Working In College Level Athletic Departments

While you are studying Sports Management and thinking about what field of sports you may be interested in going into, college level athletic departments is a great place to start, even if your dream is to work in professional sports.

You have to start somewhere and the opportunities to get your foot in the door, gain experience and build your resume are very difficult in professional sports and college level athletics has many more opportunities for you.

While jobs in college level athletics vary among schools depending on the size and type of school, the structures of different schools vary as well.

The fact of the matter is that a career in college athletics is very possible as there are always sports opportunities at most colleges and universities.

What kind of money you make is often determined by the schools salary structure and besides decent pay most colleges and universities also offer excellent benefits packages as well.

Once you get your foot in the athletics department door you will have an excellent chance of remaining employed for the long-term.


The structures of each individual college or university athletic departments will offer a different variety of job types with different responsibilities and will give you many challenges and opportunities.

Besides coaching, most college and university athletic departments have many different opportunities including:

  • Academic Counselors
  • Administrative Staff
  • Athletics Marketing And Promotions Staff
  • Communications And Publications Specialists
  • Facilities Operations Staff
  • Financial Specialists
  • Media Relations Staff
  • Rules Compliance Officials
  • Student Interns
  • Ticket Sales

You will also find that the opportunity for advancement and the ability to open doors from one institution to another is tremendous.


So the next question is where do you start?

You don’t have to be an athlete to work in athletics but you must love sports and have the passion for the game and the desire to succeed.

In addition, you have to enjoy being around students and being in a college atmosphere if you are to enjoy working at a school.

The first thing you want to do is to get to know people who are involved in college athletics.

Volunteer to help out wherever you can, whether it is in the ticket booth, holding the coaches headset wires, directing people to their seats during a game, or even security.

As a student, you could also get an internship that could provide credits and maybe even put a little cash in your pockets.

With this kind of experience while you meet people and learn what it is like on all sides and give you some experience to grow on.

After you do that you will be ready for an entry-level job in college sports including:

  • Equipment Manager
  • Athletic Development Assistant
  • Ticket and Merchandising Specialist
  • Assistant Director of Marketing
  • Facility Assistant
  • Locker Room Attendant
  • Intramural Sports Official

Your progression in a college athletics career can take as many different routes as the job types but a lot will depend on how much drive and determination you have to succeed in order to move up the ladder.


The main reason you should do these things is too meet people, build your network and gain some valuable references for future use.

After all, references are as much a part of “networking” as meeting new people.

In addition, always keep in touch with your references so that they will not be caught off-guard if and when somebody calls to ask them about you.

Most importantly, always make sure that your dealings with all people and everything on your resume are honest. Then you will never have to worry about it or embarrass yourself or your school. In the long run, it will make all the difference in the world to you.


Whether you are looking for that first position after graduating, moving on or moving up, there are lots of places for you to look for that next position.


For anyone interested in working in collegiate athletics, you must visit They have a Job board that features listings from all NCAA member schools.

They also have a great search function which gives you the opportunity to refine your search in order to find the exact job that you are looking for. You can also post your resume on the site so that schools with an opening can find you as well. is the best job board that there is in the sports industry. With over 5000 employers, 2500 sports jobs, and many internships listed, can help you find the job that you are looking for. Once you graduate, this site should be your first stop in trying to find work. is another job board that features literally thousands of different sports jobs. They also have valuable content which can give you additional knowledge and help you develop your sports management career.

Teamwork Online is a sports job board with a unique twist.  Teamwork Online has what they call “Call an Audible,” which provides job hunters with an audio job description directly from the hiring person.  The site also has numerous search features that will allow you to sort job


Every college and university has placement offices to help assist their students in finding a good job. You should check everywhere at your school including the placement offices, counseling, and athletic departments.


Sports Agents, employment agencies and specialized headhunters are always looking for qualified candidates in all fields including sports. Some may charge a fee but most of the time the hiring company pays the fees.

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