Skip to content

Highly paid jobs in the sport industry-You should know


The sports industry is thriving and has brought a lot of opportunities for people working in the sector. It not only helps in career but also has a healthy impact on health. To be very specific, it is excellent to work with your passion and earn at the same time. Gone are those days when you had to think about having another profession along with your hobby or start up a business. Now you can utilize your free time and earn money as well. The top highest paying sports in the world are

American Football (National Football League):

Average Salary: $1.9 million (£1.2m)

The National Football league is an association of 32 teams that compete in American football, which is considered to be one of the most popular professional sports of all time, with an average annual salary of approximately 2 million dollars per year. The NFL has its roots in rival college football since they both competed for players and money.

It was established on 6th June 1920 after several other attempts failed because of some disagreements between team owners and the lack of power over players.

The NFL is divided into two conferences- National Football Conference (NFC) and American Football Conference (AFC).The top eight teams from each conference qualify for the playoffs, which decides the champion for that season.


Average Salary: $1.8 million (£1.08m)

Golf is a highly lucrative career option which is become increasingly popular since Tiger Woods’ success with over 90 professional golf tours held worldwide throughout the year. The prize money on offer in most of these tour events is staggering, with first-place winners receiving over a million dollars. Their performance in tournaments ranks top professional golfers. This list contains Tiger Woods, Rory Mcilroy, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh.

The tour is divided into three distinct types of tournaments based on how much prize money they offer-

1. Minor Tours €500,000 (£399,138)
2. Major Tours €1 million (£799,734)
3. World Golf Championships Tour €4-6 million (£3-4.5m)



Average Salary:

$1.2 million for male players $ 109,771 for female players

Founded in the late 19th century, this game has become one of the most popular sports globally, with around 10 million recreational players and 77-million more who play at least once a year.

Players must have the ability to react quickly, play from the baseline or serve an ace shot which is one of their biggest edges over their opponents. The ATP men’s tour is regarded as the highest level of competition in tennis, where athletes compete for a record prize fund of 47 million dollars. The women’s tour has a total purse of 16 million dollars. Top players like Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, and Serena Williams have earned more than $18 million each since turning pro in 2001.

Golfers are among the highest-paid athletes in endorsements, with Tiger Woods earning $55 Million every year just through brand endorsements with companies like Nike, Tag Heuer and Upper Deck.

The four most decadent golf tours are PGA- $38 million (£26m), European Tour -$37 million (£25m), Japan Golf Tour – $34 million (£22.8m) and LPGA- $32 million (£21.6m).

Read about some Low Stress Jobs in 2021

Formula 1:

Average Salary: €2.5 Million with the minimum Salary for drivers at €150,000 per year

This sport involves high-speed racing that is highly physical, with little rest given to the driver throughout the race weekend, which lasts between 3-6 hours. The top 10 Formula 1 team receives an annual payment of at least 23 million dollars each, contributing to their total income of over a billion dollars. In turn, the top 10 Formula 1 drivers receive 43 % of their teams’ income, with first-place finishers earning around $8 million every year.

Formula 1 Drivers earn significant amounts from commercial endorsements and prize money that is redistributed to them by a share of sponsorship revenue between competing teams based on their championship position at the end of the year. The winners also receive 25% extra for each Grand Prix race which they win during the season.

The four most expensive contracts in 2013 belonged to Sergio Perez (Sauber) – estimated value €10m (£7.6m), Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) – the estimated value of €20 Million (£15million), Lewis Hamilton – Estimated Value of £20 Million and Jenson Button – Estimated value £12 Million.


Average Salary:             €100,000

The annual Salary among the best athletes in this sport is estimated at €75,000 ($85,000) with winnings on top of this amount for significant events like Olympic Games or World Championships. The greatest financial rewards are reserved for athletics superstars who have an international reputation and can sign deals with companies like Puma, Adidas or Gatorade, which are willing to pay handsomely for the exposure these names will bring through their branding.

The United States has dominated track & field due to the commercial success of stars such as Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson, and Usain Bolt, who all helped raise this sport’s profile through their winning performances and showmanship.

Lewis pocketed more than $150 million throughout his career, whilst Usain Bolt has earned over $20 million in prize money and bonuses during his illustrious sporting career. Some professional runners can earn an annual salary of around $100,000 with income generated from appearance fees and endorsements. Still, it is unlikely that athletes outside of the top 10 will create more than six figures.


Salary/Winnings:             Mixture of both

This is one of the most popular sports where an aspiring racing driver can earn a full-time salary by impressing teams with their talent rather than relying on sponsorships and endorsements. A new breed of low-cost F1 groups has emerged in recent years, which has helped to bring down costs allowing drivers to demand salaries closer to €3 million (USD 3.4 million) per season.

The Formula One Drivers’ championship is the most prestigious prize in the sport. This year’s winner will receive €10 million (USD 11.3 Million) with smaller payouts for drivers finishing second to fifth place. The top 10 Formula One drivers will also benefit from personal sponsors who offer personalized deals to these marketable athletes.

