Sports have evolved far beyond the realm of just games and entertainment. They’ve become a global industry with numerous career opportunities that cater to diverse interests and talents. Whether you’re a sports enthusiast or simply passionate about making a difference in the world of athletics, there’s a wide array of careers in sports to consider. Opportunities abound, from working for professional sports teams to working in sports medicine.

In this article, we’ll explore the top 20 careers in sports that might pique your interest and set you on a path to success. Plus, we’ll discuss how obtaining a kinesiology degree can be a valuable asset in pursuing these exciting careers.

20 Careers in Sports to Consider

If you are interested in the sports industry, luckily, there are plenty of different career paths you could choose. Here are some of the most popular sports careers in 2024.

1. Athletic Trainer

Athletic trainers play a crucial role in preventing and managing sports-related injuries. They work with athletes to develop injury prevention programs, offer first aid and coordinate rehabilitation efforts.

Average annual salary: $54,129 (Salary.com)

2. Sports Nutritionist

Sports nutritionists focus on optimizing athletes’ diets to enhance their performance and overall health. They design personalized meal plans, educate athletes on proper nutrition and monitor their progress. They can work for individuals or a sports team as a whole.

Average annual salary: $57,833 (Salary.com)

3. Sports Psychologist

Sports psychologists help athletes manage the mental aspects of their performance. They work on stress management, goal setting, in-game processing, and improving overall mental toughness in the sports world.

Average annual salary: $73,552 (Salary.com)

4. Sports Agent

Sports agents represent professional athletes and negotiate contracts, endorsement deals and sponsorships on their behalf. Building strong relationships and understanding the sports industry are key skills that can be honed through a kinesiology program.

Average annual salary: $58,326 (PayScale.com)

male on treadmill hooked up to monitors

5. Sports Analyst

Sports analysts provide expert commentary and insights during broadcasts, breaking down games and offering valuable perspectives. A deep knowledge of sports, coupled with effective communication skills, is essential for this career.

Average annual salary: $73,261 (ZipRecruiter.com)

6. Sports Journalist

Sports journalists report on events, conduct interviews with athletes and coaches and provide in-depth coverage of sports-related news. A background in journalism, combined with a kinesiology degree, can open doors in this competitive field.

Average annual salary: $48,480 (Salary.com)

7. Physical Therapist

Physical therapists help athletes recover from injuries through specialized exercises and rehabilitation programs. They play a vital role in an athlete’s journey to full recovery and performance.

Average annual salary: $97,720 (BLS.gov)

8. Strength and Conditioning Coach

Strength and conditioning coaches design training programs to help athletes improve their physical performance. They focus on strength, endurance and injury prevention in their exercise programs. A kinesiology degree provides a strong scientific basis for designing effective training regimens.

Average annual salary: $48,225 (Salary.com)

9. Sports Marketing Manager

Sports marketing managers develop and execute marketing strategies for sports teams, events or athletes. They work on brand promotion, fan engagement and revenue generation. A kinesiology degree can provide insights into athlete and team dynamics, which can be valuable in this role.

Average annual salary: $95,000 (Talent.com)

10. Sports Event Manager

Sports event managers are responsible for planning and organizing athletic events, from small tournaments to major championships. They handle logistics and budgeting and ensure the smooth execution of events.

Average annual salary: $62,734 (ZipRecruiter.com)

11. Sports Facilities Manager

Sports facilities managers oversee the maintenance and operations of sports venues such as stadiums and arenas. They ensure that these spaces are safe, functional and meet the needs of athletes and spectators.

Average annual salary: $63,230 (Glassdoor.com)

12. Athletic Director

Athletic directors are responsible for managing the overall athletic programs at schools, colleges or universities. They make decisions regarding budgets, staffing and strategic planning for an athletic department. A kinesiology degree, combined with leadership skills, is beneficial for this role.

