As of 2017, a New England Patriots cheerleader earns about $75 a game. On average, NFL cheerleaders earn anywhere from $60 to $200 per game.
The experience of NFL cheerleaders also affects their pay. Those with prior professional experience can earn up to $1,500 per month, while amateur cheerleaders earn around $1,000 per month. Cheerleaders also receive other perks such as compensated beauty care, gym memberships, season tickets, travel benefits, photo-shoots and team gear, which many NFL teams consider to be huge benefits.
Although the perks are enticing, NFL cheerleading is not a lucrative career. It is considered a part-time job yet demands long practice hours and commitment to the games, which at times can run as long as 12 hours. Some have argued that the low pay does not quite add up to the time and effort put in by the cheerleaders.
The unfair compensation has been a point of debate for years, considering the cheerleaders are an integral aspect of football culture and add to the promotion and excitement of the sport. The NFL rakes in 9 billion dollars a year, and rookie players on average earn $400,000 a year; a stark comparison to the wage of an NFL cheerleader.