How Much Money Do NFL Referee Make in a Year?

Although being a professional athlete is one of the highest-paying vocations, not all players are affluent after retiring since American football careers are brief. Only 3.3 years make up the average NFL player’s career, as per Statista.

The NFL only hires the finest, yet once they do, they have more job security than players. Refs are not traded from one team to another, and they are less prone to injuries than players. The 2021 roster of referees states that the average NFL referee has more than 11 years of NFL experience.

NFL referees are essential to each game. They are in charge of upholding the game’s discipline and enforcing the rules. During most college football games and corporate contests, seven officials are present on the field. 

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The following roles are frequently used: referee (who serves as the team’s captain), umpire, head linesman (also known as a down judge), line judge, field judge (sometimes known as a back umpire), side judge, back judge, and center judge.

Given that he or she is in charge of overall game supervision, the referee is sometimes frequently referred to as the head referee or crew chief.

nfl referee salary

How Much Money Do NFL Officials Make in a Year?

According to ustoday Although the NFL doesn’t publicly disclose compensation, a number of publications have claimed that as of 2019, NFL officials made an average salary of $205,000. This pay is set and not based on how many games are officiated.

In addition to receiving large postseason bonuses, officials’ salaries can increase based on seniority. According to The Teal Mango, the Super Bowl referee selection might result in a $10,000 bonus.

Since the NFL season does not run the entire year, refereeing is not a full-time occupation. The average NFL referee pay was set at $205,000 per year beginning in 2019. This was a rise from their previous sum of about $56,000.

The NFL and the Referees Association settled on this enhanced pay for all game officials following a string of lockouts and demonstrations. In contrast, the hourly wage of a referee outside of the NFL is approximately $16.26.

How Many NFL Officials Are Female?

The NFL claims that NFL, Maia Chaka, and Sarah Thomas were the only two female officials in 2021. The league said that when Robin DeLorenzo joins the down judge panel in 2022, there will be three. She most recently officiated in the Big Ten Conference in collegiate football.

According to The Focus, Thomas became the first woman to work as a full-time NFL official in 2015. She worked the Super Bowl for the first time as a woman in February 2021.

As reported by The Sporting News, Chaka became the first Black woman to officiate an NFL game in September 2021.

How Does One Become a Referee in the NFL?

As per NBC Sports, the NFL demands 10 years of American football officiating expertise, with at least five years of experience refereeing important college games, in order to be considered for its roster of officials.

Before being called up to the NFL, seasoned officials are reportedly frequently scouted and watched, according to NBC Sports.

One of the key prerequisites for NFL referee candidates is a wealth of on-field knowledge. The NFL demands at least 10 years of experience officiating football games. At least five of the 10 should be important college matchups.

The applicants should be in good health because the position frequently involves running while standing for extended periods of time. A football player or coach’s prior experience is advantageous since it makes them seem more qualified for the position.

nfl referee salary

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What Distinguishes Nfl Officials From Referees?

“Officials” is the collective title for the complete seven-person crew that manages a single game. The NFL operations website details each player’s individual responsibilities. In relation to the action, referees, umpires, down judges, line judges, field judges, side judges, and back judges each have specific duties.

These crews are directed by referees, who also render verdicts on violations. They oversee their crew of officials and are in charge of the game’s flow. The other six crew members make less money than these supervisors do.

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