Just as there are many different levels of swimming competition, there are several different types of swim coaches and radically varied compensation packages for each position. A summer-club coach, who puts in four hours a day during the summer, commands a much different salary than a coach of a major NCAA Division I team or a coach of a dedicated club team. Because of this, fixing a swim coach's average salary depends upon the level at which the coach works.
Full-Time Club Coaches
A coach that's employed full time to lead a year-round club team has an average salary of $47,200, according to the American Swimming Coaches Association's 2009 salary survey. Those salary figures include incentives that award bonuses for athletes' performance in 17 percent of cases, providing stroke clinics in 13 percent of the positions and six percent of coaches have incentives tied to their clubs' fund-raising efforts. Of these full-time club coaches, 67 receive full health benefits as part of their compensation package.
Determining Coaches' Salaries
Most swim clubs devote at least 50 percent of their budget to coaching salaries, according to the American Swimming Coaches Association, and more competitive clubs devote a higher portion of their resources to salary options. As a general guideline, the ASCA recommends that any club with 100 or more swimmers should be able to afford to pay its head coach a salary of at least $40,000, as of 2010.
Many swim coaches aren't employed full time as coaches, and work sporadic hours through the week, so are paid on an hourly rate. These coaches who are employed by smaller swim clubs, working as assistants on large clubs, or working out of an athletic club or YMCA, earn $13.60 per hour, according to Glass Door. The earning potential of hourly employees hinges on the amount of hours they work, but no final take-home pay figures were available for hourly swim coaches.
College Swim Coaches
A head coach for a college swim team makes $37,000 annually on average, according to Simply Hired. College teams traditionally have a much smaller membership than club teams, and college coaches receive a much higher swimmer-per-dollar compensation ratio than club coaches.
Other Sources of Income
On top of their salary and hourly wages, some swim coaches also earn money by teaching group swim lessons, private lessons and by providing learn-to-swim programs to nonswimmers. About 13 percent of club coaches receive income from these non-coaching duties.