How Much Do NHL Zamboni Drivers Make?

November 22, 2023

When watching professional sports, there’s a lot that goes into the game. Whether it’s turf, grass, a wooden floored court or ice, the athletes can’t perform on top of the surface unless it’s up to par. And to do that, someone has to take care of the ice. This person is the ice resurfacing driver, also known as the Zamboni driver.

These drivers, who are often adorned in blue Rangers windbreakers, come out about 90 minutes before the start of an NHL game at Madison Square Garden to man their machines. They work in a restricted area, tucked next to the visiting team’s dressing room. This tight space teems with security guards and NYPD officers, so anyone thinking of taking a joy ride on one of the machines isn’t going to get very far.

On average, a Zamboni driver makes around $13 per hour or about $31,000 annually, depending on the size of the arena where they work. They can make a lot more than that though, if they work for a large event like the Olympics or an NHL game.

The highest paying states for Zamboni Driver jobs are District of Columbia, California and New Jersey. The lowest pay is found in Alaska and Massachusetts. The majority of those employed in the job earn between $29,000 and $31,000 per year. Typically, no formal education is needed to be a Zamboni Driver, making it a solid part-time gig for high school or college students or even a full-time job for some.

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