NFL coaches’ salaries: How much do NFL coaches make?

Interested in sports? How about getting paid for teaching sports to great players? Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Well, it is not a dream anymore. You can pursue your dream of becoming a world-renowned coach with the right skills and qualities in your hand. You do not have to be just any coach, you can join the National Football League as a coach and showcase your talents. Learn about NFL coaches’ salaries: How much do NFL coaches make?

NFL coaches' salaries: How much do NFL coaches make?

Training a bunch of well-trained players and teaching them the right skills to win can be a bit tedious, and it does come with a price to give your best. However, what less can you expect from a position that leads the best of players on the front foot. Becoming an NFL coach though is not an easy job. It comes with its perks, the average salary of an NFL coach is  $6,692 million annually, but the hard work behind the position is inevitable. 

To become a good coach, one needs to understand the basic skills, the right way, educational qualifications, and so many other things that can help candidates put the rough foot forward. Well, we are here to help you with the right set of knowledge. As you read further down, you will receive all the necessary details that will help to bolster your position as a coach and bring you a step closer to your dream. We have also accumulated a few names that you will recognize in the NFL coaching to give you the motivation to move forward. 

So, let us dive into the knowledge now. 

Who is an NFL coach?

An NFL coach is a person who leads a team in the National Football League. The coach is responsible for several duties of the team and necessarily works with multiple people under him to derive the game plans, strategies, moves, formations, practice plans, postgame analysis and so much more. An NFL coach looks into all the details of the game and formulates accurate strategies and plans to make the entire team work together towards success. 

The job of an NFL coach begins from the day they have a team, the job is nonstop, whether it be the flight to the game venue, the football ground, or the return flight. An NFL coach is always aware of the strategies of the team and performs analysis on various measures to decide what strategies could work for the game and what strategies can potentially go wrong. 

They also keep a thorough check on the final game, where they continuously decide to keep the plans in check and look for different on-the-spot strategies that can improve the game plan. All this comes with years of practice and the right skills. So, let us understand the necessary skills to become an NFL coach as well as how to become an NFL coach. 

How to become an NFL coach?

Becoming an NFL coach does not have a sure short itinerary like achieving a degree and interviewing for the position. It requires a person to be extremely dedicated to their passion and gain as much experience as possible to get highlighted in their career as a coach. It all depends on how well you plan your career as a coach, to steer the wheel to the right destination. Several top coaches currently serving the NFL are hired through a rigorous search wherein they look at the overall professional career of a person. 

A harsh truth here, no you won’t have a dedicated exam or interview to become an NFL coach. All you need is the right set of skills and professional history to get recognized by the NFL executive team. Don’t worry yet, because we have small tips that can take you a step closer to your dreams. Let us see what you can do to become an NFL coach. 

  • Gain experience 

This is a no-brainer while receiving any position. There is no doubt you would be interested in sports from a young age, and if you are someone in high school start your dream today itself. Play football in school teams and earn your medals, this can give you an edge as you will have the experience to play football from a very nascent level. 

If you are someone who is in college, join a college team and follow the same procedure for earning a name in the team. It could be as simple as becoming a team captain, learning to perfect defense, penalty shootout, or anything that you wish for. The main aim here is to stay in the field and experience what goes about in the game. Understand the concept inside the field to apply the magic from the outside. 

When you are playing in a high school or a college football team, make sure to have a good connection with your coach. Discuss strategies of the game, and know-how they formulate strategies, formations, and plans for future games. It will help you develop an understanding of the game from outside the field as well. 

  • Knowledge is the key

Apart from having good experience in the field one thing that will boost your position in becoming a coach is knowing the books. Not many might consider this as a necessity, but there is no harm in gaining all that is required to not stop you from achieving your dream. So, start with applying for a college degree in sports. 

Gain good knowledge about the game and other strategies through an official degree, apply for specialist coaching in several aspects of coaching, this can be anything related to the formation of teams, defense strategies, or anything. It might be rare to find a dedicated coaching degree so try to apply for a degree related to sports. 

Once you have a college degree go for a graduate degree. Graduate degrees often offer candidates an opportunity to apply as a graduate assistant coach, this gives candidates an edge over others bringing them an inch closer to their dreams. You can also apply for several coaching clinics that can help you learn all the necessary details required to become a coach. Several affiliated coaching clinics provide candidates with the right coaching strategies which help them to skyrocket their career in coaching. Some of the famous coaching clinics are American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) approved and can give you a sure edge over your coaching career. 

