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Graduate Professional Sports Jobs

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          Helping you find a career in the professional sports industry

          Working in professional sports doesn't necessarily mean you are a Premier League footballer. You could also be a professional dancer on the stage of a cruise ship, a jockey or a diver.

          To become a professional sportsperson requires an incredible amount of commitment, discipline and training. Those who reach the top of their game will have dedicated their lives to their sport.

          It can be difficult to secure a regular income through being a professional sportsperson, and the competition is incredibly fierce, so many people also work in part-time roles alongside or become a coach in their particular sport.

          Working hours will be very irregular for professional sportspeople and a typical working day doesn't really exist. However, most of them will eat, sleep and breathe their sport.

          Find out more
          • FAQs
          Skills & interests required for a career in Professional sports

          Of course, you must be incredibly talented at your chosen sport and willing to dedicate your life to it. For most sports, you'll have a strict training regime and you will have to maintain high levels of fitness. An interest in health will also be beneficial.

          Some sports have very specific requirements, for example you must be within a specific weight range for boxing and over a certain height for basketball.

          If you are competing at a high-profile level, or if you play matches with a live audience, you will also have to be able to perform under pressure.

          Most professional sportspeople will have to work as a team. Swimming appears to be a solo-sport, but even professional swimmers will have a team of people behind them including a nutritionist, a coach and a trainer. This is the case for many professional sportspeople.

          Graduate schemes & other typical career progression routes in Professional sports

          Often professional sportspeople will be spotted for their talent at an early age and recruited to an academy or development squad to build up experience.

          Career progression in sport is entirely based on merit and things such as winning matches, or competitions. With these achievements your pay will likely increase.

          As these professions are quite physically demanding, your career will likely come to an end around age 35. After this, many sportspeople remain in the sporting world but take on work like coaching, sports journalism or sports presenting.

          Tips for getting into the field

          Try to meet coaches or other professional sportspeople. They will be able to guide on how to make a career out of your chosen sport and potentially direct you to the best teams and clubs to join.

          How much can graduates earn in Professional sports?

          Here are some of the salaries for jobs within professional sport, but remember these are just a guide and salaries can vary widely in this industry:

          • Dancer: on average £23,019
          • Rugby league: between £20,000-£40,000
          • Rugby union: between £20,000-£70,000
          • Jockey: Usually contracted by horse owners and receive a percentage of cash prizes
          • Premier League Footballer: Over £50,000 a week
          What qualifications do I need for a career in Professional sports?

          There are no formal qualification requirements to become a professional sportsperson, you just have to be talented at whichever sport you are trying to make a career out of.

          Read more about the Professional sports industry

          Sport England
          Federation of Sports and Play Associations UK Active
          UK Coaching

          Professional sports industry bodies

          Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity