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The greatest number of job opportunities exists with professional teams. At the highest male professional level, there are 32 National Football League franchises, 30 Major League Baseball franchises, 30 National Basketball Association franchises, 30 National Hockey League franchises, and 19 Major League Soccer franchises. The Women's National Basketball Association has 12 franchises. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment for athletes, umpires, referees, and related jobs as well as coaches and scouts will grow about 6 percent through 2024. The growth will be driven by increasing interest in sports and the retirement of baby boomers, expected to spend much time participating and watching sports. Growing interest in fitness among amateurs will create demand for qualified coaches and trainers. Expansion of school athletic programs will also contribute to job growth. The high school population is expected to increase in the next decade and more schools will be adding sports-education programs, increasing the demand for coaches and sports educators.
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