Average Salary Of MLB Umpire In 2023-24

By Roshan Khatiwada / 3 October 2023 07:55 AM

Umpiring is one of the most challenging jobs in baseball keeping an eye on everything going on the field
Source : wsj

MLB Umpire average salary is $235,000 in the 2023 season. The rookies make $150,000 whereas an experienced referee makes $450,000 annually.

The crew chief is the umpire at the home plate. Other referees are placed at bases and mainly check the runners.

The base umpire also reviews check swings when asked by the home-plate referee. The job of a referee is extremely tough as they need to make precise decisions without favoring a side in a quick time.

Referees are paid relatively low compared to the lowest-earning MLB players. The minimum salary of an baseball player is $720,000, whereas the minor leaguer can make as low as $28,000.

An experienced MLB umpire doesn't even make close to that. There are nineteen crew of referees in the latest season of the major league.

Each team consists of four referees, which brings the total to seventy-six. However, the crew members frequently change as some referees get injured or are on vacation.

How Much Do MLB Umpires Make Per Game?

Major League umpires make around $1700 a game. The monthly payments will start at $2000-$2300 and increase with growing proficiency.

A rookie just beginning their career in the major league starts from $150,000 annually. Veterans make up to $450,000 annually. The annual salary does not include other perks and bonuses that referees get, like a per-day bonus.

When considering the bonuses, the salary rises a little. Further, MLB takes care of other expenses like their flight and accommodation.

In addition, they also get a one-month vacation during the regular season. All these benefits make sense, as managing a baseball game takes a lot of physical and mental strength.

Home plate umpires must crouch throughout the match and watch whether the ball is within the strike zone. They need to call the pitch a ball or a strike.

West has officiated the most games in major league history
Source : instagram

Similarly, the base umpires have to keep an eye on runners, call whether the runner is safe, and watch whether that batter checks the swing.

Officials typically work half the year, as Major leagues run for about six months. The pay in MLB is quite good compared to other sports leagues like NHL, NFL, and MLS.

The average salary of match officials in the NHL, NFL, and MLS is $212,000, $188,000, and $40,000, respectively. The only other sports league that pays its officials more than MLB is the NBA which has an average annual salary of $375,000.

However, the number of games in MLB is nearly double that of the NBA and NHL. In addition, the NFL has only sixteen regular season games, whereas the MLS has thirty-six.

Bruce Froemming and Joe West are among the highest-paid referees in Major League history. They are also two of only three referees to officiate over five thousand major league games.

C. B. Bucknor, Lance Barksdale, and Mark Clarson are among the highest-paid match officials for the current 2023 season. 

How Much Does a World Series Umpire Get Paid?

MLB umpire World Series salary is $20,000. The officials receive slightly more than the $17,500 per series for officiating a playoff series.

The match officials make $5,000 per game if the World Series is a rare clean sweep that has occurred only twenty-one times throughout the major league's hundred-plus years of history.

Even if the series lasts seven games, the match officials still make $2,857 per game. The amount is quite good considering it's a three-hour job.

However, reaching the level of getting an opportunity to officiate a World Series game is extremely difficult. Only a handful of referees are selected for the World Series.

Baker was one of the seven referees to officiate the last World Series
Source : facebook

Only seven match officials got to officiate in the last World Series. Usually, only six to eight officials out of seventy-six are selected to officiate during the final series.

The referees selected for the last series were Jordan Baker, Lance Barksdale, Tripp Gibson, Pat Hoberg, James Hoye, Dan Iassogna, and Alan Porter.

Gibson, Baker, and Hoberg were selected for the first time, whereas Barksdale, Hoye, and Porter officiated their second World Series. All three of them had previously officiated during the 2019 season.

Issasogna is a familiar face on his third assignment of officiating the MLB finale.

Bill Klem is the referee who has often officiated the finale, a record eighteen series.

How Much Does A Minor League Umpire Make?

Minor league umpire salary ranges from $4,500 monthly for higher ranked league whereas the lower leaguers earn $2,800.

MiLB is divided into four classes: Triple-A, Double-A, High-A, and Single-A. Single is the lowest level in the minor league, and Triple is the highest.

As the quality and salary of players vary according to the league they play in, the match officials' pay also varies depending on the block they officiate in.

MiLB often conducts training for pro and amateur-level match officials
Source : instagram

Here is the salary of minor league umpires according to class in 2023:


The salary rose forty percent at the start of the 2022 season after a new four-year Collective Bargaining Agreement. In addition, they get $64 per diem as a bonus.

The bonuses raise the monthly salaries to $3,000 for the rookie officials and $5,000 for the Triple-A's. They also get a raise of two percent of their yearly pay as a cost of living adjustment.

Additionally, the referees are eligible for performance bonuses as well. Referees are divided into three tiers; top, middle, and bottom.

The minor league referees at the top tier of their league will receive an additional month's salary as a bonus. Similarly, middle-tier officials receive fifty percent of their monthly salary, whereas bottom-tier officials get twenty-five percent as a bonus.

Officials start from the lower leagues and then work their way up to the Triple-A level and, if lucky enough, to the major league. Reaching the major league is extremely difficult and takes time.

The average age of officials in MLB is fifty, and all of them had at least twenty years of experience before being called up to the majors.

College Baseball Umpire Salary

College umpire salary is about $400 per game on average. College-level officials are hired by the NCAA and work on a per-game basis.

The amount is not huge, but considering it's a part-time job, it doesn't seem so bad. The salary varies according to the college league officials officiate in, but there is not much difference.

College-level officials need to pass a rule test from NCAA to be eligible for officiating
Source : twitter

The college-level baseball is divided into three divisions; first, second, and third. The added feature is enjoying the sport and getting opportunities to advance as an official.

In addition, college-level games last for only four months. So, officials don't need to give our entire year or half the year for the job.

Todd Tichenor has been a familiar face in baseball umpiring for years as a crew chief.
Source : wlns

However, referees must first register with the NCAA RefQuest portal to be a college-level umpires. Then, they must attend the NCAA Clinic on-person and pass the rules test.

Officials will need a score of eighty-five percent or better to be eligible for an official match job at the college level.

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