CareerCast is a California-based career website that recently compiled a list of sports careers that they consider some of the best there are.
According to Forbes, CareerCast acquired its data for the sports careers list from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics along with the Census Bureau and other trade association studies.
We’ll list the 10 sports careers in order from lowest paying to highest paying.
From the findings below, what you might have thought was a very profitable industry to work in, might not always be the case.
1. Coach — Median Salary — $28,000
The profession ranges from those being paid millions of dollars to part-timers. Many high school coaches are also teachers in the classroom. Others still are volunteers at the youth sports level.
2. Photojournalist — Median Salary — $29,000
The outlets at which a sports photojournalist can work vary. The struggles of the newspaper and magazine industries limit options, but many sports organizations themselves hire photographers professionally. Online outlets generally use wire services like the AP or Getty Images.
3. Broadcaster — Median Salary — $36,000
Events are disseminated to the homes of millions through various channels. The elite in the field are household names, with some recognizable just from their raucous technique (i.e., Gus Johnson). The most high profile of sports broadcasters can earn paychecks comparable to the athletes they cover. Conversely, there are those dedicated to the craft, working their way up on local radio broadcasts earning a paltry per-game stipend, but with the dream of reaching the big time.
4. Event Coordinator — Median Salary — $45,000
A sporting event is just one facet of the moment. Someone is responsible for overseeing the various other details to ensure that the game or event goes off without a hitch. An event coordinator behind the scenes operates like a coach on the field, directing the implementation of strategies related to seating, security, and media accommodation.
5. Advertising Account Executive — Median Salary — $45,000
Advertising dollars keep sporting events beaming into our homes, and the advertising account executives working behind the scenes are handling some hefty ledgers. Demand for their skills is high, and compensation can easily exceed six figures.
6. Public Relations Manager — Median Salary — $58,000
The high profile world of professional sports can open its athletes to public scrutiny. A good publicist manages crises quickly and effectively to protect the image – and sometimes privacy – of a client.
7. Agent — Median Salary — $65,000
Sports agents negotiate parameters of their clients’ contracts and endorsement deals. State bar certification and a law degree are helpful, though requirements vary depending on organization. The National Football League Players Association, for example, will grant waivers for agents looking to break in but lacking a postgraduate degree. Seven years of negotiating experience is required, however.
8. Sport Psychologist — Median Salary — $69,000
Sport psychologists assist athletes with a variety of issues directly related to performance, including kinesiology, mental preparation, and recovery from injury.
9. Statistician — Median Salary — $73,000
Statistics play a vital role in sports, but in the last decade have had an unprecedented high profile thanks to the book and movie Moneyball. Advanced statistical metrics are gaining popularity in sports beyond baseball, creating an entirely new niche for the mathematically inclined.
10. Physical Therapist — Median Salary — $76,000
To address the aches and pains of rigorous physical exertion, teams employ physical therapists specialized in athletic training. Sports physical therapy is one of the areas of specialization in which the American Board of Physical Therapy offers certification.