Employment: Athletes, Coaches, Umpires, and Related Workers
Athletes, coaches, umpires, and related workers held about 158,000 jobs in 2002. Coaches and scouts held 130,000 jobs; athletes, 15,000; and umpires, referees, and other sports officials, 14,000. Large proportions of athletes, coaches, umpires, and related workers worked part time—about 37 percent, while 17 percent maintained variable schedules. Many sports officials and coaches receive such a small and irregular payment for their services (occasional officiating at club games, for example) that they may not consider themselves employed in these occupations, even part time.
About 27 percent of workers in this occupation were self-employed, earning prize money or fees for lessons, scouting, or officiating assignments, and many other coaches and sports officials, although technically not self-employed, have such irregular or tenuous working arrangements that their working conditions resemble self-employment.
Among those employed in wage and salary jobs, 20 percent held jobs in private educational services. About 12 percent worked in amusement, gambling, and recreation industries, including golf and tennis clubs, gymnasiums, health clubs, judo and karate schools, riding stables, swim clubs, and other sports and recreation-related facilities. Another 7 percent worked in the spectator sports industry.