How to become an athletic director - NewBalancejobs
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How to become an athletic director

  What does it take to become an athletic director and build a great sports program between schools?  It takes many things – the right mix of coaches, sports teams, policies, and financial resources – including the ability of sports teams and their coaches to implement teamwork and dedication in their daily lives.  However, the glue that holds a great sports program together is a smart and impulsive sports manager.  From directing events to managing finances, sports directors play many roles as leaders in the sports field.

 As elementary, middle and high school sports continue to motivate student athletes to continue their education, the role of a sports director has a long-lasting impact on the lives of those who work with them.  Students and professionals looking to further their education, and wondering how to become a sports manager and make an impact in athletics, can earn an MSc in Sports Management online.

How to become an athletic director

  1. Learn about the profession

  An understanding of the field of athletics can begin as early as high school.  Some students will play sports during high school and college to develop a deep knowledge of the sports they like.  In addition to possessing a solid understanding of athletics, sports managers must also be prepared to deal with issues of accounting, finance, law, and more.  This requires the development of specialized skills that can occur over years through the initiation of appropriate training and educational opportunities.

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  2. Get a bachelor’s degree

  Select a bachelor’s degree program in a field related to sport management or physical education and exercise science.  There are a number of programs available, including mixed sports business degrees that offer exercise science with a minor in business major.  The program you choose will govern the skills you start developing, so be special.  Look at local colleges and universities, as well as opportunities for online learning, and decide which program makes the most sense for developing the skills you need the most.

  Choosing a degree in sports management can prepare you for a career path that begins with teaching or training.  These careers provide invaluable experience to sports managers who must hone their leadership skills.

  3. Obtaining a master’s degree

  After completing a bachelor’s degree, you will generally need a master’s degree to get into sports management.  You can pursue certification at night, while you work a full-time job in sports administration or exercise science, or as a full-time student.  Bear in mind, however, that you will ultimately need to gain work experience, so doubling the school and work experience may be worth the effort when translated into the time saved on your career journey.

  Master’s programs also offer practical training.  Students who obtain a master’s degree in sports management may have experience working with professionals in intensive workshops, internships, or external training.

  4. Certification and gain of experience

  People aspiring to Athletic Director positions can pursue one of the following certifications:

  • A registered sports official
  • Certified sports administrator
  • Certified Athletic Director

  The simplest of the three requires a bachelor’s degree, patronage and agreement to honor the code of ethics.  These are the minimum qualifications to be registered.

  A certified sports official is required to successfully complete the NCAA inter-school courses after working two years as a sports director.  The highest rating, Certified Athletic Director, requires additional classes and a written test pass.

Athletic director job description

  Inter-school athlete managers must be passionate about education and sports.  They should care about their student-athletes and make it their goal to give their athletes the best chance for success by creating the best possible sports programs.  The sports director job description covers all aspects of a sports program funded by a school or institution.  Building the championship program requires dedication and knowledge of not only sports but also business, communications, finance, safety, budget, human resources, law, and more.  Sports managers are responsible for hiring coaches and other staff and for selecting and purchasing equipment.  They allocate their allocated funds to trainings, matches, meetings, games, tournaments, and travel to various sporting events.

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  The administrative responsibilities of the sports teams lie with the sports directors who arrange the seasonal schedules of practices and games.  They communicate with multiple sports teams and coaches to coordinate training, games, and equipment use.  Sports managers are also responsible for keeping up with sports policies.  They can provide a space for athletes to succeed, and also welcome college recruits and professional sports teams to watch their players.

Athletic director requirements

  Sports managers usually need at least a bachelor’s degree to pursue employment.  Common areas of study include business administration, management, and sports management.  However, some professionals have found work through unexpected or unrelated college degrees, such as journalism or engineering.  Individuals are also advised to pursue a sports-related graduate degree, such as a master’s degree in sports management.

  Previous experience as a coach or athlete provides an individual with personal insight into how these programs are run.  Coaches, in particular, are likely to be familiar with the business processes involved and can pursue promotion to the role of sports director.  Previous business leadership roles likely provided the individual with skills in marketing, communication strategies, and management – all beneficial to the role of the sports director.  Working your way up from a junior management role can also provide valuable insights about the program, along with the organization and the different levels involved.


Athletic director Job outlook

  The Bureau of Labor Statistics says job growth for sports managers is expected to exceed the average growth rate in other industries through 2024. Demand for sports managers should continue to improve during this time, making it an attractive option for people who want to specialize in something.  .  The process they are passionate about.

 Athletic director Salary

  According to, the average annual salary for a sports director at the college or university level was $ 78,121 as of September 2019. The site noted that the salaries of these sports directors increased with years of work experience;  Athletic directors in college with 20 years or more experience earned a median salary of $ 96,074.  Salary may also vary depending on school size and athletic standing, with USA Today reporting that in 2013, many sports directors at big soccer schools were underpaid 6-figure salaries.