How Much Do NHL Equipment Managers Make? Find Out Now

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Ice hockey is a sport that requires not only skill and strength but also the right equipment. The NHL, which stands for National Hockey League, has some of the best players in the world and with them come the very best equipment managers. These individuals play a crucial role behind the scenes to ensure all aspects of the game are covered from head to toe.

Have you ever wondered how much these professionals earn or what goes into their job? If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the salaries of NHL equipment managers and provide insight into what they do on a daily basis.

To be an equipment manager in the NHL requires careful attention to detail and vast knowledge about the pieces of equipment used in the game. They’re responsible for everything from sharpening skates to ensuring uniforms and pads fit snugly to avoid injuries. With such a high level of responsibility, it’s no surprise that the salary range for these positions can vary considerably. However, there are general trends you should know.

If you’re curious about what factors could affect an equipment manager’s salary, read on to learn more and find out exactly how much NHL equipment managers make!

NHL Equipment Managers: Job Description and Responsibilities

If you’re a hockey fan, chances are you’ve seen the NHL equipment managers tirelessly working behind the scenes to ensure their team is equipped with everything they need for each game. But what exactly do these important individuals do? Let’s take a closer look at the job description and responsibilities of an NHL equipment manager.

Equipment Maintenance

One of the most crucial aspects of an equipment manager’s job is ensuring that all gear is well-maintained and in good working order. This includes cleaning, repairing, fitting, and replacing equipment as necessary. Skates, helmets, gloves, pads – every piece of equipment requires regular attention to maintain peak performance and reduce injury risk. According to Indeed, average salaries for an equipment manager can range from $31k to $96k annually.

Inventory Management

Another key component of an equipment manager’s duties is managing inventory. With countless pieces of equipment to keep track of, it’s essential to have an organized system for storing and tracking gear. An equipment manager must also be aware of any changes or updates in regulations regarding equipment standards set by the league and make sure their team meets those requirements.

Player Requests

Players may have specific preferences when it comes to equipment, such as stick flex, blade curve, and skate sharpening. As part of their responsibilities, equipment managers must work closely with players to accommodate these requests, while still ensuring the safety and legality of the equipment being used on the ice. Additionally, keeping up to date with new equipment trends and technologies is imperative to help gain a competitive edge for their team.

Travel Responsibilities

Being an NHL equipment manager also involves plenty of travel with the team. Travel duties include packing and transporting equipment to and from games, as well as setting up locker rooms for both home and away games. Equipment managers must be organized and flexible when it comes to managing responsibilities on the road, often working long hours in unfamiliar arenas across North America.

“Equipment managers are a critical part of any successful hockey team, ensuring that players have everything they need to perform their best in every game.” –

While they may not always be in the spotlight, the job of an NHL equipment manager is incredibly important to the success and safety of each team. With careful attention to detail, knowledge of league regulations, and personal relationships with players, coaches, and staff,these professionals work hard behind the scenes to keep operations running smoothly.

Factors that Affect NHL Equipment Managers’ Salaries

NHL equipment managers work behind the scenes to ensure players have everything they need to perform at their best. They are responsible for a wide range of tasks, from fitting and maintaining skates to supervising laundry and cleaning. But how much do NHL equipment managers make?

The answer isn’t straightforward, as multiple factors can affect an equipment manager’s salary. Here, we’ll take a closer look at some of the key factors that play into an NHL equipment manager’s earnings:

Experience Level

As with any job, experience plays a significant role in determining an NHL equipment manager’s earning potential. Typically, the more years of experience someone has, the higher their salary will be. According to ZipRecruiter, entry-level NHL equipment managers earn around $28,500 per year, while those with 20+ years of experience can command salaries above $70,000.

Experience not only boosts an equipment manager’s salary but also helps secure promotions within the organization. For example, gaining enough experience could lead to a senior equipment manager position or even an executive director position in equipment operations.

Team Budget

Another crucial factor in determining an NHL equipment manager’s salary is the team budget. Teams with larger budgets can afford to pay more competitive salaries than organizations operating on tighter budgets. According to Sportscasting, bigger-market teams with more substantial budgets tend to hire more equipment staff members, further inflating their payroll expenses.

This trend means that large-market teams such as the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs generally pay their equipment managers more than smaller-market clubs like the Nashville Predators or Carolina Hurricanes.

