How much money does an umpire in MLB earn?

It is no surprise that the MLB is a very lucrative league. The players earn a lot of money but do you know how much does an MLB umpire makes?

It’s not easy to be an MLB umpire for the weak of heart. The position involves constant taunting, feedback from players and coaches, and making split-second decisions with extreme accuracy. Given that MLB umpires are among the most hated figures in all of sports, it makes sense that the league would pay them well. To find out how much an MLB umpire makes in a season, continue reading.

MLB Umpire Salary 

MLB umpires made, on average, $235,000 for the 2023 season. MLB umpires initially make between $2,000 and $2,300 a month, but as their experience grows, they are able to earn more. Although the amount may appear absurdly excessive, MLB umpires earn this much for a few reasons.


First off, MLB umpires oversee the entire game, which can last three hours or longer and can work up to 142 games in the regular season. Umpires also have to make a number of close calls during the game, frequently on plays that are developing quickly. Baseballs thrown into play have an average velocity of 87 mph, but players on the pitch can toss the ball as fast as 95 mph or more. A lot of bang-bang plays that call for quick reflexes and prompt umpire rulings result from some of the fastest players in the game flying around the bases.

Even more difficult work is assigned to the home plate umpire, who is responsible for calling balls and strikes during the whole game. There are about 300 pitches thrown in an MLB game on average, so the home plate umpire has a lot of judgements to make. With fastballs that reach 100 mph and curveballs that snap, it becomes difficult to stay on top of the strike zone. 

How Much Does an MLB Umpire Make Per Game? 

An MLB umpire’s pay ranges from $1,500 to $1,700 a game, contingent on experience. They do not, however, get payment for each game. Rather than this, MLB umpires receive a fixed wage for the duration of the season and are expected to call as many games as necessary. Despite being paid competitively with other elite professional leagues, MLB umpires get a far lower per-game salary than their NFL, NBA, and NHL colleagues due to the length of the season. 

Travel Benefits 

MLB umpires earn a per diem of around $350 per day to cover related expenditures in addition to their seasonal wages. MLB pays for their housing costs in addition to their travel fees to away games. MLB umpires receive approximately four weeks of vacation time in addition to these perks during the regular season. This may sound excessive, but it represents the length of downtime needed to recuperate from the physical demands of MLB umpiring. 

How Much Do Minor League Umpires Make? 

Although MLB umpires receive generous compensation, the highest-paid minor league umpires only earn approximately $20,000 annually. Even less is paid to minor league umpires at lesser levels. At roughly $60, the lower league per diem is likewise much less. As a result, many minor league umpires take on second occupations in order to get to Major League Baseball. 

Salaries Compared to Other Sports 

It makes sense that MLB umpires receive the highest compensation because they oversee the greatest amount of games of any sport. MLB umpires typically earn $235,000, NFL officials get $190,000, and Major League Soccer referees make an average of only about $40,000.

With an average referee compensation of $375,000, the NBA is the only sport where officials receive a higher income than MLB. The MLB season is twice as long as the NHL and NBA seasons, so even though umpires make a lot of money, their pay doesn’t seem that fantastic. Umpires make an average of $1,500 each game, compared to roughly $5,000 for NBA referees. Undoubtedly, umpires have one of the hardest jobs in sports but still earn a nice salary.


In conclusion, the pay for MLB umpires is commensurate with the difficulty of their work. Umpires encounter difficulties that few can understand, from having to make snap decisions to dealing with continual scrutiny and pressure. Even though they are some of the most despised characters in sports, they are vital to preserving the fairness and integrity of the competition. Despite appearing exorbitant, the average season remuneration of $235,000 is justified considering the physical and psychological strain of umpiring. Moreover, MLB umpire pay is competitive yet modest in comparison to other professional sports leagues. The toll their jobs take is also recognised by their vacation time, travel benefits, and per diem. The enormous pay gap between MLB and minor league umpires further emphasises how difficult it is to advance to the top of the umpiring ranks. In the end, despite the hardships and criticism they encounter, umpires’ pay is commensurate with the value of their contribution to the sport and the efforts they make to maintain its standards.

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