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Career and Education Opportunities for Professional Athletes in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for professional athletes. There are currently 430 jobs for professional athletes in Michigan and this is projected to grow 16% to 500 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for professional athletes are expected to grow by about 11.8%. In general, professional athletes compete in athletic events.

The average wage in the general category of Sports jobs is $26,360 per year in Michigan, and an average of $30,850 per year nationwide. Incomes for professional athletes are better than in the overall category of Sports in Michigan, and better than the overall Sports category nationally. Professional athletes work in a variety of jobs, including: skate boarder, archer, and boxer.

There are nineteen schools of higher education in the Grand Rapids area, including two within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids where you can get a degree to start your career as a professional athlete. The most common level of education 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 Grand Rapids 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

Calvin College - Grand Rapids, MI

Calvin College, 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Calvin College is a small college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,171 students and an admission rate of 94%. Calvin College has a bachelor's degree program in Health and Physical Education which graduated twenty-nine students in 2008.

Aquinas College - Grand Rapids, MI

Aquinas College, 1607 Robinson Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506-1799. Aquinas College is a small college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,159 students and an admission rate of 82%. Aquinas College has a bachelor's degree program in Health and Physical Education which graduated one student 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.

LICENSES

Harness Driver

Licensing agency: Michigan Department of Agriculture
Address: Office of the Racing Commissioner, 36750 Professional Plaza, Suite 104A, Livonia, MI 48154-1100

Phone: (734) 462-2400
Website: Michigan Department of Agriculture Office of the Racing Commissioner

Jockey

Licensing agency: Department of Agriculture
Address: Office of the Racing Commissioner, 37650 Professional Plaza, Suite 104A, Livonia, MI 48154-1100

Phone: (734) 462-2400
Website: Department of Agriculture Office of the Racing Commissioner

LOCATION INFORMATION: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan photo by Grguy2011

Grand Rapids is located in Kent County, Michigan. It has a population of over 193,396, which has shrunk by 2.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Rapids, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Rapids cost $98,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were built in Grand Rapids, down from ninety-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Grand Rapids are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.8% of Grand Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is 15.4%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Grand Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Church and Trinity Church are among the churches located in Grand Rapids. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.

Grand Rapids is home to the Kent Country Club and the Walker Juvenile Court as well as Comstock Riverside Park and Richmond Park. Visitors to Grand Rapids can choose from Hampton Inn Grand Rapids, Hampton Inn Grand Rapids/North- Mi and Hampton Inn Fax for temporary stays in the area.