Home MLB MLB Umpires Salaries: What Is the Salary of a Senior Umpire?

MLB Umpires Salaries: What Is the Salary of a Senior Umpire?


The Major League Baseball (MLB) is the oldest of the four major sports league in the United States. Now MLB consists of 30 teams and there are 70 umpires working in 17 crews of four. The baseball is a sport which demands lots of attention and hence the sport includes more than one umpire per game.

MLB umpires get an average salary in the range of $150,000 to $450,000 per year based on their experience. Now, how much do you think a Rookie umpires or Female umpires salary is? How well MLB umpires paid when compared to other Major Sports Leagues? Read on to find out.

What does an MLB Umpire do?

The umpire is responsible for regulating the rules on the ground and makes judgment calls. In case of any foul play, the umpire is in charge to make the game fair. A regular season comprises four umpires with one down in each foul line, whereas big tournaments or all-star matches consists of six umpires.

Major League umpire gets an average salary in the range of $150,000 to $450,000 per year (IMG: USA Today Images)

Career development of an MLB umpire

In general, a professional umpire starts off his career by officiating a rookie or Class-A short season league with the Class ‘A’ being further classified into a short season, long season and advanced-A. The top umpiring prospects will often begin with the short season ‘A’ league like the New York Penn-League, but may sometimes kickoff with a rookie league say, Golf Coast League.

In MLB, an umpire gets ‘up the rank’ promotion advancing to Class-AAA based on his/her performance and by rendering two to three years service required as per the promotion norms. The pay scale varies according to the umpire’s experience and classification.

How Much Do MLB Umpire

MLB umpiring is a year-round job, however, includes the postseason playoffs, spring training, World Series and the 162-game schedule. With a count of 70 umpires in the major baseball league, the starting pay of an MLB umpire is set to be $120,000 with the senior umpires earning up to $350,000, whereas the most senior umpire gets a salary of more than $400,000.

So depending on the work experience, a major league umpire gets an average salary in the range of $150,000 to $450,000 per year.

In case of a minor league, the umpire earns $2,000 to $3,900 per month through the season. As a whole, there are 19 four-man crews (76 full-time umpires) along with 16 augmented Class-AAA umpires of regular season yielding to a total of 92 MLB umpires.

The umpires in an MLB can be broadly classified into three types. The pay scale varies as per the classification. The average salary of each classified umpire is explained below.

Rookie Umpire

The rookie umpires step into the MLB after several courses of training. If an umpire gets injured in any of the major leagues, then a rookie umpire replaces him until the injured umpire recovers and gets back to the league in order to officiate the game.

Having gained experience from the minor leagues for almost 2 to 3 years, the rookie umpire later gets the contract to work as an MLB umpire. As a rookie umpire is likely to do entry-level umpiring, he gets a payment of $300 per match.

A female umpire gets an annual salary of $100,000

Female Umpire Salary

A female baseball umpire gets $150 per match and an annual salary of $100,000. On gaining experience, the female umpires may also get the payment of a professional umpire.

Professional Umpire

The professional umpires have a minimum experience of umpiring 5 to 6 MLB seasons. A professional umpire earns $1,000 per match and if it is an all-star game, their salary gets doubled. They get an average payment of $5,000 with $2,500 per playoff match. Only the best umpires from the Class-AAA or Triple-A league are chosen for the World Series.

Do you think MLB umpires are paid well? Check tough calls umpires have to make and let us know in the comments below.

Comparing MLB Umpires Salary to Other Major Sports League

In every sport, the role of a referee or an umpire is the most important one as they hold the responsibility of presiding over the event. The pay scale of each referee differs as per the sport, league and season.

The salary range of MLB umpires is equal to that of NHL referees but less when compared to other major sports leagues like NBA Referees and NFL referees. The overall salary range of major sports leagues are listed below:

LeagueSalary Range
NFL Referee$173,000 to $650,000
MLB Umpire$150,000 to $450,000
NHL Referee$165,000 to $400,000
NBA Referee$150,000 to $550,000

What are your thoughts on MLB Umpire Salary?



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