The Most Lucrative Sports Management Positions, and How to Get Them

So you want to work in sports management, but you don’t know exactly what position you’d like, or what education you’d need to pursue it. In this guide, we’ll look at both of these aspects of choosing a job, and compare jobs in terms of their potential earning. Sports management is an extremely diverse field that can involve working in the front office system of a professional sports team, coaching, or management, or working in sports marketing, event management, facility management, or sports economics, finance, and information. You could also work as a nutritionist of dietician, in personal training, as a fitness coordinator or wellness manager. For a comprehensive look at the degrees that will prepare you for these jobs, please check out this ranking. One of the major factors in where you’ll invest your time, energy, money and education is what you’ll find at the other end of the rainbow, your just reward. Like all fields, there are people working in sports management who aren’t earning a lot of money, and those who are. Here we’ll take a look at some of the most lucrative sports management jobs. Keep in mind, the median amount of money earned isn’t reflective of all positions, especially as you climb the ladder from amateur to collegiate to professional sports. Let’s dive in.

Sports Agent

It’s probably not a big surprise to see this job on the list. Sports agents represent professional athletes, managers and coaches to negotiate their employment, endorsements and contracts with professional sports leagues and corporations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary in 2016 for “agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes” was $89,590, or just over $43 an hour. The 90th percentile were making nearly $200,000, or $93.66 an hour. In spectator sports, BLS found that the annual mean wage was $98,000. Clearly, this is a very lucrative part of the sports management industry. It’s also exclusive, with just over 13,400 people employed. This will be difficult to break into, but the rewards are bountiful, and not just in terms of money. Sports agents get tickets to games, access to exclusive events and travel opportunities galore.

Communications Manager for a Sports Related Company

If you’re going to break into the sports industry because you’re the warmest, most persuasive and inspiring person the business has ever seen, you might want to consider this career. You’ll need incredible written and oral communication skills, and potentially a marketing or public relations background, or the necessary skills and a sports management degree. You’ll build up your brand and market it, and be justly rewarded. According to Salary Wizard, the average salary in these roles is around $87,000. This is an excellent time to check out the Best Online Communications and PR Bachelors Degrees and Best Online Communications and PR Masters Degrees rankings.

Sports General Manager

Sports General Managers are responsible for front office moves and acquisitions, guiding the future of a team, interacting with a wide array of employees and executives, keeping a team’s brand on point, and much more. Glassdoor found the national average salary for GM’s is $64,373, but once again, this is heavily dependent on location and the level of GM work you’re doing. This career path is extremely difficult, but getting a pertinent education goes a long way. In addition to the aforementioned ranking on Sports Management Master degrees, you might consider our rankings on Best Online Communications and PR Bachelors Degrees and Best Online Communications and PR Masters Degrees.

Professional Coaching

Professional coaches work at all levels of athletics, and thus are compensated on a wide, shifting scale. Payscale found the median pay for professional coaches was $39,185 a year. But it’s important to consider that number is being weighed down by coaches working at lower levels of athletics, especially in poorer parts of the country. If your goal is to coach a professional (or college) sports team and earn lots of money, you’ll likely have to work your way up from the elementary, middle and high school levels, unless you’re a former famous player or have family connections into the business. Many schools and other organizations require coaches to have a master’s degree. Some rankings we offer that cover master degrees for professional coaching include Coaching Education, Sports Management, Physical Education, and Sports Psychology.

These are just averages, and guides to approximate earnings. The real amounts depend on your effort, making the best choice in your degree, and maximizing the opportunities that present themselves to you. Good luck!