How Much Money Does an NFL Waterboy Make?

NFL waterboys typically make between $53,000 and $58,000 per year. However, not every waterboy you see on TV is paid. Many waterboys and assistants are unpaid or are working at a discounted rate on an internship for high school or college.

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NFL QB Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys drinking a cup of water that NFL Waterboy gave to him
QB Tony Romo drinking water

The NFL is one of the most popular sports leagues in the world. Millions of people tune in each Sunday to watch their favorite football teams play. Millions of young football fans grow up dreaming of being NFL players.

While watching your favorite player, you have seen another part of the NFL community that often gets overlooked. Every team in the National Football League employs waterboys to keep their players hydrated, taken care of, and ready to play.

You have probably seen waterboys without even realizing that they constantly appear on the screen during the big game.

If you have ever wondered what it takes to be an NFL waterboy, you are in the right place. This article covers everything you need to know about NFL Waterboys, including the average NFL Waterboy salary, perks, responsibilities, and how you can apply to be a waterboy on your favorite team.

What Are the Responsibilities of NFL Waterboys?

NFL waterboys are considered part of the training staff. It is an entry-level position that is still important to team success. Even though they are called waterboys, both men and women can hold this title.

NFL waterboys have a few responsibilities that they must complete before, during, and after each game.


NFL waterboys are responsible for filling players’ water bottles with ice and water before the game. They are sometimes called towel boys, as they provide towels to players on the sidelines and ensure they have everything they need to stay hydrated during the game.

Towels & Equipments

They also collect the players’ used towels and water bottles after the game and ensure they are properly cleaned and stored for the next game.

Waterboys are a vital part of each team’s training staff. They help ensure that players are properly hydrated and cared for during the game. Waterboys have the same responsibilities during practices and training camps.

In addition to keeping players hydrated and the sidelines clean, waterboys are responsible for not interfering with the game or distracting the players.

NFL waterboys typically start in entry-level positions and have the opportunity to be promoted to other roles within the organization. Many head athletic trainers and high-ranking training staff members began their careers as waterboys.

A water bottle left on the football field
NFL Players just toss water bottles on the field

How much do NFL Waterboys work?

Waterboys typically work 40 hours or more per week during the NFL season. NFL teams usually have two or three waterboys on staff to cover all the practices and games.

Unfortunately, the waterboys are usually paid less during the offseason when no games or practices exist. NFL teams typically only have one or two waterboys on staff during the offseason.

The waterboys that work during the off-season are available at the team facility for players who want to work out or get some extra practice reps.

The amount of money that waterboys make depends on the team’s success and market size. Successful teams in big markets like Los Angeles or New York will make more money than waterboys for small market teams like Jacksonville.

NFL waterboys are not paid during the preseason. NFL teams only have a few waterboys on staff during the preseason, and they are usually unpaid or working at a discounted rate on an internship.

Contract & Benefits

NFL waterboys must usually sign a contract outlining their salary and responsibilities. NFL waterboys typically have non-compete clauses in their contracts that prevent them from working for another NFL team or sports organization.

In addition to their salary, NFL waterboys get great benefits. The NFL provides full health insurance that covers dental and mental health. Additionally, all waterboys get paid leave. The paid leave includes 16 weeks of paid parental leave and an additional two weeks of paid family leave.

In addition to their generous leave policy, waterboys get 12 paid holidays a year and additional wellness benefits. Teams may have other team-specific benefits, including free gear, discounts on team merchandise, and free tickets to games.

What Prior Experience Do I Need To Be an NFL Waterboy?

If you want to be a paid NFL Waterboy, you need to have considerable experience in the sports medicine field. Most waterboys graduate from college with degrees in health science or training and view the position as a stepping stone to more prestigious positions on the training staff.

If you are serious about getting a paid position as an NFL waterboy, prior experience in the health medicine field is a must. Teams will not consider applicants that don't know sports science. Additionally, teams recommended that you strongly understand NFL rules and regulations.

Experience working as a trainer for a college football team is also an excellent way to prepare for being an NFL waterboy. Having played the sport of football in high school helps as well.

You should also have excellent communication skills, be detail-oriented, and follow instructions closely.

If you want to be an unpaid NFL waterboy or are working at a discounted rate on an internship, you do not need prior experience. NFL teams typically have a few waterboys on staff during the preseason who are unpaid interns or want the experience of being around the team.

Two football coaches giving the post game interview with two bottles of water
NFL Waterboys deliver water to coaches at all times

What Is the Application Process Like?

The best way to apply to be an NFL waterboy is to visit the NFL website and go to the careers section. All NFL teams post their job openings on the official NFL website. There are several other websites that you can use to view openings as well.

You should send a resume and cover letter to the training staff. In your resume, include any relevant experience you have in the sports medicine field. In your cover letter, explain why you want to be an NFL waterboy and what qualities you have that make you a good fit for the job.

NFL teams typically require waterboys to have a bachelor’s degree, although some teams may make exceptions if the applicant has extensive experience in the sports medicine field.

Once you have applied, it is wise to contact the team’s training staff directly. Reaching out demonstrates initiative and the desire to be a part of the team. Additionally, if you know anyone on the team’s staff, you should reach out to your contact and ask them to put in a good word.

NFL teams typically interview candidates for waterboy positions during training camp. The interview process is usually not very formal. NFL teams typically want to get to know the candidates and see if they are a good fit for the team.

Wrap Up

Becoming an NFL waterboy is a dream job for many people. Not only do you interact with your favorite team and players, but you also play a direct role in the team’s success. Plus, you get to experience the game from the best seats in the house, the sideline!

If you are serious about becoming an NFL waterboy, it is vital to have prior experience in the sports medicine field and a strong understanding of NFL rules and regulations. If this is your dream, then begin planning early.

Attend a college with an outstanding sports medicine program, and start working with the college football team while in school. Gain as much relevant experience as you can before applying.

Given the average NFL waterboy salary, there are many applicants for openings every year, but with the proper schooling and experience, you can make this dream a reality.

Are you interested in becoming an NFL waterboy? Let us know what you want to work for in the comments below.