What Does a Sports Scout Do?

Sports ScoutWhat does a sport scout do? That is a question that college students ask while studying sports management and related fields. They sometimes assume that scouts simply watch games and write down notes, but those working in the field need to do a large amount of research every day and spend a lot of time on the road. If you’re interested in potentially working as a scout after college, you need to take an in-depth look at the position.

What Does a Sport Scout Do?

A scout is someone who works for a professional sports agency, a professional sports team or a college or university. They look for the best players in the field and help those organizations fill spots on their rosters. Scouts often spend long hours driving and flying across the country to meet with players and their families and to watch those players on the field or court. Depending on the size of the organization, they may also help with contract negotiations. They usually study players via the newspaper and online to find those who would be the best fit for an organization.

Degree and Skills Needed for the Job

Though most scouts have a bachelor’s degree in sports management, business or a related field, a college degree isn’t necessarily required for the job. College athletes often have a high level of experience working around coaches and scouts, which makes them a good fit for these positions. A college degree can help you develop the research and math skills that you need on the job. You’ll need to understand how sports agencies determine RBIs and other statistics, but you’ll also need to know how to research the backgrounds of various players and their skills to determine if those players would fit well with your team.

Scouting Outlook and Salary

Those searching for information on what does a sport scout do often want to find out more about how much those workers make. The Bureau of Labor Statistics places scouts and coaches into the same category. Many coaches now scout for their teams and find players on their own. According to the BLS, the job outlook for coaches and scouts between 2012 and 2022 is high, with the field growing by 15 percent. The median annual salary for both scouts and coaches is $28,630 a year.

Where Scouts Work

Scouts work in the field. They travel by plane, bus and car to watch athletes playing tennis, basketball, football and other types of sports. Scouts might work for a professional basketball team and travel to high schools and colleges to find the top new players. They may also work for colleges and universities and scout players at the high school level and those from other schools. Scouts can spend weeks or even months on the road during the busy season as they travel from city to city. During the off-season, those with a college degree and a license can work as coaches or teachers.


As important as coaches are to sports, so too are scouts. They’re the ones responsible for identifying the top players and getting those players into the college or professional level of sports. Those who want an answer to the question of what does a sport scout do should know that scouts research and locate players for different organizations.

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