How To Become an Umpire, Referees and Other Sports Official

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How Long Does It Take, What Degree Do You Need, and More

Umpires and Referees

Umpires and Referees 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.

Becoming One
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth


What degree do you need

Recommended degree level

High School Diploma

We did a survey to ask other Umpires, Referees and Other Sports Officials what degree they had when they became an Umpire, Referees and Other Sports Official. Here are the results.
High School Diploma

Less than a High School Diploma

College Certificate

One of the most common questions that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become Umpires and Referees or what courses do I need to take.

We also asked Umpires and Referees what did they major in college or university and here are the top 5 most popular majors that came up.

Educational requirements vary by state and are sometimes determined by the local sports association. Although some states have no formal education requirements, other states require umpires, referees, and other sports officials to have a high school diploma. Training requirements also vary by state and the level and type of sport. All sports, however, require extensive knowledge of the rules of the game.

Featured Schools

How hard is it

Not Too Hard

You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be an Umpire, Referees and Other Sports Official. For example, an electrician must complete three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Careers in this difficulty category will usually need 1 or 2 years of on-the-job training and informal training with experienced workers. These careers usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Similar careers include hydroelectric production managers, travel agents, electricians, court reporters, and medical assistants.

Related work experience required


1 to 3 months

3 to 6 months

Job training
1 to 2 years

1 to 2 years

Up to 1 month

1 to 3 months

License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification
Registration required for high school sports events

To officiate at high school athletic events, umpires, referees, and other officials must register with the state or local agency that oversees high school athletics. They also typically need to pass an exam on the rules of the particular game. Some states and associations may require applicants to attend umpiring or refereeing classes before taking the exam or joining an association.

Skills required

We asked other Umpires and Referees if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Speaking what does this mean
2. Critical Thinking what does this mean
3. Judgement and Decision Making what does this mean
4. Active Listening what does this mean
5. Active Learning what does this mean

= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need certain know-hows to excel at your job. Umpires and Referees are generally very knowledgeable in these 5 key areas.

1. Education and Training what does this mean
2. English Language what does this mean
3. Customer and Personal Service what does this mean
4. Administration and Management what does this mean
5. Psychology what does this mean

Learn more about Umpires and Referees

Job Description
Requirements (You are here)

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Related to Umpires, Referees and Other Sports Officials Requirements

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