Average annual salary: $66,434 (PayScale.com)

13. Sports Medicine Physician

Sports medicine physicians specialize in diagnosing and treating sports-related injuries and medical conditions. They work closely with athletes to optimize their health and performance.

Average annual salary: $256,366 (Salary.com)

three journalists with microphones.

14. Sports Photographer/Videographer

Sports photographers and videographers capture the excitement and action of sports events. They play a crucial role in documenting history and showcasing athletes’ talents through sports media.

Average annual salary: $27,661 (Comparably.com)

15. Sports Statistician

Sports statisticians collect and analyze data related to sports performance, helping teams and coaches make informed decisions. A solid understanding of kinesiology can aid in interpreting and contextualizing athletic data.

Average annual salary: $104,758 (Salary.com)

16. Sports Equipment Designer

Sports equipment designers create innovative gear and equipment that enhance athletes’ performance and safety. Understanding the biomechanics of sports, which can be learned through kinesiology, can be beneficial in this creative field.

Average annual salary: $49,316 (ZipRecruiter.com)

17. Sports Law Attorney

Sports law attorneys specialize in legal issues related to sports, including contracts, disputes and regulations.

Average annual salary: $105,799 (Salary.com)

18. Sports Researcher

Sports researchers conduct studies and experiments to advance our understanding of sports science and performance.

Average annual salary: $113,102 (ZipRecruiter.com)

19. Sports Consultant

Sports consultants provide expert advice to teams, athletes or organizations, helping them improve their performance or achieve specific goals. A kinesiology degree can provide the expertise needed to excel in this role.

Average annual salary: $48,110 (ZipRecruiter.com)

20. Sports Coach

Sports coaches play a pivotal role in developing athletes’ skills and strategies. They provide guidance, motivation and expertise in various sports. A kinesiology degree can offer a comprehensive understanding of the physiological and biomechanical aspects of coaching.

Average annual salary: $85,932 (Salary.com)

[Note* – Salary ranges within the sports industry have tremendous potential for earnings growth as an individual’s career grows with experience, expertise, and continued education. This sector presents strong job security as sports and adjacent business ventures continue to expand in reach and popularity]

The Value of a Kinesiology Degree in Pursuing a Sports Career

While the above-mentioned careers in sports encompass a wide range of roles and responsibilities, they all benefit from a strong foundation in kinesiology. Kinesiology, the scientific study of human movement and physical activity, provides essential knowledge in areas such as anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and exercise science. Here are some reasons why obtaining a kinesiology degree can be a valuable asset when pursuing a career in sports:

In-Depth Understanding: A kinesiology degree equips you with a deep understanding of how the human body functions during physical activity. This knowledge is invaluable for careers in sports science, athletic training, physical therapy and coaching.

Injury Prevention and Management: Many sports careers involve working with athletes who may face injuries. With a kinesiology background, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to help prevent injuries and assist in rehabilitation.

Performance Optimization: Whether you’re a strength and conditioning coach, sports psychologist or nutritionist, knowing the mechanics of human movement is essential for optimizing athletes’ performance.

Scientific Basis: Sports careers are increasingly data-driven and evidence-based. A kinesiology degree provides you with a solid scientific foundation to make informed decisions and analyze performance metrics.

Versatility: A kinesiology degree offers versatility in the sports industry. It can be applied to various roles, from coaching and training to sports medicine and research.

Get Your Kinesiology Degree With CSP Global

The world of sports offers an exciting array of career opportunities for individuals with diverse interests and talents. Whether you aspire to work directly with athletes, behind the scenes in management and marketing or as a sports journalist or analyst, there’s a position waiting for you.

To excel in many of these roles, a kinesiology degree can be a valuable asset, providing you with the knowledge and skills needed to make a significant impact in the world of sports.

CSP Global offers 100% online kinesiology doctoral degree programs, including exercise science, sports nutrition, strength and conditioning and exercise physiology. Browse our website today for more information or contact us to schedule a consultation.

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