2021 NFL referee salary: How much do referees earn per game and the Super Bowl?


Know all you need to about the 2021 NFL referee salary and more

The NFL has a whole is a very high paying league. Starting from the players, coaches and to the people who officiate the game everyone gets a big chunk of money for their contribution to the game. Referees are an integral part of the game and are paid heavily for their duties as well.

There are a total of seven officials officiating a game distributed in different positions namely the referee, umpire, linesman, line judge, side judge, back judge and field judge. The referee is the head of the group and is the lead member of the officials.

hi res 579849c07de840dde09d87183d99c5bb crop north
A team of NFL officials (NY Times)

The official pay has never been released by the NFL, however according to a report from 2019 It was estimated that an average official in the NFL earns roughly $205,000. This amount is substantially lower than that of the referees. Referees earn more than any other official on the pitch. They earn around $350,000 per year working in the NFL.

The salary includes a base pay for each referee and then the payment per game. NFL has 16 games per season and a referee earns roughly $21,900 per game including the base pay. Moreover, the referees that officiate the post season games earn much more than this.

How much does a referee make in the NFL Super Bowl?

The referees officiating the Super Bowl earn more than double pay than that of an average game. A referee at the Super Bowl earns around $50,000- 60,000. This amount is a bit lower for other officials as only the referees get this pay.

30REFweb articleLarge
Referee at the Super Bowl (LA Times)

On top of it the average pay for the playoff games is also much higher than the regular ones but that is unrevealed as of now.

What is the experience required to become a NFL referee?

NFL referees don’t require any educational qualification as such. Just a bachelor’s degree in any field is expected. Apart from this the NFL requires all the candidates to have at least 10 years of officiating experience. On top of that five of those ten years should be officiating major college football games.

NFL referees discussing foul play (247 Sports)

But before a referee enters the officiating world he or she needs to be obtain training, There are a lot of programs that offer extensive training for a wannabe referee. Then he or she needs to be registered by the state giving them the license to officiate the high school level games.

The registration includes a written exam as well which every candidate needs to clear before taking on the field. After gaining experience a candidate slowly rises up through the ranks before he or she can make way to the NFL. The extensive hard work that goes into becoming a NFL referee is just one of the many reasons why they get paid so much.

More NFL news:

Follow our dedicated NFL page for instant NFL news and updates