Becoming an NHL Equipment Manager

Hockey may require more gear than any other sport, requiring skates, jerseys, pucks, hockey sticks, and more just to play a game. That’s why every high-level team keeps a dedicated equipment manager on staff. If you’re passionate about hockey and want to work in the NHL, then becoming an NHL equipment manager could be a way for you to achieve that goal. 

What Does an NHL Equipment Manager Do?

An NHL equipment manager is responsible for overseeing the purchasing, maintenance, and repair of every piece of equipment that an NHL team uses.

When a player requests something they need to perform, it’s the equipment manager’s job to give it to them. Many NHL equipment managers also help with other tasks, which we’ll look at closer in the next section.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Purchasing new gear
  • Maintaining existing gear
  • Getting specific items for players who make special requests
  • Repairing or replacing hockey gear in-game
  • Forming relationships with players to make sure they have what they need at all times
  • Doing laundry to prepare jerseys for practices and games
  • Helping out with gear budgeting and expense management

These tasks show that the NHL equipment manager position is versatile, requiring you to be adaptable. 

You won’t just be buying and maintaining equipment. You’ll also need to form relationships with the players, do laundry, and manage budgets. That means having a well-rounded set of skills in this job is important.

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What Experience Do You Need?

You’ll also need the right experience to become an NHL equipment manager. NHL teams need to know that you’ll be able to handle the logistics of ordering, delivering, and maintaining many different types of equipment for the team. So any experience you have in the logistics field will benefit your application.

Any job experience that shows you’re a good multi-tasker and a hard worker can also help you stand out from the other applicants who apply for the job.

But the most important qualification you can have is previous hockey experience. If you’re going to manage equipment for a professional hockey team, you need to have an excellent understanding of what equipment a team needs, where to find it, and how to maintain it.

That’s why it’s often a good idea to begin your journey by working as an equipment manager for a lower-level team. For example, you could sign up to be an equipment manager for a youth team in your area. Or, if you’re in college, you might be able to work with your college ice hockey team in this role.

The more experience you have as an equipment manager, the likelier you will get hired for an NHL position. Remember, there are only 32 NHL teams, which means there are also only 32 job opportunities for NHL equipment managers. You’ll need strong experience to qualify for one of these.

How Much Does an NHL Equipment Manager Make?

As you continue considering whether this job is right for you, another factor to consider is the average NHL equipment manager salary. After all, you still have to be able to make a living while doing what you love.

The average hockey equipment manager in the United States earns just under $60,000 per year. That’s a touch more than the average U.S. worker makes ($53,490).

Of course, there’s no guarantee that you’ll make this figure. You may earn more or less than $60,000 depending on the team that hires you and the exact nature of your role.

You will also typically earn much less than this when you’re just getting started in a lower-level hockey league, such as the ECHL. Being an equipment manager in one of these leagues is a great way to get started. But you likely won’t earn much more than about $25,000 annually.

Top 10 Cities for NHL Equipment Manager Jobs

If you want to be a hockey equipment manager, it pays to know which cities offer the best employment opportunities for you.

Of course, any city with an NHL franchise will be the first place you want to look for this type of work. But there are also some high-paying hockey equipment manager jobs in non-NHL cities.

Here’s a list of the top 10 cities for this line of work and the average salary for hockey equipment managers in each:

  1. San Mateo, CA – $73,062
  2. Berkeley, CA – $70,586
  3. Daly City, CA – $70,388
  4. Richmond, CA – $68,544
  5. Stamford, CT – $66,744
  6. Bellevue, WA – $66,563
  7. San Francisco, CA – $65,988
  8. Brooklyn, NY – $65,535
  9. Lakes, AK – $65,264
  10. Knik-Fairview, AK – $65,181

(Data from ZipRecruiter)

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How to Get Your Career Started

Becoming an NHL equipment manager can be a gratifying career. If you think that it’s right for you, then the first step will be getting the experience that you need to qualify for jobs at the NHL level.

That means spending some time working as an equipment manager for a lower-level hockey team, either in the ECHL, college, or high school. It can also be beneficial to have some experience working in logistics so that teams know you’ll be able to manage many different types of equipment at once.

It’s also important to make sure you apply for NHL equipment manager jobs as soon as they become available. Sometimes, applying first is the difference between the hiring manager spending a lot of time with your application or only glancing at it.

That’s why JobsInSports.com can be a valuable resource for you as you work to fulfill your dream of becoming an NHL equipment manager.

Our site will automatically send you a notification whenever a new job opportunity appears. It could be just what you need to stand out during the application process.

So why wait? Create an account with us today to receive notifications of NHL equipment manager job opportunities and start applying.