script or they may read one that was written by the show’s producers. Sports anchors are sometimes responsible for interviewing influential sports figures, athletes and coaches as part of their sports program.


Sports Broadcaster National Average Salary: $31,476 per year

Primary Duties: Sports broadcasters, reporters or announcers provide live on-air coverage of sporting events, using various media outlets including television, radio and the internet. In addition to informing spectators of the moment-by-moment action on the field, these professionals also capture the atmosphere and excitement of events for digital viewers and listeners. Sports broadcasters may write and present news coverage on events, interview players, provide predictions and research game and player statistics.


Sports Editor National Average Salary: $34,148 per year

Primary duties: A sports editor is a journalist who focuses on sports news. They assign and edit the work of sportswriters for newspapers, websites and magazines. Just like writers, editors may specialize in a particular sport or work in general sports that cover all kinds of sports and athletes.


Sports Photographer National Average Salary: $41,867 per year

Primary duties: A sports photographer captures images of athletes during games. They may take photos for the team or a news publication. Along with action shots, photographers also take pictures of fans and the enthusiasm in the arena.


Sports Writer National Average Salary: $30,172 per year

Primary duties: A sports writer or reporter is a journalist who writes about sporting events and expresses their opinion about all topics related to the game. They may write about the coaches, players, trades, drafts and predictions for how games will go. Sports writers create informative content for newspapers, websites, blogs and magazines. They may work as freelancers for themselves or write directly for a publishing company.