How to Become a Certified Sports Agent

Sports agents see the game in new and exciting ways.
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Certified sports agents have the privilege of working in the field of the sport they love and with the players who captivate them each and every day. The path to becoming a sports agent, however, is long: it typically requires a master's degree or a law degree, and the costs to take the exam and maintain certification can be over $3,000. Ultimately, though, the job is very fulfilling, and worth the blood, sweat and years in college.

    Step 1

    Complete your education; a minimum of a bachelor's degree is required. There is no one major that is optimal for a future sports agent, but the recommended fields are business, administration, accounting, communications and law. In order to be more competitive, obtain a master's degree in one of these fields, or consider earning a law degree. Being able to help clients in areas such as contract law, negotiation, labor law and estate planning will make you one of the most valuable prospective sports agents competing for the job.

    Step 2

    Research your chosen sport. Regardless of the sport, you must have in-depth knowledge of current sports-related news. While optional, previous experience as a player of the sport at the college or professional level can greatly enhance your knowledge of the sport. Follow sports-related media and sports-related publications to stay on top of current events; this can be done while you are completing your education.

    Step 3

    Study for the sport agent exam in your chosen sport. Successful completion of the exam allows you to apply for membership and licensing. Keep in mind that the cost of the test and the membership that comes with your license may be costly. For the NFL, the application fee is $1,650 and you may only be able to sign up during limited windows of time. With the NFL, you must sign to take the exam between January 1st and January 31st. If you miss this window, you must wait for the following year.

    Step 4

    Pay any fees necessary to join the player's association required for certification. For the NFL, this depends on the number of players that you have signed. You begin by paying $1200 -- the cost for having nine or fewer clients -- but after you have ten or more clients, that cost jumps to $1700.

    Step 5

    Apply for jobs at existing sports management firms. Alternatively, if you have capital and initiative, you may consider starting your own firm. Remember to maintain your credentials during the application process, as the loss of certification can keep you from being hired.


    • Some players' associations require specific post-graduate degrees. Consult with the association of your chosen sport while you are completing your bachelor's courses to verify what further education you may need.

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