How Much Does An MLB Scout Make?
In the past twenty years, MLB scouts have been getting the attention they deserve for their role in identifying and recruiting then-unknown players who would develop into the Major League’s best. Though MLB scouts don’t earn as much as some of those superstar players, they make a stable income in a league that’s come to rely on them. On average, an MLB scout earns roughly $60,000 a year, though this varies based on their tenure, scouting level, and what MLB team they’re scouting for. Scouts who are tenured and have worked their way up the pyramid can make well over $100,000 per year. Making a living as a full-time scout requires a consistent track record of discovering major league-caliber players.
Most people in the MLB’s scouting department started as associate scouts, who invite area supervisors to examine local players’ games. Though associate scouting is unpaid volunteer work, it’s a crucial step toward being hired as one of a major league club’s area scouts.
Area scouts can get paid anywhere from $35,000 to $70,000 a year, depending on how long they’ve worked as a scout and how successful they’ve been in identifying talent. A regional crosschecker, who weighs area scouts’ reports against each other, is usually making no less than $65,000 a year, up to $80,000. A national crosschecker gets paid significantly more than a regional one, often making more than $125,000 annually. At the top of the pyramid is an MLB team’s scouting director, who assigns duties to all scouts below them. As the reach of an MLB scout expands across regions and countries, their salary increases.
Each fall, the scouting directors set out a scouting budget using some of their team’s payroll. The budget usually ranges from $800,000 to $900,000 to accommodate food, hotel, and travel for all the scouts, although a team with more money, like the Yankees, will have more money for the directors to allocate than a team like the Orioles. Each individual scout working for a major league club may not get paid more, as it’s advantageous to use extra money to hire more scouts to cover as many regions as possible.
Unfortunately for aspiring scouts across the MLB, the percentage of team payroll allocated to the scouting department has declined since the 1980s. A lot of the teams’ budgets are invested into massive free-agent contracts or extensions to players they drafted. Still, as baseball teams turn profits, especially through the rise of exciting homegrown players, the role and salary of MLB scouts should steadily increase, albeit not as much as other team positions.
How much do MLB scouts make on average?
MLB scouts, on average, make around $60,000 a year. This is on par with the median yearly salary of all American workers, so the pay isn’t a particular draw for the career path. Like most jobs, though, being an MLB scout gets more profitable the higher up the ladder you climb, from an area scout surveying the young players in a certain region up to the ranks of a scouting director who makes a comfortable six figures a year.