Entry-level sports jobs are sometimes the only way to get your candidate’s foot in the door in the sports industry. To choose the one that suits your candidate best, you must know where your candidate stands in terms of skills and competencies.


The National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) Job Outlook 2016 Spring Update survey found that employers want specific skills they find critical to a candidate’s career readiness. Based on this list, ensure that your candidate’s resume highlights their critical thinking and problem solving skills, professionalism and work ethic, teamwork, and communication skills.

These soft skills are important to success in finding entry-level sports jobs and continuing your professional development.

The following 4 entry-level sports jobs are predicted to be among the highest demand jobs in the sports industry in 2017.

Sports Coaching

If your candidate has interest in becoming the next Bill Walsh or Don Shula, make sure they have an applicable undergraduate degree. The best degrees towards getting an entry-level interview include education, sports science, business administration, statistics, and athletic coaching education, among others.

Candidates with a graduate degree and graduate assistant experience also have a competitive advantage towards getting hired in this industry. Entry-level sports coaching jobs are looking for candidates with communication and listening skills and a willingness to learn.  

Communicate to your candidate that their passion will fuel professional networking, which is their best method of finding a position.

While the median salary for graduate assistants is usually low, around $20,000, according to PayScale, the business and sports knowledge, the hands-on work experience, and professional networking is invaluable for future sports coaching jobs.

Sports Sales

Sports sales jobs are ideal for those who want to learn the ins and outs of how the sports industry operates and understand how revenue is generated. Sports sales jobs can include sales assistant for a television, radio, or other sports media company. Other options are sales coordinator, sales representative or associate, account coordinator and manager, department director, and other positions related to client services.

At $36,000 per year, which is the average salary according to PayScale, a sales assistant can earn a decent living wage, despite the entry-level position.

Sports Marketing

If your candidate is interested in introducing and promoting goods or services in the sports industry, recommend sports marketing jobs.

Many are interested in getting their feet wet in a marketing coordinator position. Here, your candidate will have a hand in developing campaigns, creating presentations, brainstorming brand messaging ideas, and managing digital properties. Since this role involves a lot of research, brand development, social media management, content management, and many other facets, the growth potential is high.

Your candidate can take this experience in several different directions after spending a few years wearing the many hats required of a marketing coordinator. There is potential to move up to specialist positions, management, and even director roles. As Payscale found, with an average salary of $40,000 a year, marketing coordinators make a good amount to jumpstart their fast-paced career path. If your candidate is looking for experience to break into this industry consider looking for sports marketing internships.

Sports Production, Media & Broadcasting

Sports media companies are booming, mostly thanks to the internet and the rise in content demand. If your candidate is interested in sports production jobs, most start in a sports production internship or production assistant, where you aid producers and directors with developing and creating content, take care of administrative duties, and work on editing software.

Big companies like ESPN and Fox Sports offer lots of opportunities for hands-on experience. Experience from this career path presents great opportunity for professional growth. Qualified candidates will be skilled in research and writing, editing, production techniques, and of course know a lot about sports.

At an average of just $13 per hour, according to PayScale, production assistants don’t make much but do get to further develop their technical skills like film editing, camerawork, and other production competencies while deepening their understanding of content production and sports media. After some experience, they can advance even beyond producer roles to become creative directors.

Entry-level work is usually lower paying but acts as a great stepping stone to bigger and better things. These career fields merely scratch the surface. You may want to consult athletes as a nutritionist, stick to sports writing and enter the world of journalism, or crunch numbers as a data scientist.

No matter the path your candidate is interested in, have them create career goals and hit the ground running. Encourage them to work with passion and an energetic attitude, and they will learn a lot and stay competitive in the sports job market.

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