How much do Jockeys Make In 2022?

If you always had some desire for horses and you desire to be a front-runner in a horse race, becoming a rider may be the perfect career choice.

Working as a jockey, hands down, necessitates unique physical characteristics, dedication, and the chance to learn as an apprentice with a top trainer.

It means you need to be really strong and not just physically but also mentally, because the job is highly challenging, and because of this, you might wonder how much do jockeys make?

That’s what we will try to answer. Although only a few jockeys make the race for the roses, the United States boasts more than 50 racing courses, with even more across the world supporting jockeys and their careers in the best way possible.


GuideHow much do jockeys Make?
Average Income$52,737 per year
Highest Income$271,427 per year
Education QualificationHigh school diploma or GED

Who Are Jockeys?

A jockey is a professional who rides horses in horse races or steeplechase races for a living.

However, a jockey’s responsibilities extend far beyond horse racing. Jockeys start their day with a weight check at the track very early in the morning.

If a jockey weighs more than 115 pounds, a hot box or sauna session is the first order of business.

Some jockeys eat only one tiny meal every day to stay in shape. A jockey works out a horse after the weight check.

This is known as a breeze, and the jockey may gallop many horses in the morning.

A jockey will race one or more horses on race days, which normally take place in the evening.

Read: How Much Do Doulas Make?

Read: How Much Do Cardiologists Make?

How Much Do Jockeys Make?

Horse jockeys in the United States earn an average of $52,737 per year.

Their pay is all about the race’s class level, the number of races they compete in, and the position they achieve in the race.

So, this average number is generally not the best number to consider because your chances to earn way higher than this or lower than this totally depend on what kind of experience level you are racing in and what kind of experience you have, and how much you can use that experience to bring in good results at the races.

That is why you need to be on your toes with this job and get the best result you can.

Highest Salary Of Jockeys

Only a few professional jockeys reach the top of the profession to earn the highest salary.

A top-earning professional jockey makes an average of $271,427 per year, with just a handful of the jockeys earning more than $2 million.

It takes years of experience and a lot of talent to make it all the way to the top. Only a few jockeys will become billionaires over their careers since the vast majority will struggle to make ends meet.

Graded stakes and allowance races are popular among top jockeys. The winners of Grade I races will get the highest money.

Over 100 Grade I races are held in the United States, with an average price of over $800,000 for each event.

Read: How Much Do Rockettes Make?

Is Being A Jockey Good Or Bad?

Early mornings and late nights are typical in the life of a jockey. Travel is a regular part of the job, particularly for high-ranking jockeys.

Furthermore, the risk of damage is substantially higher than in other professions.

All this means that it is a dangerous job with other disadvantages on the side, making it even a more challenging job.

That is why many people are not in favor of this profession, but some are in favor.

It all depends on your risk tolerance and physique capacities to handle the profession because the pay is rather not bad.

Qualification Required To Become A Jockey

A person must have prior horseback riding experience in order to become a jockey.

Many jockeys get expertise in the sport by attending jockey school or working as apprentices. Jockey schools require you to have a high school diploma or GED.

In addition to GED or high school diploma, you need previous horseback riding expertise, which is essential.

The North American Racing Academy in Lexington is the best in terms of instruction.

Students will learn the ins and outs of becoming a jockey during their training, whether at jockey school or through an apprenticeship.

To keep up with the hardships of racing, one must be tough, strong, and fit. It’s not only physically taxing, but it also necessitates planning.

A person can obtain a jockey’s license after finishing either school or an apprenticeship and gaining sufficient experience.

Jockey Taining Programs

Most jockeys begin their careers riding horses and learning about racing at an early age.

At the age of 16, a future jockey can start working for a trainer or enroll in an apprentice school.

In the United States, there is just one recognized racing academy, which is in Lexington, Kentucky.

Professional racing, nutrition, communication, horse care, and racing laws are all topics you study in this education program with the racing academy in Kentucky.

You earn the title of a senior jockey after four years of study in this recognized racing academy. This is the first step in becoming a professional jockey.

Read: How Much Do Aestheticians Make?

Read: How Much Do Homicide Detectives Make?


To conclude, being a jockey is hard; the profession takes a lot of mental and physical effort, which many people can not stand for.

However, if you can succeed and become a successful jockey that wins a lot of races, the amount of money you can earn is basically unlimited, reaching millions of dollars in a year.

It all depends on whether you would enjoy riding a horse for the profession and take risks with the job.


How much do jockeys make in their first year of racing?

You are likely to make around $10,000 annually in your first year of racing or something similar to this number.

How much do jockeys make after decades of experience?

Once you have decades of experience and you can put it to good use to win races or get good results, you can expect to be one of the top earners of the profession.

How much do jockeys make while in training?

When you are in your training, whether through studying or in school, you don’t earn any money as you are still learning.

USW Overall Rating

Leave a Comment