Apart from the players’ incredible kicks, whacks, touchdowns, goals,  and hits, NFL matches consist of a lot more. The zest and hits alone would be too dull with the sunshine cheery faces of the NFL cheerleaders. However, these happy-go-lucky faces actually struggle behind the scenes with their low wages.

Do you know exactly how much do NFL cheerleaders make? Ironically, these girls that work hard day and night to keep themselves in shape and are actually the entertainment hub in any football match only make about an average of $150 per day’s game and only about $50 to $75 per public appearance. 

Kredilife will reveal all the salary travails and enigmas of NFL cheerleaders’ salaries. We will first establish the average salary a cheerleader is currently getting and then predict what the trend in 2022 will be. So without further delay, let us dive into the realm of NFL salaries.

How much do NFL cheerleaders make per game and per season?

Looking at the nature of a cheerleader’s job, you might think of them as celebrity figures with a fan following. Of course, not at the same level as those of Hollywood actresses and NFL players themselves, but still, you would expect them to have a regional following and be earning a satisfactory amount. Contrarily, the situation is actually the reverse.

Surprisingly, the data collected through various surveys and researches in 2021 reveals that an average NFL cheerleader only makes about $150 per game and approximately $50-$75 per public debut. To our horror, some renowned sources even claim that an average cheerleader only makes $75-$100 per game.

Yes, the fact is undeniable that an NFL cheerleader’s salary depends upon various factors, especially how often they show up in public. Basically, the rest of the elements include a cheerleader’s experience, position in the team, physical fitness, performance, and perhaps the amount of appreciation she receives from the public. But still, the above-mentioned wage rates are shockingly below what one would expect. 

It is painful to digest that these striking faces that spent hours and hours keeping their bodies in shape, practicing enticing yet difficult dance moves, and spending thousands of dollars to look gorgeous for their teams are so financially neglected and undervalued by their teams.

To our horror, a former San Francisco 49ers cheerleader revealed that she was only paid $1250 for a season. A rough calculation shows that when the amount is broken down further, the poor girl only earned $2.75 per hour. Yes, you read that right. The situation is actually extremely grim. 

Like seriously, $75 per game for such an elegant body and extravagant dance moves? 

Another cheerleader who prefers to keep her identity a secret reveals that she was only paid $3000 for a whole 2006 season. However, after deducting the non-reimbursed expenses, including stylist arrangements and makeup, she only had $300 left.

It would not be wrong to say that a cheerleader is one of the most important representatives of the teams in the public’s eye. Undoubtedly, they deserve to be well compensated and appreciated for the efforts they put to entertain the public on behalf of their teams. But it is quite disappointing that the latter is not happening. 

In an era where a voice is raised for everyone’s right despite their social status or occupation, it is shocking to know that even public figures are not treated fairly. 

Why isn’t anyone doing anything about it?

How much will NFL Cheerleaders make in 2022?

Well, since no one else is openly raising a voice for these girls, they have decided to stand up for themselves. Recently there have been quite a number of lawsuits filed against various NFL teams and their compensation policies (as discussed later). To this end, some positive signs have been showing for the future. 

People expect that the cheerleaders will earn approximately $200 per game and $75-$85 per public appearance. Yes, it is still not enough, but it is, nevertheless, a start. As they say, change does not happen overnight. Therefore, our favorite cheerleaders and their fans will have to show patience. 

Regardless of the fact, the change process will be quite slow and cumbersome. Apparently, an NFL cheerleader’s pay is even less than that of a waitress or an entry-level retail job. Nonetheless, as the public’s attention continues to drift towards the issue, NFL teams are slowly trying to increase pay rates in fear of a negative PR. 

On the other hand, the most senior and professional NFL cheerleaders claim to earn $75 000 per season. However, when compared to what a team as a whole earns from a single season and an NFL player’s average salary, the abovementioned figure is still low.

But the question is, why are the NFL cheerleaders paid such a low wage? Is their job not stop demanding? Or is it because no physical labor is required? To be honest, the job is extremely demanding and perhaps stricter than a lot of others.

