How much does an mlb ump make? Even in the instant replay era, an umpire’s decision can change the entire complexion of the World Series. Momentum is everything in October, and pressure is on each umpire to make the correct call every time.
Because the rules of the replay system require the original call on the field to stand if there isn’t conclusive evidence in either direction, umpires still have a massive impact on the game. Then, of course, balls and strikes are entirely up to the home plate umpire.
MLB carefully selects its umpires in the postseason, even adding two additional officials to make ensure the entire field is covered and later adding another umpire for both the LCS and the World Series.
How much do MLB umpires get paid for the World Series?
MLB has not publicly revealed how much umpires are paid for their work in the World Series, but a 2010 book by John C. Skipper gives at least partial insight into what kind of money they make.
In the book, “Umpires: Classic Baseball Stories from the Men Who Made the Callsm” Skipper reveals that that umpires who work the World Series get an extra $20,000, plus expenses. In earlier rounds of the playoffs, Skipper said umpires make $17,500 plus expenses.
That $20,000 comes out to about $5,000 per game if the series is a clean sweep and roughly $2,857.14 per game if the series lasts seven games.
Of course, it’s entirely possible salaries have risen over the years. Because MLB doesn’t disclose the exact figures, it’s impossible to know exactly what World Series umpires make in 2023.
How much do MLB umpires make in the regular season?
According to Career Trend, MLB umpires will make between $150,000 and $450,000 per season. The pay rates are based on experience. That means umpires who work deep into the postseason can make as much as $500,000 in a year, depending on their seniority.
MLB employs only 76 full-time umpires, which is why certain names become well-known by fans throughout the league. Miller, for example, is in his 27th season as an MLB umpire, so he is one of many umpires who have carved out a long career behind the plate and everywhere else on the field.
How much do umpires make?
As said, there are different levels of competitive sport that umpires officiate. From the youth league to college and pro sports, not all umpires are paid the same. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the lowest 10% of sports officials earn $19,170 a year. The top 10%, however, earn an average salary of $81,620, which is 78.3% more than the average for all occupations.
Further, most baseball umpires are paid on a per-game basis, and at the local level, you’ll find a number of umpires who work as volunteers and don’t get paid at all. Per the bureau, many sports officials officiate on a part-time basis while maintaining full-time jobs.
A baseball umpire’s earning potential also tends to rise relative to the level of competition. For example, if you were to compare what a Little League® umpire makes versus what an umpire working a collegiate tournament may earn, the difference would be clear. The basic levels of competition are:
- High school
- Minor league
- Professional league
Based on over 1,100 reported salaries, U.S. baseball umpires earn $26.75 per hour. And per the BLS, the median salary for sports officials is $35,860 a year, which is $9,900 less than what the nation’s workforce earns as a whole. Note that where an umpire lives in the U.S.—and their experience—can also impact how much they make.
What do minor league umpires make?
Those interested in pursuing umpire jobs at the pro level will need to start with the minor league system. Baseball umpires in the MiLB are paid on a monthly basis, and differently depending on their service time and which season they officiate: short or full. In class A ball, a short season lasts for about 75 games, while full MiLB seasons, across the levels, vary between 132 and 150 games.
Where do umpires earn the most?
Where an umpire lives can also directly impact how much they make, as some states will offer more opportunities. Not only that, but where you live in the state can also determine how many of those opportunities are actually feasible.
As said, umpires, referees and other sports officials typically officiate only part time, so wherever an umpire lives, it will need to be within a reasonable distance for them to go to games while still being able to work their 9-to-5 job. According to BLS, the top-paying states for sports officials are Florida, Wisconsin, Maryland, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
What’s the job outlook for umpires?
According to an Indeed poll, 44% of umpires in the U.S. are satisfied with their salary, believing it’s enough, relative to the cost of living in their area. It should again be noted that most sports officials in the U.S. work part time when it comes to their officiating roles.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts employment for sports officials, such as umpires and referees, will grow by 32% between now and 2031, a much faster clip than the national average for all occupations in the U.S. The statistics bureau credits this uptick of 3,600 new openings a year to the retirement of veteran officials and a shift in career for others.
Road to the show for an up-and-coming umpire
The MiLB Umpire Training Academy in Vero, Florida, is the starting point for many prospective umps.
Run by former Major and Minor League umps, students spend months in the classroom learning, performing on-field drills and doing live game exercises. Once the program is completed, only a handful will be selected to begin work in the Minor Leagues.
From there, it all depends on their service time and their evaluation by the MLB. After several years, they may eventually be called up to the Majors. It’s a long, yet rewarding process if an ump can reach the top.
How much can an MLB Umpire make?
The average salary for an MLB Ump in 2022 was $235,000. While rookie umpires start with a salary of $150,000, the more experienced umpires can make upwards of $400,000.
One of the most well-known umpires in MLB history was Joe West, who retired in 2022. The former umpire’s salary was a reported $450,000. On May 25, 2021, West surpassed Bill Klem’s major league record by umpiring his 5,376th career game.
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