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I've posted a lot on jobs and how much people earn in certain positions including:
I've even written a post on the Best Paid Athletes (And How You Can Earn More).
But this one is a bit different from all the rest. It's from the July 31 issue of Sports Illustrated and highlights the salaries of "average" professional athletes -- people who are right in the middle of the earning scale for their sport, not the "big earners." Here are the numbers for various professional sports:
- Basketball (NBA) -- $5,000,000
- Baseball (MLB) -- $2,800,000
- Football (NFL) -- $1,750,000
- Hockey (NHL) -- $1,500,000
- Men's Golf -- $973,495
- Women's Tennis -- $345,000
- Men's Tennis -- $260,000
- Women's Golf -- $162,043
A few thoughts here:
1. Oh, if I could only be an average NBA player for a few seasons. ;-)
2. Yes, the careers of professional athletes are short. But if you manage your money properly, even 2-3 years in the higher-end sports can set you up for life.
3. I believe these numbers are for salaries only -- they do not include other forms of income. Granted, there probably isn't much endorsement money for athletes at this level, but there's surely some.
4. Golf isn't a bad profession when you consider the fact that you can play competitively for 20-30 years. Compare that to five years as a pro football player and the golfers (at least the men) come out pretty well.
5. I'm surprised that hockey players make so much -- especially considering the state of the sport.
6. Yes, women's tennis players make more than the men. The reason? Part of it has to do with the number of them -- the average woman tennis player is ranked #40 in the world while the average guy is ranked #90.
7. Why do men golfers make so much more than women golfers? One word: Tiger. He's raised the purses for everyone in men's golf.
For more thoughts on careers for us average, non-athlete people, see Best of Free Money Finance: Career Posts.