May 29, 2024

Caitlin Clark is gearing up for her rookie season with the WNBA, becoming the No. 1 overall draft pick for the Indiana Fever at the 2024 WNBA Draft last night (April 15). While the former NCAA all-time scoring leader was met with congratulations, she was also supported by those calling bullish*t on her reported salary, as she is to receive $338,056 over the course of four years, according to the WNBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Broken down, the 3-point shooter will earn $76,535 as her initial base salary, with gradual increases in the three years to follow: $78,066 (2025), $85,873 (2026), and $97,582 (2027).

The math simply ain’t mathing for a many fans of the star and critics of the pay gap between WNBA and NBA players, as the first NBA draft pick — who will likely be less accomplished than Clark — is expected to make roughly $10.5 million in base salary their first year, Vox reports.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 15: Caitlin Clark speaks to ESPN during the 2024 WNBA Draft at Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 15, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

It isn’t just the rookie salary that has WNBA supporters rolling their eyes, as MorningStar reports Arike Ogunbowale, Kahleah Cooper and Jewell Loyd are the highest earners in the WNBA making just $241,984 annually. The average baller in the league is bringing in $147,745.

The go-to explanation is that the WNBA simply isn’t as profitable as the NBA, with the former projected to bring in roughly $200 million while the NBA garners an estimated $10 billion yearly. The NBA season is also longer than that of the WNBA’s at 82 games compared to 40. Still, the monumental pay disparity between the leagues has resulted in industry-wide talk of the WNBA needing to up its figures before Ice Cube scoops up the best in the biz with his own BIG3 offers.

While the league figures it all out, here are eight career options that will likely net you more than you could earn in the WNBA (as per US News and other sources). We’re particularly looking at rookie salaries, as the pay is comparable to several regular degular jobs any non-athlete would consider. Check them out below.

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