How Much Do Professional Volleyball Players Make? Salary Insights

Updated On
September 4, 2023
How Much Do Professional Volleyball Players Make

Professional volleyball is filled with excitement, passion, and talent. Still, one question that often arises in the minds of aspiring players and fans alike is how much these volleyball players earn. The discrepancy in salaries across different leagues and countries, combined with factors like experience, gender, and position, can lead to confusion and frustration.

As I have navigated my career in this exhilarating sport, I have seen firsthand how the struggle to make ends meet is a real pain point for many players, especially those at the entry level. The stark difference in earnings between male and female players is also noteworthy.

Did you know that the average yearly salary for volleyball professionals ranges from $800,000 to $1,000,000, including base pay, bonuses, and seasonal earnings? Yet, despite such potential, many players still need help with financial uncertainty. Let’s dive into the world of professional volleyball salaries, a topic as complex and dynamic as the game itself.

How Much Money Do Professional Volleyball Players Make?

Professional volleyball players make salaries that vary widely, ranging from $20,000 to $190,000 in general. The average yearly earnings, including base pay, bonuses, and seasonal earnings, are typically between $800,000 and $1,000,000 for top players.

This extensive range is influenced by numerous factors, such as the player’s talent, experience, position, and the league’s foreign quota. Players starting their careers can expect entry-level salaries between $12k and $20k, while superstar players in top leagues like Russia and Italy can earn over $1 million.

Additionally, regional insights reveal variations in salaries across different parts of the world. In Asia, earnings can range from $15.5k for entry-level players to over $1 million for elite athletes. Europe also showcases a broad spectrum, with salaries extending from $13,000 to $1 million.

In a constantly evolving sport like volleyball, understanding the financial landscape is essential for players at every level. Opportunities and earnings can differ substantially, reflecting the complexity and diversity of the professional volleyball world.

Also, Read: What Is a Kill in Volleyball: An In-Depth Definition

Salary Factors for Volleyball Players

Salary Factors for Volleyball Players

Delving into the dynamics of volleyball salaries, it becomes evident that earnings are not just a simple number. Various elements combine to shape what a player might expect to make in their career.

From the league they play to their experience, foreign player quota regulations, skill level, and even their specific position on the court, each aspect plays a crucial role in determining compensation. Let’s explore these factors more deeply:


The league in which a player competes significantly impacts their earning potential. Top-tier leagues in countries like Russia, Italy, and Turkey offer substantial salaries, often exceeding $1 million for superstar players. However, not all leagues are created equal. Entry-level earnings in Europe range from $13,000 to $100,000, depending on the league’s prestige and financial capabilities. Different leagues may also offer bonuses and incentives, adding complexity to a player’s total earnings.


Experience is another pivotal factor in a player’s salary. Entry-level professionals, mainly recent college graduates, earn between $12k and $20k, while experienced athletes may command much higher figures. An established player with years of professional play under their belt is likely to negotiate contracts providing salaries of up to $10,000 per month or even more. Experience adds to a player’s skill set and market value, making it an essential aspect to consider.

Foreign Player Quota

Some leagues implement a foreign player quota, limiting the number of non-local players in a volleyball team. This can affect both opportunities and salaries for foreign athletes. A restricted quota may lead to higher demand and higher salaries for foreign players in a specific league. Conversely, a tight quota can also reduce opportunities, forcing foreign players to accept lower salaries or seek opportunities in other leagues.

Skill Level

Understandably, a player’s skill level has a direct correlation with their earning potential. Entry-level earnings in Asia range from $15.5k to $55k, while elite levels volleyball players can expect closer to $530k. Superstars often make over $1 million. A player’s skill set, ability to perform in high-pressure situations, and overall contribution to the team all factor into their market value.

Volleyball Position

Different positions within the volleyball team may also lead to variations in earnings. Whether a player is a hitter, setter, libero, or middle blocker can influence their salary. The demand for specific roles within a league or team and the player’s proficiency contribute to this differentiation. While exact figures may vary, the position often reflects specialized skills, impacting a player’s earning potential.

Understanding these factors provides valuable insights into the multifaceted world of professional volleyball salaries. Players, agents, and fans alike can benefit from a deeper appreciation of what shapes the financial landscape of this thrilling sport.

Also, Read: How Many Players Are on a Volleyball Court?

Professional Volleyball Players Salary: Region Wise

Professional Volleyball Players Salary Region Wise

Shifting our focus to the global landscape, it’s fascinating to see how the salaries of professional volleyball players vary across different continents and countries. Each region presents unique opportunities and challenges that directly influence the earning potential of athletes. Let’s look at how the compensation structures are delineated across key markets like Asia, Europe, and the USA.

How Much Do Professional Volleyball Players Make in Asia?

Asia’s volleyball landscape is burgeoning, offering diverse earning opportunities. Entry-level earnings typically range from $15.5k to $55k, with superstars making over $1 million.

How Much Do Professional Volleyball Players Make in Japan?

In Japan, professional volleyball players usually start with a salary of around $15,000 annually. Frequently, leading players have the potential to generate earnings approaching or exceeding $1 million annually. This figure can grow substantially with experience, performance, and recognition within the professional volleyball league.

How Much Do Volleyball Players Make in Korea?

Korea presents a promising market for volleyball professionals. The average annual pay in Korea is approximately $141,000, with opportunities for significant earnings through endorsements and additional playing contracts.

What Is the Average Salary of Professional Volleyball Players in China?

The Chinese Volleyball League provides a lucrative platform for skilled players. The average salary here is estimated to be around $100,000 to $200,000 per season, attracting talent from various parts of the world.

