sports management salary how much can you make

If you’re passionate about sports, it makes sense that you would pursue a career in the industry. Luckily, you don’t need to be an elite athlete to achieve this goal. You can instead work behind the scenes in a sports management position. A degree in sports management can help get you there!

Getting a sports management degree provides you with valuable training and knowledge that will be quite helpful in your future sports career. It also signals to employers that you are dedicated to working in sports management and are willing to go the extra mile to succeed.

All that said, you need to keep practical factors in mind when deciding what type of career to pursue. That means you need to consider whether a sports management salary will be enough to provide for your lifestyle.

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What is the Average Sports Management Salary? 

It’s essential to keep in mind that sports management salaries can vary substantially, primarily due to the types of jobs that fall under the heading of “sports management.” Additionally, the specific organization for which you work will influence how much you can earn. For example, someone who uses a sports management degree to become a manager at a major sports organization will likely make more than someone who uses their degree to become a sports marketing specialist at a smaller university.

In general, the average starting yearly salary for sports management jobs is $35,000 to $42,000. Depending on the nature of your role, you may eventually become a professional sports manager, earning a minimum of $200,000 a year. Sports agents can even make millions of dollars if their commissions are high enough.

You can’t be sure right now what you should expect to make with a degree in sports management. What you can instead do is learn about key steps you may take to optimize your earnings in the future. 

5 Ways to Maximize Your Earnings

1. Get Experience in Sports Management Jobs

As with all industries, jobs in the sports industry tend to pay more when candidates have more experience. Yet, another good reason to get a degree in sports management. It will prove to potential employers that you’ve studied sports in a structured academic setting. 
increase your sports management salary with a sports internship
That, of course, doesn’t mean this is the only step you can take to make yourself more valuable to employers. The more relevant experience you have, the better. You might also consider applying for sports management internships at sports organizations and universities. If you can take on part-time or entry-level jobs related to the sports industry, consider doing so as well.

Taking on related jobs and internships will assist with networking when you’re ready to apply for sports management jobs. If you perform well, the people with whom you work will likely be happy to recommend you to others. 

Getting practical experience will also help you negotiate a higher starting salary when you accept your first real sports management job. While you shouldn’t necessarily expect to make the “big bucks” right away, once again, if you have relevant experience, employers may be willing to pay you more than they would pay someone who isn’t as experienced.

2. Be Willing to Start Low on the Ladder

Many ideal sports management jobs involve running individual departments for sports organizations. For instance, perhaps you’re interested in marketing. You might thus aspire to become the head of the marketing department for a particular sports team.

That’s a worthy goal to pursue. Just keep in mind that, regardless of how talented and dedicated you are, you aren’t likely to be given such a significant role at first. When you initially apply to most sports management jobs, the odds are good you’ll fill a lower-level position.

You can optimize your sports management salary if you’re willing to accept this reality. If you take on a low-level position in a department that appeals to you, you can work hard to demonstrate your value, which could lead to promotions and raises.

It also allows you to improve your skills and knowledge before taking on excessive responsibilities. After all, while you may be eager to take on a major role at a sports organization, you might not be ready for the duties associated with such a position just yet. If you tried to handle more than you were prepared for, the odds are good that you would end up making a poor impression on your employer. Doing so would make finding another sports management job in the future much more difficult than it would otherwise be.

Your goal is to impress your employer immediately and consistently. If you’re willing to demonstrate your expertise and dedication in a low-level position, you’ll improve your chances of climbing the ladder and earning a higher salary.

3. Consider Relocating

Many sports management jobs involve some degree of travel. It’s not uncommon for various sports industry professionals to follow teams or individual players throughout the country throughout a season. If you’re interested in a career in sports management, you may need to accept this as you consider specific job options.
consider relocating to increase your sports management salary
Being willing to travel is essential. However, in many cases, being willing to relocate is equally vital. That’s because many sports management salaries vary based on location. For example, the average salary for general sports management jobs in New York City is $58,000. In Des Moines, Iowa, the average is $37,000.

Remember this when considering career opportunities. While you need to account for related factors, such as the cost of living, there are instances when you could substantially boost your value as a job candidate by merely moving to a different part of the country. Just make sure you’re realistic when planning a move. Don’t move to a big city if you’re not financially prepared to simply because there are more high-paying sports management jobs in that city. If you’re not confident you’ll be able to secure one of those jobs, you might find yourself in a tough financial situation.

4. Consider All Options

Pursuing your dream career is admirable. If you know exactly what type of sports management job you want, and you’re honestly willing to put in the work necessary to secure it, you should continue working towards your goals.

That said, it’s also important to understand that there are many more options to consider than you might initially realize when you’re interested in a job in the sports industry. For example, perhaps you want to work for a specific team. If you focus solely on that goal, you’ll overlook other potential options, such as working for a different team, or a sports facility, or the organization in general, etc.

It’s best to consider all options if you want to earn the highest sports management salary possible. Limit yourself to one aspiration, and you deprive yourself of the chance to fill jobs that may be more lucrative.

5. Focus on Your Skills

Again, there are many different types of sports management jobs and many different potential sports management salaries. Those who earn the most are typically those with the most experience and expertise in their particular niches. A coach with a winning record will earn more than one with a mediocre one. The sports marketing expert who understands their field in and out will earn more than someone who is making a lateral move to marketing after focusing on another element of sports management for years.
focus on your skills when working towards a sports management career
Getting a degree in sports management will provide you with a broad overview you need to understand the essentials of the industry thoroughly. However, if you want to maximize your earnings, it’s often helpful to focus on one particular area. Once more, this can be marketing, scouting, coaching, managing, and much more.

Having general knowledge will help you appreciate how your role relates to an entire sports organization. It will help you coordinate with others in your work. That said, to make yourself as valuable as possible to an employer, you should typically decide to focus on one key area of sports management. Becoming the accepted expert in your particular field (and getting years of experience in that type of work) will usually boost your odds of earning a lot of money.

The main point to remember is that sports management salaries are relatively wide-ranging. If your goal is to not only work in the industry but make a good living, keep these points in mind. They’ll help you optimize your salary regardless of which sports management job you choose to pursue.