Assistant Swimming Coach Wages — Comments

Assistant Swimming Coach Wages
Guy Edson
American Swimming Coaches Association
March 2019

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There are no standards for an assistant coach’s salary.

We have attempted surveys and the data varies wildly and tells us nothing usable. We have heard of minimum wages up to $25 per hour. (And the $25 per hour was “limited” to on deck time at practice but the coach was expected to have prepared workouts and other paperwork PLUS was given a flat rate of $50 per day for swimming meets but not hourly – all of which would be highly scrutinized by a state labor agency if reported.)

Hourly salaries are problematic. We like assistant coaches to be early, and often stay late to speak with parents. We expect them to show up at practices with prepared workouts — which means they work extra hours not on the pool deck. We send coaches to swim meets and at hourly rates that is enormously expensive.

In addition there is added documentation required of employing coaches on hourly.

Hourly rates vary. I like to look at what WSI/Lifeguards are making at public pools nearby. Surely a coach is “worth” more wages than a lifeguard.

“Most” clubs hire assistant coaches on “salary.” Part time swim coaches are “Non-Exempt” status and must be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week. State labor laws may have more restrictions. Research is required.

Part time salaries wages vary even more wildly than hourly. There are high quality coaches working for $500 a month salary. And there are far less qualified and less experienced coaches making $1500 a month.

We love those assistant coaches who coach for love of the kids and love of the sport; and money is secondary. When money becomes an issue with part timers you have a big problem. Your proactive approach can minimize that.

Do research.
Learn about both FLSA and your state’s laws.
Learn about exempt versus non-exempt.
Learn about pluses and minuses with both salary and hourly.
Create detailed job descriptions.
Set a pay rate NOT based on experience or qualifications, but based on the job description.
Find people who love to coach and agree to the pay rate.
As soon as you create or allow one exception you will have problems.
Stick to your standards.
Let people go who do not like what they are being paid.
Do not be held hostage.


When wages becomes a big issue with part time coaches – it’s time for them to look for a full time coaching job. I’m not advocating taking advantage of part timers but I don’t want to be held hostage either. When love of money becomes greater than love of kids and love of coaching it is time for part timers to move on. (Maybe to move on within your program to full time status.)

And, of course, you can always inquire of local teams and how and what they pay their assistant coaches and try to be competitive with that.

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