....is a job in soccer

You don’t have to be David Beckham to have a career in the world of soccer

If being the soccer player your parents told you you would be didn’t quite pan out, there are plenty of opportunities for soccer-related work.

Contrary to what many of us believe, soccer, not American football, is the world’s most popular spectator sport, and jobs as coaches, trainers, referees, and administrators are out their waiting to be scored.

One popular website is mls.teamworkonline. Example jobs on that board are: coordinator, community relations for the Portland Timbers, building engineer for the San Jose Earthquakes, and human resources manager for the Columbus Crew. You might not get to kick a ball around, but you will be in the soccer industry and you’ll be able to rub shoulders with the athletes.

According to Monster.com, jobs such as meeting and special-event planners who work in soccer earn approximately $55,000 a year and the average communications manager earns about $87,000 according to the Salary Wizard.

All that and probably free tickets.

Allison Chan played soccer as a young girl growing up in Carlsbad. She went on to play at University of Miami and had hoped to have a career as a professional player, but she didn’t make the cut. Instead, she became an intern for the LA Galaxy, realized she could find other ways to fulfill her soccer goals and eventually became a girl’s high school soccer coach in Florida.

“Everyone thinks they are good enough to play, but there is so much competition out there,” she said. “My dream of being a soccer player shifted to being a soccer coach. I love my job and I still get to play the game.”

Becoming a soccer coach is looking to be a good bet. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of coaches and scouts is projected to grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. They report that rising participation in high school and college sports could increase demand for coaches and scouts.

“High school enrollment is projected to increase over the next decade, resulting in a rise in the number of student-athletes. As schools offer more athletic programs and more students participate in sports, the demand for coaches may increase.

Participation in college sports is also projected to increase over the next decade, particularly at smaller colleges and in women’s sports. Coaches in girls’ and women’s sports may have better job opportunities and face less competition for positions.”

The National Soccer Coaches of America lists coaching jobs for all levels jobs on their site- NSCAA.com

Sales representative jobs are also big in the world of soccer. From selling parents on sending their little prodigy to soccer camp or buying tickets to the pro games, these jobs are also out there- and you don’t have to even be in shape.

While The US team’s first World Cup match — a 2-1 victory over Ghana — was ESPN’s most watched men’s soccer game ever, averaging 11.09 million viewers throughout the match shows that soccer is catching on in America. U.S.YouthSoccer.org puts the number of children playing this international sport in 2012 at 3,020,633, so the opportunity to catch this wave of football excitement shouldn’t be too difficult.

If you don’t want to go back to college, but still want to major in this game, there are online courses to train you. The Soccer Management and Scouting Course is offered by Sports Management Worldwide and they advertise that their students can go on to apply with teams in England, Germany, and Australia.

If you like the action on the field you can train to become a referee by attending a referee training course. Soccerrefereeusa.com offers classes and you can take a two-hour test online to see if you qualify.

Just because you no longer run around a field in short-shorts kicking a ball doesn’t mean your dream of a career in soccer is over. As David Beckham once said, “Soccer is a magical game.” So go make some magic and a paycheck.

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