6 Lucrative Careers in Sports for Non-Athletes

Do you love sports, but aren’t exactly considered athletic? It is entirely possible to enjoy sports without having any hope of getting paid the big bucks enjoyed by the pros.  Sports is arguably the one aspect that binds every facet of society together across the globe and it is a shared obsession that is fertile with career opportunities. Just about any degree you can earn in college can potentially be put to use in some career related to sports somewhere in the world. 

#1 Turf Grass Management 

What good is a degree in botany in the world of sports? Two words: turf management. Those with a doctorate in disciplines related to turf management can make very good money conducting research for colleges, universities or private industry on ways to improve the turf beneath the cleats of professional football and baseball players. Those with a Ph.D can find a career in sports applying their knowledge of plant biology, environmental studies, chemistry or soil conversation to keeping extraordinary supply of golf courses in peak condition. 

#2 Sports Architect 

Among all the excitement played out on fields, courses and courts in the world of sports, it can easy to forget that almost every single venue hosting athletic competitions had to be designed by an architect. As you work your way through the university system, start paying more attention to things like topography, physics and aerodynamics of the playing area. The worlds of architecture and sports collide in ways not immediately apparent to everybody. The layout of golf courses may seem organic and natural, but they are not. A skilled architect can devise blueprints for a stadium that takes advantage of specific geographical conditions to provide a true home field advantage hidden to the untrained eye. 

#3 Fan Promotion Specialist 

The same sporting event is almost two completely different experiences for the fan watching on TV at home and the fan actually in attendance. What happens at the stadium during those incessant commercial breaks? If you’ve never actually show up for a game in person, you might be surprised to discover that those people in the stands spend those breaks just sitting around waiting for the whistle to blow. From minor league baseball games to the NBA playoffs, the action never really takes a break. The attention of fans is never allowed to wander. If you are in school going for a degree in public relations or marketing or advertising and you are wondering how to translate those courses into a job in sports, consider the world of fan promotion. Live spectators are no longer content with watching cheerleaders, halftime shows and T-shirts cannons.  

#4 Dentistry 

Big hockey fan but barely able to stand up straight on a pair of skates? You may have to give up hopes of being the second coming of Wayne Gretzky, but just because you gave in to your parents’ pressure to become a dentist does not mean you can’t still becoming an actively employed participant in the world of sports. Here’s a fact you probably already guess even if you didn’t know it: every single National Hockey League team employs a dentist. This is not a sports career for the slacker who just learns about tooth extraction and filling cavities. If you really want to increase your odds of becoming an NHL dentist, go beyond simple dentistry into the world of oral surgery.  

#5 Finance 

Ever watch "Moneyball" with Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill? Pitt plays a character that tells the story most athletes don’t want to hear: many are called, but few make it in the big leagues. Jonah Hill’s character proves that even the least athletic people with the most non-athletic of degrees can find work among the superstars of the game. You don’t even need to be a sports fan to know that it is big business. Professional sports teams need great minds trained in bookkeeping, accounting, tax preparation, payroll management, contract law and health and insurance administration. 

#6 Historian 

Organized sports have officially been around long enough to qualify as important history. As you pile up those courses required for earning your degree in history, you may begin to wonder what kind of career opportunity awaits you after graduation besides teacher or writer. Every major professional team employs historians and archivists. Comprehensive knowledge of sports history can result in work for movie and TV production, news agencies and 24-hour sports channels and museums. And then there’s the ever-increasing population of Halls of Fame dedicated to the even the narrowest corridors of sports history.

If you have never been confused with being a star athlete, but desperately want to apply your degree to a job in the world of sports, take a second to really consider what those Halls of Fame imply. Augusta National Golf Club--the home of the Masters Invitational--refused membership to black golfers until 1990. And yet there is a Hall of Fame dedicated exclusively to black golfers. Almost nobody on earth can explain how points are earned in roller derby, yet there’s a Roller Derby Hall of Fame. Professional wrestling isn’t even considered a real sport by many. If these Halls of Fame can exist side by side the worlds of big time baseball, football and basketball in the world of sports, why can’t you?  

Image Source: Soccer Player Kicking Ball: iStock




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