  • Internship in NFL

The NFL allows senior year students to apply for summer internship programs as well as junior rotational programs. The programs can last 8 to 9 weeks for a summer internship and 3 to 6 months for a junior rotational program. It allows candidates to work behind the NFL scenes and learn all the essentials of the league. The internships are not dedicated to coaching, but knowledge about the NFL will surely put you up in the game as a future coach. 

One thing all the students need to keep in mind is the required GPA to get selected for the position is 3.0 GPA to 3.2 GPA. The application process is carried out through the NFL websites. 

  • Become a coach

Once you have received a graduate degree or you have completed your college, start gaining experience in the field of coaching. Start with coaching your college team or high school team and develop your coaching skills. You can also apply for several jobs on coaching websites, for instance, Football scoop which includes several levels of coaching position. Several college coaching positions are also available for NAIA and the NCAA. 

Build up your coaching career from less prestigious teams and gain more experience from the same. It would help you to understand and develop your strategies as a coach. Several leagues work as stepping stones to the NFL. So make sure you build a strong professional background. Once you have a great career as a coach it will help you gain brownie points when joining a team as an NFL coach.

  • Look for openings

The NFL has several job openings on its websites. So, keep your eyes on the job openings that are limited on the official websites. You can also work with different coaches and gain referrals for the position. Let people know you are looking for a position in the NFL, work with high-end college teams to get recognized in the eyes of the NFL selection panel. 

If you find the right job position, apply for it and hire agents that will help you negotiate your position and other required details during the interview. This step is not mandatory though recommended in case of well reputable professional history. 

  • Be passionate 

Last but not least advice is to be passionate throughout your journey as a coach. For the best advice, stay motivated and focus on your goal. When you start working for the position, go to training, learn in proximity with coaches, develop strategies while playing, or watching a match, and so much more. Every step you take towards your dream will surely add value to your career in the future. 

Key skills required to become an NFL coach?

Now that you know what steps you can take to become an NFL coach, all you need to do is inculcate in yourself the right skills that will help you get closer to your dream. A few skills every football coach must have are:

  • Patience

Patience is the key skill coaches must-have when handling a team. A team is often constituted of multiple players and each player has different skills and strengths. A coach must understand the skills and strengths of individual players and make sure that each player received dedicated training to make them perfect for the team. Each individual must be trained according to their strengths and weaknesses and proper plans should be made to accommodate every player on the team.

The best way to accommodate all the team members is through patience. Being patient with the team members will ensure a good connection between players and the coach, bringing about positive effects on the game. 

  • Leadership

Leadership skills play an important role when coaching a good team. It is all about establishing a sense of discipline in the team with the perfect balance of support and power. A coach needs to understand that leadership or a perfect leader is not about formulating plans and making sure they are followed, but they must also take responsibility when plans go haywire, taking responsibility for the same. 

A coach should incorporate within themselves a leadership that brings a perfect balance of discipline and support to the team. It should be all about making players follow the rules without feeling discouraged or disrespected. 

  • Communication skills

A coach is often required to convey the tactics, plans, strategies, and much other information to the team and also to organizations, this calls for good communication skills. Having good communication skills will help them convey their point across to the people conveniently, and bring about a positive effect. 

A good coach will also ensure to adapt to several ways of communication when dealing with the team and the organization. They need to make sure how to modulate their communication, for instance, when to be strict, soft, or imposing when conveying a piece of information. 

  • Motivator

A good coach needs to be a great motivator. It is all about staying positive during the game and giving your best forward. Winning and losing are all part of the game, a good coach must know how to effectively motivate their team to bring about positive reformation. 

Even if the team loses a game, a good coach should motivate the team and work on developing strategies from the mistakes made. In the end, it is all about putting your best foot forward. 

  • Observation

A good coach needs to be a great observer. Strategies are all about observations and their correct implementations. A team consists of a varied mixture of players and a coach is aware of nearly all the strengths and weaknesses of the team. A good observer will ensure that the information is put to the right use and those good strategies are built.

As a good observer, a coach will also be able to know the team they are competing with and bring about a change in strategies according to the opposing team. An observant coach will also help the team a lot during matches to make on-the-spot changes for failed strategies and plans. 

  • Knowing yourself

The best skill to have as a coach is to know yourself and the skills you possess. As a player, you might have had your fair share of strengths and weaknesses, put them to the right use, and built your strategies right. Knowing yourself will also allow you to modify behavior and mold yourself in a way that will help the team as a whole. So, ensure that you know yourself first and modify your behavior and personality to effectively lead a team. 

