How much do NHL Zamboni drivers make?


Ever think about what goes into sports when it comes to the locations they’re played?

Whether it’s turf, grass, a wooden floored court, ice or an asphalt-paved track, athletes can’t show off their skills unless the foundation of the game is up-to-par.

The 2022-23 NHL season is officially underway and that means it’s time for Madison Square Garden to shift from a concert venue for Harry Styles to a 200-foot-long ice rink. 

So who takes care of this? Who maintains this ice? Who makes this all happen? It’s simple: Zambonis.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the hockey season, let’s take a look at who the unsung heroes are when it comes to the rink and how much they get paid:

What do Zamboni drivers do?

A Zamboni is an ice resurfacing machine and Zamboni drivers operate this machine in order to tend to the ice rink. 

How does the Zamboni process work?

Zambonis resurface ice by scraping the ice surface and collecting the snow, which is then disposed of. Then, the machine cleans the ice by laying down water to flush the deep grooves in the ice, which loosens any debris or dirt. The excess debris and dirty water is collected and discarded.

How do you qualify to be an NHL Zamboni driver? 

Typically, no formal education is required to be a Zamboni driver. Therefore, the gig can be a solid part-time job, an entry-level job for a high school or college student or even a full-time position. 

How much do NHL Zamboni drivers get paid?

As of Oct. 5, 2022, ZipRecruiter reports the average annual salary for a Zamboni driver in the U.S. is $29,818. This comes out to be $14.34 per hour, $573 per week or $2,484 per month.

Salaries on the higher-end land at about $42,000 and on the lower end at about $20,000. Salaries usually range between the 25th percentile ($26,000) and the 75th percentile ($32,500).

NHL Zamboni drivers are the top earners, landing in the 90th percentile. They are typically paid in a range from $29,000-$31,000, sometimes earning up to $37,500 annually. 

Of course, salaries may vary based on skill level, location and years of experience. 

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