Did you know that professional bowlers earn a good salary? This may come as a surprise to some, but for those who are passionate about bowling, it is definitely a lucrative career.
The professional bowler salary for a PBA (Professional Bowlers Association) bowler is $45,000 to $50,000 per year on average, without any additional sponsorship profits. The top professional bowlers, for example Walter Ray Williams Jr. earned as much as $250,000 or even more money.
If you’re interested in becoming a professional bowler, be sure to read on to learn more about the salaries and benefits associated with this career.
You may be surprised at just how much you can make!
What Are the Benefits of Being a Professional Bowler?
Many professional bowlers operate their own bowling centers or franchises of existing bowling centers.
Benefits can include equipment allowances, travel expenses for tournaments and coaching by professional instructors.
What Is the Job Description of a Professional Bowler?
Professional bowlers often compete in various professional leagues where they are paid to play either singles or doubles matches.
They can also be paid to bowl in professional tournaments which are often televised and viewed by millions of people. Although they may play in local tournaments, their job may include traveling as well to participate in international bowling tournaments.
How Do You Become a Professional Bowler?
A professional bowler typically begins working their way up through the ranks as an amateur before becoming professional.
They will often work as associate pro, master pro or senior master pro where they are closely observed by professional bowling coaches, managers and professional instructors.
They will then choose to either compete in qualifying games, professional events or open their own professional bowling centers.
What Are Some Roles for Professional Bowlers?
Other professional bowler roles include professional instructors, professional coaches and professional managers.
What Is the Difference Between an Amateur Bowler and a Professional Bowler?
An amateur bowler has much more freedom in their scheduled matches than professional bowlers whose schedules are often predetermined by professional league sport directors.
Amateur bowlers though are often not paid to play while professional bowler salaries can range from an average annual salary of $45,000 on the low end up to $55,000.
Professional bowlers are typically more experienced at their sport than amateur bowlers, can compete in professional tournaments and professional bowling leagues, generally have a coach and managers, can teach at bowling centers or open professional bowling centers themselves.
Amateur bowlers work as much as they like (sometimes competing in weekend events), do not need to be introduced by professional league sport directors and can compete in local amateur bowling tournaments if desired.
How Do Top Bowlers Make a Living?
The professional bowlers that make the most money are those who win bigger tournaments and/or cash in professional league sport sponsorships.
Some bowlers also enjoy endorsements from professional sports equipment companies like Nike, Ebonite International and Storm Bowling Products.
The best bowlers can promote bowling balls or other items of big bowling brands for the public. An attractive sponsorship deal can be as lucrative as a prize money for winning tournaments.
Pro bowlers also participate in bowling exhibitions to showcase their skills.
They may also invest and save money by owning a bowling center or bowling companies.
Who Is the Highest Paid Bowler Currently?
The top earning PBA bowlers are the following players after the 2020 PBA tour:
- Jason Belmonte ($293,050)
- Bill O’Neill ($272,285)
- Anthony Simonsen ($227,130)
These top earners sometimes earn twice as much money or more compared to the average salary of many bowlers.
Some other high-earning male bowlers were Norm Duke, Don Carter, Pete Weber or Sean Rash, who were among the best bowlers in the world, and winners of many PBA events.
Closing Thoughts About Professional Bowling Salaries
Professional bowlers make a living by taking the lane and bowling for money. They’ll typically take turns with other players, who also wear uniforms to represent their team affiliation.
Bowlers will often have a coach whose job it is to help them refine their technique so that they can be successful.
Professional bowling salaries can vary depending on experience, sponsorship deals, and performance bonuses.
It’s not as lucrative as other sports such as football (NFL) or baseball (MLB), where players and NFL stars signed million dollar contracts, but there is plenty of opportunity for growth if you put in the work to make a decent living to live from professional sport.