3 minute read

Basketball Player

Education and Training: No formal qualifications necessary
Average Salary: $80,000
Job Outlook: Poor

A basketball player is definitely a job for someone who is extremely athletic, and a professional athlete can earn a huge amount of money. However this job is extremely demanding and can involve a lot of mental and physical stress. Basketball players are under pressure to be in the best possible shape at all times, and must be prepared to work out all year round and to pay attention to their diet and lifestyle in general.

They must be able to perform well in front of audiences, and in a way they are much like entertainers and must give their best at every performance. The majority of a basketball player’s life will be spent practicing and improving their fitness levels, and they must be prepared to spend hours each day working on different aspects of their game.

Education and Training Requirements

Although there is no formal training to become a basketball player, there is nonetheless an awful lot of training to be done, day in day out and year after year. It is recommended that anyone wanting to become a basketball player should try to obtain a college scholarship, as there are a number available in US universities. This will enable them to play their sport and to continue their studies, and college games are often attended by talent scouts looking for potential stars of the future.

Getting the Job

Anyone who wishes to become a professional basketball player is likely to have been a talented player throughout their school years. They will probably have obtained a college scholarship, although it is necessary to get good grades to continue playing. Someone who is looking to obtain a scholarship should make sure they keep up with their studies. It is the kind of job where talent is a major factor, but if this is lacking it is unlikely to be enough for this particular career since perseverance and practice will only get you so far.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Job prospects for professional basketball players are very poor as only the very best will be able to earn sufficient money to make it their full-time career. Competition will always be fierce, although it may be easier in some of the minor leagues. There is always the risk of injury which could end a promising career at any time, and there is no job security as a basketball player can be replaced at any time by someone younger and more talented.

Someone wishing to become a professional basketball player should always have a plan B, and should make sure that they can obtain sufficient qualifications to give them a career elsewhere. This could include coaching, or some alternative career within the fitness industry, and some may become sports commentators or instructors.

Working Conditions and Environment

Professional basketball players will be spending much of their time on the court or in the gym. Although the environment may be pleasant, the working hours can be quite long and stressful when training. The job is likely to involve a lot of travel, and this could be quite disruptive to personal and family life as the hours will often be irregular and include weekends and holidays.

Salary and Benefits

Although the average wage for a professional athlete is around $80,000, the amount can vary tremendously, and the length of their career is likely to be quite short. The very top basketball players can go on to earn millions of dollars a year in wages and endorsements, but only a very few will go on to earn this much. The majority will earn quite low wages, are likely to have few benefits, and very little job security.

Where to Go for More Information

Intuition Scholarships
Sports Scholarships at US Universities

National Association of Sports Officials
2017 Lathrop Ave.
Racine, WI 53405

National Basketball Players Association
310 Lenox Ave.
New York, NY 10027
Phone: (212) 655-0880

Women’s National Basketball Players Association
310 Lenox Ave.
New York, NY 10027
Phone: (212) 655-0880

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesHospitality and Recreation