How can I become a certified sports Agent in 2023?

If you intend to represent the professional sports figures such as athletes and coaches in negotiations of contracts, then you have to do more than have a passion. TRAIN PROFESSIONALLY!

Before an athlete can trust you with his talent, he will consider your qualifications and professionalism in landing him best deals.

No worries, this post contains all the information you need to become a certified sports agent, salary, education, jobs, and how to build a successful sports agent career.

Being a sports agent can be very fun; they travel and attend many events and parties. They also have access to athletes and sports teams.

However, to be a successful sports agent, you must deeply understand sports recruitment and be willing to take risks for your clients. Read on for guidelines to becoming a certified sports agent.

Who is a Sports Agent?

Sports agents are people legally assigned to represent the interest of professional sports figures such as athletes and coaches particularly in negotiations of contracts.

Basically, they must handle sponsorship, procure employment and negotiate endorsement contracts for the athlete they represent.

Sports agents act in the best interests of their clients. They help them secure endorsement deals, negotiate for a bigger salary, handle negative publicity and when first starting out and after playing for a few years.

Sports agents represent the best interest of their clients. They also handle sponsorships, public relations, and financial planning.

See the 5 most Powerful Sports Agents in the World

How Do Sports Agents Get Certified?

You don’t need a formal education to become a sports agent, although most agents, athletes, and coaches have a bachelor’s degree. However, students aspiring to become sports agents can choose courses related to sports management or sports administration.

Some colleges offer courses that include sports psychology, business law, sports business, and sports marketing because sports agents take up roles that involves legal and financial matters. Apparently, many agents have a strong background in lawyers, accounting, finance, and business.

If you want to become a sports agent, acquiring knowledge in the Athlete Management course will be a good foundation to build your career and become a Sports Mangement Worldwide(SMWW) Agent Advisor. The following are the functions of an Advisor;

  • Represent athletes in any sport.
  • Can order agency marketing materials such as recruiting packets and business cards.
  • To grow your Clientele, you must have mentors from popular agents including National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball(MLB), National Baseball Association(NBA), and FIFA.
  • And also connect with SMWW staff.

Sports agents must get certification from the sports union before they can start to negotiate contracts for their athletes and coaches.

Acquiring a certification can take a long process; prospective agents have to travel a long path to earn an undergraduate degree, a law degree, and a master’s degree.

However, you should know all the necessary things to do in choosing a degree program to make the best out of your career. Here are the steps you must follow to get certified by the sports industry.

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

If you aspire to become a sports agent, the first step to get certification is choosing the right undergraduate degree program.

No school offers a major course in sports but there are Sports Management programs that cover a large topic you would need to know as a student.

Other courses like law, business, communications, finance, accounting, and administration are also recommended majors when studying for a Bachelor’s degree.
However, sports agents must have at least a BA or BS, and oftentimes acquire a higher level degree.

dvanced Degree Programs

The minimum level of education that is needed to enter the field is a BSc or BA, but you must obtain a Master’s Degree to learn about contract law.

you will be attracted to highly skilled athletes and Coaches looking for agents to represent them.

Get Experience

Top sports agencies offer internships programs to people interested in learning more about the field. However, having an internship can also give you a better chance of getting a job with an agency once you’ve completed your education.

First, you have to consider what sport you want to specialize in. Most agents focus on one sport and become experts on the players and regulations in that particular realm.

Think about whether you want to work with a top professional or Amateur league players. The competition is much higher in the professional leagues, but the pay is lower when you’re dealing with Amateur leagues.

Take a Sports Agent Exam

Agents need to possess knowledge of the sport and the ability to keep up with current sports-related news.
However, It can take months or even years acquire deep knowledge about the sport that they are choosing. Most prospective agents begin researching publications, laws, and industry news while in school.

Before getting credentials, an agent must decide on the sport they specialize in. They will need to prepare for the exam, pay a fee, and become a member of the association representing players.
Agents will need to maintain membership through the Players Association as long they are representing players.

Getting credentials requires applications to sit and complete a proctored exam, but the actual questions asked will depend on the sport and the association.

While the cost is high to become a member and sit for the exam, the end result leads to bigger opportunities to negotiate contracts for players in the league.

After acquiring certification, All agents must negotiate at least one player contract every 3 years or their credentials will not renew.

Get Certified

The requirements for certification vary between leagues, but you will be asked to showcase an understanding of league policies.

Before being granted certification and professional liability insurance, you will be required to pay a fee of to $1,500.

Study the rules, bargaining agreement, player’s benefits, and agents’ rights and responsibilities of your chosen league.

Read books and websites on the subject, and talk with people who work for the league for detailed information.
Apply to get certification by sending in your personal information, fee, and resume.

What License Is Needed for Sports Management?

Being a sports agent can be exciting and provide opportunities to travel, meet superstars, and become acquainted with top athletes.

However, to officially become a sports manager, there are many state laws and sports regulations you must meet which include obtaining the licenses needed to become a sports agent.

League Certification

The league level is where Licensing of sports agents begins from. Basically, each league has its own process of agent qualification, testing, and certification, and you must get a certification with each league you want to work.

For Instance, if you want to represent players in the NBA , NFL, NLB and NHL, you need a separate license from each entity.

Furthermore, becoming a certified sports agent within a league includes completing an application, paying a candidate fee, writing a test and attending a conference.

