Jose Colorado

Helping basketball players achieve their pro dreams.

Overseas Basketball Salaries: El Salvador Basketball Leagues [Players Survey]

El Salvador Basketball Salaries summary:


Monthly Salary Ranges:

Below $500USD – Above $5,500USD

Most Commonly Reported Monthly Salary:

$1,500USD - $1,999USD (31%)

Lowest Reported Monthly Salary:

Below $500USD (13%)

Highest Reported Monthly Salary:

Above $5,00USD (6%)

Salary Ranking in Central America Pro Basketball:


Import Pro Players Surveyed in El Salvador:


Source :, Professional Basketball Players Survey Data [2020]

In El Salvador, the most common professional basketball salary is between $1,500 - $1,999USD per month with 31% of players reporting their income in this bracket.

But if looking at the bigger picture, 73% of all reported monthly salaries fell between $501USD - $2500USD.

On the lower end, 13% reported receiving below $500USD per month while 6% hit the highest bracket making over $5000USD per month.

Take a look at how this compares to overseas basketball salaries in the region:

El Salvador Monthly Basketball Salaries (Players Surveyed)

All Dollar amounts are in USD


While it is possible to increase your salary into the higher-paying brackets ($2000 - $5000 USD), your pay will greatly depend on which league you are playing in.

This is the key to earning bigger money in El Salvador.

So let’s look at the options El Salvador provides…

El salvador professional basketball league salary comparisons: LMB vs lsb

El Salvador has two professional leagues:

In terms of a money comparison…

LSB VS. LMB monthly salary COMPARISON

All Dollar amounts in USD. Percentages on the Y axis are based out of 100.

As you can see in the comparison chart above, the LMB is clearly the better playing league as it shows:

  • Higher salary ranges

  • The highest reported salary: Above $5,000USD

  • Higher most commonly reported salary: $1,501 - $1,999USD

LMB VS. LSB Highest reported salary comparison

All dollars are in USD

When considering the LSB, think over a couple other important points.

  • LSB imports never reported making more than $2,000 dollars per month

  • LSB imports never reported doubling or tripling their “rookie contract” salaries

This all makes complete sense too when considering the make-up of El Salvadoran basketball.

While the LMB has a formal TV partnership deal, the LSB doesn’t.

This is a huge factor as teams in the LMB split a percentage of the revenue made by Tigo Sports airing its games each season.

Sponsors like Tigo Sports help professional basketball players in El Salvador earn higher salaries.

The LMB is also backed by some of most influential and politically connected people in El Salvador sports.


The LMB allows 3 imports while the LSB only permits 1.

This means that fans in El Salvador, generally, are much more likely to watch LMB games than the LSB.

Just think:

More imports = more entertainment/better quality of hoops.

More entertainment = more fans.

More fans = more money.

Here’s an idea of that excitement…

Basketball salaries in El Salvador are closely related with fan experience.

Not only this, but generally the LSB will only take imports on for the playoffs or at the very end of the regular season.

There just isn’t enough money.

Bottom line:

If you are looking to maximize your payday in El Salvador, go for the LMB.

Estimated average salary per year playing professional basketball in el salvador

In El Salvador, there are 2 seasons per year for both the LMB and the LSB.

The opening season runs roughly from February - June (4-5 months) and is known as Apertura.

The second season goes approximately August - December (4-5 months) and is known as Clausura.

These time frames can change depending on many factors including:

  • Pre-season start dates

  • Federation delays (i.e. teams not getting in proper paperwork in time)

  • Political elections (many teams are backed by local governments and this determines their budget for the year)

  • National team tournaments

…and much more.

But in general, an import playing in El Salvador year-round is looking at roughly 8 months of basketball (assuming you aren’t cut or injured for the entire year).

Now, if we:

  • Take the most frequently reported monthly salary range ($1,500 - 1,999USD)

  • Pinpoint the middle of that range ($1750USD)

  • Multiple $1750x8 (for the number of months played per year)

Then we can make the assumption…

the average foreign player’s yearly income, if he were to play professional basketball only in El Salvador, would be $14,000USD

But also consider this number is excluding things like:

  • Bonuses

  • Food money

  • Side coaching academy jobs (usually given to import players)

  • Paid lodging expenses (i.e. teams paying for housing, WIFI, amenities etc.)

Of course, each of these factors will bump an import’s salary up (I recently wrote about how I took advantage of all of these factors to earn nearly 5k/mth in El Salvador with all expenses paid).

But in general, an average import player can expect to take home anywhere between $14,000USD - $18,000USD per year if only playing in El Salvador.

Important side note:

Regardless of where you are playing in El Salvador (LMB or LSB), all overseas players must protect themselves against the harsh playing environments.

Because El Salvador has:

  • Concrete courts (very tough on the knees and lower back)

  • Multiple games per week (recovery is very important)

  • Extremely hot and humid climate (more prone to cramping)

  • Few trainers or recovery modules per team


It is especially important you take the necessary precautions if you’re going to play in this country.

This ensures career longevity and ultimately - more money in your career.

Here are some cheap items I’d recommend every hooper coming to El Salvador travel with beforehand to be prepared:


When you look at most recent FIBA World Rankings, Central America looks like this:

  • Panama (No.47)

  • Costa Rica (No.105)

  • Honduras (No.108)

  • Nicaragua (No.116)

  • Belize (No.119)

  • El Salvador (No.135)

  • Guatemala (No.154)

But when looking at our survey data for basketball salaries - which also includes 100+ other professional leagues, by the way - Central America’s pecking order is:

  1. Nicaragua

  2. Panama

  3. El Salvador

  4. Belize

  5. Honduras

  6. Guatemala

  7. Costa Rica

For a country ranking so poorly globally, El Salvador really is a sleeper when it comes to basketball salaries.

El Salvador’s basketball salaries are quite high in Central America considering its global ranking.

El Salvador’s basketball salaries are quite high in Central America considering its global ranking.

Photo credit: FIBA

In fact:

If the LMB were to stand on its own it would rank as the No.2 highest-paying league in Central America behind Nicaragua.

But when considering the LSB alongside the LMB - as both contribute much to El Salvadoran basketball - El Salvador sits No.3.

To even consider that El Salvador can pay in the middle-tier pay range ($2000 - $5000) with a decent number of its import players is encouraging.

It’s a testament to the growing interest and commitment of fans and clubs to the league.

Unlike in other Central American countries such as Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and in years before Nicaragua, El Salvador has consistently maintained a presence in professional basketball.

The LMB and LSB have both been running for years now.

This will only help to continue to develop its authority locally and in the rest of Latin America.

El Salvador Basketball Salaries Recap:

  • Players can earn anywhere from Below $500USD - Above $5000USD on a monthly basis

  • El Salvador’s basketball salaries vary depending on league

  • The LMB pays considerably more than the LSB

  • Expect about 8 months of pay in El Salvador pro basketball

  • El Salvador ranks No.3 in Central American pro basketball salaries

Have any questions about El Salvador basketball salaries?

Drop a comment below and let me know.

Jose Colorado, professional basketball player, talks overseas basketball salaries in El Salvador.

Jose Colorado is a five-year professional basketball player helping others throughout the world achieve their dreams of pro basketball through a proven, research-based approach.