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Athletes and Sports Competitors Job Outlook

Employment of athletes and sports competitors is expected to grow 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. The continuing expansion of nontraditional or new professional and semiprofessional sports, including local and regional teams and leagues, is expected to spur demand for athletes and sports competitors.

Job Prospects

Competition for professional athlete jobs will continue to be extremely intense, with progressively more favorable opportunities in lower levels of competition. In major sports, such as basketball and football, only about 1 in 5,000 high school athletes become professionals in these sports.

The expansion of nontraditional sports may create some additional job opportunities. Most professional athletes' careers last only a few years because of debilitating injuries. Therefore, yearly replacement needs for these jobs is high, creating some job opportunities.

However, the talented young men and women who dream of becoming sports superstars greatly outnumber the number of openings.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition