Sports Scouts


Education and Training Requirements

High School

A general high school education will give the basic skills needed to succeed in sports scouting. Speech and English courses will help ease communication with prospects as well as with conveying findings to coaches, managers, and front office workers. Learn Spanish or Japanese to help connect with foreign players, who are increasingly sought after by Major League Baseball teams. Finally, take physical education classes and join sports teams—especially the sport for which you want to scout.

Postsecondary Training

There are no colleges and universities that offer classes in sports scouting. Professional baseball teams send promising employees to a "scout school" that is sponsored by the Major League Baseball. Employees learn the basics of scouting and how to judge talent. The most famous graduate of the school is former scout and current White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that scouts typically have a bachelor’s degree, with some pursuing degrees in business, marketing, sales, or sports management. An increasing number of scouts have degrees, but there are still many who have just earned a high school diploma or completed some postsecondary training.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

There are no specific certification or licensing requirements for professional sports scouts. However, scouts who also work as coaches at public high schools or universities may have to meet state certification requirements.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Previous experience as a collegiate or professional athlete, coach, or manager is usually required to enter the field. 

First and foremost, a person who would like to become a sports scout should have vast knowledge of a particular sport. For a sports scout, an athletic contest is not only something to enjoy, but also something to study. Sports scouts must be detail oriented and methodical in order to understand the rules, regulations, fundamentals, strategies, and personality types that are best suited to athletic competition.

Above-average organizational skills are also essential. More often than not, sports scouts will attend several games before reporting to a supervisor. They must be able to organize their thoughts and notes so they can compare players from several games to come to conclusions about their abilities.

Communication skills are important. Sports scouts must be able to write and speak well, particularly because they interact with other coaches and players on a daily basis. If they work as a recruitment scout, they are in contact with younger players, and thus work well with and understand younger people. A proficiency in a foreign language, especially Spanish or Japanese, will be also of great help, since sports scouts will be sent to foreign countries to monitor the development of promising athletes.

A sports scout must also be a team player, a good judge of talent and character, and be able to recognize ability and mental toughness in others.