A sports scout is someone who scouts talent for teams. They can work for professional teams who play in the NFL and other leagues, but they can also work for colleges. College scouts can help high school players get scholarships to play for those schools. They often spend long hours on the road and travel across the country to watch athletes play in person. Scouts can go to those players’ homes and meet with their families and friends too. Those who want to become scouts should make sure that they know how much they can make and what it takes to get a scouting job.
What Do Scouts Do?
Some teams hold practice sessions and let players audition for a walk-on spot, however many of the spots on the teams are filled by the end of the off-season Scouts who work for colleges follow the news and identify potential players. They then make arrangements to travel to the cities where those players live and watch them in action. Scouts for professional teams do the same things. All scouts are responsible for writing reports that show the potential of the athlete and whether the team should add that player to the roster.
Where Do Scouts Work?
The majority of scouts work for secondary schools to identify the top talent in the area and find ways to bring that talent to the team. Some scouts work for nonprofit groups and provide help to players who want to compete at the Olympic level. They need to make sure that the athletes follow the Olympic rules and guidelines. Those caught violating the rules cannot compete. Scouts can also work for colleges and professional teams. Employers expect scouts to be available to work on weekends, holidays and whenever teams play.
Becoming a Scout
A small number of scouts are former athletes who work for the schools or teams where they once played. Most scouts have a college degree though. Many employers require a bachelor’s degree in sports management or a similar field such as kinesiology or exercise science. Some colleges offer programs in athletic training that can help students find work as a scout. The National Association of State Boards of Education can help scouts get certificates to work in this field too. They may need a CPR certificate that shows they can perform CPR or a coaching certificate.
Scout Salary and Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a sports scout is $33,780 a year. Those who work for professional teams, colleges and secondary schools earn the highest salary of more than $45,000 a year. Scouts who earn the least include those who work in elementary and public schools. They can expect to earn around $28,000 a year. Many schools and other employers offer bonuses when scouts sign new players or find new talent. The BLS believes that the need for scouts will grow by 13 percent by 2026, which is faster than average and represents the addition of more than 35,000 scouts.
Related Resource: 20 Best Bachelor Degrees for Future Sports Management Professionals
Scouts can work for colleges, professional teams, nonprofit organizations and public and private schools. The need for these professionals will grow at a fast rate and help a sports scout earn $28,000 to more than $45,000 a year.