The National Football League (NFL) is one of the most popular leagues in America which comprises of 32 teams, equally classified between the National Football Conference (NFC) and American Football Conference (AFC). America Football is a fast-paced game which needs the detailed attention of a referee, as the players are fast and nimble.
A professional NFL referee involves intense training, dedication, and experience who supervises the game by enforcing rules and regulations. With the players, coaches, and spectators hanging all around the field, the role of a referee becomes even more crucial. He is in charge of announcing the penalties done by the players by giving suitable signals like touch down, timeout, safety, illegal contact, etc.
Hike in the wages of the NFL referees
Initially, the NFL referees were given an average salary ranging between $25,000 and $70,000. In 2012, the referees made a protest which resulted in replacements of the referees. During the 2012-2013 season, there were a lot of replacements which included college America football referees in place of the protested referees.
The lower level referees were not potent enough to handle the professional level of play. The average salary of an NFL referee in the year 2012-2013 season was $149,000. As a result of the protest, there was a hike in the annual salary for the 2013-2014 season which was $173,000.
The next season in 2014-2015, got an average salary of $180,000 per year which counted in the regular season, playoff and pre-season. In the 2015 season, the rookie referees received an average salary of $78,000 whereas a 10 years experienced referee received $200,000 per season which is for the 17-weeks long season.
The average salary of an NFL referee – 2018
The representatives of the NFL Referees Association made a new labor contract in 2012, according to which the average annual salary will raise up to $189,000 in 2018. The contract is said to expire in 2019 with the average salary of an NFL referee in 2019 increased to $205,000 per year.
A professional referee generally officiates the World Cup series and annual championship games like the Super Bowl finals. The professional referees are highly experienced and trained with an average salary in the range of $173,000 per year as of 2013.
Sarah Thomas is at present an official in the NFL was the first woman to officiate the NFL matches in 2013 with $700 as her per match salary. In 2015, she was appointed as the first full-time female official in the NFL history and in the 2017 season, she was in the officiating crew.
The rookie referees after completing their course of training, get appointed as the side judge, back judge, and line judge for the final playoff. They get $1,000 per playoff as of 2016.
Comparison of the work of an NFL referee with the other leagues’ referee
The NFL referee officiates 16 games in a season. The MLB season conducts a total of 162 games for each of the 30 games in American League and National League. The NBA season conducts 82 games in total, whereas the NHL also holds 82 games. Since the number of games played in an NFL is less when compared to the other leagues, the average salary of an NFL referee is lower than the game officiators of NBA, MLB, and NHL. When compared to the America football refereeing, the NFL referees earn significantly higher than the other level referees and are considered the highest position.
Comparing NFL referees 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.
|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|
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