Geographic Location

The NHL is a North American league, with teams located across Canada and the United States. Because cost of living varies significantly depending on location, where an equipment manager works can impact their earnings.

For example, ZipRecruiter reports that the national average salary for an NHL equipment manager in the United States is $48,958 per year as of July 2021. However, this number can vary widely depending on factors such as state laws and local economies. Canadian salaries can also differ significantly due to exchange rates.

Team Success

An NHL team’s success on the ice — determined by metrics such as regular season records and playoff appearances — may impact the salaries of their equipment managers. By extension, successful clubs tend to pay higher salaries than struggling ones.

“When you win, people get bonuses,” former NHL Equipment Manager Danny Kroll told The Hockey News. “Everyone from trainers and coaches through to the general manager.” This trend means that high-performing organizations are more likely to reward their equipment staff members with added incentives.

It’s worth noting that other measures of team success — such as merchandise sales or fan engagement — can indirectly influence equipment manager earning potential as well. Exciting teams typically have more engaged fans, meaning there could be more demand for branded gear and other memorabilia.

While it can be challenging to pin down exact figures, these four factors generally play into determining how much NHL equipment managers earn. Regardless of paycheck size, however, one thing’s for sure: behind every successful NHL team is a hard-working equipment staff ensuring everything runs smoothly off the ice.

Average Salary of NHL Equipment Managers

When it comes to professional sports, athletes are often the highest-paid individuals on their team. However, there are plenty of other important positions that help keep a team running smoothly, including equipment managers.

National Average

The average salary for an NHL equipment manager is around $60,000 per year. However, this can vary widely depending on factors such as experience, location, and specific team budget.

According to PayScale, the low end of the pay scale for equipment managers in the NHL is around $31,000 per year, while experienced professionals at the top of their field can earn upwards of $75,000 annually.

It’s worth noting that some teams may offer additional benefits beyond base salary that make the job more attractive. This could include health insurance, retirement plans, or performance-based bonuses.

Entry-Level Salary

If you’re interested in pursuing a career as an NHL equipment manager, it’s important to be realistic about the starting salary you can expect.

As mentioned above, entry-level salaries can vary significantly depending on your location and the budget of the specific team you’re working for.

For example, an aspiring equipment manager in Vancouver may only be offered around $35,000 per year, which is on the lower end of the spectrum. Meanwhile, someone starting out with a wealthier team like the Washington Capitals may start off making closer to $50,000 per year.

During your first few years in the industry, you might be tasked with more menial jobs like cleaning and organizing equipment, but you’ll gradually be given more responsibility as you prove yourself reliable and capable.

Salary by Experience Level

If you’re someone who’s been in the industry for a while and is curious about how your salary compares to others at your experience level, there are a few things to keep in mind.

According to PayScale, equipment managers with between one and four years of experience can expect to make around $40,000 to $47,000 per year. Those with five to nine years of experience earn closer to $50,000 annually on average.

After a decade or more in the field, you can start seeing some serious salary jumps – those with 10-19 years of experience typically earn around $62,000 per year on average, while equipment managers with over 20 years of experience can pull in close to $75,000 per year.

“There’s no set path to becoming an NHL equipment manager,” says Brian Higgins, equipment manager for the Buffalo Sabres. “To become an electrician or plumber you have to go to school. In our line of work, it’s all about getting your foot in the door and starting from scratch.”

If becoming an equipment manager is something that interests you, be prepared to work hard to prove yourself. While salaries can vary widely depending on any number of factors, those who are dedicated, reliable, and passionate about the job are likely to find success in this unique industry.

NHL Teams with the Highest Paying Equipment Manager Jobs

Toronto Maple Leafs

One of the NHL teams known to pay their equipment managers exceptionally well is the Toronto Maple Leafs. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for an equipment manager on this team ranges from $55k to $79k per year.

The high-paying salary is not only because of the responsibilities that come with the job, such as maintaining and repairing equipment or ordering new gear, but also because the role requires a great deal of experience in handling players’ unique needs and preferences.

