What's the Salary of a Football Coach?

Explore the career requirements for football coaches. Get the facts about salary, education requirements and job outlook to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Athletic Coaching degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information At a Glance

Football coaches recognize and enlist new team players. They also administrate training games. Look over the chart below for a brief overview of this career choice.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Physical education, sports medicine, nutrition and fitness, physiology
Certified Required Certification is required for most
Key Skills Communication, decision making, patience, commitment
Job Growth (2012-2022) 15% (for coaches and scouts)*
Median Salary (2014) $30,640 (for all types of coaches and scouts; varies greatly by level)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Training, Experience or Education Do I Need?

For almost all coaching positions, knowledge and experience are the two most important factors in securing the job. You need experience playing or coaching football. It's also important to know the rules and regulations for the league and level you wish to coach. These general guidelines are true for most coaching positions, but each level may have additional requirements you must meet.

Youth and High School Coaching Requirements

Coaches at the youth and high school levels may need to work as a teacher for the local school district. If you are a teacher, you need at least a bachelor's degree and must be licensed as a teacher in your state. Generally, at these levels, you may only need experience in playing football in high school or college to be considered as a coach. In some areas and for some organizations, you may need to meet certification requirements or be licensed to coach.

College Coaching Requirements

College coaches may be required to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in coaching, sports science, fitness, physical education or related area. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) offers a coaching academy to provide education and training for those wishing to become college football coaches (www.ncaa.org). The NCAA offers other programs that allow you to learn more about how college coaches are chosen and about the requirements you must meet to be eligible to be a coach at this level.

Professional Coaching Requirements

The path to becoming a professional football coach isn't clear cut because there are different ways to gain the experience and knowledge required for the job. According to coach biographies from the NFL, coaches may start as college players or college coaches (www.nfl.com). Some may become professional players and start coaching after their playing career ends. Some coaches start as assistant coaches within the NFL and have no experience playing professional ball.

How Will I Be Paid As a Football Coach?

Coaching a youth team means working with players who are below the high school level. You may work for a school team or a team not affiliated with a local school. Typically, youth football coach positions are volunteer or low-paying. If you work for a school-affiliated football team, you may work as a teacher at the school, and your regular salary would cover your coaching duties.

At the high school level, you coach for the school and may also teach classes at the school. Usually, your salary is based upon your salary as a teacher, but you may get paid additional salary or bonuses for your coaching job.

If you coach a college team, you'll likely work only as a coach and not as a teacher. You may get paid a salary that includes bonuses and compensation that comes from sources outside of the college or university where you work.

Professional coaching opportunities are rare, but they also pay the most. Access to professional coaching salaries is limited because salaries may influence coach hiring decisions and confidentiality agreements commonly prevent salaries from being disclosed.

How Much Can I Make?

Youth and High School Coach Salaries

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the annual mean wage of coaches in elementary and secondary schools was $33,570 in May 2014 (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported, as of May 2014, the annual mean wage for other schools was $32,630.

College and University Coach Salaries

According to the BLS, coaches at colleges universities and professional schools earned an average of $53,670 in May 2014. However, this amount varies greatly depending on the school. USA Today reported in the same year, football college and university coach base compensation ranged from $225,000-$6,950,203 (www.usatoday.com). Compensation from outside sources wasn't reported by all schools, but the amounts reported ranged from $200-$400,000. Bonuses reported ranged from $25,000-$3,491,000. Some schools reported coaches earned no outside compensation or bonuses. The report included coaches working for public schools and private schools under a contract, in addition to those not under contract.

Professional Coach Salaries

According to an article from Forbes.com, the highest paid coach in the National Football League (NFL), as of his contract for 2013-2018, was Sean Payton, coach of the New Orleans Saints. Under the contract, he earned an average annual salary of over $8 million. Other top paid coaches in the league earned annual salaries of $7.5 million, $7 million and $6.67 million, as of 2013.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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