“How Much Does a Sports Agent Make?” is often the first question asked of individuals contemplating this career choice. Unlike careers that typically have base salaries, sports agents’ wages are determined not so much on their performance but on the performance of the athletes that they represent. Learn more about sports agents, including what their work involves and how their wages are determined.
What a Sports Agent Does
Representing athletes is one of the many duties of a sports agent. They might sit behind a desk negotiating contracts, doing taxes, and setting up product endorsements for athletes or be traveling to meet with potential clients, athletes, and league representatives. This is not a 9 to 5 job but rather one that involves working nights and weekends scouting and recruiting athletes. They work with athletes in setting up endorsements and even help athletes manage their money.
Related resource: Top 24 Best Sports Management Degree Programs
What Sports Agent’s Wages Include
Several factors go into determining the wage or salary of a sports agent.
• Commissions – The sports agent gets a commission off the athlete’s earning. The earnings vary by sport and player. The average commission for an athlete is between four and ten percent of the player’s contract. Some sports have a limit on the commission an agent can charge. Whereas the National Basketball Association and the National Football League have the limit at three percent, the National Hockey League and Major League don’t have any limits on commissions.
• Salary variations – The commission an agent earns depends on the player’s salary for the sport he or she plays. Salary caps can put a limit on the commission. For this reason, some of the highest-paid players may not have the highest-paid agents.
• Endorsement contracts – When a player gets an endorsement from a product or company, the agent also gets part of that pay. Again, the amount the agent gets in endorsements depends on the type of contract it is and on the sport. Sports agents typically earn from ten to 20 percent of the athlete’s endorsement contract.
• Location – Location plays a big part in determining a sports agent’s salary because an athlete’s earnings vary by location and the team for which they play. California, New York, and Florida are home to the industry’s highest paying agents.
How Much a Sports Agent Makes
If you’re interested in finding out the wage for a certain occupation, you could go to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics site and see what the average annual wage is for this individual nationwide. The same can’t be said for sports agents because their salaries are entirely different. The salary for a sports agent depends on the player or players’ salary. Sports agents may represent one or multiple athletes. Since sports agents generally work off commissions, their salaries are going to be based on what the athlete’s earn. Here are some examples of an athlete’s yearly salary and the possible sports agent’s commission, according to Sports Management Worldwide.
• National Football League – $375,000 (low) – $20,000,000 (high)- $11,250 – $600,000 (commission)
• Major League Baseball – $400,000 (low) – $32,000,000 (high)- $16,000 – $1,280,000 (commission)
• National Basketball Association – $473,000 (low) – $28,000,000 (high)- $9,460 – $1,120,000 (commission)
How to Become a Sports Agent
Some sports agents may get into this career without earning a degree, but this is rare. The most common path is earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in sports management or business. Depending on the state, the sports agent may also need to be registered or licensed.
There is nothing like knowing another person’s performance can affect your earnings to make a person suddenly have a love of the game. Individuals who are already interested in sports may find a sports agent career highly rewarding and exciting, particularly once they’ve learned how much a sports agent can make!