Also, you will be required to pay another fee once you pass your test and get a certification, and getting contracts officially from the league and players you sign.

State license

A sports agent must acquire certification from the league where the client they represent competes. Apparently, there is no global sports agent license, but most states demand some certification.

However, you must contact your state’s board of professional sports regulation to determine if your state requires sports agents to have an additional license or certification.

Additionally, many states also require that agents obtain professional liability insurance. Most top professional sports leagues have their certifications required to represent players in their leagues.

Here are the certification requirements required by the National Football League Players Association(NFLPA).

  •  Application fee of $2,500.00
  • Completing a background investigation
  • Undergraduate AND Post Graduate degree (Masters of Law) from an accredited college/university
  • Those who do not hold one or both of the degrees will make an exception for candidates with a minimum of seven years of negotiating experience.
  • Authorization to perform a background investigation
  • Mandatory attendance of a 2-day seminar.
  • Successful completion of written multiple choice proctored examination
  • Valid email address

How Do I Build a Sports Agent Career?

Sport Agent Internship

The first step to becoming a sports agent is participating in an internship program with a sports agency.
Apparently, this will give you the experience required for an entry-level position and you will start work full time.
The entry-level role involves searching and recruiting athletes to gather a list of potential clients and you will work in a team of highly experienced agents.

In addition, there are diverse paths to becoming a professional sports agent, and candidates have to work very hard because the sports industry is very competitive.

Sports agents come from diverse educational backgrounds such as sports, law or business.
Therefore, agents must also be mindful of the sports industry’s different licensing and certification procedures.

Sign new players

Agents may have to go to college sports events to find potential clients. Endeavor to market yourself as an effective and reliable agent who can bring fame to your clients.

Develop a taste for choosing potential superstars. Agents must know how to present themselves and get athletes to sign.

Join a sports management company.

The company will notify you about networking opportunities and guide you as you begin your sports agent career.

Negotiate Salaries

Salary negotiation is one of the essential functions of a sports agent. An agent will look at what a player demands and also what a team will offer and find a way to balance both.
Agents also negotiate endorsement deals with a company before the player signs.

Sports Agents Salary

In sport agent business, the agent’s commission varies based on the sport he represents and also the athletes they sign. Successful sports agents can make over a million dollars per year.

According to Sports Management Worldwide(SMWW), the average salary for agents in different sports groups representing athletes is shown in the table below.

Sports Agent Commission
National Football League (NFL) $14,400 – $1,005,000
National Basketball Assoc(NBA) $16,769 – $680,000
Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA)  $2,600 – $4,750
Major League Baseball(MLB) $22,200 – $1,360,000
National Hockey League (NHL) $31,500 – $621,000
Major League Soccer(MLS) $1,635 – $213,000
Cricket – International £1250 – £20,000

Sports Agencies

Here is the list of the Top Ten Sports Agencies in the world compiled by Forbes.

NameSportscontractscontracts yearcommissions
Creative Artist Agency Basketball, Football, Hockey, Baseball, Soccer $10.6 B

$414.2 M
Wasserman Basketball, Football, Hockey, Baseball, Golf, Tennis, Soccer $4.2 B 988 $209.1 M
Excel Sports Management Basketball, Baseball, Golf $3.6 B 222 $172.3 M
Stellar Group Soccer

$1.3 B

470 $128 M
Football, Hockey, Basketball, Baseball, Golf, Tennis
$2.6 B

895 $126.7 M
Gestifute Soccer

$1.2 B

190 $118 M
Boras Corporation Baseball $2.4 B


$118.8 M

Newport Sports Mnagement Hockey

$2 B

$78 M

Lian Sports Soccer $777 M

167 $78 M

Independent Sports and Entertainment
Baseball, Football, Basketball
$1.3 B

185 $76.6 M

Sports management firms offer courses for people who already have a degree and want to learn the specific skills that come into play in sports management.

However, some sports agencies may require five to seven years of experience before you can be offered a certification.

It can take years to build the experience necessary to become a professional agent to get clients. However, sports agents who start out as lawyers spend eight years on their undergraduate and graduate education, and may practice law for some time before entering the profession.

Those who complete a sports management degree can take four to six years to enter the workforce, and it may be necessary to gain some experience in the sports industry before one can begin working as an agent.

Becoming a sports agent requires hard work and commitment. Firstly, you need to pursue a degree program, prospective sports agents need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree.

Apparently, you will need to take up a course in marketing and business management.
After completing your degree program, you take up an internship in any recognized sports agency to understand how the industry operates. you may also need to pursue certification and obtain licensure.

After your internship, you can get a job in a sports firm. Ensure that the firm has a positive reputation and also has a lot of registered athletes.
In addition, if you choose to run your own company, you’ll need to get licensure. Once you obtain a license, you can set your rates. Avoid overpricing your services as a beginner. let your rate increase as you grow in the profession.


A sports professional agent must have the ability to Identify a new talent. Agents find players and coaches in all types of sports, including, Tennis, basketball, hockey, football and other sports.

Amateur players can’t sign endorsement deals and the professional players need an agent capable of getting them the best offers.

A few years of related work experience in a field such as accounting, management or law can be beneficial prior to beginning a career as a sports agent.

However, you must join the Sports Agent Directory (SAD) to find job opportunities as a sports agent. Network at events to meet players, coaches, and managers.



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