Umpires, Referees and Sports Officials: Salary, Job Description, How To Be One and More

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Umpires, Referees and Sports Officials jobs information
pros and cons of being an Umpire, Referees and Other Sports Official

Umpires, Referees and Sports Officials

Other names for this job might include Athletic Events Scorer, Basketball Referee, Clerk of Scales, Clocker, Commissioner of Officials, Dance Critic, Director of Officiating, Diving Judge, Dog Track Kennel Manager, Dressage Judge

  • $33990
  • 68%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • Medium
    Job growth
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Umpires and Referees: Know It All In 1 Minute

In this career summary, you will find out what the job of An Umpire and Referee is about and what it is like.

After reading this, you will have a good idea on what the job is about and decide if this is the right career for you.

Job description

Umpires, Referees and Sports Officials officiate at competitive athletic or sporting events. Detect infractions of rules and decide penalties according to established regulations. Includes all sporting officials, referees, and competition judges.

  • Officiate at sporting events, games, or competitions, to maintain standards of play and to ensure that game rules are observed.
  • Signal participants or other officials to make them aware of infractions or to otherwise regulate play or competition.
  • Inspect sporting equipment and/or examine participants in order to ensure compliance with event and safety regulations.
  • Keep track of event times, including race times and elapsed time during game segments, starting or stopping play when necessary.

Read more about what does An Umpire and Referee really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

Become one

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Average salary
$33990 per year

Umpires and Referees with little to no experience tend to make between $17890 and $19300 while the more experienced ones make over $38830 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual

1 of the easiest ways to increase your salary as An Umpire and Referee is to move to a higher paying state like AK. Right now, the highest paying states for Umpires and Referees are AK, NC, OK, KY and WA.

However a higher pay at AK doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at AK might be 2x higher than where you are currently at now.

3 other factors that can increase your salary as An Umpire and Referee is the degree you hold, the industry you work in and lastly the company you work for (bigger companies like the Fortune 500 companies tend to pay more).

Find out how much do successful Umpires and Referees make and if their salary is high when compared to all the other careers.


Recommended degree level
High School Diploma (or GED)

We asked other Umpires and Referees what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by No degree.

Other than that we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.


Another popular question from our readers is what makes An Umpire and Referee successful or would they be good in this career.

Well, we found that most successful Umpires and Referees have these 5 skillsets.

Critical Thinking
Judgment and Decision Making
Active Listening
Active Learning

In addition to that, 1 common characteristic among successful Umpires and Referees is they are good at Integrity. Here are the top 5 common characteristics.

Self Control
Stress Tolerance
Attention to Detail
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

Read more about what it really takes to become An Umpire and Referee and the degree, training and education you need

Pros and Cons

Here are some reasons why you should and shouldn’t choose An Umpire and Referee as your career.

Suitable for people who likes practical and handson work
Suitable for people who values achievements and are resultsoriented
This career is perfect for people who love to work outdoors.
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous workrelated skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs
One of the lowest paying jobs

There will be pros and cons for all jobs. The point is how much do the pros outweigh the cons to you.

A pro to you might be a con to Bob. A pro to Bob might be a con to you. We suggest reading about this career framework that can help you to find out what type of careers are right for you.

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

Working hours
Less than 40 hours per week

Working schedule
Seasonal (only during certain times of the year)

On a normal working week Umpires, Referees and Sports Officials work Less than 40 hours per week.

68% of Umpires and Referees said they were satisfied with their job and 49% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Persuaders

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the careers require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

They also like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

How we can help

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Rank: B+
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Rank: D
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They escort individuals or groups on sightseeing tours or through places of interest, such as industrial establishments, public buildings, and art galleries.
Rank: B+
Salary: $78260

They compete in athletic events.
Rank: D
Salary: $22180

They accommodate hotel, motel, and resort patrons by registering and assigning rooms to guests, issuing room keys or cards, transmitting and receiving messages, keeping records of occupied rooms and guests’ accounts, making and confirming reservations, and presenting statements to and collecting payments from departing guests.
Rank: C
Salary: $21040

They operate table games. Stand or sit behind table and operate games of chance by dispensing the appropriate number of cards or blocks to players, or operating other gaming equipment. Distribute winnings or collect players’ money or chips. May compare the house’s hand against players’ hands.

Trusted by over 50,000 fans

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Career type

Art, Entertainment and Sports
Recreation, Amusements and Attractions

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Related to Umpires, Referees and Sports Officials Career Information

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Additional resources
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