Athletes, Coaches, Referees and Related Occupations - What They Do

Athletes participate in competitive sports events on an amateur or professional basis. They play team sports such as hockey, baseball, football and lacrosse; or compete in individual sports such as skiing, figure skating, boxing or track and field; or in games such as poker or chess. They are employed by professional team organizations or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:

  • Train under the direction of a coach or trainer to qualify for competition
  • Attend scheduled practice and training sessions
  • Participate in local, regional, provincial, national or international competitions and sporting events
  • Assess performance after an event to identify strengths and weaknesses.

Job titles

  • athlete
  • track athlete
  • professional athlete
  • boxer
  • harness race driver
  • golfer
  • jockey
  • baseball player
  • football player
  • hockey player
  • figure skater
  • skier
  • sprinter
Employment Requirements

This is what you typically need for the job:

  • Demonstrated ability in a particular sport, or type of game, is required.
  • Extensive training under the supervision of a coach is required.
  • Certification with a particular sports federation may be required.
  • A background combining athletic training and college or university studies is strongly recommended.

Essential Skills


  • Planning
  • Projecting Outcomes
  • Analyzing Information


  • Liaising and Networking

Creative Expression

  • Performing and Entertaining