NBA Cheerleaders Salary: How Much Do NBA Cheerleaders Earn?

NBA cheeleaders are a big part of NBA game entertainment – surely this means that NBA cheerleaders earn a big salary, right? Well, not so fast. The fame of cheerleading for an NBA team may not actually match the expected salary that an NBA cheerleader would expect to earn. Read below to find out more:

A lot of people watch basketball. Very few understand how vital the cheerleaders are to the overall process. They're always there on the sidelines cheering on their respective teams. At the same time, they’re responsible for keeping fans entertained during, between, and after the competition has concluded. How much do you really know about NBA cheerleaders? Do you know how much they generally get paid for their efforts?

Basics Of The NBA Cheerleader Job

First and foremost, you should take the time to learn about the basic job description of NBA cheerleaders. These individuals are highly skilled dancers. During NBA games, they’re going to strut their stuff with highly technical dance routines. Cheerleaders are capable of pumping up the fans and increasing the intensity in the arena. They spend hours and hours rehearsing and practicing every single day. At the same time, NBA cheerleaders are helpful off of the court.

They often attend charity events and help nonprofit organizations raise money for their causes. Some may work on the side as models. Or, they may speak to the public.

Education Qualifications

What education is required to become a professional NBA cheerleader? The truth of the matter is that there is really only one requirement. The individual in question needs to be highly skilled in the art of dance. Therefore, they should have some type of background in dance. Before they’re going to be allowed to cheer in NBA games, they’ll need to perform in an audition. This will test their abilities as a dancer. If the recruit likes what they see, they’re going to hire the cheerleader and add them to the team.

It should also be noted that NBA teams are consistently on the hunt for good cheerleaders. Therefore, they may offer classes to amateurs. This will allow the cheerleader to get a better understanding of the team’s dancing style. It will also allow them to improve their skills by dancing with professionals. Finally, the cheerleader needs to be physically fit. After all, they need peak physical fitness to remain energetic for the entire duration of the game and to avoid injuries.

How Much Do NBA Cheerleaders Make?

How much are NBA cheerleaders going to make on average? The truth of the matter is that there are many variables at play. The NBA is a national league. Therefore, it is true that cheerleaders in one state may be getting paid more than cheerleaders in another state.

Nevertheless, it is estimated that the average wage for modern cheerleaders is right around $14.58. These numbers were accurate in May of 2017. It should also be noted that cheerleaders may be paid a stipend for each game. Special events and championship competitions will net the cheerleader a lot more.

Sadly, the pay for NBA cheerleaders is pretty low. This is definitely the case when the unpaid practices and rehearsals are added to the equation. At the end of the season, it is common for some to earn a little as a few thousand dollars. The NBA has received some criticism from the public and this could change its wage policy in the future.

A Diverse Industry

The industry is pretty diverse. After all, there are numerous leagues out there and each team needs its own cheerleaders. The NBA, NHL, NFL, and other teams depend on cheerleaders to keep fans entertained and hyped up throughout the course of the game. Therefore, it is common for cheerleaders to get moved around frequently. They may work for minor league team before they finally make it to the NBA.

Future Job Growth

In terms of dancers as a whole, it is estimated that jobs are going to grow by as much as 5% during the next decade. The same cannot be said for NBA cheerleaders. After all, there are only a certain number of spots. At the same time, turnaround is not good. NBA cheerleaders tend to hold onto their spots for the long term. Therefore, it is pretty hard for dancers to grow into full-fledged NBA cheerleaders.

Highest Paid Cheerleaders in NBA 2019

Cheerleaders Team Per Match Fees Extra Bonus Annual Payscale
New York Knicks Cheerleaders $650 $2,000 $35,000
LA Lakers Cheerleaders $600 $1,500 $30,000
Boston Celtics Cheerleaders $600 $1,500 $30,000
Atlanta Hawaks Cheerleaders $650 $2,000 $35,000
Cleveland Cavaliers Cheerleaders $400 $1,000 $28,000
Toronto Raptors Cheerleaders $500 $1,000 $28,000
Washington Wizards Cheerleaders $400 $1,500 $28,000
Milwaukee Bucks Cheerleaders $350 $1,000 $22,000
Miami Heat Cheerleaders $500 $1,500 $28,000
Indiana Pacers Cheerleaders $400 $1,000 $28,000
LA Clippers Cheerleaders $350 $950 $22,000
Minnesota Timberwolves Cheerleaders $200 $700 $15,000
Chicago Bulls Cheerleaders $200 $700 $15,000
Golden State Warriors Cheerleaders $550 $1,000 $30,000
Memphis Grizzlies Cheerleaders $350 $800 $22,000
Oklahoma City Thunder Cheerleaders $250 $800 $18,000
Orlando Magic Cheerleaders $200 $700 $15,000
Philadelphia 76ers Cheerleaders $200 $700 $15,000
Phoenix Suns Cheerleaders $200 $700 $15,000

Cheerleaders get a bonus on their paycheck if they get selected for cheerleading in the NBA All Star game. Additionally, they can make another $2,000 during the NBA Playoffs if there is a 7 game series. And of course, NBA cheerleaders get free travel – flights, hotel, and per diem for food, and also get free guest tickets for friends and family to each NBA game, as well as free parking for the matches. Stats Source 

Fun NBA Cheeleader Videos:

The life of an NBA cheerleader:

Random assortment of NBA cheerleading squads:

NBA Cheerleader Image Sources:

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