Becoming an athletic administrator involves both a love of sports and a love of business management. Many of the best athletic administrators have either an accounting or business background. In today’s society in which money is so closely tied to sports and schools rely on funding, it only makes sense for athletic administrators to have a knowledge base that is broader than simply knowledge of game rules.
What Does An Athletic Administrator Do?
An athletic administrator usually combines both coaching and administrative duties, although some administrators at large schools do very little coaching and spend most of their time on the business side of sports. In some schools, athletic directors or administrators are also school administrators such as assistant principals and must meet the requirements for those jobs as well as possess athletic coaching skills. Ultimately, an athletic administrator is responsible for managing a sports program’s budget, athletic personnel and ensuring that participants in the program meet the requirements set forth by state law.
What Type of Degree Does an Athletic Administrator Have?
If you are an athletic administrator at a very small school, you may have no more than a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a teaching certificate. It is often the case in very small schools that the “head coach” is promoted automatically to athletic administrator. In this case, the school system may simply offer a stipend for a coach to act as athletic administrator.
In larger schools, athletic administration jobs may follow a much more complex hierarchy that includes assistant head coaches, head coaches, and a top-level athletic director. It is usual in these cases for the athletic administrator to possess a leadership graduate degree such as a Master’s of Education.
How Much Do Athletic Administrators Make?
Answering the question of how much Athletic Administrators make is difficult because it depends so strongly on the job situation. Some smaller schools pay their athletic directors teachers’ salaries, while the athletic administrators of large schools or colleges may make a very high salary.
In general, athletic directors at medium- to large-sized high schools are paid as administrators or principals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a high school administrator can expect a median annual salary of around $87,480. However, teachers have a median annual salary of $53,230. It is reasonable to expect an athletic administrator at a high school to fall somewhere between these two ranges. On the other hand, college athletic administrators make an annual median salary of $83,710. Most athletic administrators begin at the low end of the salary scale and work their way up as they stay with a school or move on to other positions.
What Is the Job Outlook for Athletic Administrators?
Post-secondary administrator positions are expected to increase by about 19 percent over the next two years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while high school administrative positions are expected to grow by ten percent.
If you have a love for sports and a love for teaching, becoming an athletic administrator may be a good job path for you. While the sports world is somewhat political, beginning at the bottom and working your way up is possible for anyone with the drive and ambition to succeed in this competitive field.