If physical fitness and competitive spirit play a major role in your life, then maybe you should consider one of the many careers available for athletic enthusiasts. You’ll have the chance to hone your athletic prowess, and teach others the skills you have learned throughout your sports career. Typically employees in this industry have a very high quality of life and enjoy the work that they do, so taking this type of career can be very rewarding for the right person. It will help to stay fit and healthy, but if this type of work interests you, that shouldn’t be a problem. So if staying in shape, eating right, and teaching others what you know seems like an attractive career option, then read on and take a look at the top 5 jobs for athletes—current and former.
1.) Sports Camp Instructor
Nearly every major sport has camps that provide athletes with the necessary skills to improve. Most camps are designed for younger children, so the summer months are primetime since their schedules will be freed up. Depending on your expertise and experience, getting a job at a camp could be highly rewarding. Not only will you have the chance to work on your coaching skills, but you’ll also have the opportunity to mentor children and develop them into better athletes. Summer camps are important for athletes who take the game seriously. As a camp associate you won’t make too much money, but if you work your way up to a director it can be lucrative. Since the salary varies so much, you can’t really attribute an average pay rate. If you own and operate your own sports camp you’ll surely earn a nice chunk of seasonal cash. An average worker at one of these camps would make somewhere around $10/hr, but that number has potential to grow to six figures if you are the owner of a highly reputable sports camp.
When you are starting out, you’ll need to start teaching kids at a younger age on a volunteer basis. As you climb the ranks and advance your reputation, the opportunity to take a paid position will present itself. Becoming a paid coach at the collegiate or professional takes a great deal of hard work and sacrifice. However, it’s a rewarding job for people who love the game.
3.) Fitness Instructor
Personal trainers and fitness instructors can earn a nice paycheck doing what they truly enjoy. When you are just starting out, don’t expect to earn more than $20/hr. However, as you get some experience the potential to earn $60,000-$70,000 per year is realistic and attainable. Some trainers make six figures—it all comes down to your clientele. You’ll make a lot more money if you run your own business and provide your own facilities.
4.) Athletic Trainer
As an athletic trainer you’re likely to witness your fair share of sports injuries, so if you have a weak stomach then this job isn’t for you. On a day to day basis, you’ll be taping ankles and wrists, fixing minor injuries such as cuts and scrapes, or administering deep tissue messages and helping athletes recover from ailments. Athletic trainers earn an average of about $40,000 per year, but the potential for advancement to a more lucrative position is omnipresent. You just need to get some experience under your belt and make the right connections.
You’ll likely need some experience in higher education to become a sports statistician, but with an average salary of around $70,000 per year, it would be in your best interest to pursue these educational goals. If analyzing numbers and keeping track of sports statistics sounds interesting to you, then working in this role can be incredibly fun and rewarding. However, the opporunites are hard to come by, since the turnover rate is very low for these positions. You’ll need to wait for a job to open up.
There are plenty careers available for present or former athletes—you just need to get some entry-level experience or pursue an educational background. However, it’s worth the investment, because the opportunity for vocational progression will always linger. Some of these careers have incredible earning potential for the right individuals, so sticking with it and doing your best can really pay off later in life. However, taking on a new sports-related job should never be about the money. Rather, it should directly relate to your love for the game.