Sports like NASCAR, IndyCar racing and Rallycross are attractive for sponsorship opportunities rather than monetary rewards, which means that there is no real financial incentive for lower-level racing drivers outside of motocross or karting talented individuals to get their foot on the ladder of potential careers in the industry.


Average Salary:             $1 million (Heavyweight)

The Average Salary of a boxer is around $1 million for heavyweights, which are mainly dependent on their marketability and image. The sport has struggled to inspire the next generation in recent years due to the decline of its biggest stars, but this could be set to change with talented fighters like Anthony Joshua taking world titles whilst securing lucrative endorsements with companies like Beats By Dre.

Purses paid to boxers differ vastly, although it tends to be higher when they are involved in a high profile match-up or up against an underdog, which increases their chances of winning. For example, Floyd Mayweather was guaranteed $100 million when he defeated Manny Pacquiao in 2015, while Tyson Fury was paid $5 million to defeat Wladimir Klitschko last year.


Salary/Winnings:             Mixture of both

The Average Salary for a rugby player can range from as little as $20,000 up to $300,000, with the highest-earning players cashing in on lucrative endorsements outside of their club contracts. Players unions currently play a significant role in negotiations between clubs and players as they engage in collective bargaining, which has helped push up salaries for elite players at the top rugby clubs.

Several talented rugby union players have decided to switch codes and play in leagues like Super Rugby, which offers them more significant wages and potential international call-ups from countries who compete at the World Cup. The most lucrative company is England’s Aviva Premiership, where some of the highest-earning rugby players will earn more than €1 million per year. The top earners within this sport include Sam Burgess, Matt Giteau and Jonathan Sexton, with all three bringing home around $1 million from their respective club contracts. There are many players in this field without having any college degree.


Salary/Winnings:             Mixture of both

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is one of the highest paying sports leagues globally, where players can earn around $2 million per year if they are part of one of the teams involved. This is because most clubs have a salary cap that limits what they can spend on wages, with their only option being to offer lucrative contracts to attract talented players.

The IPL has helped change how cricket is viewed in India as there is now an increased appetite for it. The league was formed in 2008, which enabled players from all over the world to be paid well-above-average salaries for playing within it. While some players are given huge contracts, many others benefit from earning money through brand endorsements which significantly adds to their total earnings.



Winners of Grand Slam tournaments such as Wimbledon will be given around £1.88 million, which is calculated by taking away all prize money and adding in additional revenue from ticket sales.


Salary/Winnings:             $6 Million (Roger Federer)

According to Forbes, Roger Federer has been the world’s highest-paid tennis player for several years running. His total earnings amount to $67 million, while he has endorsement deals that bring in an additional $58 million. It is no surprise that this achievement comes after winning 20 titles since 2003, including 7 Wimbledon Championships. Unfortunately for Federer, he has recently lost some form, meaning that his ranking within the sport has fallen, with him now sitting at number 9.

This means that his $6 million yearly Salary is likely to continue falling unless he can turn things around and win a large tournament shortly. The only other tennis player that comes close to matching Federer’s success and earnings is rival Rafael Nadal, who brings in a total of just under $50 million per year, having last won a grand slam championship in 2014.


Salary/Winnings:        $27 Million (Sir Ben Ainslie)

America’s Cup has been running since 1851, and it is one of the oldest sporting events in existence. Although this event still holds a lot of interest, it hasn’t managed to reach the same heights as other sports regarding earnings for athletes. For Sir Ben Ainslie, he won a total of four races which was worth around $4 million. In comparison, his endorsements brought in an additional $23 million, meaning that his total yearly earnings from all sources could be estimated at around $27 million.

Athlete Earnings Source ($USD)
2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony $62,812
2012 Olympics Weightlifting $98,500
2012 Olympics Swimming $38,760
2012 Olympics Athletics Track & Field $31,068
2012 Olympics Shooting $49,200
2012 Olympics Table Tennis $32,500
2012 Olympics Badminton $23,416
2012 Olympics Boxing $154,375


2012 London Games Medal Count for Various Countries

(Gold = 3 Points // Silver = 2 Points // Bronze = 1 Point)‎

Country Total Gold Silver Bronze
United States of America 104 29 45 40
China PR (People’s Republic) 88 22 56 24
Great Britain and Northern Ireland 65 19 36 26
Russian Federation 81 21 54 17
Germany 87 13 65 41
Australia 64 18 46 18



Countries with no medals do not feature in this ranking, i.e. N/A

It is interesting to note that countries who perform poorly in the medals table will likely have a lower income from sport-related endorsements, if any at all. However, their kit suppliers and energy drinks are likely to compensate for this. In this instance, Great Britain is top of the list as they were one of the most prosperous countries in terms of total medal count, which points towards a successful Olympics campaign overall.

Author Bio:

Casey Harward is a technical writer and editor with experience in research-based content. She also has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Lancaster, UK. Casey specializes as a professional editor at Research Prospect and is famous for Dissertation services UK. She loves reading articles, blogs, magazines, newspapers and books in her free time.


Leave a Comment