We all are very passionate when it comes to paintball, but only a few of us dare to take our passion to a professional level. While most of us only play paintball for fun, professional paintballers can earn money while having fun at the same time. That sounds like a great career option, right? You might be thinking How Much Do Professional Paintballers Make?
We will get to that but first, let’s cover the factors that determine the earnings potential of professional paintballers. Later in this guide, we also mentioned a few tips on what it takes to become a professional paintballer.
How much does a professional paintballer make every year?
There is no limit to how much paintballers can earn in the US, with salaries ranging from $30,000 to $450,000+, the average salary is around $75,000 per year. Some paintballers even make over 100k per year but they only form a tiny percentage of all professional players out there.
For better understanding, we have divided paintballers into three categories with respect to how much money they make each year.
Top 10% – The Elites
As a result of increasing competition and hard work, being in the Top 10 is definitely not easy, but if you do, you can expect an income of over 150,000 per anum.
Getting into the top ten percent is no easy task, but don’t be discouraged. There are still opportunities to earn a living playing paintball.
Only expect an income of around $75,000 per annum but keep practicing and working hard on your game so you can improve your skills and maybe one day get yourself into the list of elite paintballers.
Bottom 10% – The Hustlers
Unfortunately, the bottom ten percent of paintballers don’t make much of an income. If you’re in this category of players then there is a lot that needs to be improved about your game and how you perform during matches.
A study of data collected shows that the bottom 10% of professional paintballers make an average of $30,000 per year.
What Determines the Earning Potential of Paintball Players?
Here are some of the factors that determine how much professional paintballers earn every year in the USA.
1. Individual Salary
Like any other sport, paintballers are also given individual contract, which varies from player to player. The more skilled you are, the better your salary contract will be
The individual salary of a player also depends on factors such as which team a player plays for, how much he/she is skilled or famous, how financially rich the team is, and which league the team belongs to.
2. Playing Region
Playing region also plays a vital role in how much professional paintball players make yearly. While playing for USA teams is comparatively lucrative, the same cannot be said of other parts of the world where salaries are not that great and there is less sponsorship or financial support from authorities
Even in the USA, salaries vary from state to state. For instance, a paintballer in California or texas is likely to get paid more than one in Newyork or Massachusetts.
Generally, states where the popularity of paintball is more and where more leagues and tournaments are held will pay more than other states.
3. Sponsorship & Endorsements
Professional paintball players also earn a lot of money through sponsorships and endorsements. While some players get paid for just playing the game, there are others who get paid to endorse products on their social media platforms or at live events.
It varies from player to player, some receive a few hundred bucks while others get thousands of dollars. Endorsement deals mostly depend on how famous and skilled you are as a player. The more popular you are the better the sponsorship deal will be offered to you.
4. League Popularity
As we mentioned above, the earning potential of paintballers also depends on how popular and profitable a league is in which they play. Generally, most lucrative leagues such as NPPL or NXL offer the best salary to their players apart from providing them with other perks such as free travel.
If Paintball League becomes really popular then it will attract investors and with that comes big endorsement deals which can help you increase how much professional paintballers make per year by considerable margins.
While some of these leagues may be costly for teams to join, they still pay handsomely due to a high number of viewers and player participation.
5. Prize Money
Another important factor that determines how much pro paintballers make in the USA is how many tournaments they participate in during an earning season (generally between April-September). Professional paintball leagues generally pay top athletes around $2500-$10000 per event/league depending on the league’s popularity. They also get their fair share of the winning prize if their team wins the tournament.
As more viewers tune in to watch their favorite teams play, organizers earn money from advertisements which further increases how much professional paintballers make every year.
In this profession, you will not only earn from how much your play but also get paid for imparting knowledge and training young upcoming athletes to be successful pro players.
The more students you have under your tutelage, the more you will get in terms of monthly fees. Most professional paintballers charge up to hundreds of dollars per month depending upon how skillful they are.
