What Does a Sports Scout Do?

sports scout duties

Do you have a dream of spending time in the sports world working for a professional sports team? You may be wondering, “What does a professional sports scout do?” That is a question that college students ask while studying sport management and related fields. They sometimes assume that sporting scouts simply watch games and write down notes. Those working in the field as professional sports scouts need to do a large amount of research every day. They spend a lot of time on the road. If you’re interested in potentially working as a sports scout after college, you need to take an in-depth look at the position.

What a Sports Scout Does

A sport scout is someone who works for a professional sports agency, professional sports teams, or as a college scout for a university. They look for the best players in the field and help those organizations fill spots on their rosters. Professional sports scouts often spend long hours driving and flying across the country to meet with potential professional athletes 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 and other teams via the newspaper and online to find those who would be the best fit for an organization. Sports scouting is a multi-faceted job with many duties. A professional sports scout will:

  • scout new talent
  • gather information
  • work long hours
  • spend time at sporting events

Degree and Skills Needed for the Job

Though most sport scouts have a bachelor’s degree in sports management, business or a related field, an advanced degree isn’t necessarily required for the job. College athletes often have a high level of experience working around coaches and professional scouts, which makes them a good fit for these positions. An advanced degree can help you develop the research and math skills that you need on the job. You’ll need to have a deep knowledge for 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 Average Salary

Those searching for information on what does a professional sports scout do often want to find out more about the average salary of a professional sports scout. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 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 is high, with the field growing by 20 percent through 2031. The median salary for both scouts and coaches is $38,970 a year.

Where Scouts Work

A scout works 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. There are also college scouts who work for 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. There are also local scouts who spend more time closer to home.


If you would like to scout sports, look into the field because 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 professional sports scout do should know that scouts research and locate players for different organizations.

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