You don’t need to be a baseball player to have a job in the sport. For example, you might be interested in learning how to become a baseball scout.
A career as a baseball scout allows you to play a very important role in both the success of a team and the lives of young people who aspire to achieve their dreams as athletes.
Although there are various ways you can pursue this career path, this general overview will give you a sense of how to get a job as a baseball scout.
What Does a Baseball Scout Do?
To become a star athlete at the college or professional level, someone needs to “discover” you the same way talent scouts and agents discover underground musicians who eventually become famous performers. A baseball scout travels the country, evaluating whether a player has the skills and dedication necessary to succeed on a team.
That’s an important point to be aware of. If you’re wondering how to become a college talent scout, you should know that you’ll have to be willing to travel to high schools across the nation to look for students who are worthy of scholarships and spots on college teams. The experience will be similar for someone wondering how to become a major league baseball scout. The only difference is that major league scouts usually travel to colleges.
In either case, your job will involve a lot of time on the road. That’s not meant to deter you from pursuing this career. You should merely be aware of the fact that this job will require a willingness to travel regularly.
How Much Does a Baseball Scout Make?
Baseball scout salaries can vary depending on a wide range of factors. As of this writing, the average salary of an MLB baseball scout is $32,270, but some scouts can make more than double that if they have experience and a proven track record of success.
Data regarding how much college baseball scouts make is unavailable, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics combines data regarding the salaries of college baseball scouts with data on the salaries of major league scouts. Generally, though, what matters most is a scout’s expertise and association with a reputable sports program or organization. For example, a baseball scout working for a university with an impressive program can theoretically make around the same amount as a mid-level scout with an MLB team.
Becoming a Scout in Baseball
You don’t necessarily need a higher education degree to become a college baseball scout. However, it does help. This is particularly true if you studied something related to athletics, such as sports management or physical education. If you have not attended college and are unable to, you should at least consider enrolling in a part-time sports management certification program.
If you are attending college or plan to in the future, you should take this opportunity to network with those who may help you get a job in an athletics department. Take an on-campus job that involves working as closely with the baseball team as possible, or accept an internship if no such jobs are available.
You can also regularly attend the ABCA Coaching Convention, a networking opportunity you should strongly consider if you’re not attending college and therefore need another means of building connections.
It’s also worth noting that some scouts take indirect routes to jumpstart their careers. For example, they may work with local leagues or colleges as freelancers. Similar to a freelance journalist, you can present your credentials and relevant experience to leagues and universities in your area, expressing your desire to help them find talent. You’ll simply work as a freelancer or contractor instead of as a full-time employee. However, if you prove that you can identify talented players, you may eventually be offered a full-time position.
How to Become a Major League Baseball Scout
Becoming a baseball scout for the MLB involves taking some of the same essential steps that you would take when pursuing a job as a college baseball scout. If possible, it’s wise to study sports management or similar areas of study in college.
Those specifically interested in scouting positions with the MLB should also look into MLB internship programs. Although they can be fairly rigorous, participating in these programs can help you make the right impression on those who may play a significant role in helping you launch your career.
Additionally, if you’re trying to become any type of baseball scout, whether it’s for the MLB or a college, you should research who the major scouts are for your favorite MLB and college teams now. With a little bit of Googling, you may be able to track down their contact information.
You don’t want to pester anyone, but you could reach out to them and let them know about your career goals, asking if they can provide any useful advice. Not every single person you contact will respond and be willing to help. However, it’s possible at least some will offer advice that you can apply to make leaps in your career. Some may even actively help you connect with those who can provide you with job opportunities.
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Get Connected with Industry Professionals
One of the best ways to become a baseball scout is to apply to jobs in baseball, regardless of whether they involve scouting. Your first job in baseball might not be as a scout. However, if you work hard and make the right connections, an opportunity to land a job as a scout may present itself.
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