Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

How Soccer Coaches Earn Their Living

Pep Guardiola

Being a soccer coach can be a rewarding career, but it’s not always a high-paying one. To reach a point where coaches make a substantial income, they usually need years of experience as players or coaches. The job market for well-paying coaching positions is highly competitive, with only a limited number of opportunities available.

Volunteer Soccer Coaching

Soccer Coach with Kids

At the youth level, many people dedicate their time and energy to coaching soccer. However, there’s not a lot of money to go around. Most youth coaches are parents who volunteer their time and rarely receive a salary. Some may take on individual coaching lessons to make some extra income, but coaching at the volunteer level is primarily done for the love of the game and gaining experience.

In some cases, volunteer coaching extends to college sports teams in the United States. While the head coach is typically paid, assistant coaches often volunteer their services to get their foot in the door. It may not be an easy job, but the opportunity to be involved in the sport they love is rewarding enough.

Amateur Level Coaching

Amateur Soccer Coach

Whether it’s coaching a traveling youth team, a high school team, or a college team, coaching at the amateur level doesn’t always come with great pay. Limited budgets and revenue streams make it challenging to compensate coaches adequately. However, the pay for amateur soccer coaching has been gradually improving, especially in the United States due to the rising popularity of the sport.

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College soccer coaches have seen a significant increase in pay in recent years. Though soccer doesn’t generate substantial revenue for schools, growing ticket sales and increased interest in the sport have led to better compensation for coaches.

While some semi-professional leagues pay players a small amount, coaching in these leagues is closer to amateur status. Coaches take on these positions to stay involved in the game, move up in their careers, or due to personal connections with the team.

Professional Coaching

Professional Soccer Coach

Professional soccer leagues worldwide require a vast number of coaches. While most coaches prefer to work in their home countries, top coaches are willing to travel anywhere for the right job.

The salary of a professional coach largely depends on the league’s quality, the financial status of the team, and their ambitions. For example, the pay scale differs significantly between Major League Soccer in the United States and the Premier League in the United Kingdom. Premier League teams have larger budgets and higher-quality players, so they are willing to pay top dollar to secure the best coaches.

Professional coaching is a full-time commitment that demands significant time and effort. Coaches meticulously plan tactics for each game, manage players on match days, and handle various responsibilities. The workload can be overwhelming, but the rewards are worth it for dedicated coaches.

The Highest-Paid Soccer Coaches in the World

Diego Simeone

The best teams in the world invest significant amounts of money in their coaching staff. The head coach of a top team can earn a substantial salary, sometimes reaching millions of euros per year. Here are the current top five highest-paid soccer coaches:

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1. Diego Simeone – Atletico Madrid (€40.5 million)

Diego Simeone, from Argentina, has been the head coach of Atletico Madrid since 2011. His longevity in the position reflects his success and appropriate compensation.

2. Antonio Conte – Inter (€30 million)

After moving from Chelsea to Inter, Antonio Conte became the highest-paid coach in Italy. His ability to consistently lead teams to victory has made him a sought-after coach.

3. Pep Guardiola – Manchester City (€27 million)

Pep Guardiola, the head coach of Manchester City, is the highest-paid coach in the Premier League. Despite not winning a major title with the team yet, his expertise and the team’s investment make success likely in the near future.

4. Jürgen Klopp – Liverpool (€24 million)

Jürgen Klopp, widely regarded as one of the top managers in the world, led Liverpool to their first Premier League title and Champions League victory in 2019. His success has earned him a significant salary increase.

5. Zinedine Zidane – Real Madrid (€23 million)

Former legendary player Zinedine Zidane has transitioned into a successful coach at Real Madrid. Despite offers from other teams, he seems content with his current salary and position.

The Future of Soccer Coaching and Earnings

Soccer’s popularity ensures that teams will always seek out top-quality coaches. As demand for skilled coaches increases, the prices for their services will continue to rise. Top teams will invest in well-compensated coaches, while ambitious teams will search for talented, young coaches willing to go the extra mile.


Q: How much do soccer coaches earn at the amateur level?
A: Amateur soccer coaching pay varies, but it is generally not substantial. Budget constraints and limited revenue sources make it challenging to offer high salaries. However, compensation has been improving, especially in the United States.

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Q: Which soccer coach is the highest-paid in the Premier League?
A: Pep Guardiola, the head coach of Manchester City, is the highest-paid coach in the Premier League. Despite not winning a major title with the team yet, his expertise and the team’s investment make success likely in the near future.

Q: Who are the highest-paid soccer coaches in the world?
A: The current top five highest-paid soccer coaches in the world are Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid), Antonio Conte (Inter), Pep Guardiola (Manchester City), Jürgen Klopp (Liverpool), and Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid).


Soccer coaching can be a rewarding career, even if the financial rewards may vary. From volunteer coaching to professional teams, coaches can find fulfillment and success at all levels of the game. With the ever-growing popularity of soccer, the demand for coaches will continue to rise, ensuring both the sport and the coaches thrive.