How Much Do MLB Umpires Make? (Complete Guide)

MLB umpires only work six months per year. However, these professionals are in a crouching position for about 18 hours a week. Also, these experts are responsible for making calls, such as balls, strikes, fouls, and fair balls. It’s not an easy job as some folks might think. So it can make you wonder, how much do MLB umpires make?

The salary of MLB umpires is approximately $120,000 USD per year. However, the amount of money acquired depends on different factors, such as rank and expertise. For instance, entry-level umpires can get less money in their yearly pay than those who have been in the league for many years. Some senior umpires can even earn about $350,000 USD thousand per year.

Umpires require special training to become the highly observant professionals making calls in an official MLB match. Therefore, it’s no surprise why these specialists can earn six figures salaries per year. Continue reading to dive deeper into this article to know more about relevant information concerning this topic.

How Much Do MLB Umpires Make

Umpires earn an average of US$120 thousand per year. The league also offers benefits to entry-level and seasoned umpires, including:

Additionally, MLB umpires can now take advantage of comprehensive medical programs. According to a report from, this benefit didn’t exist at the turn of the 21st century. Additional health benefits surfaced in 2004, allowing medical professionals to check the physical and physiological well-being of league umpires.

How Much do MLB Umpires Make per Game?

How Much do MLB Umpires Make per Game

The MLB has a total of 162 games, which means the professional baseball league pays its umpires approximately US\$1,451 per game. However, senior umpires can pocket about US$17,500 per game. Take note that the number of games in the MLB is fewer than in the NFL, NHL, or NBA. Therefore, officials like the referees of other sports are paid higher than MLB umpires.

Who are the Highest-Paid MLB Umpires?

Highest-Paid MLB Umpires

As per a report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary of a 9-to-5 worker in America is approximately US$48,516 per year. Therefore, umpires earn more than twice the salary of the average worker with a desk job in America. However, some umpires earn even more than their fellow league professionals.

Here are some of the highest-paid MLB umpires in history:

1. Dana DeMuth

Dana DeMuth

Dana Andrew DeMuth is a 64-year old (at the time of writing) former MLB umpire who umpired 4,283 regular-season games and 101 postseason games. He was also the umpire at the home plate in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series. It was also one of his most notable umpiring jobs since he was the professional who called Joe Carter’s final home run during the bottom of the ninth inning.

Although information regarding the exact figures for Demuth’s salary is challenging to find, his umpire career allowed him to attain an estimated net worth of US$1 million to US$5 million.

2. Tim McClelland

Tim McClelland

Another former MLB umpire to make this list Timothy Reid ‘Tim’ McClelland. He’s also the second-most senior umpire, falling short from Joe West’s record. Additionally, McClelland holds the title for the second tallest umpire in MLB with a height of 6 feet 6 inches. For comparison’s sake, Jordan Baker holds the title for the tallest umpire standing at 6 feet 7 inches.

Retired in 2015, McClelland still holds one of the highest salaries paid to an MLB umpire. His net worth is about US$900 thousand, which is plausible considering he umpired many notable games. Some of the matches wherein McClelland umpired are the 1993, 2000, 2002, and 2006 World Series games. He also officiated eight different League Championship Series and served as the league’s crew chief multiple times.

3. Ed Montague

Ed Montague

Born in November 1948, Edward Michael Montague is yet another former MLB umpire. He’s also fairly famous in the professional baseball scene as he was the person who called Barry Bonds’ 715th home run, allowing that player to surpass Babe Ruth’s record.

Montague was an umpire for the MLB for 35 years, allowing him to officiate and umpire several official matches. These games include seven League Championship Series and seven Division Series. He also became the crew chief in 1996, which happened after the passing of John McSherry, a former MLB player and an umpire. His former profession allowed his net worth to reach the US$1 million mark.

4. Jerry Crawford

Gerald Joseph ‘Jerry’ Crawford was an MLB umpire and worked with the league from 1977 to 2010. Kindly note that Crawford’s career started in 1977 as a National League umpire, which lasted until 1999. He then worked for the major leagues from 2000 until his retirement.

If you know your NBA, chances are you’ll find MLB’s Crawford familiar. It’s because his brother, Joe Crawford, is a referee for the professional basketball scene. Additionally, both sports professionals are the sons of the former MLB umpire Shag Crawford.

Crawford’s achievement of umpiring over 4,300 games helped raise his net worth over time. Reports suggest that his net worth is within the US$1 million to US$2 million range.

5. Bruce Froemming

At the time of writing, Bruce Neal Froemming is now 81 years old. He was also the league’s Special Assistant and the Vice President on Umpiring during his career.

Froemming debuted as an umpire in the 1971 National League. He continued with that position until the year 2000 when he transferred to umpiring in the major leagues. His 5,000th game to umpire was during the match between the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers in August 2006.

This particular umpire also amassed quite a bit of wealth during his time with the league. Therefore, reports estimate his net worth to be in the US$1 million to US$4 million range.

Final Words

MLB umpires make an average of US$120 thousand per year or US$1,451 per game. The pays include different benefits, including first-class airplane tickets and paid hotel accommodations. However, these professionals’ salaries can rise depending on their seniorities and other factors. Some MLB umpires, such as Bruce Froemming and Dana DeMuth, umpired for different league games for several years. Therefore, these baseball specialists acquired an outstanding net worth during their sports careers.

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