How Much Do NBA Clock Operators Get Paid?

There is a massive discrepancy between the number of men who dream of playing in the NBA and the number who are forced to buy tickets and watch games from the stands. Just because your skills on the court aren’t dazzling enough to catch the eye of any NBA managers, it doesn’t mean you can’t be involved with the organization at a professional level. You simply have to think outside of the box. One job you may want to consider is becoming an NBA clock operator.

What do NBA clock operators get paid?

Working as an NBA clock operator is a great opportunity to get into the NBA games for free, to earn money, and basically sit courtside for every home game. What it isn’t is a replacement for your full-time income.

That’s because the average salary of NBA clock operators is $28,219. Unless you live in an area that has a low-cost of living, it’s not enough for you to live off. However, it is enough to fund your favorite off-season hobbies, to significantly shorten the length of time it takes for you to pay off major debts, and can be a nice retirement savings. 

Becoming an NBA clock operator

Becoming an NBA clock operator isn’t easy. The biggest issue is that there are only a limited number of positions available and once a person is lucky enough to become a clock operator for an NBA team, they usually hold the position for several years.

It’s in your best interest to start at the ground level. Becoming a table official at high school and college games is a great way to not only learn the ins and outs of operating the clock. However, making connections is also important. It will increase the odds of you getting the job the next time your local NBA team is looking for a new clock operator.

In addition to working as a clock operator at small games, you should apply for jobs in the arena where your favorite NBA team plays. Working in the arena as a security guard, ticket taker, or something else, not only helps you make useful connections, but also ensures that you’re one of the first people to know when the team is looking for a new clock operator.

When a clock operator job becomes available, make sure you submit an honest and verifiable resume and be prepared to show off your clock operating skills.

Don’t expect everyone to love you

If you decide to become an NBA official and a clock operator, don’t anticipate being the most popular person in town. When everything goes perfectly, no one will even notice how wonderful a job you did with the clock, but if there is a single mistake, or even the possibility of a mistake, you’ll be blamed for the team losing and people will demand that you’re replaced. The good news is that everything is usually forgotten when the next game starts.

Additional NBA jobs to consider

If you’re not interested in becoming an NBA clock operator, there are some additional jobs that will keep you in the NBA world. For example, if you have a good voice and a good eye for the game, consider becoming a local broadcaster or arena announcer. Alternatively, if you’re organized and have a good eye for detail, you may have a successful career as a team equipment manager.

Lots of teams hire a few people as retail managers who spend the entire year planning what type of merchandise to sell and where it should be marketed. If you have outstanding writing and social media skills, you can apply for the job as a team writer. If you like clowning around, you may make a fantastic mascot.

What NBA job holds the most appeal to you?