NFL Referee Salary: How Much Do NFL Refs Make?

Money made from regular businesses will fetch you a living but money made from football, especially the NFL, can earn you a fortune!

The National Football League is arguably the richest sports league in the world, with about $1.8 billion in revenue. But how much do NFL refs make?

The job of an NFL referee is not easy; coordinating proceedings, ensuring discipline, delivering a fair game, and sometimes, escaping dangerous situations, yet earning thousands of dollars.

Suppose you intend to become an NFL referee in the future, or you’re just doing some research; here’s everything you need to know about the payment structure of a National Football League referee.

How Much Do NFL Refs Make?

The average NFL official earns six figures just by working part-time throughout the NFL season.

The actual pay of NFL officials varies based on their position on the crew, role, seniority, and how long they have been in the league.

Salaries of officials involved with the National Football League remain on a steady incline, including that of referees.

NFL Referee Average Salary

The National Football League Referees make an annual salary of $205,000, an increase of around $56,000 from their previous amount.

In comparison, the average salary of a referee outside the NFL makes about $16.26 per hour.

Officials of the NFL are considered to be part-time employees. This means they don’t receive insurance benefits. However, officials of the NFL are open to having a 401k plan with a partial matching contribution. They also have representation from the NFL Referees Association. 

NFL referees are paid a particular amount per game. They also get nice pay for being selected to work a postseason game, which is double the amount paid in an in-season game.

NFL Referee Salary: How Much Are Super Bowl Officials Paid?

The Super Bowl is the yearly playoff championship game of the National Football League (NFL). This game is the final of every NFL season, and getting the opportunity to officiate the Super Bowl is a big honor.

Officiating the super bowl comes with a nice pay. NFL officials can get paid up to $5000 for one off-game and up to $10,000 when selected to officiate the Super Bowl.

The exact amount for officiating the Super Bowl is unknown, but the pay can be estimated to be between $30,000-$50,000. There is also an increased amount for other regular playoff games, but the Super Bowl offers the biggest paycheck.

What Are the Different Positions for an NFL Official?

The eight-man crew for a National Football League game comprises different titles and positions.

Now, there are eight different positions for an officiating crew for each NFL game. These are; the referee, the umpire, the line judge, the side judge, the down judge, the back judge, the field judge, and the replay official. All these officials, excluding the replay official, are on the field during play. 

The referee can also be called the crew chief overseeing all the other officials. He is also in charge of making calls on the field. Identifying the referee is easy. He is the one official who wears the white cap. 

All the other officials of the NFL have different responsibilities, like looking for pass interference, offsides, delay of game, and other infractions. 

How to Become an NFL Official

The NFL requires a lot from aspiring officials. It requires that an officer must have at least 10 years of experience officiating football before being considered an NFL official. At least five out of these 10 years of experience must include major college games. 

Aspiring NFL officials must also undergo tons of training. You can take up classes and attend programs to study the game of football and get the necessary tips on officiating football. From there, register with your state to get certified to officiate games. 

Becoming an NFL official also requires gaining as much experience as possible. Officials learn more if they go out there and get in action. Getting certified to officiate higher levels of football will help with reaching the NFL level. 

The final step to becoming an NFL official is to get noticed. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as getting scouted as a football official. These scouts are trained and attend college football games to see who is worthy enough to get brought up to the big lights.


It’s never too late to start up your dream career. You can become an NFL official, too, if you take the necessary steps.

We hope you found this article beneficial. Feel free to ask your questions in the comment section and share this article to help someone.

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