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Sports Talent Scout Job Description, Career as a Sports Talent Scout, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training Bachelor’s degree

Average Salary $54,000 per year

Job Outlook Good

Basic Job Description

Talent scouts in the sports industry work for various companies to recruit talented individuals to play on college or professional sports teams. Scouts can work individually as a freelance recruiter, or for a university sports team or professional industry such as the NFL. Most scouts work by traveling to high school or college sports games to try and recruit talented members and offer opportunities that will allow for potential careers that utilize their skills. Talent scouts also work as part of professional sports drafts to help determine which teams need which players.

Education and Training Requirements

Many sports talent scouts are previous sports players that have experience in the industry, whether it be playing on a team, managing or coaching, while others have made a career out of being a scout without previous experience.

There is no specific degree for someone looking to become a sports talent scout. For someone who is looking to go to school and get into the industry, a degree in sports management and concentrations in human resources or communications is ideal.

For someone who is looking to get into the field but has no experience, one of the best ways to get experience is to speak with several experienced scouts and find out what they did to get where they are. Many experienced talent scouts are willing to mentor or apprentice someone who is looking to get into the field and can use them as an assistant while guiding them in the right direction. This is also an excellent way to gain resources and make connections with people in the industry.

Getting the Job

The ideal sports talent scout will know exactly where to go to find the best talented individuals for whoever they are working with. They will be aggressive and self-motivated, which will encourage them to attend various events looking for talent and contact various agencies in hopes of working for them.

In order to prove to a company that their services are needed, a talent scout will display excellent communication skills, be a self-motivated person who is willing to approach random people, and show that they have a good understanding of where to go in the area to find talented people that are right for the specific company. They will be able to show a proven track record of individuals they have discovered and had signed with college or professional teams. Sports scouts should also have an excellent understanding of how each sport is played and determine who has exceptional skills for the particular position or sport they’re playing.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Employment for sports talent scouts is continually on the rise as more and more teams look for people who are able to depict true players from the rest of the players who are constantly trying to get into their industry.
Someone who works as a talent scout for a small company could develop into their own personal scouting business, where they work freelance for various companies and get paid according to who they discover and how the company will benefit from the person. The more talent an individual scout discovers, the more connections they make in the industry and the bigger their “portfolio” of professional sports players they’ve discovered.

Similar to how the talent scout finds talented individuals, a larger company may pick up on a talent scouts track record of who they’ve discovered and want them working for their company. If a scout develops a big reputation, they can eventually work for professional sports teams in the NBA or NFL. These companies pick up talent scouts to find players through connections they have, as well as help determine who they want to choose during sports drafts or player exchanges.

The most important part of being a talent scout is that the person is passionate about what they do. A good scout will not stop looking until they find exactly what they need, and will not settle for anything less. They will understand that in order to move forward, a lot of their personal time and money will be sacrificed to attend events and find someone. A scout who possesses these qualities will always be able to find new career opportunities.

Working Conditions and Environment

Most talent scouts spend most of their work time attending sporting events, contacting potential talent, and interviewing those who respond. The work environment is constantly changing for a talent scout and is often very entertaining. A scout has the benefit of literally being paid by a company to attend sporting events. Some scouts who have developed a positive reputation may even be contacted by high school coaches who believe they have a player that should be considered for a college or professional team. This allows for many travel opportunities for scouts.

While there is plenty of entertainment involved in the work of a talent scout, there is a lot of dirty work involved as well. If a scout is having trouble finding true talent, they will often have to attend several events to find one worthwhile person. Even then, if the scout believes someone is a perfect fit and the person is willing to try out for a team, the company could wind up hating the person and sending the scout out to find someone better. If the scout and company do not see eye to eye on what they’re looking for, the company could drop the scout’s services and risk tarnishing their reputation. The business is extremely competitive and stressful, as a scout always has to prove they can see what others can’t.

Salary and Benefits

The average annual salary for a talent scout is about $54,000 per year. The salary is extremely variable for a talent scout, as one who works for a small college team will make significantly less than someone working for the NBA.

While there is a lot of hard work and competition that goes into being a sports talent scout, there are many benefits as well. A talent scout almost always has somewhere to look toward advancing their career, as the sports and entertainment industry is huge and there are many steps to take before making it to the top. Aside from the many opportunities, talent scouts are also lucky enough to get paid to attend events. Agencies will pay a scout to attend sporting events all around the world in hopes they will find the perfect player for their team.

Where to Go for More Information

National Collegiate Scouting Association
1415 N Dayton Street
Chicago, IL 60642
(888) 333-6846

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesBusiness