Coaches and Scouts teach amateur and professional athletes the skills they need to succeed at their sport. Scouts look for new players, evaluating their skills and likelihood for success at the college, amateur, or professional level. Many coaches also are involved in scouting potential athletes.

Coaches teach professional and amateur athletes the fundamental skills of individual and team sports. They hold training and practice sessions to improve the athletes’ form, technique, skills, and stamina. Along with refining athletes’ individual skills, coaches are responsible for instilling in their players the importance of good sportsmanship, a competitive spirit, and teamwork.

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Coaches and Scouts teach amateur and professional athletes the skills they need to succeed at their sport. Scouts look for new players, evaluating their skills and likelihood for success at the college, amateur, or professional level. Many coaches also are involved in scouting potential athletes.

Coaches teach professional and amateur athletes the fundamental skills of individual and team sports. They hold training and practice sessions to improve the athletes’ form, technique, skills, and stamina. Along with refining athletes’ individual skills, coaches are responsible for instilling in their players the importance of good sportsmanship, a competitive spirit, and teamwork.

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Job Prospects


Strong competition is expected for higher paying jobs at the college level, and competition will be even greater for jobs in professional sports.

Job prospects at the high school level should be good, but coaching jobs typically go to those teaching in the school. Candidates who have a degree or are state certified to teach academic subjects, therefore, should have the best prospects for getting coaching jobs at high schools. The need to replace the number of high school coaches who change occupations or leave the labor force also will provide some jobs.

Coaches in girls’ and women’s sports may have better job opportunities because of a growing number of participants and leagues.

Competition is also likely to be strong for jobs as scouts, particularly for professional teams.

Employment projections data for coaches and scouts, 2016-26


Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2016 Projected Employment, 2026 Change, 2016-26 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric
Coaches and Scouts 27-2022 276,100 311,700 13 35,700 xlsx

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Employment projections data for coaches and scouts, 2016-26


Occupational Title
Coaches and Scouts
SOC Code
27-2022
Employment, 2016
276,100
Projected Employment, 2026
311,700
CHANGE, 2016-26
PERCENT
13
NUMERIC
35,700
EMPLOYMENT BY INDUSTRY
xlsx

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Pay


The median annual wage for coaches and scouts was $32,270 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $18,670, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $75,400.

In May 2017, the median annual wages for coaches and scouts in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:


Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools; State, Local, and Private $44,340
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation $35,480
Elementary and Secondary Schools; State, Local, and Private $26,880

Coaches and scouts often work irregular hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays. Professional or college coaches usually work more than 40 hours a week for several months during the sport’s season, if not most of the year. Many high school coaches work part time and may have other jobs aside from coaching.

Coaches and Scouts


Median annual wages, May 2017


Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics

Job Outlook


Employment of coaches and scouts is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Rising participation in high school and college sports should increase demand for coaches and scouts.

High school enrollment is projected to increase over the next decade, resulting in a rise in the number of student athletes. As schools offer more athletic programs and as more students participate in sports, the demand for coaches may increase.

Participation in college sports also is projected to increase over the next decade, particularly at smaller colleges and in women’s sports. Many small, Division III colleges are expanding their sports programs and adding new teams as a way to help promote the school and recruit potential students. However, new rules allowing an increase in scholarship payments to student athletes may result in funding cuts to smaller collegiate sports programs and the accompanying coaching staffs.

The growing interest in college and professional sports also will increase demand for scouts. Colleges must attract the best athletes to remain competitive. Successful teams help colleges enhance their reputation, recruit future students, and raise donations from alumni. Colleges, therefore, will increasingly rely on scouts to recruit the best possible high school athletes. In addition, as college tuition increases and scholarships become more competitive, high school athletes will hire scouts directly, in an effort to increase the athletes’ chances of receiving a college scholarship.

However, funding for athletic programs at schools often is cut first when budgets become tight. For example, some high schools within the same school district may combine their sports programs in an effort to cut costs. Still, the popularity of team sports often enables shortfalls to be offset with help from fundraisers, booster clubs, and parents.

Coaches and Scouts


Percent change in employment, projected 2016-26


Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics

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Professional Recruiter and Staffing Organizations


  • National Association of Personnel Services
  • Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals
  • American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment
  • National Association of Executive Recruiters
  • National Association for Health Care Recruitment
  • Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association
  • American Staffing Association
  • Top Echelon Recruiting Network

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