How Much Do NBA Waterboys Make?

The NBA is a glamorous league with some of the most athletic and highest paid athletes on Earth. However, the top earners aren’t the only ones who make a good living. Just about everyone who works for an organization takes home a good pay; including waterboys.

The background role may be easily forgotten when a game’s going on, but they need to make a living too. This guide breaks down exactly what that living is, and covers the annual waterboy salary across the league.

Earning their Spot

Few people think of a waterboy as a real job, but it’s just as legitimate as anything else. In fact, it takes a good amount of work to apply for and get. Becoming a waterboy may seem easy for those not in the know, but there’s a lot that goes into it.

First, prospective waterboys need to fill out a job application. They can do so by searching for any openings with the organization online, or they can contract a local team about openings. Teams aren’t always hiring, but there is some turnover here and there.

Every team has a slightly different hiring process, but there are some constants. Applicants have to apply in roughly a similar way, and most teams are looking for the same skills.

Contrary to popular belief, being a waterboy is more than just standing around. Successful workers need to be mentally prepared for the job, have the ability to quickly follow directions, and must know where to be at all times.

Another important aspect is physical endurance. The career requires standing for hours at a time, which may be too much for some people. That’s why most waterboys are either younger, or in good shape. The more energetic they are, the better.

A Steady Gig

Not everyone can be a waterboy, and the job comes with a certain amount of perks. As such, it pays out pretty well. The exact earnings differ from team to team, but general reports state that most NBA waterboys pull in between $50,000 and $60,000 a year.

That’s a good amount on its own but, as with all jobs, experience matters. Boys that have been around the league a while and know what they’re doing can earn up to six figures at the very top. Normally, however, they get roughly half of that.

That’s right in line with waterboys in both the NFL and MLB as well. That money may not seem like a lot when looking at how much executives, players, or even referees earn across the league, but it’s still a good chunk of money for only working part of the year.

Beyond the Cash

Waterboy base salary is pretty good, and they’re only on the clock part of the year. They have some pretty great bonuses as well. They get to travel with the team, which means they get to see the United States, and of course, they get the best seat in the house for NBA games.

Though they don’t garner a ton of respect, waterboys are part of the franchise. That means they get to hang out with players, interact with a range of coaches and executives, and also get a chance to earn a ring if their team wins one.

Waterboys also get access to perks like health insurance, and they can attend workouts if they so desire. The job can lead to bigger opportunities as well. Though it does pay out, many also use the position to springboard into something else within the organization.

For those reasons, many waterboys consider the spot a good starter career. They get to meet a lot of people, interact with plenty of athletes and higher-ups, and do so while being on the road and being a part of one of the most fun leagues in the world.

It’s a demanding job, but the take home pay makes it all worth it. Most single people can earn a pretty good living off of $50,000, and it only goes up from there. That’s even more true if the position ends up leading to even better opportunities down the line.

Final Words

Though it may be surprising, NBA waterboys make a pretty good living. Not only are their wages high, but they have a fun job that’s quite unique. It may not be as exciting as actually playing, but they’re a part of the sport and get to enjoy many perks that come with that.

A waterboy doesn’t sound too glamorous at first, and it isn’t. Still, they have a great position that comes with benefits, full health care, and the best seats that any fan could want. Looking at the pay and perks, it’s a sweet gig for those that can handle it.

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