But as we already mentioned above, it all depends upon your skills and popularity as a player too. If you are good at what you do then trust me there will be no dearth of opportunities or sponsorships coming your way. In fact, some top-notch players even have their own clothing line now so that’s something to look forward to right?
7. Economic Scenario
Last but not least, the earning potential of a professional paintballer is also determined by how the economy is doing in that region. If a country or state’s GDP increases then it will help increase how much you get paid too, as more organizations and companies will be willing to invest money into the league. This will also enable the leagues to pay higher salaries to their players and employees.
Although some countries like Australia & New Zealand have started taking interest in supporting their local teams by helping them out with basic amenities such as housing, food, and gear, etc. Still, there’s no current legislation that supports these players or helps them grow further.
Paintball has been around since the 1970s so we can only hope that soon this sport would start getting recognition and popularity just like soccer or basketball where you see pro athletes earning millions of dollars every year!
What skills are needed to play Paintball Professionally?
So, now you have decided to make a career out of paintball. Well good for you but here are some basic skills and attributes which you should have in order to play paintball professionally.
1. Level of Commitment
Having this skill will definitely help if you to stay committed to your training and practice sessions. Professional players usually train for 6-9 hours every day in order, which includes physical as well as mental exercises such as meditation and yoga.
Being fit helps you perform better on the paintball field, especially during intense battles where winning often depends upon split-second decisions. So make sure that before becoming a pro player; you work on your strength, stamina, and fitness level so that they don’t let down your team!
When it comes to success in this field, good team skills are a must. Paintball definitely requires teamwork and coordination between players, which could make or break the match’s result.
So it goes without saying that one should have excellent communication and socializing skills so that they can establish healthy relationships with their teammates and other pro paintballers as well!
You will also need great endurance levels while playing paintball, especially during intense battles where physical exhaustion often leads to mistakes thus decreasing your chance of winning the game.
So practice regularly by running long distances, doing push-ups, etc so that when needed you can sprint faster than before or remain active for longer periods of time even after getting shot at.
Since paintball isn’t played on a table like a game of chess, it requires you to be constantly moving. So, if you have good speed and quick feet then it will definitely help you to get yourself out of tough situations.
Just remember that paintball is all about making split-second decisions so being fast on your feet can indirectly increase your chances of coming out victorious from an intense battle.
Having good reflexes is also an important skill to have if you want to make a career out of paintball.
For example, let’s say that there are two players who shoot each other at the same time but only one gets hit while the other dodges. The player with better reflexes will have a better chance to win as they will be able to react faster than their opponent.
Paintball is nothing without accuracy. If you can’t aim properly then all the speed and stamina in the world will not matter.
So practice regularly with your gun so that when needed, you don’t miss a single shot! Remember to shoot where your opponent’s paint is coming from as it usually gives away their location on the field!
7. Ability to take a hit
Paintball is a game of shooting and you will likely get hit. The best you can do is be mentally aware and erase the thoughts of getting hit, by doing so, you will be able to play without any thoughts distracting you from the game.
Make sure that you are wearing proper gear during the match or even when practicing with teammates or friends. This will allow you to take multiple shots without actually hurting yourself.
Having these basic skills can help any aspiring pro player get far ahead on their journey towards becoming an icon just like CPL Champions Adam ‘Killa’ Garcia & Chris La Putt who have taken home whopping $400k+ earnings every year through tournaments around the world!
Final Words – Wrapping it up
Now you know how much professional paintballers make every year along with what it takes to become the best, it is your time to shine. Having the above mention skill can help any aspiring player get far ahead on their journey towards becoming an icon just like Adam ‘Killa’ Garcia or Chris La Putt who once took home about $400k+ earnings through tournaments around the world!
If you have the right skills, abilities, and determination to become a professional paintballer then you should not hesitate in going for it because there’s no age limit or any kind of restrictions when it comes to playing this game professionally! So what are you waiting for? Get up & go for it!