Having all the skills will help you receive the right professional history in any position of coaching. The skills are not easy to hone, but as you train yourself with players and work along with different people the skills will be automatically polished. All you need to do is be open to change and accept any downfalls in the way. A great way to lead a successful team is to understand that failure is inevitable, and everyone should learn from their mistakes. 

So, to make a good coach ensure that you try to build all the skills that are mentioned as prim yourself to support the future legends. 

Education qualifications required to become an NFL coach

To become an NFL coach you do not require a dedicated degree, but to ensure that you are properly trained and for the position, you can pursue the following degrees. 

  • Bachelor’s degree

If you are planning to go to a college, ensure that you apply to a field of education that is closely related to sports. It can be anything that includes kinesiology, exercise and sports medicine, nutrition and fitness, physiology, or physical education.

  • Graduate degree

A graduate degree would be recommended in case you want to receive proper training in the field of coaching. A graduate degree allows the candidate to pursue a Graduate assistant coach position easily. 

  • Coaching clinics

Apart from receiving a formal education in sports, candidates can also apply for several coaching clinics that can properly train them to become great coaches by teaching them proper strategies. 

How much does an NFL coach make?

Being one of the best coaches in the field of football, and training with the best players, NFL coaches make an average of anywhere between $6.6 million to $12.5 million annually. The salary can vary depending upon the experience of the coach. All the other positions involving assistant coaches, and different coaches on the team receive an annual salary of about $5.5 million. 

Top paid NFL coaches
  1. Bill Belichick


Annual Salary: $12.5 million.

The 68-year unbeatable, silent, and mysterious coach of the NFL Bill Belichick is one of the best coaches that NFL has ever had. He has won six super bowls since his entry in 2000 and has considerably trained his team to be one of the best in the league. 

  1. Pete Caroll


Annual Salary: $11 million.

The super fun coach having the most dreaded history in NFL is Pete Caroll. Through his failure and being fired out of the NFL twice, Pete Caroll did not lose his hope in making history at NFL. He tried his very best and eventually made history with his team. He was also a successful coach at USC, and also serves as a great motivator for the team. 

  1. Jon Gruden


Annual Salary: $10 million.

The revolutionary coach as one can call him is Jon Gruden. Being one of the most demanded coaches in the history of the NFL he was also traded between teams from Raiders to Tampa Bay. The trade was a happy one as they won the Super Bowl, and Jon Gruden made a big-time name. He also became famous for his Monday Night Football marquee, becoming the face of the television. He was called back to the NFL as the Raiders offered him a $100 million contract for 10 years. 

  1. Sean Payton


Annual Salary: $9.8 million.

Sean Payton also has great success when it comes to NFL coaches ’ history. Having pulled the team through one Super Bowl big win, Sean Payton made his way up the ladder with a handsome sum in his contract. He also has many success stories wherein he won New Orleans Saints four NFC south titles. 

  1. John Harbaugh


Annual Salary: $9 million.

The man known for his sincere attitude towards the game and most playoff wins is John Harbaugh. He has won 128 playoffs since 2008 and has incredible strategies up his pocket. His sincere attitude to the game has earned him great respect in the field and he still stands strong as a player.


If you are interested in sports and are looking for a lucrative career option, being an NFL coach can be a blind choice for you. An NFL coach gets on an average of $6.6 million annually. The paycheck comes with a lot of hard work though. As an NFL coach, you would be responsible to handle a team of great players and develop strategies that can help the team win. You won’t have a definite career plan to look for interviews or apply for certain positions, but you can follow strategic planning throughout your sports life to achieve the position.

Make sure to have your priorities correct, and understand what you want to achieve from the position. Having a good professional history as a coach will ensure your selection in the NFL. so, be passionate, confident, and stay motivated throughout the journey. Go through the skills, educational qualifications, and qualities required to become an NFL coach and start your journey today.

  1. Is it compulsory to have a graduate degree to apply as an NFL coach?

No, a Graduates degree is not mandatory for an NFL coach.

  1. Do NFL coaches go through interviews?

NFL coaches are scouted through different matches. However, they do face the board of directors before getting hired.

  1. Can I apply to the NFL as a coach without any coaching experience?

A coaching experience is highly valued for the profession.

NFL coaches’ salaries: How much do NFL coaches make?

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