One great way to obtain experience is to work as an assistant to your high school's sports equipment manager. Talk to equipment managers about their careers. Questions to ask include: What do you like and dislike about your career? What high school and college classes should I take to prepare for this career? What's the best way to break into this field?
The responsibilities of equipment managers vary greatly, depending on whether they work for high schools, colleges, universities, or professional teams. Duties are also different from sport to sport, because some have more participants than others. Sports equipment managers at the collegiate level may be responsible for budgeting for all of the university's sports and requisitioning of equipment; some may steer clear of the finances and focus on fitting football equipment and doing laundry. Other duties include purchasing, maintenance, administration and organization, management, professional relations and education, and keeping inventory of all the equipment.
Sports equipment managers are responsible for ordering all the equipment (including uniforms) for their team or school's sports programs. Once the equipment arrives, they make sure that it properly fits each player. Poorly fitting equipment or uniforms can cause discomfort, a lack of mobility, a reduction of vision or hearing, and even injury. After use, equipment managers keep the equipment in good working order. They inspect and clean each piece of equipment to ensure that it meets safety standards. Equipment managers are also responsible for equipment control, which includes pre- and postseason inventory, use, and storage.
Equipment managers need good communication and personnel management skills because they work with coaches, athletic directors, and their staffs.