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Career and Education Opportunities for Professional Athletes in Columbia, Maryland

Professional athletes can find many career and educational opportunities in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 420 working professional athletes in Maryland; this should grow by 6% to 440 working professional athletes in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for professional athletes are expected to grow by about 11.8%. Professional athletes generally compete in athletic events.

The average wage in the general category of Sports jobs is $27,286 per year in Maryland, and an average of $30,850 per year nationwide. Professional athletes earn less than people working in the category of Sports generally in Maryland and more than people in the Sports category nationally. Jobs in this field include: wrestler, all terrain vehicle racer , and exerciser.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including five within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a professional athlete. Given that the most common education level for professional athletes is less than a high school diploma, 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 Columbia 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

Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has a master's degree program in Health and Physical Education.

Anne Arundel Community College - Arnold, MD

Anne Arundel Community College, 101 College Pky, Arnold, MD 21012-1895. Anne Arundel Community College is a large college located in Arnold, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,149 students. Anne Arundel Community College has a one to two year program in Health and Physical Education.

American University - Washington, DC

American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016-8001. American University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,684 students and an admission rate of 53%. American University has a bachelor's degree program in Health and Physical Education which graduated ten students in 2008.

McDaniel College - Westminster, MD

McDaniel College, 2 College Hill, Westminster, MD 21157. McDaniel College is a small college located in Westminster, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,896 students and an admission rate of 77%. McDaniel College has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Health and Physical Education which graduated twenty-six and thirty-three students respectively in 2008.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has a bachelor's degree program in Health and Physical Education which graduated six 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: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.