How to Become an Athletic Director

How to Become an Athletic Director
  1. Start With a Degree in Sport Management. A bachelor’s degree in Sport Management provides the initial building blocks needed for a career as an athletic director. …
  2. Work For Your School’s Athletic Department. …
  3. Gain Some Leadership Experience. …
  4. It All Starts with a Degree.

How to Become an Athletic Director with Lee De Leon, Purdue University

How to become an athletic director

You might think about taking the following actions if you want to become an athletic director:

1. Learn about the profession

Starting in high school, one can begin to understand the world of athletics Some students continue to participate in sports throughout high school and college to gain a thorough understanding of the sports they enjoy. Athletic directors should be knowledgeable about athletics as well as capable of handling accounting, financial, legal, and other issues. This calls for the development of specialized skills, which can take years to accomplish with the right training and educational opportunities.

2. Earn your bachelors degree

Pick a bachelor’s degree program in physical education and the exercise sciences or sports management. Numerous courses are offered, such as sports business hybrid degrees that combine exercise science with a business minor. The course you choose will determine the skills you learn, so choose wisely. Consider the learning opportunities available at local colleges and universities as well as online, and choose a course of study that will help you gain the skills you need most.

You might be prepared for a career path that starts with teaching or coaching if you choose a sports management degree. The experience gained in these fields is priceless for athletic directors who need to hone their leadership abilities.

3. Get a masters degree

To enter the field of athletic administration after earning your bachelor’s degree, you typically need a master’s degree. You can work a full-time job in sports management or exercise science and continue your studies full-time, or you can do both. However, keep in mind that you will eventually need to gain work experience. Therefore, combining your education and employment opportunities may be worthwhile when it comes to saving time on your career path.

Masters programs usually also offer hands-on practicum. Students pursuing a master’s degree in sports management may gain professional experience through intensive workshops, internships, or externships.

4. Certify and gain experience

One of the following certifications can be pursued by those who want to work as athletic directors:

The least complicated option calls for a bachelor’s degree, sponsorship, and a commitment to uphold the code of ethics. These are the minimum qualifications to be registered.

After two years as an athletic director, a candidate for certification in athletic administration must successfully complete coursework offered by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. Additional coursework and passing a written exam are necessary for the highest honor, Certified Master Athletic Administrator.

What does an athletic director do?

The majority of athletic directors implement athletic programs at the college or university level. Athletic directors, however, may also be employed by some high schools for the same reason. The athletic director is an administrative employee.

They may interact with student athletes occasionally, if at all. Instead, they collaborate with educators and other administrators whose programs depend on the athletic director to ensure success. Athletic directors are in charge of selecting faculty and staff, as well as handling any financial, legal, or other administrative issues that may affect the team.

Frequently asked questions about becoming an athletic director

Here are some typical queries about an athletic director’s job:

What kind of degree should I get to become an athletic director?

Because it fosters the growth of both leadership and athletic abilities in its students, a degree in sports management makes sense. A good equivalent might be any degree program that offers the following courses:

What skills should I develop to become an athletic director?

Communication, management, organization and leadership are important skills to build. Athletic directors should be technically proficient in both administrative duties and the tools needed to carry them out. Additionally, they should be well-versed in sports and athletics.

The management side of the business may require public speaking and PR abilities. Athletic directors might need to speak with the public and media about significant program updates and changes.

How much do athletic directors make?

Whats the job outlook for athletic directors?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, through 2022, job growth for athletic directors is anticipated to outpace that of other industries. This period should see an increase in demand for athletic directors, making this a desirable career path for those seeking a practical and passionate specialization.

What are the advantages and challenges of being an athletic director?

Working as an athletic director can be very satisfying for those who can handle the pressure of a sports environment. It provides competitive pay with room for advancement, the chance for tenure, and several inherently rewarding benefits like the fulfillment that comes from a program’s success.

Whats the career path to athletic director?

Starting as a coach and working your way up to athletic director is a typical career path. However, in recent years, athletic directors have come from a wider range of backgrounds, including those in business and finance.


What degree do most athletic directors have?

All athletic directors have an athletics or athletic education background. A bachelor’s degree in physical education is often enough for athletic directors to hold certain positions. However, the majority of athletic directors have a master’s degree in athletic administration, education administration, or sport management.

What is the average age of an athletic director?

An FBS athletic director is typically 54 years old. Unsurprisingly, the average age of Group of Five athletic directors (51) is a little bit lower than that of Autonomy Five athletic directors (56) The average age at which Group of Five athletic directors are hired is lower than that of their Autonomy 5 counterparts (46).

What do college athletic directors do?

An athletic director oversees all aspects of a program’s athletics, including scheduling, hiring coaches, publicizing events and programs, purchasing equipment, creating budgets, and facilitating operations. Athletic directors frequently oversee sports personnel and assist with fundraising events.

Where do athletic directors make the most money?

Hayward, California, is the best city in America for athletic directors with the highest pay. In order to determine which states offer the most opportunities for Athletic Directors, we dug deep into our dataset of job and salary numbers. Wisconsin, where the median pay is $71,156, is the best state for athletic directors.

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