NFL Players

How Much Does Waterboys Make In The NFL?

By Bidhya Shrestha / February 2, 2023 11:17 AM

NFL Waterboys supplying water to NFL players during a game.
NFL Waterboys supplying water to NFL players during a game.( Source : thefootballusa )

How Much Does Waterboys Make In The NFL? The Waterboys in the NFL make $53,000 per year and $3,000 per game, as per former NFL player Jake Thieneman.

The role has a long sports history. For instance, an anonymous water boy is recorded helping a Rutgers player during the New Jersey vs. Rutgers football game in 1869, one of the first American football games.

Waterboys have more responsibilities than just serving water and towels to the players during the training and games. Usually referred to as ball boys, they assist in keeping the field and benches clean.

Additionally, they help recover lost game balls and return them to the referees. Moreover, they are responsible for preparing the game balls for kickoffs, punts, and field goals.

They follow the instructions of the head coach and the assistant coaches in their duties. In addition, the ballboys are some essential additions during a game.

One of the notable individuals who has worked in this role is President Herbert Hoover, the first water boy for the Stanford Cardinal football team.


NFL Waterboys Salary

Waterboys in the NFL make an average of fifty thousand dollars annually. The pay varies for different football teams.

Jake Thieneman, a former player and the CEO of Digital Paradise, revealed how much a team pays for waterboys.

Replying to a TikTok user, he made a video to answer that a water boy makes an average of $53000 per year. 

A Ballboy giving water to a NFL player.
A Ballboy giving water to a NFL player. ( Source : en )

Most NFL ballboys are learning to treat players' injuries and promote their health while holding sports training or physical therapy degrees.

Other perks for waterboys include traveling with an NFL team and meeting stars. At the same time, most of them receive free gear. For some fans, it seems a great deal, while many disagree. 

There have been claims that the $53000 salary for Physical therapy students in the USA is significantly less. On average, this program can cost between $30,000 and $150,000.

How Much Does NFL Waterboys Make Per Game?

Waterboys in the NFL make an average of $3117 per game.

The NFL does not regulate the pay and incentives to the ballboys, so it depends on the team. They make an average of $53000 annually, and a squad plays seventeen games per season. We estimate that they make a little over three thousand dollars every game.

Many earn significantly low as they work as interns and NFL teams prefer to save money in this role. Many high school and college students have been working in this role to start their careers in athletic training and coaching.

NFL Waterboy Qualifications

NFL waterboy requires a minimum academic qualification. Anyone with a high school diploma can apply for the job.

Academics have little importance in this role as other skills play a more significant role. For instance, better communication and management skills tend to succeed in this role more.

Furthermore, networking is also quite crucial in the context of landing this job. There is high competition for the role of ballboy, so a good connection with the coach, staff, or even NFL players can be helpful.

NFL waterboys make around $3K per game.
NFL waterboys make around $3K per game. ( Source : brobible )

Although there are no specific criteria for any academic level, applicants studying physical therapy or athletics training highly prefer this job.

In addition, the role of waterboys can often act as a qualification and help build an individual's excellent career portfolio. Students who seek to pursue careers in coaching are usually interested in this position.

Although the fans call them waterboys, the coach, player, and staff refer to them as trainers.

NFL Waterboy Application

Anyone with the required qualifications can submit their application on the official NFL website to apply for this role.

The students or high school graduates can apply simply by uploading a resume. According to Sportsbrief, one can follow the below procedure to be a waterboy for the NFL: 

  1. Visit the official NFL website.
  2. After you are on the homepage, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Team or League link.
  3. Choose "Internship and Entry Level Position"  carefully in the next section. 
  4. Click the highlighted link at the bottom of the page to submit an application for the position. Work experience should be listed on resumes if possible.

A step-by-step guide on how to be a waterboy for the NFL.
A step-by-step guide on how to be a waterboy for the NFL. ( Source : sportsbrief )

Interested people can participate in the tryouts. They can learn about the hiring procedures teams employ during the selection process in the tryout sessions. 

For instance, some teams have trials for this work, while others have lotteries. One may also ask about recruiting trends or the qualities that teams look for in candidates in the trials.

Networking can be an ideal way to enter this position as well. It doesn't have to be a coach, official, or scout; any connection to NFL people will be helpful.

Comparison With NBA Waterboy

NBA Waterboy is similar to the ball boys in NFL.

Every team in the NBA's professional basketball league has a waterboy. Their primary responsibility is to keep players hydrated during the game so they can perform better. They are a vital part of basketball.

They have a unique role that allows them to interact with some of the top basketball stars in the world while working directly with the athletes. Additionally, they receive very high pay.

Waterboys in NBA earns more than NFL.
Waterboys in NBA earns more than NFL. ( Source : facebook )

Considering how much money the waterboys make, this job looks fantastic. So, what is the difference between the same role in different sports?

The difference is in the compensation; while an average NFL ballboy is paid $53000, NBA teams pay $58000 or more for the same role.

Perks Of NFL Waterboys

The NFL waterboys have many advantages, along with high pay and working as an apprenticeship.

The first benefit is working with some of the best football players worldwide. Players and coaches are known for their close bond with the ball boys. It is undoubtedly a dream for many NFL fans to walk side by side with top-notch stars.

Moreover, they get free merchandise and gear for their work. The ballboys are often gifted signed team jerseys, helmets, football, and other equipment.

A Waterboy clicking photos with Carolina Panthers football player.
A Waterboy clicking photos with Carolina Panthers football player. ( Source : panthers )

Some NFL teams are known for gifting a ring for a Super Bowl win. It might be the biggest prize for any NFL supporter. In addition, they can travel with the squad and visit some of the most iconic stadiums across the USA.

Waterboys in NFL might earn a bit less than the NBA, but many benefits compensate for it.