PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES are physically skilled persons who compete in organized, officiated sports events to entertain spectators. They play before a paying live audience to entertain people and also to make a living. The best athletes from around the world compete before national television audiences. When playing a game, athletes are required to understand the strategies of the game while obeying the rules and regulations of the sport. These events include both team sports, such as baseball, basketball, football, hockey, softball, and soccer, and individual sports, such as golf, tennis, boxing, skating, and bowling.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $200,000 average per year ($96.25 per hour)
- A small occupation (12,700 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.2% per year)
Regardless of the sport, PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES must have an immense overall knowledge of the sport they play. Athletes usually begin competing in their sports while in elementary or middle school and continue through high school and often college. They play in amateur tournaments and on high school and college teams, where the best attract the attention of professional scouts. Becoming a professional athlete takes years of effort, and athletes who want to compete professionally must have extraordinary talent, desire, and dedication to training.
- Athletic Coach
- Athletic Trainer
- Sports/Athletics Manager
- Stunt Performer
- Teacher (Physical Education)