Australia is known around the world as a sports-obsessed country. In 2020-21, 88.8 per cent of Australian adults participated in some form of sport, making Australia one of the sportiest countries in the world and therefore, one of the best countries to study something sport-related.
For many people, combining their love of sports with their job seems like a far-fetched dream – but it doesn’t have to be! Careers in sports and fitness and graduate sports jobs are easy to find if you’re passionate and engaged.
Here are 10 of the best and highest-paying sports and recreation jobs in Australia.
Sports management is concerned with the administration and organisation of athletes, teams, events and sometimes facilities.
Exactly what you’ll be managing depends on the job, but sports management is perfect for organised people who love working on a campaign from start to finish.
You’ll be doing something different every day and managing a team of people to reach a common goal. If you’re ready to work hard, sports management is an extremely rewarding career.
Average salary: $69,603
If you have in-depth knowledge of a particular sport and don’t mind confrontation, refereeing can be an incredibly lucrative career.
The path to being a referee depends on the sport. For example, to become an AFL umpire, you’ll first register and then be provided with the training. Once you’ve got a few games and correct decisions under your belt, you’ll start climbing the ranks and, with luck, make it to the big leagues.
Anyone who’s an absolute fanatic about a particular sport could make a great career out of refereeing.
Average salary: $67,674
Injuries are one of the worst things about playing sports, so if you can help athletes recover or prevent them, you’ll always be able to find work.
Being a sports physiotherapist will see you work closely with athletes to diagnose injuries, work on recovery, create specialist training programs and utilise various methods of injury treatment like massage or electrotherapy.
You’ll need a qualification in physiotherapy in order to practise, and once you have one, you can look for job openings at professional or amateur sports clubs, or even just work with athletes one on one.
Average salary: $81,498
If you’re passionate about sports and have excellent writing and communication skills, sports journalism could be the career for you.
As a sports journalist, you’ll get up close and personal covering a range of different sports. You’ll gain the inside scoop on some of the country’s biggest sports stars and write engaging stories.
A journalism degree is a great way to get started in this field, and it wouldn’t hurt to take some sports-related minors during your studies.
Average salary: $50,143
Mental strength is incredibly important in any sport, and sometimes athletes need professional help. As a sports psychologist, you’ll be responsible for looking after the mental welfare of athletes and addressing psychological factors that may affect an athlete’s performance.
Whether it’s giving them strategies to cope in big moments, improving team cohesion, or helping injured athletes stay positive, the role of a sports psychologist can’t be understated.
Average salary: $102,740
A sports agent’s primary responsibility is to look after the interests of their clients and handle negotiations between them and their club or endorsements.
You’ll need to do a qualification in sports management, and from there you’ll have to attain numerous certificates depending on what sport you decide to move into – but it’s an incredibly rewarding job, especially if one of your clients makes it big!
Average salary: $133,062
Sports nutritionists make sure that athletes are performing at the highest level by monitoring their nutritional intake and creating custom dietary plans. A sports nutritionist can also develop programs that prevent injury.
At a time when even the smallest advantage can be huge for athletes, sports nutritionists play a very crucial role.
Average salary: $85,371
Sports marketing specialist
Sports marketing is a varied field that will give you many different responsibilities.
You might be in charge of operating an organisation’s website, email marketing and social media. You may need to create engaging graphics or plan marketing campaigns. At a higher level, it could see you negotiate sponsorships and manage a team of marketers.
This career is great for anyone who wants to combine the creativity of marketing with a love of sports.
Average salary: $84,667
Sports analysts are responsible for breaking down data and using it to help teams or athletes improve. They will use data to liaise with coaches and suggest ways to improve performance.
In a world that’s becoming increasingly reliant on data, sports analysts are more important than ever. This career is a great fit for anyone good at working with numbers and huge volumes of information.
Average salary: $100,000
If you’re passionate about exercise and love helping people reach their full potential, consider becoming a personal trainer. Whether you’re working as part of a sports organisation, a gym or one-on-one with clients, you’ll be able to design programs tailored to the individual that will massively improve performance.
You can become a certified personal trainer through a Vocational Education and Training (VET) course, so there’s nothing stopping you!
Average salary: $55,000 to $65,000