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The Top 10 Highest Paid Jobs in the Sports Industry

by Amy Whitmyre, studioD

While not everyone can be a professional athlete, many more people have the ability to work in sports-related fields and make anything from an average salary up to a very high salary. Most sports-related jobs have wide salary ranges depending on whether the person is working with professional athletes or amateurs.

Professional Athlete

Depending on the sport, professional athletes can make several million dollars per year. For example, professional basketball players in the NBA make an average of $5.2 million per year, major league baseball players make an average of $2.5 million a year, and NFL players make an average of $1.75 million per year.

Sports Medicine Doctor

Sports medicine doctors work with patients who have been injured playing sports. Their average income is approximately $356,885 per year.

Sports Management

Team managers keep sports teams operating smoothly. They oversee players and ensure they are healthy and happy and following the rules. They make sure the coaches are taken care of as well. Professional sports team managers make an average of more than $200,000 per year, while amateur sports team managers make an average of $50,000.

Sports Agent

Sports agents negotiate salaries and contracts for their professional athlete clients. They are typically paid 4 percent of their clients’ salaries, so the higher profile their client base, the more money they make. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean salary is $88,620.

Sports Communications Managers

These professionals use marketing and communication skills to bolster the brands of sports-related companies. They may write press releases or advertisements. Their average salary is $87,000.

Physical Therapist

Many sports teams employ full-time physical therapists. But physical therapists also may have a private practice and work with individual athletes as well. The average salary of a physical therapist is $76,000.


More professional sports teams are hiring statisticians than ever before. They use them to monitor trends and determine probability of the outcome of certain plays or the performance of certain athletes. The average statistician earns $72,830 a year.


Professional athletic coaches often make millions of dollars per year. While coaches for college-level and below make significantly less, their salaries can be above average. The top 10 percent of college coaches earn more than $63,720 per year.

Sports Psychologist

Sports psychologists help athletes gain mental focus and eliminate negative behaviors. The median salary of a psychologist is $69,000.


Sports broadcasters who work at the national level may earn millions of dollars per year. Most local sports broadcasters are paid a fee per game. Their median salary is about $36,000 per year.

About the Author

Amy Whitmyre has been a writer for more than 10 years. Her career experience also includes work as an educator and market researcher and a librarian in the legal and medical fields. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Science in library science and is currently working on a Master of Science in education.

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