The National Basketball Association increasingly relies on in-depth statistical analysis and metrics for coaching, strategy and personnel decisions. NBA advance scouts visit games to relay firsthand information about players and teams back to their coaches and general managers, earning an average that ranges between $58,400 and $65,000 per year.
Average Annual Salary
As of May 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual wage for scouts was $58,400 per year. NBA scout insiders from the TPG Sports Group estimated that advance scouts earned an average of $65,000 per year. But some scouts work without pay in an attempt to secure a paying job as an NBA advance scout, resulting in skewed average salary numbers. Top-earning scouts in the league can earn upward of $500,000 per year. High-earning scouts earn their wage by accepting roles of increased responsibility. Depending on the employer, obtaining a degree in sports management, business, marketing or sales may be a prerequisite for advancement.
Work and Requirements
Some NBA advance scouts travel to well over 100 NBA games per season, collecting extensive information about players and teams. This data consists of detailed breakdowns of plays that potentially shed light on player and team tendencies. Advanced scouts report their findings for coaching staffs to analyze in an effort to counteract an opponent's strategy. Paying to visit an NBA scout school teaches valuable skills and provides an inside look into life as a scout. No prerequisites exist to work as an advance scout, with the exception of an endless passion for basketball and an eye for detail.
2016 Salary Information for Coaches and Scouts
Coaches and scouts earned a median annual salary of $31,450 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, coaches and scouts earned a 25th percentile salary of $20,860, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $49,110, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 276,100 people were employed in the U.S. as coaches and scouts.