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Coaches and Scouts Job Outlook

Employment of coaches and scouts is expected to grow 29 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. A larger overall population will continue to participate in organized sports for entertainment, recreation, and physical conditioning, boosting demand for coaches and sports instructors.

Job growth also will be driven by the increasing number of retirees who are expected to participate more in leisure activities such as swimming, golf, and tennis. These retirees may require instruction.

Population growth is expected to lead to more schools, and more schools should result in more jobs for coaches and instructors. However, funding for athletic programs often is cut first when budgets become tight. Still, the popularity of team sports often enables shortfalls to be offset with help from fundraisers, booster clubs, and parents.

In colleges, most of the expansion is expected to be in women’s sports.

Job Prospects

Those who have a degree or are state-certified to teach academic subjects should have the best prospects for getting coaching and instructor jobs at high schools. The need to replace the many 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 and face less competition for positions.

Strong competition is expected for higher paying jobs at the college level and will be even greater for jobs in professional sports. Competition should also be strong for paying jobs as scouts, particularly for professional teams, because there are few available jobs.

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