6 Sports Careers to Consider After Your Pro-Athlete Dream Falls Short

This article is a guest submission from freelance writer Rachelle Wilber

sports careers
Even if your dreams of being a professional athlete fall short - you can still make it in the world of sports
Whether you were injured during a big game or your skills just don't cut it for the big leagues, finding an alternative career in sports can be a bit of a challenge.

If you have the drive to finish a bachelor's degree and are familiar with the various administrative, training and business positions within the sports world, you can line up a nice sports job after college that doesn't require the exceptional skills it takes to be a professional athlete. 

The following six sports careers should be considered if you've come to realize that being a professional athlete just isn't in the cards for you:

Public Relations Specialist

All eyes are on the professional athletes before, during after big games.The only way to manage the public image of a sports team is to hire a public relations specialist.

Public relations specialists keep track of any stories that are circulating about the team or any of its players. He or she will perform damage control during stressful press times and will formulate plans to help the player or team recover their image.

Image is important in the sports world, and teams may be willing to pay more than the average salary for this position of $54,000 per year.


If you miss playing sports and want to keep your head in the game, consider a career as a professional sportscaster.

Sportscasters are hired by television stations, radio stations or travel exclusively with their respective teams. They provide play-by-play commentary and offer insightful thoughts and professional opinion about game tactics.

Physical Therapist/Athletic Trainer

With an annual median wage of $73,000, physical therapy can be a great alternative for former college and semi-professional athletes.

The main job for physical therapists is to assist with the recovery and rehabilitation of injured or sick people. Physical therapists who are hired by professional or college level sports teams are often paid higher wages and enjoy much of the same benefits that professional players.

With a positive career growth rate of 35 percent over the next decade, sports lovers who aren't able to play the game would thrive as a sports team physical therapist.

Sports Administrators

Athletes who are looking for a fulfilling career as an active part of a sports team will likely fit well as sports administrators.

Sports administrators exist at various levels, from high school all the way through the professional level. Salaries vary depending on what level an individual decides to manage at, but those who work with college and professional teams often make six figure salaries or more.

A variety of colleges offer sport management bachelor degree programs. Busy athletes might find an online version of this program useful because it doesn't require them to physically attend class and allows them to study on a full-time or part-time basis.

Marketing Manager

If you completed a bachelor's degree in either marketing or communications, a front office marketing job on the college or professional level may be waiting for you.

On average, marketing managers earn in excess of $100,000 per year. Those who hold marketing positions for sports teams normally work with a team of dedicated associates on a variety of issues, including television and radio commercials, game giveaways, advertising budgets and more.

Those who have a knack for selling and who can adapt very quickly will excel as sports marketing managers.

Sports Psychologists

With the rise in traumatic head injuries and various ethical issues on the professional level, psychologists who specialize in treating athletes are now in high demand.

On average, psychologists make $69,000 per year.

Professional sports teams may be willing to pay much more for an athlete-turned psychologist because they'll understand the ins and outs of the game and the amount of stress it can cause for a player.

Becoming a licensed psychologist will take more than just a bachelor's degree. Athletes who can keep their sports-like determination alive will succeed as psychologists.

Quitting a sports career can be a devastating position for both the player and their families. Keeping the passion for sports alive is possible by choosing a career in sports administration, marketing or commentating on the college and professional levels.
By Brian Clapp | June 15, 2015
Sign In or Register to access all articles and insider tips for help in your job search.

Search for Sports Jobs