It’s easy to forget about sports when thinking about America’s most lucrative industries. Presented as wholesome fun and a passion for many, the financial side of the game can take a back seat when we think about the big business that is the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and MLS.
In the case discussions of the leagues from a financial perspective do arise, it’s usually in terms of player salaries. Multimillion dollar contracts for athletes sweep the media but rarely do we dig deeper into the other salaries these companies are responsible for.
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Employing people for on every end of the pay spectrum and requiring a range of different skill sets - from statisticians to massage therapists, leading entertainment experts, PlayUSA, have crunched the numbers on the alternative jobs in the professional sport and how much they pay.
Making The Most In Sports
With salaries hitting 7 figures for some of the supporting roles, it can really pay to sit on the sidelines.
- Sports Agent - With earning potential of up to $1.28 million per year, being a sports agent is a lucrative career. Although no qualifications are necessarily necessary, the role requires sales ability, great interpersonal skills and the ability to manage the careers of some of the biggest sports stars in the business.
- MLB Umpire - If you’re a stickler for the rules, and a massive baseball fan, an umpiring role isn’t one to be sniffed at. Earning between $120,000 - $350,000, umpires who’ve completed their training are the deciding line in all games and they’re paid well for the honour.
- Bullpen Catcher - For those competitive baseball players who aren’t quite MLB team standard, becoming a bullpen catcher is a well paying alternative option. Bringing home $90,000 on average with responsibilities including training and warming up the starting pitchers, Bullpen Catcher not only pays financially but is also ideal for MLB super fans.
Top 8 Highest Paying, Non-Playing Jobs
Alternative Jobs That Pay More Than Minimum Wage
Although a few states have a minimum wage of $11 an hour or above, there are still some that stick to the federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour. Knowing that, the question is, does the sports sector skimp the lower level jobs? Impressively, leading entertainment experts, PlayUSA, found that, in fact, they do the opposite. Notable roles include:
- Massage therapist - Being a massage therapists or physiotherapists is likely to be the most hands on role in the sector (pun intended) - seeing that they look after the wellbeing of players they get paid an average of $44,000 a year.
- Waterboy - Thanks to Adam Sandler almost everyone knows what a waterboy is. Even though the role itself is sometimes forgotten, they still get paid an average of $53,000 and on top of that have an amazing view of any NFL game.
- Bullpen catcher - Even though you won’t need to be as physically fit for this role, you will need to be able to catch and throw - provided you can do that, you can get an average salary of $90,000 depending on which team you play for.
While criticisms of professional sport remain, the pay scale from the top down is nothing to be sniffed at. If you work in a similar role in another sector, looking at the alternative sports jobs may be something to seriously consider.