How to Become a Sports Recruiter

Sports Recruiter Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year $50,630
Education 4+ Years
Job Outlook 12.9%

When you become a sports recruiter, your role is to find the best up and coming sports talent.

Sports recruiters are employed by sports teams, colleges, and sports agencies.

They scour high schools, colleges, and local leagues to look for the next star.

Sports recruiters sometimes also look for people to fill in other roles in sports, such as coaches.

A sports recruiter must have a broad skills base.

Firstly, they must know the sport industry inside out.

A recruiter also needs to know what to look for in potential players, and also how to spot possible problems.

They also need good negotiation skills to be able to enlist a player.

If you love sports, are good with people, and have an eye for talent, then you will likely enjoy the role of a sports recruiter.

This is a popular career choice, and for this reason entry into this field can be competitive.

Education Requirements to Become a Sports Recruiter

If you would like to become a sports recruiter, then it’s likely that you are already a big sports fan and are very passionate.

However, to work in this field there is much more that you will need to know.

You’ll need to become familiar with teams, coaches and players across all levels of the sport.

This includes high school, college, state, and even national teams.

Of course, you’ll need to know the rules, and also how to spot the best talent.

Most sports recruiters have a four year college degree in a field such as sports management.

Marketing, business administration, or public relations also form a good background for a sports recruiter.

Without this education it will be difficult to get a start in the industry.

The become a sports recruiter you’ll also need some work experience.

If you’re at high school, volunteer to help out with local sports teams.

Even helping them out with administrative tasks will look great on your resume.

A part-time job in the industry would be helpful also.

While at college, it’s a good idea to take any internships you can if the opportunity presents itself.

Remember that many people are trying to get into the field of sports recruitment, and a bit of work experience will help you stand out amongst other candidates.

Sports Recruiter Job Description

When you become a sports recruiter, your main duty is to find the next big sports starts.

Recruiters do this in a number of ways, depending on who they are employed by.

Colleges work by sending out sports recruiters to high school games.

They will find talented sportsmen and women and offer them scholarships at their school.

Sports recruiters also work on behalf of state and national teams.

Much in the same fashion, they will attend college matches to look for a star, and will offer the best players a position on a team.

A sports recruiter must also be a skilled negotiator.

The best players will have more than one sports agent in their ear, trying to enlist them.

In these cases a recruiter must convince the player to go with them.

They may offer them packages including scholarships, salaries, and other perks.

Being a good sports recruiter isn’t just about finding the best player, it’s also about spotting potential.

A player may not be the best on the team, but could show signs of improving dramatically in the future.

Sometimes a sports recruiter will deal with a player’s agent, especially when it comes to high level sports including national leagues.

Here are some of the responsibilities you could have as a sports recruiter:

  • Keeping up to date with industry news
  • Attending sports matches or games
  • Spotting talent and potential players
  • Negotiating with players to enlist them
  • Negotiating with agents

Sports Recruiter Salary and Career Path

When you become a sports recruiter, you’ll likely start working with another recruiter to begin with.

Most start their career working for a college, and spend their time traveling the country looking for the next sports starts.

You would begin looking for players for all kinds of sports.

Once you have shown your skill as a recruiter, you may be recruited yourself by a larger team or league.

It’s likely at this stage of your career you would work within a particular sport.

Some sports recruiters go on to become sports agents, or managers later in their career.

A starting salary for a sports recruiter is around $28,000 a year.

A more experienced recruiter could earn closer to $45,000 a year.

Some similar roles you may be interested in include:

  • Sports agent
  • Sports commentator
  • Basketball agent
  • Football Agent
  • Baseball Agent

If you’re passionate about sports and would love to make a career out of it, then you might like to become a sports recruiter.

While entry can be competitive, it’s also a job with a high level of job satisfaction for those who choose to pursue this career.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
New Hampshire$53,550
New York- NA -
North Carolina$36,820
North Dakota$41,370
South Dakota$31,500
West Virginia$34,300

The top earning state in the field is Florida, where the average salary is $77,030.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

Florida - $77,030
Wisconsin - $55,220
Maryland - $54,790
New Hampshire - $53,550
Massachusetts - $53,230
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Umpires, Referees, and Other Sports Officials, OCC Code 27-2023, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a sports recruiter do?

A sports recruiter (or a sports scout) is someone who finds talented athletes and recruits them to play for different sports teams.

Sports recruiters can work for a professional sports team, a college, a university, or a professional sports agency (some recruiters are self-employed).

The typical duties of these professionals usually include watching plenty of games and taking notes along the way; doing profound research; traveling to various destinations to attend different games; meeting with players and their families and seeing them on the court or field; helping with contract negotiations, and so on.

In a nutshell, sports recruiters are the ones responsible for identifying the top players and, later on, getting those players in the professional level of sports.

A lot of recruiters work as coaches or teachers during the off-season.

How much do sports recruiters make?

On average, a sports recruiter can make a little less than $34.000 per year in the United States.

In case you decide to follow this career path, you can expect to earn anywhere between $19.000 and $78.000 annually.

The salary would certainly depend on a variety of factors – your experience level, the sport, the location, the employer, and so on.

Sports recruiters that work in the District of Columbia, New York, and New Jersey, for example, have the highest average salaries.

An entry-level sports recruiter can earn around $9 per hour, while a highly experienced professional can make over $37 per hour.

How much does it cost to become a sports recruiter?

There are no specific educational requirements to become a sports recruiter.

However, some decide to go for a degree in sports coaching, sports science, business, sports management, sales marketing, or a related field.

A year in a university can cost you anywhere between $8.000 and $45.000 (and more); the cost depends on a variety of factors (the books, supplies, and accommodation expenses are not included).

Some sports recruiters may need to be certified.

A recruiter certification program can cost you around $1.000 (the courses and exams included).

What is the demand for sports recruiters?

Between 2016 and 2026, the sports recruiter job market is expected to grow by 12.9%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That is faster than the national average for all occupations in the United States.

The candidates that possess a degree will have better job perspectives.

The competition in the field is extremely high; jobs with professional teams are the most competitive out of them all.

The industry is mainly concentrated in Texas, Washington, and California.

How long does it take to become a sports recruiter?

It will take you 4 years to obtain a bachelor’s degree, in case you decide to go for one.

The majority of sports recruiters have experienced coaching or playing in the past; such experience will be extremely helpful in your future career.

To get certified, you would have to fill in an application form and answer a series of questions.

Make sure to spend a lot of time building a contact list and nurturing relationships (that is a great part of the job).

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

One thought on “How to Become a Sports Recruiter

  1. Maria Cobb says:

    I have been passionate sports since age 12. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and worked in Real Estate for 16 years, certified as a RE Negotiation Expert. I can read and offensive/defensive and tell when a player is checked out. As far as recruiting it’s more that stats it’s what you see in their eyes on the field. You have to understand who they are and what really drives them. I accidentally met a Recruiter from ASU and had an in depth sports conversation. He’s like you should recruit you understand what to look for in a player/person.

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