How Much Do NFL Cheerleaders Make

Have you ever wondered how much NFL cheerleaders make? These dancers are an integral part of the game as they entertain and motivate the crowd while supporting their team. But are their salaries reflective of their hard work and dedication?

Cheerleading may be one of the most challenging and physically demanding jobs in the entertainment industry. Despite its high demand, cheerleaders are often overlooked when it comes to recognition and salary. Recent months have brought light to the unequal treatment that they receive.

If you’re a fan of football, you have probably noticed the cheerleading squad performing at each game. However, how much do they earn? While most of us appreciate the long hours, rehearsals, and hard work involved, the salary they receive might surprise you. This article will take a deep dive into the world of NFL cheerleading and explore the pay structure and working conditions of these talented and hardworking dancers.

The Reality Of NFL Cheerleader Salaries

When it comes to professional cheerleaders in the NFL, the reality is that they typically earn a relatively low salary for their work.

While pay structures can vary depending on the team and the city, the average NFL cheerleader salary for an NFL cheerleader is often around $150 per game, which can amount to about $22,500 per year if the cheerleader performs at all regular-season games.

However, this figure does not take into account other forms of compensation that cheerleaders may receive, such as pay for appearances, promotional events, and other opportunities.

Pay Structure

Pay structures can vary significantly depending on the team and city. In some cases, cheerleaders may not receive any payment for their time and effort beyond the opportunity to perform and represent the team. 

The Buffalo Bills, for example, pay their cheerleaders only $150 per season. On the other hand, the Dallas Cowboys reportedly pay their cheerleaders up to $500 per game, making them among the highest-paid in the league.

Despite these discrepancies, the overwhelming majority of NFL cheerleaders are not paid enough to earn a living wage. 


There are several reasons for this. One is the fact that many NFL teams consider cheerleading to be a part-time, sideline activity rather than a full-time job. This results in low pay and limited benefits.

Additionally, cheerleaders are often classified as independent contractors rather than employees, which means they are not entitled to the same benefits and protections as other NFL staff members.

How Much Do NFL Cheerleaders Make

Furthermore, the NFL itself does not regulate cheerleader pay, leaving it up to individual teams to determine compensation. This lack of regulation allows teams to pay their cheerleaders as they see fit, with little regard for fair compensation.

Several lawsuits have been filed by NFL cheerleaders over the years, claiming that they are not paid fairly for their work. In 2014, for example, a group of Oakland Raiders cheerleaders sued the team, claiming that they were paid less than minimum wage and were not compensated for all the time they spent working.


The settlement marked a significant victory for the cheerleaders, who had long been fighting for fair pay and better working conditions.

It also brought attention to the larger issue of wage theft in the cheerleading industry, which has been the subject of numerous lawsuits and investigations in recent years.

Comparison To Other NFL Positions

When compared to other positions within NFL teams, such as waterboys and mascots, cheerleaders are often paid significantly less. The average salary for NFL waterboys is around $53,000 per year, while NFL mascots typically earn around $25,000 per season.

This disparity in pay is often attributed to the fact that cheerleading is not considered to be an essential aspect of a team’s performance, and thus teams are unwilling to invest significant resources in their cheerleading squads.


How Much Do NFL Cheerleaders Make

Factors That Affect NFL Cheerleader Salaries

Here are some factors that can affect NFL cheerleader salaries:


Just like any other job, experience can play a role in determining the salary of an NFL cheerleader. Cheerleaders who have been with the team for longer may receive higher pay.


Similar to experience, seniority can also influence an NFL cheerleader’s salary. As they spend more time with the team, they may be given more responsibilities and a higher position within the squad, which can result in a higher salary.

Skill level

The skill level of a cheerleader can also impact their salary. Cheerleaders who are more talented, have better dance skills, or can perform stunts and gymnastics may receive higher pay.

How Much Do NFL Cheerleaders Make

Market demand

The market demand for NFL cheerleaders in a particular area can also impact their salary. If the team has a high fan base and there is a high demand for cheerleaders, they may receive higher salaries.


The location of the team can also play a role in determining an NFL cheerleader’s salary. Cheerleaders who work in cities with a higher cost of living may receive a higher salary to compensate for the increased cost of living.

Other duties

Some NFL cheerleaders may be required to perform other duties, such as attending promotional events or making public appearances. These additional duties may come with additional pay.

Team policies

Each team may have different policies in place regarding cheerleader salaries. Some teams may offer higher salaries to their cheerleaders as a way to attract top talent or provide additional incentives to retain them.

It’s important to note that these factors can vary from team to team and may not apply universally to all NFL cheerleaders. Additionally, there may be other factors that can impact an NFL cheerleader’s salary beyond those listed here.

Wrapping Up

NFL cheerleaders are an integral part of the game-day experience for fans and teams alike. They not only entertain the crowds but also support their respective teams in various ways.

Despite the numerous challenges they face and the significant time commitment they make, NFL cheerleaders are not paid as much as one would expect. In fact, many of them have to work additional jobs to make ends meet. However, despite the low pay, they continue to be part of this beloved tradition, which speaks to their passion and dedication to their craft. Ultimately, the value they bring to the game cannot be measured by their paycheck alone.

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Robert Carter
Robert Carter
Robert is a passionate sports fan and writer who covers the latest news and events in the world of sports. He has been a regular contributor to, where he shares his insights and analysis on the latest developments in the world of sports.

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