Wednesday, we held our 13th annual ITL Combine Seminar, this year presented by TEST Football Academy and Agent Live 360 (congrats, Broncos!). As part of our program, we provided an overview of our annual scouting salary survey.

We promised we’d put our findings in this week’s blog, however, for those who couldn’t make it. Here’s a look at the results.

  • 0-5 years in scouting: There’s good news for younger scouts: starting salaries are improving. Our 2020 results had most scouts in this experience tier in the $50,000-$65,000 range. That’s true for 2021 and 2022 as well, but we’ve seen the percentage of scouts at this experience tier who are making less than $50,000 almost been erased. At the same time, we’ve seen a growing number of scouts with five years or less in the league making north of $125,000. That’s good pay for a tough-but-highly-pursued job.
  • 6-10 years in scouting: There’s good news for scouts at this tier, as well. In 2020 and 2021, we saw about a fifth of the industry at this strata making less than $80,000/yr. According to our respondents, today, everyone at this experience level is making north of $80,000! That’s real progress. We’ve also seen a steady progression of scouts getting paid at the top level we measure ($125,000+). From about a fifth of scouts (2020) to about a third (2021) to now more than half are getting paid more than $125,000 annually. These results probably mean we will adjust our number upward after we get our results in ‘23. We hope so.
  • 11-15 years in scouting: This is the level where we struggle most to gather information, probably because a lot of evaluators don’t make it this far unless they are headed to being directors and VPs. Based on our numbers, it’s very simple: if you make it past a decade in the game, you need to be at or near $125,000 annually. We saw some scouts get paid in the $80,000-$99,999 range at this level last year, but this year, most are back to the $125,000 level. Maybe it’s because we’re past the financial restrictions associated with the Covid slowdown.
  • 16-plus years in scouting: We’ve seen about five percent of respondents in this range report making less than $125K/year, but the overwhelming majority are north of that. How far north? This is national scout/director/VP territory, so the upper range could be quite high. Bottom line, if you are at this level of experience, $125,000 should be your floor. We need to retool our survey to being measuring what scouts at this level are really getting paid. Maybe next year, we can figure that out.

There were some other interesting trends. We actually saw an uptick in the number of respondents who said their teams have pensions (about a 50-50 split); we think that’s due to our limited sample size. Also: a plurality are getting a 5 percent match on their 401(k), about 25 percent of respondents. Standard per diems are plus/minus $60 for teams. Finally, if you’re scout who’s buying gas, you’re getting reimbursed for your receipts (49 percent); you’re probably not getting a crack at buying Super Bowl tickets (55 percent); and you’re getting a 25 percent playoff share (39 percent).

For a deeper dive into the scouting and agent communities, as well as a look at our 13th annual seminar, check out our Friday Wrap. Register for it here.