Umpires, Referees, and Other Sports Officials
SOC: 27-2023.00


Officiate at competitive athletic or sporting events. Detect infractions of rules and decide penalties according to established regulations. Includes all sporting officials, referees, and competition judges.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
19,800 employed

Projected (2024):
20,700 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Athletic Events Scorer
  • Basketball Referee
  • Clerk of Scales
  • Clocker
  • Commissioner of Officials
  • Dance Critic
  • Director of Officiating
  • Diving Judge
  • Dog Track Kennel Manager
  • Dressage Judge
  • Handicapper
  • Harness Racing Handicapper
  • Hoof and Shoe Inspector
  • Horse Identifier
  • Horse Race Starter
  • Horse Race Timer
  • Horse Show Judge
  • Judge
  • Major League Baseball Umpire
  • Marshal
  • Paddock Judge
  • Patrol Judge
  • Pit Steward
  • Placing Judge
  • Presiding Steward
  • Race Starter
  • Racetrack Steward
  • Racing Secretary
  • Racing Secretary and Handicapper
  • Receiving Barn Custodian
  • Referee
  • Scoreboard Operator
  • Scorekeeper
  • Scorer
  • Soccer Referee
  • Softball Umpire
  • Sports Activities Foul Judge
  • Sports Clerk
  • Sports Coordinator
  • Sports Official
  • Sports Statistician
  • Starter
  • Steward/Stewardess
  • Supervisor of Officials
  • Umpire
  • Volleyball Referee
  • Wire Steward

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Officiate at sporting events, games, or competitions, to maintain standards of play and to ensure that game rules are observed.
  • Judge performances in sporting competitions in order to award points, impose scoring penalties, and determine results.
  • Signal participants or other officials to make them aware of infractions or to otherwise regulate play or competition.
  • Inspect sporting equipment and/or examine participants in order to ensure compliance with event and safety regulations.
  • Keep track of event times, including race times and elapsed time during game segments, starting or stopping play when necessary.
  • Start races and competitions.
  • Resolve claims of rule infractions or complaints by participants and assess any necessary penalties, according to regulations.
  • Verify scoring calculations before competition winners are announced.
  • Direct participants to assigned areas such as starting blocks or penalty areas.
  • Report to regulating organizations regarding sporting activities, complaints made, and actions taken or needed such as fines or other disciplinary actions.
  • Confer with other sporting officials, coaches, players, and facility managers in order to provide information, coordinate activities, and discuss problems.
  • Teach and explain the rules and regulations governing a specific sport.
  • Research and study players and teams in order to anticipate issues that might arise in future engagements.
  • Verify credentials of participants in sporting events, and make other qualifying determinations such as starting order or handicap number.
  • Compile scores and other athletic records.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Air gauges
  • Announcement systems
  • Ball inflators
  • Communications headsets
  • Countdown timers
  • Digital video disk DVD players
  • Elbow pads
  • Electronic display boards
  • Elliptical trainers
  • Equipment scales
  • Exercise bicycles
  • Fitness treadmills
  • Hockey girdles
  • Hockey skates
  • Laptop computers
  • Leg guards
  • Measuring tapes
  • Outside chest protectors
  • Penalty flags
  • Personal computers
  • Protective sports helmets
  • Referee whistles
  • Shin guards
  • Sports flip coins
  • Stability balls
  • Tablet computers
  • Umpire chest protectors
  • Umpire masks
  • Weight training equipment
  • Database software
  • Email software
  • Video editing software
  • Web browser software

  • arts design entertainment sports and media

    industry stats

    SOC: 27-0000

    Total Employed: 1,843,600

    Average Annual Salary: $56,980