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by Rob Porter | May 07, 2024


Student athletes develop unique skills that can be directly applied to a variety of exciting and rewarding career paths. They understand the importance of physical health, teamwork and collaboration, and self-motivation, and this knowledge can be used to help others achieve their goals. Here are five great careers that student athletes can excel in, along with average salary ranges.

Personal Trainer

As an athlete, you understand how a strict physical fitness routine can lead to better performance on the field. If you’re interested in sharing your knowledge and the joys of physical fitness with others, you might make a great personal trainer. In this role you’ll be responsible for understanding your clients’ goals, developing fitness plans, teaching clients how to perform exercises, and assessing clients’ progress on their fitness journey.

Those who make a career out of personal training may become self-employed if they take on enough clients. While you don’t necessarily need a degree to become a personal trainer, you could major in exercise science, physical education, or a related field. You’ll also need to obtain certification, which may vary depending on where you live. In this role you can expect to make anywhere between $56,000 and $110,000 a year.


Coaching is a broad discipline that includes amateur, college, and professional sports teams, specific aspects of a team such as a first-base coach in baseball, and private coaching for athletes who need additional guidance. In any case, you’ll be responsible for coming up with strategies, training, analyzing performances, keeping records, maintaining equipment, and providing motivation for your team.

The best coaches are positive, enthusiastic individuals who are knowledgeable and patient. To become a coach, you’ll need to get yourself a bachelor’s degree in physical education, sports science, sports management, or a related field. Depending on your area of expertise and other factors such as location, you may also need to obtain certifications. As a coach you’ll be making around $50,000 to $110,000 a year; however, the figure will be considerably higher for professional sports coaches.

Sports Writer

If you’re a sports nut and you’ve also got an interest in writing and journalism, you might enjoy a career in sports writing. Sports writers are journalists who create content for magazines or online publications, and they might even find themselves on television or radio programs. They typically cover recent sporting events, often providing key details, statistics, player and coach interviews, and in certain cases, game commentary,

Not surprisingly, sports writers have excellent written skills and are accustomed to meeting tight deadlines. If you’re interested in a career in sports writing, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or a related field. As a sports writer you can work for a publisher, or be your own boss and build a freelance career. The average salary range for sports writers varies quite a bit, typically falling between $30,000 and $70,000 a year; however, earning potential may increase depending on the employer or whether you’re in demand as a freelancer.

Sports Consultant

Sports consultants might find themselves working for corporations, sports teams, media platforms, or even professional athletes. These professionals are responsible for collecting and reviewing statistics and other data sets, and using the information to devise strategies to improve the fan experience, increase revenue, or create new marketing campaigns. Sports consultants who work for athletes might help in securing licensing deals and the promotion of an athlete’s licensed merchandise.

Those who are interested in a career as a sports consultant should seek to obtain a bachelor’s degree in marketing or a related field. Internships are a great way to get a direct pathway to full-time employment in this field, so keep that in mind as you navigate your coursework. As a sports consultant, you can expect to make anywhere between $50,000 and $136,000 a year depending on factors such as your employer and location.

Physical Therapist

Taking the idea of a personal trainer much further, physical therapists are responsible for improving their patients’ health through carefully devised treatment programs. Physical therapists will evaluate a patient, identify the problem, and come up with unique treatment plans to address each patient’s individual needs. They also document their patient’s progress and make adjustments to their treatment plans when necessary.

Physical therapists can start their own practice, work for a facility or hospital, or even work with a professional sports team. In order to become a physical therapist, you’ll need to get yourself a doctorate degree in physical therapy (DPT) and a physical therapy license. The process for obtaining a license may vary depending on your state, with most processes taking around four weeks to complete. In this role, you’ll be making anywhere between $110,000 to $200,000 a year.