What They Do

Athletes and sports competitors participate in organized, officiated sporting events to entertain spectators.

Work Enviornment

Athletes and sports competitors often work irregular hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays. They usually work more than 40 hours a week for several months during their particular sports season. They often work outside, so they may be exposed to all weather conditions.

How to Become One

No formal educational credential is required to become an athlete or sports competitor. Athletes must have superior athletic talent and immense knowledge of their sport, which they usually get through years of practice and experience at lower levels of competition.


The median annual wage for athletes and sports competitors was $43,350 in May 2014.

Job Outlook

Employment of athletes and sports competitors is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Competition for most professional athlete jobs will remain very strong.


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