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Career profile Athlete

Also known as Baseball Pitcher, Baseball Player, Basketball Player, Golf Professional, Hockey Player, Major League Baseball Player, Minor League Baseball Player, Professional Athlete, Professional Golf Tournament Player, Race Car Driver

Athlete

Also known as Baseball Pitcher, Baseball Player, Basketball Player

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Enterprising
  • Social
Pay Range
$20,270 - $208,000+ (annual)
Required Skills
  • Speaking
  • Active Listening
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Administration and Management
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
Core tasks
  • Assess performance following athletic competition, identifying strengths and weaknesses and making adjustments to improve future performance.
  • Maintain equipment used in a particular sport.
  • Attend scheduled practice or training sessions.
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What does an Athlete do?

Athletes compete in athletic events.

What kind of tasks does an Athlete perform regularly?

Athletes are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Assess performance following athletic competition, identifying strengths and weaknesses and making adjustments to improve future performance.
  • Maintain equipment used in a particular sport.
  • Attend scheduled practice or training sessions.
  • Maintain optimum physical fitness levels by training regularly, following nutrition plans, or consulting with health professionals.
  • Participate in athletic events or competitive sports, according to established rules and regulations.
  • Exercise or practice under the direction of athletic trainers or professional coaches to develop skills, improve physical condition, or prepare for competitions.
  • Receive instructions from coaches or other sports staff prior to events and discuss performance afterwards.
  • Represent teams or professional sports clubs, performing such activities as meeting with members of the media, making speeches, or participating in charity events.
  • Lead teams by serving as captain.

The above responsibilities are specific to Athletes. More generally, Athletes are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Analyzing Data or Information
Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.

What is an Athlete salary?

The median salary for an Athlete is $50,850, and the average salary is $94,740. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Athlete salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Athletes earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Athletes earn less than $20,270 per year, 25% earn less than $25,790, 75% earn less than $105,510, and 90% earn more than $208,000.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Athletes is expected to change by 37.7%, and there should be roughly 3,400 open positions for Athletes every year.

Median annual salary
$50,850
Typical salary range
$20,270 - Over $208,000
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
37.7%

What personality traits are common among Athletes?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Athlete are usually higher in their Realistic and Enterprising interests.

Athletes typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Athletes typically have moderate Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Athlete tend to value Achievement, Relationships, and Recognition.

Most importantly, Athletes very strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Athletes strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Athletes strongly value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Athletes must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, stress tolerance, and achievement/effort.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Athletes, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

What education and training do Athletes need?

Working as an Athlete usually requires a high school diploma.

Athletes need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Athletes

  • 2.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 13.7% completed high school or secondary school
  • 20.6% completed some college coursework
  • 9.7% earned a Associate's degree
  • 47.8% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 4.7% earned a Master's degree
  • 1.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Athletes

Athletes may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as administration and management, customer and personal service, or personnel and human resources knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Athletes might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Personnel and Human Resources
Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
Communications and Media
Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Important Abilities needed by Athletes

Athletes must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Athletes need abilities such as oral comprehension, problem sensitivity, and static strength in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Athletes, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Static Strength
The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Stamina
The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.

Critical Skills needed by Athletes

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Athletes frequently use skills like speaking, active listening, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Athletes, ranked by their relative importance.

Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Coordination
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.