Becoming an NFL football scout and a successful one at that cuts across two options: being a former coach changing onto the scouting side of things, or entering an internship program. If you have a connection to football, you are in a great position but the rest of us have work, a lot of work, to do.
The competition for scouting jobs in the NFL is fierce, requiring aspiring scouts to bring more to the table than passion, persistence, and believing you can get the job done. Scouts assess the chances of success of both amateur and professional athletes by getting to know the players on and off the field. While there is no specific path to becoming an NFL football scout, there are several ways to increase your potential for employment.
NB: We understand the term “NFL Football scout” is tautology, but we insist for emphasis purposes.
How to Become a NFL Football Scout
To be a successful NFL football scout, you need to learn about coaching techniques and exercises, as well as speak with coaches. NFL Football Scouts should be reliable, be able to work independently, and have strong analytical skills to properly gauge a player’s ability to be successful in the NFL.
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Since there is often more to do than time to complete, Scouts must be adept at organization and time management. To be successful as an NFL Football Scout, you will also need to become familiar with watching as well as writing everywhere, effectively, and all the time.
Scouts visit schools to watch live games, attend practices, conduct player interviews, perform background checks and visit player training sessions. Following these activities, NFL Football scouts must write detailed reports and notes afterwards.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, NFL Football Scouts typically need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in marketing, sales, business, or sports management. If you do have one in law, you might be better suited to being a football agent.
Additional classes, certification courses or related activity will improve your chances of becoming an NFL Scout. For example, Sports Management Worldwide offers an eight-week, GM Online Football & Scouting course that teaches a variety of vital information, such as how to write a scouting report and how to assess player talent for the NFL Draft. Graduates receive an SMWW Performance Certificate.
Complete the Internship
The NFL offers internships in a variety of departments, but to intern in scouting, you will need to find a program that is offered by a specific team. For example, the Detroit Lions and Ford Field Management provide paid full-time internship opportunities in Scouting and pro staff to applicants pursuing their masters degree.
Interns help and support college as well as pro football scouting by participating in scout projects, collecting player and other information, and assisting with practice sessions.
Get an unpaid internship with an Arena Football League, Scene 2 Franchise, Intense Football League, United Indoor Football or any number of Minor League team. Even if the team has not posted an internship, call or stop by the front office; these leagues have tight budgets and can usually use aid.
Take a full-time internship with one of the minor league franchises.
If necessary, find a job with flexible hours that will allow you to continue to coach in the fall and hold an internship in the spring. As you gain experience, take advantage of any opportunity to move up – get promoted to freshman junior varsity or unpaid scout intern.
Acquire Football Experience
Employers do not usually require NFL Football scouts to have experience playing football, but they may prefer applicants with some experience in the sport. For example, many Scouts start their careers working as Scout Talent in specific geographic areas before moving on to supervising Scouts in the region or territory.
Get a coaching job with the first year team of a high school football program. Some schools need reliable people who are ready to make the commitment for the season, so simple dedication is often the only job requirement.
Send Your CV
As you gain experience as a NFL Football scout, send your CV to multiple teams and increase your chances of getting the job by submitting it to more than one person on each team, such as the Head of Scouting and the General Manager.
You should send your CV to every team in the NFL, AFL and CFL with the expectation that you will probably get a lot of rejections, but your name will be on there.
Meet the Movers and Shakers
Participate in events where you can meet decision-makers and of such is most notable the NFL Combine. You won’t need a pass to enter official activities, and you can hang out in bars and restaurants for a few days to better your chances of meeting one.
Keep Building your Network
Find a way to get your foot in the door of an NFL team. Teams hire dozens of unpaid people to help out on game days, do anything from passing statistics in the press area to pulling the camera wire from the side-lines. While these jobs have nothing to do with scouting, each of these positions comes with a stadium access pass and an introduction to an NFL staff member. You never know who might become your acquaintance.
How Much do Football Scouts Make?
When you become an established NFL Football scout, you will warn within the range of $45,000 to $95,000. But this salary is dependent on your experience and how much gems you have successfully unearthed. At the level if director of an NFL team’s scouting department, you can make as high as $275,000.
Yet the earnings of a NFL Football scout doesn’t end at basic salary. Scouts can also gain income from bonuses based on player performance and the success of a scouted player. This pay ranges from $100 to $200.
The journey to becoming an NFL Football scout is a jam-packed and daunting trip that combines multiple qualities and working as a coach as well as unpaid scout.
Even if it takes several years, you will get you there eventually but be prepared when a n opening materialises.