Athletic Director: Job Description and Career Information

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an athletic director. Get a quick view of the degree requirements as well as details about the career outlook and job description to find out if this is the career for you.

View 5 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

Athletic directors manage sport programs and departments for colleges, universities and secondary schools. Athletic directors must have at least a bachelor's degree, but often a master's degree is required. Experience as a coach or teacher or experience in sports management may also be required.

Required Education A bachelor's or master's degree in physical education, education administration or sports management
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 6% for education administrators in elementary and secondary schools; 15% for postsecondary education administrators
Median Annual Salary (May 2013)* $88,380 for education administrators in elementary and secondary schools; $87,410 for postsecondary education administrators

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Athletic Director Job Description

Athletic directors direct athletic activities, supervise the coordination of athletic events and manage athletic department budgets at secondary and postsecondary schools. Outside of these requirements, athletic directors may also participate in revenue development planning and fundraising. Additionally, these professionals serve as liaisons with sports conference or division administrators, such as those from the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Athletic directors may also be in charge of hiring and firing coaches. To do so, these professionals assess current and prospective coaches based on team goals, achievements and other parameters.

Career Information for an Athletic Director

Most schools require athletic directors to have master's degrees in a field like physical education, education administration or sports management. As such, specific coursework and concentrations vary by major. For example, while students in physical education degree programs may take courses on education theory, instructional supervision and kinesiology, those in sports management may focus more on financial, marketing and facility management courses.

Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies athletic directors under the broader categories of elementary and secondary and postsecondary (college) education administrators. The BLS reported that jobs for postsecondary education administrators were expected to increase by 15% between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). Employment of elementary and secondary school education administrators was expected to increase 6% during the same time frame, according to the BLS.

Salary Information

The BLS noted that the average annual salary for postsecondary education administrators, including college athletic directors, was $87,410 in 2013. In the same year, elementary and secondary education administrators, including high school athletic directors, earned an average salary of $88,380 annually, per BLS reports.

Show me popular schools

Related to Athletic Director: Job Description and Career Information

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Athletic Director Certificate and Certification Program Options

Learn about a graduate certificate program designed for aspiring athletic directors. Read about enrollment requirements,...

How to Become a High School Athletic Director

Learn how to become a high school athletic director. Research the job description and the education and licensing requirements...

Gallery Director: Career Information and Education Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a gallery director. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as...

Executive Television Director: Job Description and Information

The fast-paced world of television production is both creative and technical. The executive television director must have the...

Online Degree Options for an Aspiring Athletic Director

Popular Schools

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
        • Kinesiology and Exercise Science
        • Sport and Fitness Management
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Georgia include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
        • Sport and Fitness Management
      • Nutrition Services
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Miami include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Health and Fitness
        • Kinesiology and Exercise Science
        • Sport and Fitness Management
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Kentucky (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Louisville include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
        • Kinesiology and Exercise Science
        • Physical Education and Health
        • Sport and Fitness Management
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Iowa (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Iowa include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
        • Kinesiology and Exercise Science
        • Sport and Fitness Management
        • Sports Medicine
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics