What’s the difference between a Pro and a Semi-Pro (sports, music)?

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What’s the difference between a Pro and a Semi-Pro (sports, music)?

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A professional makes most if not all their income from that activity.

A semi-professional (probably a loose term) is for someone who makes some income from that activity but relies significantly on another source of income.

it depends, I font think there are any hard limits and would depend on who is saying it and in what field we are talking about, one of the more common distinguishers is if it’s your main job or just a hobby.

I am an amatuer musician and a former semi-pro baseball player. The two are different, but the term is generic enough to be used for different types of situations.

As a semi-pro baseball player, our team went to different tournaments and my airfare and hotel were paid for. My food was not. Most of my gear was also covered if it was essential (like jerseys, pine tar, and cleats) or if we had a particular sponsor (like bats and batting gloves), but I paid for my own $400 glove because it’s a luxury/personal item. It has lasted me to this day and I still play softball with it. 🙂

From a musician’s standpoint, I’m not really sure that it’s as structured. I feel a semi-pro musician is a musician who probably plays a lot of local bar gigs and makes some good spending cash OR a musician who plays some regional gigs for medium and large-sized acts when they come to their local area.

Many people assume that a live band lineup = the band that you’ve heard on a particular recording. This may be so for less famous bands, but there are a LOT of larger bands that pickup local professionals as they enter new legs on their tour. These people come and play supporting roles in the show, whether it be rhythm guitar, adding some pedal steel, or providing backup vocals, etc. For example, I have a friend who plays guitar on the European leg for Enrique Iglesias, but nowhere else in the world when he is on tour.

Good organized band managers will also have on-call people to fill in for primary group members in case they get sick or temporarily injured in some way (or went on a binge the night before har).

Additionally, most people don’t think about how many musicians make some really good income playing in orchestra pits for live shows like musicals. I have several friends who play for off-broadway shows at regional/local theaters. These jobs, once you get one and are trusted to actually study and do your job correctly (it’s not easy), are very reliable because it’s difficult to find people who can actually accomplish it. It’s not always a full-time position, so this could be included under the semi-pro category.

As these two jobs—athletics and music—are totally non-standard from a corporate standpoint, there are many ways to make some extra cash while doing them. It’s kind of about being creative. So when someone says semi-pro, it just means that they are able to get some kind of compensation for what they are doing because of their skill level and reliability.

In sports, semi-pro means they get paid, but generally not enough to live on, and the schedules presume they work a second job. Semi-pros often have to provide their own equipment and transportation. There isn’t always a clear delineation between low-level professionals and semi-professionals.

I’ve not heard the term applied to musicians. You are usually considered a professional if you get paid and particularly if you have a release. The rest is a matter of degree.