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Career and Education Opportunities for Professional Athletes in Birmingham, Alabama

Professional athlete career and educational opportunities abound in Birmingham, Alabama. The national trend for professional athletes sees this job pool growing by about 11.8% over the next eight years. In general, professional athletes compete in athletic events.

The average wage in the general category of Sports jobs is $22,150 per year in Alabama, and an average of $30,850 per year nationwide. People working as professional athletes can fill a number of jobs, such as: swimmer, gamer, and bass fisher.

The Birmingham area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree as a professional athlete. Professional athletes usually hold less than a high school diploma, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a professional athlete if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Professional Athlete

Professional Athlete video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, professional athletes compete in athletic events.

Professional athletes assess performance following athletic competition, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and making adjustments to further optimize future performance. They also maintain equipment used in a particular sport. Equally important, professional athletes have to participate in athletic events and competitive sports, in line with established rules and regulations. They are often called upon to attend scheduled practice and training sessions. They are expected to receive instructions from coaches and other sports staff before events, and consider their performance afterwards. Finally, professional athletes represent teams or professional sports clubs, performing such efforts as meeting with members of the media or participating in charity events.

Every day, professional athletes are expected to be able to do heavy work over long periods of time. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for professional athletes to lead teams by serving as captains. They are often called upon to exercise and practice under the direction of athletic trainers or professional coaches, in order to optimize skills, improve physical condition, and get ready for competitions. They also maintain optimum physical fitness levels by training regularly, following nutrition plans, and consulting with health professionals. They are sometimes expected to represent teams or professional sports clubs, performing such efforts as meeting with members of the media or participating in charity events. Somewhat less frequently, professional athletes are also expected to assess performance following athletic competition, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and making adjustments to further optimize future performance.

And finally, they sometimes have to exercise and practice under the direction of athletic trainers or professional coaches, in order to optimize skills, improve physical condition, and get ready for competitions.

Like many other jobs, professional athletes must believe in cooperation and coordination and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Athletic Scout. Instruct or coach groups or individuals in the fundamentals of sports. Demonstrate techniques and methods of participation. May evaluate athletes' strengths and weaknesses as possible recruits or to improve the athletes' technique to prepare them for competition. Those required to hold teaching degrees should be reported in the appropriate teaching category.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Professional Athlete Training

Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229-2240. Samford University is a small university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,469 students and an admission rate of 89%. Samford University has a bachelor's degree program in Health and Physical Education which graduated five students in 2008.

University of Montevallo - Montevallo, AL

University of Montevallo, Station 6001, Montevallo, AL 35115-6000. University of Montevallo is a small university located in Montevallo, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,030 students and an admission rate of 78%. University of Montevallo has a bachelor's degree program in Health and Physical Education which graduated eighteen students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

AFAA Challenge Exam: Any AFAA Certification may be challenged, however, it is recommended that you attend the preparatory workshop for that certification offered prior to the exams (Primary, Step, KickBoxing - 1 or 2 days, Personal Fitness Trainer - 3 days).

For more information, see the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America website.

USDF Certified Instructor: The USDF Instructor Certification Program is designed to educate dressage instructors and aspiring instructors who demonstrate the knowledge and abilities necessary to teach the classical concepts of dressage and meet specified proficiency standards.

For more information, see the United States Dressage Federation website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.