What Umpires, Referees, and Other Sports Officials Do
Umpires, referees, and other sports officials preside over competitive athletic or sporting events to help maintain standards of play. They detect infractions and decide penalties according to the rules of the game.
Umpires, referees, and other sports officials work indoors and outdoors. Officials working outdoors are exposed to all types of weather conditions. They often work irregular hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays.
How to Become an Umpire, Referee, or Other Sports Official
Educational requirements vary accordingly by state and local sports association. Although some states have no formal education requirements, other states require umpires, referees, and other sports officials to have a high school diploma.
Employment of umpires, referees, and other sports officials is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job prospects are expected to be good at the youth and high school levels.
Job Trends for Umpires, Referees, and Other Sports Officials
This occupation supported 17,500 jobs in 2012 and 19,800 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 13.1%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 7.4% in 2022 to 18,800 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 17,700, compared with an observed value of 19,800, 11.9% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 5.1% in 2024 to 20,700 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 19,000 jobs for 2024, 8.2% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.