“The appreciation that you get from the players and coaches knowing that they can go out there every day and know that everything is taken care of – whether it’s skates sharpened or sticks delivered – is really the end-all for me,” says Jon Visser, the current head equipment manager for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

New York Rangers

The New York Rangers are another NHL team that pays its equipment managers significantly higher than the league average. On average, an equipment manager at the New York Rangers can make anywhere between $70k and $90k annually.

Aside from basic equipment duties, such as cleaning and maintenance, Rangers equipment managers play a vital role in player performance by being responsible for preparing, fitting, and adjusting each piece of glove, pad and skate so that it functions properly when a game starts. With a significant amount of pressure to perform, the salaries match the expectation set forth by the club for excellence.

“We’re definitely the unsung heroes in the background,” former New York Rangers equipment manager Craig Flor said. “But we take pride in what we do.”

Chicago Blackhawks

Working for the Chicago Blackhawks as an equipment manager is also a highly lucrative job. According to Glassdoor, equipment managers on this team can earn anywhere between $60k and $80k per year.

In addition to maintaining the players’ gear for games and practices, Blackhawks equipment managers have significant responsibilities making sure that each player receives their specific goods according to personal preference. For example, coffee orders or snack requests are frequently managed by an equipments team member.

“The little things you do daily for the guys go unnoticed at times but make a big impact,” said Troy Parchman, Head Equipment Manager of the Chicago Blackhawks. “At the end of the day, we’re here to help our hockey team.”

Montreal Canadiens

Rounding out our list is another NHL powerhouse, the Montreal Canadiens. On average, salaries for equipment managers with this club range from $55k to $75k annually, depending on experience and skills set.

In addition to assisting on practice days and prior-to-game preparation, the equipment staff must be available should anything need fixing or drying as seen in the case when Canadien defenseman Jeff Petry was returning from injury amid rainy conditions causing severe damage to his skates hours before puck drop.

“They (equipment team) work so hard behind the scenes,” said Petry. “Anything I’ve ever asked them for they’ve done – and it’s never been too much or put them out of their way. You don’t think about how important they are until something happens.”
If you’re passionate about hockey and enjoy working behind the scenes while enjoying some proximity with your favorite players, consider exploring a career in equipment management. These jobs require dedication, teamwork, and keen attention to detail, though they certainly pay well enough to make it worth considering!

How to Become an NHL Equipment Manager

Gain Experience

As with most jobs in the sports industry, becoming an NHL equipment manager requires previous experience working in the field. Typically, equipment managers begin their journey in lower-level leagues such as minor league hockey or junior hockey teams. Starting at this level allows for individuals to gain critical hands-on experience in managing and maintaining gear and equipment before moving onto bigger stages.

Many former players also become NHL equipment managers after they retire from playing professionally. Players have unique insight into the needs of a team’s equipment and can apply that knowledge as seasoned professionals supporting current athletes.


A great way to increase your chances of landing a job as an NHL equipment manager is through networking. Utilize professional resources like LinkedIn to connect with others who work in the industry. Attend trade shows, meet-and-greets, and other events where you can build relationships with decision-makers and showcase your skills and passion for the game.

Additionally, it’s essential to stay engaged with coaches and staff within the sport. The more people who know of your dedicated work ethic and keen attention to detail, the better chance you’ll have getting noticed by franchises looking for top talent in equipment management.

Education and Certifications

To become an NHL equipment manager, you need proper education and training under your belt. While not always required, many employers look for applicants with a degree in sports management or athletic training. These courses provide critical background information on the inner workings of different sports organizations and equip aspiring managers with real-life marketing strategies and tools to succeed in their careers.

In addition to formal schooling, there are various certifications available that prospective equipment managers can earn, increasing their chances of standing out amongst the competition. For example, The Athletic Equipment Managers Association (AEMA) provides courses in areas like proper cleaning and maintenance guidelines, equipment fitting, repair techniques, protective gear safety regulations, and more.

Apply for Openings

Once you’ve put the necessary time into gaining experience, networking with sports industry professionals, and obtaining relevant certifications or education, it’s time to start applying for open positions. Job opportunities can arise at any moment, so ensure that you keep your ear out for potential openings throughout different NHL teams or even other high-level leagues.

To improve your chances of being hired when a job becomes available, make sure to craft an excellent cover letter and resume tailored to highlight your expertise specific to equipment management roles and convey that you understand what makes you stand out from the crowd.

