Talent alone is no guarantee a young baseball player will make it to the big leagues. The right person also needs to recognize their talent and provide them with an opportunity to make their dreams a reality.
Although they may not be on the field, a baseball scout contributes to a team’s success in a significant way. They also enjoy the rewarding experience of providing talented young people with the chance to become star athletes.
If that sounds appealing to you, the odds are good you’re interested in baseball scouting jobs. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean you know what steps you must take to become a baseball scout (or to land any other type of job in sports).
How to Become a Baseball Scout
To become a professional baseball scout, follow these key steps
1. Know Your Goals
Before taking major steps towards your future career, it’s a good idea to determine what type of scout you want to be. Some budding scouts are solely interested in pursuing MLB jobs. Others are content with baseball jobs in any capacity. For instance, you could choose to take on baseball scouting jobs exclusively with major universities.
There is no “right” or “wrong” goal to set for yourself. You’ll be better equipped to develop a career plan if you define what your specific goal is.
2. Know the Demands of the Job
It’s also important to consider certain practical realities when deciding whether you want to be a scout. For instance, scouts typically need to travel to high schools and universities to see young players in action. Along with watching games, they often travel to coordinate with players who they are thinking about recruiting, letting athletes know what additional steps they can take to boost their odds of earning a spot on the team. That means you’ll need to be comfortable with a certain degree of traveling if you’re genuinely interested in baseball scouting jobs.
You might also be wondering, “How much does a baseball scout make?”
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for coaches and scouts is $33,780 per year. That said, many factors can affect how much money you may earn with a baseball scouting job, which is true of virtually all sports jobs. Someone who is a scout for an MLB team will likely make more than someone who is a scout at a relatively minor university.
- Manager for Scout/Field
Administration/Management - West Region
- Scouting Assistant
Sports Services - West Region
- Assistant Coach, Women’s Basketball Video and Scouting Operations
Sports Services - Central Region
- Sports Sponsorship Scout
Sports Services - West Region
3. Get an Education
While it’s certainly not impossible to get a baseball job without a relevant degree, your odds of landing your dream job are certainly more significant if you’ve had a proper education.
Someone who wants to become a professional baseball scout should strive to earn a bachelor’s degree in a field related to sports, which may include sports management, exercise science, or any other area of study that aligns with your career goals.
It’s also worth noting that you may supplement your education if you can’t justify devoting substantial time and money to earning a full college degree (or returning to college to earn a new degree). Many people begin pursuing jobs in sports by earning sports management certification first. You can often complete a sports management certification program online, allowing you to earn a relevant degree without spending as much time and money as you would attending a traditional university.
4. Consider an Internship
There is a lot of competition for MLB jobs. Additionally, as with all industries, if you want to get a job in sports, it helps to know the right people.
That’s why you may want to consider routinely checking to learn when MLB internship programs are accepting applications. While you don’t necessarily need to complete an internship to get a baseball scouting job with the MLB, interning will undoubtedly allow you to impress people who may be able to help you further pursue your career in the future.
This is also an option worth keeping in mind if you’re currently a student with interest in becoming a scout at a university. College sports programs often enlist the help of student interns at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Your main goal is to make contacts in the industry. To better understand why this is extremely helpful, consider the next point.
- Graduate Assistant - Facility & Event Management - NCAA
Marketing/Events/Promotions - Central Region
- Assistant Volleyball Coach/Building Supervisor/Game Management - NCAA
Administration/Management - Southeast Region
- Prospect Management Internship
Sports Internship - Northeast Region
- Executive Director, Project Management
Sports Media - West Region
5. Take Indirect Career Routes
It’s important to understand that you don’t necessarily need to apply to baseball scouting jobs to eventually become a professional baseball scout. Although that is an option, you can also get relevant experience while still holding down another job.
Keep this in mind if becoming a scout would be a significant career shift for you. Right now, you may not be able to leave your current job to pursue an entirely new line of work. You also may not have to. Many professional scouts and talent spotters begin their careers by working on a part-time basis. They coordinate with leagues and/or colleges, working as freelancers. If you’re considering this option, you’ll have much more luck finding clients if you’ve previously made industry contacts.
Being a freelance scout allows you to get the kind of professional experience that will impress potential employers should you decide to pursue full-time baseball jobs in the future. If you enjoy the freedom of working with different clients, you could even choose to start your own scouting agency, turning a side gig into a lucrative business.
Just remember, again, there is no one way to get any job in sports. These are merely some of the more common steps people take to become baseball scouts. Use the points outlined here to develop your career plan, and your odds of achieving your goals will be much greater.