Here is a video on an NFL cheerleader’s income.

The Incredibly Low Wages Of NFL Cheerleaders (How much cheerleaders are paid)

What does a cheerleader do?

I bet there is no football lover that does not know what a cheerleader is. Those brightly lit beautiful faces that stir fun, entertainment, and happiness during match breaks and other community activities are cheerleaders. Basically, a cheerleader’s job is exactly what the name portrays. They ‘lead’ you into ‘cheers’ and happiness. And NFL cheerleaders are beauties who are specifically devoted to serving the NFL teams.

Most of the NFL teams have their own cheerleaders who are responsible for keeping the audience and the players energized. For that, they themselves have to be full of energy and active. In short, cheerleaders are the ones that fuel the fire of frenzy everywhere. 

Even though the team’s success does not directly depend upon the cheerleader’s performance, they do nevertheless shoot up the team’s spirits with their vibrant smiles and moves.

However, you will be surprised to know that cheerleading is not even considered a full-time job. Usually, a cheerleader is required to have another job or be a student. But they are required to appear for practice sessions almost every day, which is approximately 30 to 40 hours weekly. Although most people take up the career for the love of dance, the highly demanding training sessions and works, even on holidays, enforce the need for proper payment.

NFL earning and football player’s salary Vs. cheerleader’s salary

You will be astonished when you compare the salary of a cheerleader with that of an NFL player or even an NFL waterboy. Here is what other members of the team earn:

  • Head coaches earn up to $7 million per session
  • An NFL player earns about $2 million
  • NFL mascot earns about $25,000
  • A waterboy’s salary is $53,000 per annum

Now compare these to the salary an NFL cheerleader gets. Disturbing, isn’t it?

Required characteristics to become an NFL cheerleader

Now, if your passion for cheerleading exceeds your desire for a satisfying monetary return or the extremely demanding training sessions and strict rules, then below are the prerequisites to becoming an NFL cheerleader:

  • Dedication and devotion: 

Even though it is not a full-time job, it is quite a demanding job. For this reason, a prospective cheerleader should be dedicated to giving at least $30 to $40 hours per week.

  • Excellent dancing and communication skills

If you are a great dancer but suck at interacting with people, you can’t be a successful leader. This is because as a cheerleader you do not only have to entertain the audience with your enticing moves but also have to communicate with the audience as part of the team.

  • Strength to cope and resolve conflicts

Conflicts are inevitable when wherever there is a group of people. However, what makes a cheerleader stand apart is her ability to resolve the issue without making a lot of noise.

  • Ability to put up a prominent public reputation

NFL teams usually have rigid rules to establish a reputation in the public’s eye. For example, a cheerleader is not allowed to even curse or chew in public.

  • Technique to stay in shape 

Did you know you could get fired for gaining weight as an NFL cheerleader? Not as strict as a model, but a cheerleader is required to keep her weight and body shape in check. So, you will have to join a gym or something like that.

  • Strong capability to keep the audience engaged

Lastly, you need to be good at what the occupation requires. That is, you have to be apple to entice and enchant the public and keep them engaged. This is what it is all about, after all.



The five clubs that didn’t have a cheerleading team that year were the Buffalo Bills, Browns, Bears, New York Giants, and Steelers. 


The top NFL cheerleaders are compensated as follows:

Hourly pay ranges from $15 to $20.

Each match is worth $500.

Annual earnings of $75,000


No. Currently, 26 of the 32 NFL teams have cheerleaders that perform during home matches.


The Dallas Cowboys are the most well-known NFL cheering squad. They’re so prominent that they even have their own reality TV program. On Instagram, the Dallas Cowboys cheering squads have 500,000 fans.


Hopefully, they will. Teams are currently trying to avoid a negative PR regarding the issue. Hence, it is expected that they will be paid better.

Bottom Line

Overall, we believe the NFL cheerleaders are not being paid enough. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is thought that 2022 will be a better year for them. Do you think so too? Let us know if you do.