NFL Careers: How to Get Started
You don't have to play football to pursue an NFL career
If you're interested in a career with the National Football League but aren't a star running back, there are still options available. Plenty of people who have never even played football (and many who have played at different levels) may be qualified for a job in the National Football League.
Finding the career track at the NFL that is right for you depends on your professional background and where you are in your career. It also depends on which part of the football industry you are interested in entering.
Overview of the NFL
Headquartered in New York City, the National Football League supports its 32 member clubs on a variety of business, marketing, legal, and operational matters. The league is owned by its 32 franchises and Roger Goodell serves as NFL commissioner.
Most of the league’s revenue is generated by its television contracts, sponsorship deals, and ticket sales. The league has its own television channel, documents its games in film, and features a channel and a website.
NFL Job Opportunities
Because of the league’s work with television partners, there are many opportunities in media-related NFL jobs. These media opportunities include:
- Jobs in digital media at NFL.com.
- Production work with NFL Films.
- NFL Network production positions.
- Positions with NFL’s Total Access.
The NFL also has many departments that are always looking for applicants with professional qualifications, including:
- Marketing and international marketing
- Public relations
- Legal advice and contracts
- Accounting and financial management
- Human resources
- Player programs
- NFL charities and events
For NFL jobs in these departments, you'll be a stronger candidate if you have a professional background and experience in the field of work, even if you've never worked with a sports team before. However, you'll be more successful in your application if you also can demonstrate that you are invested in the NFL, its teams, and the work that the League does.
The league maintains a list of open job opportunities. You can search this career database based on field, location, and organization.
Finding NFL Team Jobs
Teams typically hire for many of the same positions listed for the league, such as marketing, accounting, or human resources. They also have additional positions related to coaching, medical support, front office roles, scouts, and video coordinators.
Individual teams also have operations positions, to oversee their stadium and practice facilities, superintendents that maintain the practice and game fields, and a travel department. All of these positions are open to qualified professionals.
Internships at the NFL
If you're early in your career and are interested in getting your foot in the door, the NFL offers internships and entry-level positions.
Participants in the league’s junior rotational program have the opportunity to work at a variety of different areas during their internship program, which can last six months to one year. These positions focus on:
- Public affairs
- Football operations
- International marketing
- Marketing and sales
- Media relations
The NFL also offers a summer internship program in which interns work in specific programs while being exposed to many aspects of a sports business. Areas of interest include many of the same areas as the junior rotational program.
NFL Films offers its own internship opportunities. These positions contribute to creating content for NFL Network and NFL.com.
If your career goal is to work in the NFL but you don't have the necessary qualifications today, you can strategically grow and direct your career to eventually achieve that goal. Start by identifying the department in which you want to work, then begin gathering qualifications and experience that will make your application stand out.