How to become a sports analyst: Find out all the necessary information

How to become a sports analyst: Find out all the necessary information

Ciku Njuguna
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:23 PM

Sports analysts are critical personnel for organizations such as teams, online media resources, radio stations, television stations, and print publications. Among other professional sports careers, being a sports analyst or broadcaster exposes one to the exciting daily life of athletic events and sports in general. Stick around for details on how to become a sports analyst.

What do you do as a sports analyst?
BBC broadcaster Sue Barker interviews Serena Williams after the 2019 Ladies Singles at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in July 2019 in England. Photo by Visionhaus.
Source: Getty Images

The need for critical analysis of team strengths and weaknesses, coaching insights, and player statistics has dramatically increased the demand for sports analysts. Additionally, the recent demands for these professionals are pushed by the growing popularity of Fantasy Sports that heavily rely on players and team data.

How to become a sports analyst

Are you intrigued by the careers of most famous sports analysts and sportscasters such as Jim Nantz, Scott Van Pelt, Erin Andrews, and Mike Tirico? Here is a complete guide on how to get started in sports analytics.

What does a sports analyst do?

Like any other analysts, sports analysts employ several research techniques to examine the performance of individual players, teams, and leagues. Depending on the employing agency, the data is used to appraise coaching and performance strategies or provide sporting insight for television, radio, or print audiences.

What is a typical day for a sports analyst?

On average, analysts in sports journalism spend 10 to 15 hours a day scouting sports events, conducting interviews, and making television appearances. On the other hand, those attached to individual teams and leagues do not have standard work hours since they work based on team schedules.

Who is a famous sports analyst?
Shaquille O'Neal, Ernest Johnson, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley (L-R) speak live on TNT at American Express All-Star at Hammerstein Ballroom in February 2015, in New York. Photo by Stephen Lovekin.
Source: Getty Images

How to become a sports analyst for ESPN

Like most top-tier employers, ESPN requires proper education qualifications from potential employees. Speaking to the Cosmopolitan, senior director of talent acquisition at ESPN, Kristen McKenna, said,

"Depending on the position, a degree may be preferred, but we also consider relevant work experience."

However, she also added that the company regularly posts entry-level roles on the organization's careers website in addition to internship opportunities for recent graduates. Here is a simple guide on how to get a job at ESPN.

How do people become sports analysts?
ESPN analyst Andraya Carter broadcasts during the WNBA Playoff finals between the Connecticut Sun and the Las Vegas Aces at Michelob ULTRA Arena in September 2022 in Las Vegas. Photo by Ethan Miller.
Source: Getty Images
  1. Earn a degree in journalism, communication, or journalism.
  2. Earn adequate experience in the field.
  3. Network and create industry connections.
  4. Seek out available vacancies for the position through the ESPNcareers website.
  5. Alternatively, apply for internship opportunities in the position through the DisneyInterns website.

How to become a sports analyst in the US

What qualifications are needed to be a sports analyst in the US? Famous former athletes have an easier path into their careers, as individuals with bachelor's degrees in broadcasting, and communications. Additionally, applicants who minored in sports-related fields in college or hold any exposure to college athletic programs in college, as volunteers, or employees can become analysts.

How to become a sports analyst in the UK

According to a UK publication, the requirements to be a sports analyst in the United Kingdom include similar education qualifications to the rest of the world. However, a degree in mathematics, statistics, English or political science may also be acceptable.

Is it hard to be a sports analyst without a degree?

Although post-secondary education is highly preferred in this field, previous work experience is also considered. Here are a few insights on how to become a sports analyst without a degree.

Earning valuable work experience through volunteering or interning in a journalism program can improve employability chances. Additionally, involvement in a sport as a player, coach, or managerial position counts as relevant work experience for employers. Here is a list of famous players and coaches who changed careers and became the best sports analysts of all time.


Former occupation

Chris Webber

NBA basketball player

Darrell Waltrip

NASCAR driver

Terry Bradshaw

NFL football player

Bill Raftery

College basketball coach

Alex Rodriguez

MBL baseball player

Kenny Smith

NBA basketball player

Tara Lipinski

Figure skater

Johnny Weir

Figure skater

Mary Carillo

Pro tennis player

Doris Burke

College basketball player

What skills do you need for sports analysis?

  1. Public speaking and public relations
  2. Broadcast news writing
  3. Communication skills
  4. Programming, multimedia design, and coding
  5. ‌Statistical data analysis

How much do sports analyzers make?

At the time of writing, the basic annual pay for analysts in the United States ranged between $21,500 and $153,500 with an average pay of $72,347. The average pay for analysts roughly translates to about $35 per hour and 6,030 per month.

How much do top sports analysts make?
Amazon Prime analyst Andrew Whitworth speaks before a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in December 2022 in Nashville. Photo by Cooper Neill.
Source: Getty Images

In the United Kingdom, entry-level analysts take home an annual salary of $60,847 while more experienced analysts earn just over $107,000. On average, an analyst receives about $39,300 annually which translates to a monthly compensation of $3,275.

Can analysts make a lot of money? The highest-paid sports analysts receive millions in compensation. Here is a list of the salaries of the top 10 highest-paid sports broadcasters.



Annual salary

Tom Brady


$37.5 million

Troy Aikman


$18 million

Tony Romo


$18 million

Michael Strahan


$17 million

Kirk Herbstein


$16.5 million

Al Michaels


$15 million

Joe Buck


$15 million

Stephen Smith


$12 million

Mike Tirico


$10 million

Jim Nantz


$10 million

As one of the best careers in sports, sports analysts have an exciting front seat to the action-packed daily life of athletics. This article has compiled all the necessary information you would need on how to become a sports analyst.

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Ciku Njuguna photo
Ciku Njuguna
Ciku Njuguna is a journalist with 3 year’s experience in content creation based in Kenya. She currently covers sports personnel as well as team biographies.