One of the first questions people ask when they start thinking about becoming an umpire is, how much do umps make? In general amateur league pay is relatively consistent while professional, major league umpires can make substantially more, which is to be expected and probably not a surprise.
Major League umpires, according to MLB.com, earn around $120,000 a year in salary when just starting out! More senior umpires can make more that double that, up to $300,000 a year. MLB umps also get major league treatment. Their benefits include $340 a day for food and hotel, 4 weeks of vacation during the season, and they always fly first class. And the perks don’t stop there, once the post season hits the top rated umpires have the opportunity to ump the post season where they can earn an additional $20,000. While it may be extremely hard to break into the majors as an umpire, once you’re in you’re typically in for your career.
Youth baseball umpires are usually paid on per game basis and the pay rate, for the most part, is constant from league to league. A typical games pay is about $25-30 for the home plate umpire and $15-20 for the base umpire. Pay can increase for specialty tournaments and many leagues will increase per game pay with each year of service. Accredited umpires who have attend the proper school(s) are typically paid more per game, as well. Little League is the exception as their rules state that umpires should be volunteer workers and are not to be paid – however, in practice this rule is often overlooked. To get more detailed information on pay you should contact your local leagues and tournament directors. Youth baseball umpire also often get small perks. Most leagues, for example, will allow umpires to eat and drink for free from their concessions stand. Free T-Shirts and other memorabilia is also a common give away.
Umpiring youth baseball leagues can be a source of additional income, however, most people view it as an exciting hobby first and foremost. There is a lot of value in getting off your couch and getting involved in the community.
Here’s a quick break down of general pay expectations, but please keep in mind that different regions will pay different amounts:
- Youth Leagues (7-12 year olds) – $15-30 per game
- Babe Ruth (13-18 year olds) – $30-50 per game
- High School – $40-70 per game
- NCAA – College – $150 per game
- Minor League – about $30,000 – $40,000 a year
- Major League – about $120,000 – $300,000 a year
Do you want to become an umpire? What is your goal?