Professional Triathlete Salary – How Much Do Pro Triathlete’s Make?
Triathlon is known to provide a fun and rewarding hobby for us mere mortals. For some triathletes though, they are able to make a decent living from it. In this article we look at the average professional triathlete salary and provide the answer to – How much do pro triathletes make?
Professional Triathlete Salary – What is the Average Salary?
You might think being a professional triathlete is a glamorous and well-paid profession, but unfortunately, this is not the case. Compared to sports like cycling and running, triathletes are well down the ladder when it comes to income and prize money.
A survey conducted by USA triathlon showed the average income of a professional triathlete was $128,000 in 2010. Although this survey is quite dated, it gives you a relative insight into a professional triathlete salary.
At the time of the survey, it also showed that 20-30% of professional triathletes either held down a part-time or full-time job. Since triathlon has grown considerably since 2010, we should have expected the average income to have risen.
For a good portion of triathletes, their professional triathlete salary includes income from either part-time or full-time work. Unless you are in the top 20% of professionals, you would likely not receive enough to cover your expenses for the year.
In 2019 another survey showed that around 20 professional triathletes make a salary of more than $200,000 per year. Another 20 triathletes made between $100,000–$200,000. Then the majority left made a decent salary between $50,000 and $100,000.
Top professional triathletes mainly earn their salary through prize winnings and sponsorship. However, some increase their yearly income through social media. Lionel Sanders is a prime example of this, running a successful YouTube channel, which has now surpassed 100k subscribers.
Lesser known triathletes rely mainly on prize money to cover their expenses, while top-tier triathletes rely on multiple income streams. These income streams come from sponsorship, prize money, and bonuses. Sponsorship money doesn’t always rely on performance though. Personality, connections, and social media presence play a large role in the income generated by sponsorships.
How Much Do Pro Triathletes Make?
The amount of money a triathlete makes depends on multiple factors. From the estimated 200 athletes making money from triathlon, 30-80% of their income is from performance bonuses.
Unfortunately, because of performance bonuses, the triathlete is at the mercy of producing results. If the triathlete gets injured during the season, they may lose part of their income stream. Even if they have a successful season without injury, the prize money alone won’t be enough to cover expenses for the year.
Because of this structure, it’s hard for lower-tier professionals to make a decent living out of triathlon. So how much do pro triathletes make?
You can expect an average salary from prize money and bonuses to sit between $50,000 and $100,000 a year.
Below is a table of price money available during the 2019 season:
|Ironman||WTC Ironman-branded races||$2.467.000|
|70.3||WTC 70.3-branded races||$2.152.750|
|Challenge||Challenge-branded full and half-distance races||$ 909.586|
|ITU||ITU WTS races||$2.185.000|
|SuperLeague||SuperLeague Professional Events||$ 904.800|