2. Athletic Coach/Umpire/Referee
The nitty-gritty: This one's for the kid in all of us. Check into a coach, referee, umpire or scorekeeper post in high school programs, or various youth and amateur leagues. Stress and plenty of time standing go with the territory. And for outdoor sports, prepare for the elements. Travel is usually part of the job, but it's probably a scoot across town. If you're blowing a whistle, you better brace yourself for the possibility of verbal strip downs (parental ire).
The hours: These fluctuate widely by sport and organization. Coaches can figure three hours or so for late afternoons, five days a week; plus weekend days in season. Umpires, referees and scorekeepers usually work two to three hours per game. Figure on once a week for two or three games in an afternoon or evening.
Median pay range: For a coaching position at a school, $3,000 to $5,000 per season is possible. Umpires and referees can make $30 to $50 per game. Independent leagues or private travel teams might pay $50 to $75 per game.
Qualifications: You need to be good with children, possess moderate physical fitness and have an overall knowledge of the game. Specific education, training and licensing requirements for coaches and officials vary greatly by the level and type of sport. Some entry-level positions for coaches require only experience gleaned as a participant in the sport. Umpires and referees usually are required to attend a training course and pass a test. You can gain experience by volunteering for intramural, community and recreational league competitions. If you have a hankering to umpire, check out your local umpire association. For American Legion (high school age), you will need to contact your local division and attend a certifying clinic. There are one-day refresher classes and full courses with several sessions, plus an exam. Some leagues require that certification be renewed periodically. Estimated Cost: $50 application, plus $7.50 for a rule book, $5 for a flipping coin. You may need to pass a background check and applicable drug tests. Additional resources: National Association of Sports Officials and State Association Referees. Look to your local high schools, parks departments, recreational and church leagues, and soccer clubs for openings. Ask if they offer a club-certified referee or umpire class. For soccer, you might need FIFA certification.