How Much Does A Swim Coach Make?

How Much Does A Swim Coach Make

The salary of a swim coach can depend greatly on the level of competition they coach at, as clubs can range from the youth level all the way to international leagues. It can also vary quite a bit based on position and experience, with longer-tenured head coaches generally making significantly more than entry-level assistants.

Youth Coach

The average yearly swim coach salary at a local YMCA averages out to be just under $24,000 per year. This number varies based on location and coaching position, as well as the amount of time that a team dedicates to practicing every week.

With the wage range generally falling between $20 and $24 an hour, the variance of a few hours of practice per week can certainly influence that final number by a significant amount. Salaries for high school swim coaches can fluctuate a bit depending on the number of students who participate, as well as how much the school values the sport.

Many schools have sports coaches who are also teachers at the school, and the district may pay them a stipend for their coaching contributions during the season. A public high school assistant swim coach will likely receive around the same salary as the $4,500 stipend average for most sports.

Some high schools may place greater importance on their swim teams and give their coaches a yearly salary that falls into the $20,000 to $30,000 range. These coaches are usually hired from outside of the school and are tasked with coaching year-round, with practices in the offseason similar to some club teams.

College Coach

The salary of a head coach at the college level is a little over $40,000 on average, but that number can vary greatly depending on the division the school competes at as well as how much they choose to invest into their swim team.

Head coaches of the top five ranked college swim programs in the country reportedly have a median salary of $315,400 per year, nearly eight times the nationwide average. Following that, the median salary for the top five to 10 ranked programs is $214,000, which is over $100,000 less and illustrates just how much variance there is among universities.

Among the highest-paid college swim coaches is Jack Bauerle. He had a salary of around $380,000 as head coach of the University of Georgia’s women’s and men’s teams just before his retirement in 2022.

Professional Coach

The average annual salary of a club swim coach is just under $39,000 a year. The experience and credentials of the coach can affect that number a bit, as well as the performance status that the club has or hopes to attain with their coaching hire.

One of the most well-known professional swim programs is US Masters Swimming, which reportedly pays coaches an average of $58,000 a year in their hundreds of swim clubs around the country. Head coaches may receive bonuses for attracting more people to swim for their club, and having an ASCA (American Swimming Coaches Association) certification could boost their base pay.


How much do swimming coaches make on average?

Coaching salaries for swimming depend on the level of competition of the team. Coaching for a kids’ team at a local YMCA averages out to be around $24,000 a year, while colleges pay about $40,000 on average for coaches to instruct their athletes. Salaries can vary greatly based on the coach’s credentials and a school’s willingness to invest, though, and the range of those averages certainly fluctuates because of that.

What is an ASCA certification?

An American Swimming Coaches Association certification is recognized internationally as a mark of excellence in the field of swim coaching. There are five levels of education needed to be completed for full certification, and the achievement of an ASCA certificate can give a coach greater credentials to land a coaching job for a big club or school team or even negotiate for greater earnings.