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Career Profile: Athletes and Sports Competitors

Compete in athletic events.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 16,700 people employed as athletes and sports competitors in the United States. The median annual salary is $50,900. Entry level employees earn approximately $20,270 per year and senior employees earn approximately $208,000 (or more) per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Participate in athletic events or competitive sports, according to established rules and regulations.
  • Exercise or practice under the direction of athletic trainers or professional coaches to develop skills, improve physical condition, or prepare for competitions.
  • Receive instructions from coaches or other sports staff prior to events and discuss performance afterwards.
  • Represent teams or professional sports clubs, performing such activities as meeting with members of the media, making speeches, or participating in charity events.
  • Lead teams by serving as captain.
  • Assess performance following athletic competition, identifying strengths and weaknesses and making adjustments to improve future performance.
  • Maintain equipment used in a particular sport.
  • Attend scheduled practice or training sessions.
  • Maintain optimum physical fitness levels by training regularly, following nutrition plans, or consulting with health professionals.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
16,700
Annual Openings:
3,400
Increase in Openings by 2030:
38%
Annual Salary Range:
$20,270 - $208,000
Education Requirements:
Some high school