What Is The Average Salary Of A Referee?
This is a question asked by a lot of people, and with a little referee research we found a few answers we put together from a few sites. Most of the information coming from Buzzle.com & Quora.com. Quora.com had this question with some good answers by Tom Stagliano, a high school, college, and adult amateur soccer referee. The salary of an NFL referee is lower than NBA and NHL referees as they tend to officiate far fewer games. The NFL season comprises only 16 games. The Major League Baseball season consists of 162 games for each of the 30 teams in the American League and National League. The NBA season as well as the NHL season consist of 82 games.
What is a Referee?
Per Wikipedia, A referee is the person of authority in a variety of sports who is responsible for presiding over the game from a neutral point of view and making on-the-fly decisions that enforce the rules of the sport, including sportsmanship decisions such as ejection. The official tasked with this job may be known, in addition to referee, by a variety of other titles as well (often depending on the sport), including umpire, judge, arbiter, arbitrator, linesman, commissaire, timekeeper, touch judge or Technical Official (by the International Olympic Committee).
Professional football is still the most popular sport in the United states and the National Football League (NFL) is the kingpin when it comes to popularity. As the popularity grew, salaries for NFL players and referees have increased substantially.
The main responsibility of the referee is to strictly watch and supervise the game. He has the authority to announce penalties and other unusual rulings. It is a reputable post that contributes a lot in deciding the fate of a game.
NFL referees were not full time officials were restricted to making less than 50% of their annual earnings from refereeing NFL games. However, many of the NFL referees are professionals making much more than $100,000 per year from their “day jobs”, so they are very well paid part time officials. NFL referee used to earn around $2,500 to $3,000 a game. Now according to CBS News, they earn between $4,000 and $10,000 a game
- A new labor contract was signed by the representatives of NFL Referees Association and the league in 2012, and salaries of the referees were increased to $173,000 in 2013.
- These figures are expected to rise up to $189,000 by 2018.
- By 2019, the annual salary of an NFL referee will be $205,000. The agreement will expire after the 2019 season
- According to CNN and CBS Sports, the 2012 agreement increased the base pay for rookie referees from $75,000 to $78,000, and veteran officials’ pay from $160,000 to $200,000, from the 2013 season.
- After the 2012 agreement, NFL has created some full-time positions for in-game officials. Part-time employees do not receive paid vacation time, sick leave, or health insurance benefits.
And in the profession of football refereeing, an NFL referee is considered the highest position. NFL referees earn significantly higher salaries than referees at all other levels. However, aspiring candidates need to gain several years of experience before they have any hope of getting a job in the NFL. They have to officiate at elementary, middle school, and high school games, or work for local governments, and the salary figures can be in the range of $30-$35K.
Major League Baseball umpires earn a minimum, which is the same as a rookie baseball player’s salary. Several years ago that was at least $200,000 per year (plus expenses).
NHL referees start at roughly $120,000 per year while linesmen start at roughly $75,000 per year. An experienced NHL referee or linesman can double that amount.
College Basketball referees (D-1 men’s NCAA games) make over $2,000 per game and work about 70 games per season.
NBA referees will start at closer to $200,000 per year.
MLS soccer referees make only $500 to $800 per game, for maybe 24 games per year, and Assistant Referees make a lot less. Therefore, soccer referees in the USA is strictly a part time job. However, the MLS does employ four referees full time for $40,000 to $60,000 per year Plus what they make per game. Still a lot less than NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB referees/umpires.
NOTE: Minor league referees make a lot less, especially in baseball. It is tough for a AA or AAA umpire to make a living to support a family, and many will give up if they don’t see a good chance of making it to the MLB level.
NOTE: All officials for professional games get expenses in addition to their game pay or seasonal salary. Additionally, these jobs are only for part of the year. Many of these referees make additional money from owning small businesses and/or training rookie officials.