Recruiting is big business in the world of college and professional football. Millions of dollars are spent by college and pro teams to find the next Tim Tebow in college or Peyton Manning in the pros. In colleges, coaches and assistant coaches are usually involved in scouting, while pro teams, according to the National Football Post, typically have player personnel departments devoted to recruitment. Both colleges and the pros also use outside recruiting companies and agents, and football recruiters are paid handsomely for their services.
According to Stateuniversity.com, the average annual salary for college sports recruiters in general, or scouts, was $54,000 as of June 2011. Simplyhired.com listed the average annual salary for football recruiting specialists, including college and pro, at $65,000 as of 2011. Top recruiters or recruting executives may earn six-figure salaries annually. The majority of football recruiters spend a great deal of time on the road.
Recruiters in college football are either employed by colleges and universities or recruiting companies. Salaries are significant in Division I football, where annual bowl games, such as the Rose Bowl, earn colleges millions of dollars in revenues from television contracts and sponsorships. As a result, top-earning college football recruiters can earn over well over $100,000 a year. A January 2007 article for the Wall Street Journal chronicled two such recruiters, the University of Georgia's Rodney Garner and the University of Florida's Doc Holliday, who earned $230,000 and $200,000 respectively as of 2007.
NFL recruiters travel much of the year watching college football players and players in other professional football leagues. Their chief job is to find talent for the teams that employ them. The pay for the top scouts in the NFL can be as high as $150,000 annually according to Jobmonkey.com. It adds that the majority of scouts earn approximately $85,000 annually. The National Football Post estimated the salaries for pro scouts somewhat higher, at $95,000 a year, and scouting jobs in the NFL may lead to higher positions in the personnel department.
Top Positions in the NFL
In the NFL, where teams spend between $2 million and $3 million on recruiting, scouting departments may include several executive positions that are responsible for overseeing recruiters on the road, researching potential players worldwide, and filling open spots on teams, including practice teams. As such, a Director of Player Personnel can earn an estimated $455,000 annually, according to an April 2011 article by the National Football Post. Pro personnel directors, who monitor player contracts and development, earn an estimated $250,000 annually, while directors of college scouting for the pros can earn $275,000 annually, according to the article.