A football scout for NFL teams scours the nation and the world in search of talented players for every position. Pro scouts are responsible for analyzing possible recruits and deciding if and how an athlete might contribute to the team's functionality. A football scout's salary depends on several factors, though certainly scouts working for the NFL are among the highest earners. Football scout salary information varies greatly, and you'll need to learn more about working in the scouting department for an NFL team – a sports lover's dream.
Director scouts are executives, and with that comes team management responsibilities. They oversee road scouts and analyze and compile various reports to make crucial recommendations to head coaches, general managers and other top-ranking staff. Road scouts or area scouts are the ones who do the leg work, so these professionals spend a great deal of time in the field watching players and considering talent. They feed data to desk scouts and directors. Most road scouts work either the pros or college football but not both.
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Road scouts scour college teams at all levels (Divisions I, II and III) as well as high school football players to identify talent. They may look at athletes as young as 14, but they won't start actively recruiting for several years. Instead, road scouts follow promising young footballers throughout their early career.
NFL scouting is an exciting and potentially rewarding career, but it isn't without its challenges. It's a competitive field, and the most essential skill you can possess is a natural eye for talent. You must also have a profoundly good memory (or excellent note-taking and record-keeping skills) and an analytical mind.
While it may not be required, most scouts earn a bachelor's degree in sports management or a related field. It's also critical that scouts in any league (including the NBA, MLB or even college scouting) have excellent skills in statistics and math. Their evaluations and scouting reports are made up of mainly statistical analyses.
Scouting for the NFL has a lot of rules, and these standards bind both directors and road scouts. Teams cannot give gifts or exchange money with young players. They cannot promise them deals or endorsements. All of their communication with talent is supposed to be well documented.
The job is high stakes, and your performance will ultimately impact the bottom line of your organization. As a result, this can be a stressful job. In addition, since you must travel frequently to meet with prospective players, you must be OK with being away from home quite often.
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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides the most accurate information about the annual salary for a wide range of professions. According to its data, professional coaches and scouts earned a median income of $38,970 in 2021. That's a few thousand dollars below the national average.
However, the National Football League is one of the world's wealthiest sports leagues, so their sports scouts are typically paid more. According to Bleacher Report, which publishes reliable data on the sports industry, directors of scouting for NFL teams make between $95,000 and $275,000. Road scouts make less, though – between $20,000 and $95,000.
While the NFL draft might be one of the most important days of the year for scouts, theirs is a full-time job that they do year-round. There are two typical types of scouts employed by NFL teams like the Giants or Rams: directors and road scouts.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for coaches and scouts is rising rapidly. Coach and scout jobs are expected to grow by 26 percent between 2020 and 2030, much faster than the national average for all professions. As sports in secondary schools and colleges become more popular, high school and college football teams will only need more support staff, including pro scouts.