Employment of coaches and scouts is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Rising participation in high school and college sports should increase demand for coaches and scouts.
High school enrollment is projected to increase over the next decade, resulting in a rise in the number of student-athletes. As schools offer more athletic programs and more students participate in sports, the demand for coaches may increase.
Participation in college sports is also projected to increase over the next decade, particularly at smaller colleges and in women's sports. Many small, Division-III colleges are expanding their sports programs and adding new teams as a way to help promote the school and recruit potential students. However, new rules allowing an increase in scholarship payments to student-athletes may result in funding cuts to smaller collegiate sports programs and the accompanying coaching staffs.
The growing interest in college and professional sports will also increase demand for scouts. Colleges must attract the best athletes to remain competitive. Successful teams help colleges enhance their reputation, recruit future students, and raise donations from alumni. Colleges, therefore, will increasingly rely on scouts to recruit the best possible high school athletes. In addition, as college tuition increases and scholarships become more competitive, high school athletes will hire scouts directly, in an effort to increase their chances of receiving a college scholarship.
However, funding for athletic programs at schools often is cut first when budgets become tight. For example, some high schools within the same school district may combine their sports programs in an effort to cut costs. Still, the popularity of team sports often enables shortfalls to be offset with help from fundraisers, booster clubs, and parents.
Strong competition is expected for higher paying jobs at the college level and will be even greater for jobs in professional sports.
Job prospects at the high school level should be good, but coaching jobs typically go to those teaching in the school. Those who have a degree or are state certified to teach academic subjects, therefore, should have the best prospects for getting coaching and instructor jobs at high schools. The need to replace the amount of high school coaches who change occupations or leave the labor force also will provide some jobs.
Coaches in girls' and women's sports may have better job opportunities due to a growing number of participants and leagues.
Competition is also likely to be strong for jobs as scouts, particularly for professional teams.
Coaches and Scouts
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Total, all occupations
Coaches and scouts
Entertainers and performers, sports and related workers
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program