Like many other jobs in recreation, bowling alley jobs can incorporate both earning a living and having fun. Exactly how much money you will earn working in a bowling alley depends on exactly what kind of position you're filling. An average bowling alley requires workers with a range of skills and levels of compensation.
Bowling alleys hire a number of workers to man the counter, process equipment, clean up and interact with customers. Jobs in this area are similar to customer service and front desk jobs in other industries, and generally start at or near the minimum wage for the region where the bowling alley is located.
Although many bowling alleys run food service through a counter -- which uses front-line service personnel -- some have table service at an attached restaurant, or to the tables at the bowling lanes themselves. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, wait staff in non-restaurant facilities like a bowling alley made a median wage of $19,430 in 2010. This represents a combination of hourly wage and tips from customers.
Those outside the industry might be surprised how much of a bowling alley's income is from the bar. As in other locations with a bar, the licensed bartender who mixes and serves drinks can expect an annual mean wage of approximately $21,690 working in a location like a bowling alley.
The management team of a bowling alley handles all of the day-to-day strategic tasks for running and promoting the business, and occasionally fills in for front-line workers when understaffed. According to the BLS, recreation managers can expect to earn in the top 50% of recreation workers, making between $22,000 and $39,000 annually. This salary may be supplemented by a performance bonus based on the bowling alley's profits.
Some bowling alleys hire bowling teachers, technicians, janitorial staff or professional salepeople. Others might attach other recreation opportunities, such as an arcade or batting cages. These employees can expect to earn wages similar to those for working at other facilities.