How much do MLB umpires get paid?

MLB umpires
MLB umpires have a lot of travelling throughout the season. Photo from Sporting News.

If you’ve ever wondered how much an MLB umpire salary is, take into account that these guys are under a lot of heavy stress and pressure. So, it’s not shocking to see that they’re also paid big bucks to mess with your favorite team.

MLB umpire qualifications aren’t easy to get. Contrary to what most people think, they have to prepare for a very, very long time to be able to reach the Major Leagues. Then, their performance and years of service will also be factored in when it comes to MLB umpire assignments.

MLB umpire salary

So, if you want to make a living from baseball but aren’t as gifted as the players, maybe you can try your luck as an official. Believe me, once you get a grip of how good an MLB umpire salary can be, you’ll consider quitting your 9-5 job.

How much do MLB umpires make per year?

As it happens with most jobs, an MLB umpire salary will vary depending on his qualifications, experience, and whatnot. Rookie umpires can make roughly $845 per game, while those with more experience could make $1,650 or even north of $2000 per game. I’d also deal with all that cursing, insults, and yelling for that kind of money.

If you’re good at math, then you’ll realize that MLB umpires can make a lot of money per season. Rookie MLB umpires can make up to $120,000 a year and then that number can go all the way up to $300,000. The average MLB umpire salary is currently set at $235,000 per year.

For context, the average annual salary in the United States in 2019 was $51,916.27, so yeah, where can I sign up to be an MLB umpire?

Do MLB umpires pay for travel?

Yeah, Major League Baseball pays for travel and accommodation for all officials.

An MLB umpire can work as much as 142 regular-season games in just one season. That number can go up if the umpire has been around the league for a while and gets called for the playoffs. So, yeah, an MLB umpire salary is pretty good but it also requires to be constantly on the move and working a lot.


How hard is it to become an MLB umpire?

Believe it or not, there’s an actual college for MLB umpires.

More incredibly, just 15-20% of attendees actually graduate, according to MLB’s latest report.

On top of that, not all those who graduate ever make it to Major League Baseball and, just like players, get stuck in the Minor Leagues for years.

What are the different roles of an MLB umpire?

There are four different roles for an MLB umpire during regular-season games and six during postseason games. Each umpire is designated to one of the bases, plus one behind home plate. The umpire will be in charge of making “out” or “safe” calls at every base.

Also, the first-base and third-base umpires will determine whether the ball was hit on fair or foul territory down the right and left field past the bags. The two additional umpires for the postseason are designated at right and left field.

Even though the home-plate umpire is often the most important, all umpires can eject players, coaches, or managers and assist the home-plate umpire’s decisions.

MLB umpire salary compared to NBA and NFL

If you weren’t impressed already, let me tell you that an MLB umpire salary is way better than those their colleagues from the NBA and NFL get.

According to some reports, they can make up to $50,000 more per year than those in other major leagues. Umpire college sounds tough but that kind of money is worth it, for sure.

Ready to learn more about the Majors? Check out our MLB explained section.

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