High school football coaches are responsible for molding amateur athletes into capable and seasoned competitors. Through practices and training, they develop their players’ talents, correct technique errors and condition them for the physical and mental demands of game day. They are also responsible for managing the team as a whole, which includes evaluating player strengths, choosing the optimal lineup, assessing the competition and developing strategies and plays.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have a specific category for high school football coaches. Instead, it reports that all types of coaches at the elementary and secondary school level earned an average of $32,120 a year as of May 2013. The Simply Hired job site does offer data specific to high school football coaches and reports that they averaged $39,000 a year as of February 2015. However, high school football coach salaries can vary greatly by state, school and whether the coach is a head coach or just an assistant. The salary also depends on the individual coach and his or her role at the school. Many coaches also work as full-time teachers, which means they can earn more. The BLS reports that the average high school teacher earned $58,320 as of May 2013.
High school football coaches must work around the players’ school schedules, so their hours are often irregular. They frequently work evenings, weekends and holidays, and they usually work more than 40 hours per week during football season, according to the BLS. Some coaches’ work extends throughout the entire school or calendar year, not just the season. For some, coaching is a full-time position, while others work only part time and may coach more than one sport.
Salary by State
Among the states and the District of Columbia, D.C. ranked first in average pay for elementary and secondary school coaches at $55,350 a year in May 2013, according to the BLS. Mississippi ranks second at an average of $51,760 a year, followed by Arkansas ($50,030), West Virginia ($49,400) and Florida ($48,600). The state with the lowest-paid coaches is Maine, where they averaged $21,510 a year as of May 2013. Other low-paying states include Idaho, Montana, Kansas and Iowa.
Salary by Area
The BLS reports that many of the highest-paying metropolitan areas for coaches are located in the southeastern United States and Texas. The top-paying metropolitan area for this occupation was Athens-Clarke County, Ga., with an average annual salary of $97,960 as of May 2013. Auburn-Opelika, Ala., was second with an average of $90,150. College Station-Bryan, Texas ranked third at $80,400, followed by Morgantown, W.Va., with an average salary of $79,600.