4 Sports-Related Careers for Non-Athletes

We all love sports. Whether watching a game or playing it, sports are enjoyable either way. All sports fans would love to be professionals. Who does not want to get paid millions of dollars and have every fan shout your name? However, the reality is only a few people make it as a pro. And even fewer still make it to the very top, while the rest of us are stuck with our 9-5. Of course, there are still careers in sports for those who have a strong interest in them as non-athletes. With that being said, let’s get right into it. Below are four sports careers for non-athletes.

General Manager

General Managers are the spearhead of their sports organization. They are responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organization and answer only to management. They have many responsibilities, including:

  • overseeing company’s finance
  • managing employees
  • cash handling
  • bookkeeping
  • customer service

How to Become a General Manager?

If you want to be a general manager, graduating from high school is the minimum academic requirement. Beyond that, most employers prefer that their general managers have an educational background in business or a related field. Top employers prefer their candidates to have an MBA.

Every team wants a top general manager who can steer their organization towards success. So it’s also critical for you to have a background in sports administration. Nowadays, you do not have to leave the comfort of your home to get a valuable degree. Arkansas State University offers an online degree that are flexible, available 24/7, and built for working professionals. Some employers also require an industry-specific certification that shows a candidate’s understanding of the field. Lastly, general managers have qualities and skills that they exude:

  • Strong Leader
  • Customer Service
  • Analytical skills
  • Financial Understanding
  • Multitasking skills
  • Exceptional Organization
  • Technical skills

General Manager’s Salary

The entry-level salary for general managers is $35k+. After gaining some experience, they can expect to make $55k+. Highly experienced general managers can expect to earn $100k+.

Athletic Trainer

Athletic trainers work with athletes of all ages. Their primary role is to help them recover from injuries sustained during competition. They do this by evaluating player injuries and creating customized rehabilitation programs for them to follow. The rehabilitation programs help athletes strengthen their muscles to improve performance and prevent future injuries. While most athletic trainers work with teams, there are also athletic trainers in hospitals who deal with patients who have sports-related injuries. Lastly, they are rehabilitation and therapy specialists.

How to Become an Athletic Trainer?

After graduating from high school, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited athletic training program. The Commission of Accreditation of Athletic Training Education accredits all the programs. You can visit their website to choose from the available options. The athletic training programs cover several areas, including:

  • injury prevention
  • first-aid
  • injury diagnosis
  • emergency first-aid
  • anatomy
  • nutrition
  • physiology
  • therapy

Students will also undergo clinical training to shadow AT professionals with field experience. In the end, students will have to pass an examination testing their knowledge of the entire program. Afterward, they should prepare their CVs and professional profiles to apply to relevant jobs.

Athletic Trainer’s Salary

The entry-level salary for athletic trainers is $30k+. After gaining experience, they can expect to make over $40k. And top-level athletic trainers can expect to earn $60k.

Athletics Coach

If you are motivated to help others reach their full potential, this role could be for you. Coaches help their athletes develop and improve their technical skills and knowledge of the game. They train their athletes for situations that can occur in the game and help them overcome their weaknesses.

Coaches have several responsibilities, including:

  • developing skills and techniques of athletes
  • teaching strategies
  • improving players’ confidence
  • building team morale
  • supporting players struggling with stress
  • building relations with players
  • advice on health, lifestyle & its importance
  • documenting players’ progress

How to Become an Athletics Coach?

Employers require that their coaches have a bachelor’s degree with a background in physical education, training, fitness, sports science, and coaching. Aspiring coaches will learn how training works which will help them when training athletes. Afterward, they can choose to get practical experience which will allow them to use what they learned. Usually, you’ll have to start as an assistant coach while you get your coaching license. As of right now, there is no governing body for professional coaching. However, the International Coach Federation is a known organization that accredits training programs for coaches. You have to undergo 60 hours of coach-specific training to become ICF-accredited.

Athletics Coaches’ Salary

The entry-level salary for athletic coaches is $20k+. After gaining some experience, they can expect to make $40k+. And top-level coaches can expect to earn $74k.


Every sport has a referee who enforces the rules and regulations of their respective sports. They are the highest authority on the playing field. Referees have many responsibilities, including:

  • checking players’ equipment before starting the game to make sure it meets the safety regulations
  • Judging fouls
  • Penalizing players who break the rules
  • studying teams before matches to anticipate problems beforehand
  • verifying teams’ players during competition

How to Become a Referee?

To qualify, you need to have at least graduated high school. Afterward, you can receive specific training through officiating or sports organizations. Training clinics sponsored by sports organizations teach students the game’s rules, refereeing, and sports league’s organizational structure. Training programs teach students sport’s rules and regulations, communication, good sportsmanship, and maintaining ethical standards and procedures. After completing their training, you must gain experience to advance your career. Most referees will start their careers in local leagues of their respective sports. After gaining enough experience, they will move up to the high school level. High school sports require referees to complete their state registration. You might be required to take formal training classes, on-field tests, and register with an agency supervising high school athletics before getting registered. After gaining enough experience at the high school level, referees advance to collegiate levels. After the college levels, they move up to the professional leagues. This journey will take a while. So, you will have to be patient for your first few years before getting a shot at the collegiate or professional level.

To succeed as a referee, you must have skills like:

  • Excellent communication
  • Outstanding decision-making
  • Vision
  • Stamina
  • Teamwork

Referees Salary

The entry-level salary for referees is $20k. After gaining some experience, they can expect to make $30k. For professional referees, salaries are different in each sport. For NFL referees, the average salary is $200k+. For Premier League referees, the average salary is £70k on top of match fees.


Sports are a worldwide culture. They are responsible for connecting people from various backgrounds and cultures. We watch and play the games we love though most of us will never be professional. However, there are ways to stay connected to the games we love.