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Best Paid Sports Careers

Many of us had dreams as children of what our ideal job would be. For some of us, that dream was being a professional player of the sport we loved watching so much. If you spend enough time training and practicing, you’ll be well-rewarded for your efforts.

What most people would like to know before anything else is: what career gets the biggest check? Don’t worry about whether or not you’re physically fit for a sport. You can still be part of the industry and stay off the green. Here are a couple of well-paying careers in the sports industry:

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1. Professional Basketball Player

Touring through the country to meet opposing teams sounds like fun, but there’s much more to the sport. If you want to stay in ideal ‘basketball-playing shape,’ you’ll need to be lifting weights and doing ‘suicides’ on a regular basis.

Basketball is a team sport as much as it is an individual sport. Each player’s skill level should complement the other members in some way, and team and solo practice is how to ensure that is possible.

Think you’re up for the NBA’s 82 regular season games? If you’re one of the top scoring teams, you’ll be participating in a handful of playoff games as well.
NBA players are set to earn an average of $7,422,823 in the 2018-2019 season. That puts them at the top of the list for the highest-paid sports industry job.

2. Professional Basketball Player

When it comes to the most important details of being a baseball player, training for strength and flexibility is key. A regular MLB season is made up of 162 games, so you better be ready for some extensive gaps of time between games.

It should come as no surprise that the majority of practice is focused on refining and maintain accurate batting skill.

Back in 2018, players earned about 4.52 million for the season. Thanks to the way business is structured around the sport, players get a generous pension like every job should give.

3. Professional Hockey Player

Anyone who has seen a hockey game knows that it truly invokes the image of ‘full-contact sport.’ Not only is the sport physically taxing, but players must also deal with combative players from opposing teams while on the ice.

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If you want to be a professional hockey player, you’ll have to condition yourself to withstand an 82-game schedule in addition to the usual playoffs.

For professionals in the NHL, salaries range from 2.35 million to 3.67 million. Considering each team has only 23 members and revenue is split 50-50 with the owner, that’s not a bad amount to take home.

In the minor leagues of the United States and Canada, there are over 150 teams. Players at these levels get anywhere from $40,000 to $90,000 a year.

4. Professional Football Player

Professional level football is considered one of the most grueling and physically demanding sports on the planet. Take a step in the wrong direction while holding the ball, and you’ll be slammed by someone twice your size.

The biggest part of American football is the strategy involved in executing successful plays. Coaches on each team likely have a few plays they’re saving for a rainy day.

Even with all the padding that players put on, there are still traumatic injuries sustained, leading to substantial physical therapy regimens. And because of the recent news drawn to the connection between brain injuries and football, player-to-player contact is restricted during practice.

Although the average player’s career is only about 3.5 years, shorter than any professional level sport, their salary is still one of the highest. For the 2017-2018 season, players earned from 2.07 million to 2.99 million. The reason for those numbers is likely the 53 player roster for each team.

Contracts are on a per-season basis, so if a player is performing under expectations they can be cut without pay.

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5. Sports Broadcaster

These are the people whose voices you hear whenever you watch a game on television. In addition to analyzing plays, they analyze individual performance and may share personal interest stories about the players.

It is most common to hear sports broadcasters on networks such as ESPN, Fox Sports, and NBC Sports.

Back in 2017, the top broadcaster averaged more than 5 million. That was, of course, for professional level sports.

Those in the lower bracket of sports announcing earned average of $106,000 in the same year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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