Careers in Sports Management with a Degree or Certificate

The global sports market is worth an estimated $388.3 billion. That number is expected to grow to $599.9 billion in just four years. With the market expanding at the rate it is, more people are pursuing a degree in sports management than ever before. But, what can you do with a sports management degree or certificate?

There are presently over 400 sports management programs at the undergraduate and graduate level in the United States. More students seek cost-effective and flexible options and turn to certificate programs like Yellowbrick’s Fundamentals of Global Sports Management to further their education. There’s no shortage of opportunities for those holding a certificate, bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree in sports management. These careers are just a few examples of where you can go as a sports management professional.


Athletic Trainer

Athletic Trainers work with athletes to diagnose muscle and bone injuries and provide first aid. In addition, they work alongside coaches, athletic directors, physical therapists, and physicians to implement treatment plans for injured athletes and develop injury prevention programs. 

Athletic Trainer, What can you do with a sports management degree
A training session.

Helpful Traits:

If you’re decisive and a natural leader capable of holding yourself and others accountable, a career as an Athletic Trainer may be right for you.

Average Salary:

Athletic Trainers average an annual salary of $50,428 nationally.



Coaches assist in scouting prospective athletes and recruiting them to join their organizations. They provide instructional feedback to in order to help players improve their skill levels. In addition, coaches devise game strategies intended to improve the team’s chances of winning. Coaches work with professional athletics and sports organizations, as well as schools and universities.

Coaching a youth soccer team.

Helpful Traits: To be a successful coach, communication is key. So you should be able to express ideas clearly and have good listening skills.

Average Salary: Coaches at the high school level average an annual salary of $43,737 nationally.


Fitness Manager

Fitness Managers supervise the administrative and organizational activities of fitness clubs. They hire and train staff, including personal trainers, and oversee the development of fitness programs. Fitness Managers are also responsible for client relations, budget management, equipment maintenance, and ensuring health and safety regulations are followed.

Fitness Manager

Helpful Traits: Interpersonal and organizational skills are necessary qualities for a Fitness Manager.

Average Salary: Fitness Managers average an annual salary of $39,431 nationally.


Sports Social Media Coordinator

Social Media Coordinators work on behalf of teams and organizations to create and execute the social strategy. They also manage the team’s presence across all social media platforms by providing original content and engaging with followers. Social Media Coordinators may also manage social calendars and analyze content performance to assist in planning. 

Social Media Coordinator
Social Media Coordinator

Helpful Traits: Sports Social Media Coordinators should be tech-savvy to navigate different social platforms. They should also be creative and can make engaging content.

Average Salary: Sports Social Media Coordinators average an annual salary of $53,957 nationally.


Sports Operations Manager

Sports Operations Managers oversee the day-to-day business side and operations of a league, franchise, or university athletic program. They manage budget and monitor costs, hiring and training staff, arrangements for team travel, and developing policy and procedure guidelines. 

Sports Operations Manager
An Operations Manager

Helpful Traits: It’s common for Sports Operations Managers to be analytical thinkers with a solid work ethic. 

Average Salary: Sports Operations Managers average an annual salary of $56,478 nationally.


Sports Promoter

A Sports Promoter is essential to the event planning process. They work with event coordinators to plan and market sporting events. In addition, they are responsible for creating event budgets, projecting attendance and revenue, scouting and selecting venues, and selling sponsorships. They also provide support for on-site logistics during set-up and breakdown.

Sports Promoter, What can you do with a sports management degree
Promoting sports and planning events.

Helpful Traits: Sports Promoters are self-starters, but can be adaptable and work as part of a team when necessary.

Average Salary: Sports Promoters average an annual salary of $39,591 nationally.


Sports Psychologist 

A Sports Psychologist is a mental health professional hired by a team or league to counsel athletes to achieve their peak performance level. In addition, they develop strategies that help athletes mentally cope with setbacks or injuries. 

They also advise athletes through stressors that aren’t associated with their play. When appropriate, Sports Psychologists facilitate workshops and team-building group activities. They also provide counseling for coaching and other team personnel.

Sports Psychologist, What can you do with a sports management degree
Psychology session.

Helpful Traits: Sports Psychologists handle sensitive issues, so it’s essential to be empathetic and trustworthy.

Average Salary: Sports Psychologists average an annual salary of $73,501 nationally.


Ticket Account Representative

Account Representatives are salespeople. They promote games and events to sell tickets to individuals, groups, and corporate buyers. They also provide customer service support for season-ticket holders and pursue leads to generate new customers. Account Representatives have quotas set by sales or marketing executives.

Ticket Account Representative
Tickets for a sporting event.

Helpful Traits: If you’re a high-energy multitasker and persuasive enough to close deals, consider becoming a Ticket Account Representative.

Average Salary: Ticket Account Representatives average an annual salary of $44,722  nationally.


Are you looking for your next steps in pursuing a job in sports management? Be sure to check out Yellowbrick’s Ultimate Sports Management Career Guide.

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