How Much Do Professional Volleyball Players Make in Europe?

European leagues are synonymous with prestige and competitive pay. Entry-level salaries range from $13,000 to $100,000, with top players in celebrated leagues like Italy and Russia earning over $1 million.

How Much Do Volleyball Players Make in Italy?

Italian leagues are particularly enticing for professionals. Entry-level earnings are around $100,000, and top players are rewarded with figures close to $1 million, reflecting the nation’s passion for the sport.

How Much Do Pro Volleyball Players Make in Russia?

Russia offers some of the most lucrative contracts, with players expecting at least $100,000 each season. Some contracts can reach $1 to $2 million, cementing Russia’s position as a desirable destination for top talent.

How Much Do Pro Volleyball Players Make in Germany?

Germany’s professional volleyball scene offers salaries ranging from $15k to $250k. Though less high-paying than some other European leagues, Germany provides a strong platform for growth and development within the sport.

How Much Do Professional Volleyball Players Make in the USA?

Professional volleyball players in the United States make an average of $56,000 annually. Though opportunities for men’s professional volleyball are limited, the recent launch of the women’s league, Athletes Unlimited, is revitalizing the scene.

This regional analysis underlines the intricate dynamics of professional volleyball salaries. Players can find a broad spectrum of opportunities tailored to their skills and aspirations, from thriving European leagues to emerging markets in Asia.

Also, Read: When Does Volleyball Season Start? Full Guide

How Much Do Professional Women’s Volleyball Players Make?

How Much Do Professional Women’s Volleyball Players Make

Regarding women’s professional volleyball, the salary varies extensively based on experience, location, league participation, and performance level. Unlike men’s, women’s volleyball has unique salary dynamics and growth prospects that intrigue the landscape.

For entry-level female players, salaries can range from $10,000 to $25,000. These figures often pertain to domestic leagues and initial contracts. However, the earning potential drastically escalates for those who have honed their skills and garnered recognition. Women’s professional volleyball players can earn more than $100,000, while the top female players worldwide might see annual earnings surpassing one million dollars.

The establishment of dedicated women’s leagues and tournaments, like Athletes Unlimited in the USA, has enhanced the earning opportunities for female athletes. Additionally, there’s a growing trend in women’s volleyball for players to supplement their incomes through various endorsements, sponsorships, and participation in international leagues.

The introduction of policies ensuring equal pay and improved contract negotiations has also started to level the playing field in some regions, making professional women’s volleyball an increasingly appealing career option. The progress might be gradual, but the upward salary trajectory for professional women’s volleyball players underscores a positive shift toward gender equality and fair compensation.

How Do Professional Volleyball Players Get Paid?

Professional volleyball players have various avenues through which they earn money, and the landscape is filled with opportunities for emerging talents and established superstars. Here’s an overview of the typical income sources for volleyball players:

  • Salary: This is the primary income for most players and comes directly from the team they represent. Salaries fluctuate based on the league, experience, skill level, position, and foreign player quotas. Top leagues in countries like Russia, South Korea, Italy, and Japan offer annual salaries ranging from $100,000 to over $1 million.
  • Tournaments: Besides regular league play, players can earn substantial amounts through tournament winnings. In the US, players can receive secondary and tertiary prize money based on their placements.
  • Bonuses: Athletes representing their countries in prestigious events like the Olympics may also receive bonuses for winning medals. A gold medal fetches $37,500, a silver medal $22,500, and a bronze medal $12,000.
  • Sponsorships: Experience and high-profile status can lead to lucrative sponsorship deals. Top players can add significant amounts to their annual incomes through brand partnerships and endorsement opportunities.

The multifaceted earning potential in professional volleyball emphasizes the diverse opportunities available in the sport. By leveraging their skills, reputation, and marketability, players can build a financially rewarding career, making volleyball an appealing option for aspiring athletes.

Also, Read: Can You Wear Basketball Shoes for Volleyball?


The professional volleyball landscape offers a broad range of earning opportunities shaped by leagues, experience, skill level, and region. Top players in countries like Russia, Italy, and South Korea can earn over $1 million annually, while entry-level salaries may start around $15,000.

Women’s volleyball also presents varying salary scales; sponsorships and bonuses add to players’ income streams. The career of a volleyball player is multifaceted, with earnings dependent on individual situations and the global market.

In conclusion, becoming a professional volleyball player can be a lucrative career choice, but it requires talent, hard work, and strategic decision-making. The financial prospects vary greatly, reflecting the diverse and dynamic nature of the sport.


Can You Make Money Playing Professional Volleyball?

Yes, playing professional volleyball can be financially rewarding. Players earn money through salaries, tournament winnings, bonuses, and sponsorships. Salaries can range from entry-level figures around $15,000 annually to over $1 million for top-tier players in major leagues.

Who Is the Highest Paid Volleyball Player?

As of September 2023, Wilfredo Leon is recognized as the highest-paid volleyball player in the world, earning an impressive salary of $1.4 million every season.

How Do Volleyball Players Make Money?

Professional Volleyball players earn money through various channels, including salaries from their teams, tournament winnings, medal bonuses in international competitions like the Olympics, and sponsorships from brands and companies.

What Do Volleyball Players Do During the Off-Season?

During the off-season, volleyball players typically engage in a combination of rest, training, and personal development. They might participate in specialized training camps, work with personal coaches to improve specific skills, engage in alternative fitness routines, or even play in off-season leagues and tournaments. The off-season is also a time for recovery, reflection, and planning for the upcoming season.

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