“The most important thing is the details and preparation before the season starts,” said Mike Bolt, head equipment manager for the Toronto Maple Leafs. “It’s also better to have too much equipment than not enough.”

If you’re looking to land a job as an NHL equipment manager, then use this guide as a reference point to plan a successful path towards your goals. Focus on building up essential hands-on experiences within lower-league hockey and leverage networking tactics to grow relationships with influential people who can help take your career in the right direction. Get certified and obtain formal schooling to make yourself stand apart from others when it comes time to apply for those coveted roles managing equipment for elite leagues such as the NHL. With dedication, persistence, and hard work, you’ll become part of the illustrious team behind some of the world’s most celebrated athletes.

Job Outlook for NHL Equipment Managers

If you are considering a career as an NHL equipment manager, one of the first questions that may come to mind is “How much do NHL equipment managers make?” However, it’s also important to consider the job outlook and competition for openings in this field. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

Stable Job Market

The job market for NHL equipment managers can generally be described as stable. Unlike many other professions which experience fluctuations due to economic conditions or industry changes, the demand for equipment managers remains consistent year after year.

This stability can largely be attributed to the fact that professional sports teams will always need dedicated personnel to ensure their uniforms and gear are maintained properly. So whether the team is experiencing success on the ice or going through rebuilding phases, they will still require equipment staff to maintain consistency and quality across all facets of their operations.

Therefore, if you are lucky enough to secure a job as an NHL equipment manager, you can rest assured knowing that your position will most likely be available for the foreseeable future.

Competition for Openings

While the job market may be stable, there is no denying that the competition for open NHL equipment manager positions can be intense.

There are only 31 teams in the league (at least until the Seattle expansion team starts playing in 2021), and each team typically employs just two or three full-time equipment managers. This means that there are very limited opportunities available, especially when you consider that most people who land these jobs tend to stick with them long-term.

In addition to the small number of positions available, equipment manager jobs also tend to attract a lot of candidates due to the prestige associated with working for a professional hockey team. Many people are drawn to the idea of being part of such a high-profile organization and working closely with some of the best athletes in the world.

Therefore, if you want to become an NHL equipment manager, it is essential that you have significant experience in the field. Most teams look for candidates who have worked in minor league or junior hockey equipment positions for several years before considering them for an NHL role. Additionally, having a degree or certification in sports management or a related field can be beneficial when applying for these types of jobs.

“Being an equipment guy in Minor League Baseball or college hockey – anywhere that’s professionalized enough on that level – is almost mandatory now.” -Jason Serbus, Equipment Manager for the Minnesota Wild

While there may not be a huge amount of turnover for NHL equipment manager jobs, these positions do offer a fair salary and excellent job security once secured. However, getting hired requires a combination of luck, experience, and networking skills, so it’s important to be realistic about your chances and put in the necessary work to make yourself a competitive candidate!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average salary for an NHL equipment manager?

The average salary for an NHL equipment manager is around $50,000 to $70,000 per year. However, this can vary depending on the team and location. Some equipment managers for top teams may earn up to $100,000 or more.

Do NHL equipment managers receive benefits or bonuses?

Yes, NHL equipment managers typically receive benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. They may also receive bonuses based on team performance or individual achievements.

How does an NHL equipment manager’s salary compare to other sports leagues?

The salary of an NHL equipment manager is generally higher than that of equipment managers in other sports leagues, such as the NBA or MLB. However, it may be lower than equipment managers in the NFL due to the larger size of NFL teams and their equipment needs.

What factors affect an NHL equipment manager’s salary?

The factors that affect an NHL equipment manager’s salary include the team’s budget, location, the manager’s experience and skills, and the overall success of the team. Additionally, managers may be able to negotiate higher salaries based on their reputation and connections within the league.

Are NHL equipment managers unionized and does that affect their salary?

Many NHL equipment managers are part of the NHL Equipment Managers Association, which is a union that negotiates on their behalf for fair salaries and benefits. Being part of a union can help equipment managers secure better pay and benefits, as well as job security.

How does an NHL equipment manager’s salary vary based on experience and tenure?

An NHL equipment manager’s salary can increase significantly based on their experience and tenure with a team. Managers with more experience and a longer tenure may earn higher salaries or bonuses, as they have developed valuable skills and relationships within the organization.

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