7 Sports Jobs and What They Pay

Christina Lorete, certified athletic trainer for the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, poses for a portrait on her treatment table at Fort Carson, Colorado.
Christina Lorete, certified athletic trainer for the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, poses for a portrait on her treatment table at Fort Carson, Colorado, March 10, 2021. (Spc. Julia C. Scott/U.S. Army photo)

The end of your college sports team days doesn't have to mean the end of playing your favorite game. You can take your love of nearly any sport into overtime by landing a job in a sports-related profession.

A communications major who played baseball -- just not well enough to land a spot on a professional team -- will still head to the ball field every day if he's working in the publicity department for a pro team. A career in sports medicine will have science and pre-med majors working with athletes all day. And sporting goods manufacturers can be excellent employers for jocks of all types.

Employers want the skills jocks learn playing sports, says Randy Gartz, vice president of permanent placement services for Robert Half International in Menlo Park, California. "Some of the key hiring qualifications requested by employers in today's market include leadership, perseverance, dedication to continuous improvement and strategic thinking, all of which you learn early and often in athletics," he said.

Employers are also looking for professionals who work well with others, inspire those around them and show calm under pressure. "People who have excelled in sports are consistently put in situations that require quick thinking and the ability to comprehend concepts instantaneously, which aids them in accelerating their career," Gartz said.

Searching for jobs on Monster can help you find jobs related to a single sport. Start at the Job Search page, and use your sport as your key search term. For example, a recent search using "soccer" as the key search term pulled up jobs posted by a company with its own soccer field and one that promises you'll get home in time for soccer practice.

Here are seven great jobs for jocks, suggestions for how to search Monster for those jobs and a glimpse at what they pay.

1. Athletic Trainer

You can still be at the big game -- just on the sidelines, ready to help injured athletes -- when you work as a collegiate athletic trainer. Start out as an assistant athletic trainer, and you'll earn about $39,053. Move up to head trainer, and your salary will rise to approximately $52,232, according to the Salary Wizard.

2. Corporate Communications Manager for a Sports-Related Company

Put your powers of persuasion to work when you share your love of sports as a communications manager for a sports-related company. Great written and oral communication skills and a marketing or public relations degree will help you create plans that bolster the brand and support marketing efforts. The average communications manager earns about $87,593, according to the Salary Wizard.

3. Event Marketing Associate for a Sports Company

Put on entertaining events for a sports magazine or other sports-related company as an event marketing associate. You'll work with advertising sales, public relations, creative services, client marketing, legal and the business office. On average, meeting and special-event planners earn approximately $54,736, according to the Salary Wizard.

4. College Coach

You can stay in college sports forever when you become a sports coach of a major college team. Start out as an assistant coach earning about $45,509. Move up to an estimated $68,970 when you're the head coach, according to the Salary Wizard. Those who coach minor sports earn about 18% a year less than those who coach major sports.

5. Gym Teacher

If you like children, you can get paid to play sports all day by getting a teaching certificate, then landing a job as a physical education teacher. The average salary for U.S. teachers is about $50,767, according to the Salary Wizard.

6. Wall Street Sales and Trading

College athletes have the reflexes and confidence to do well in this very high-pressure environment. "They're comfortable going with their gut instinct, and there's a fit culturally," said Patrick Perrella, senior associate director of MBA career development for the University of Notre Dame. Typical starting salaries for the athletes he's placed in sales and trading positions are about $95,000, and the bonuses for successful fixed-income, equities, commodities and foreign-exchange traders are "enormous," he said.

7. Sports Medicine

If you were intrigued by what you experienced when you were injured playing your sport, consider working with patients as a sports medicine physician or nurse. Salaries for sports medicine MDs average approximately $237,775; salaries for registered nurses (RNs) average $64,131.

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