NFL Referees’ Salary: How Much Do They Make?


NFL referees are a crucial part of the sport, as they ultimately determine the outcome of each game. But what is the salary of these officials? In this article, we will explore how much NFL referees make and why their job is so important.

Why Are NFL Referees So Valuable?

NFL referees are responsible for making crucial decisions during a game, including calling penalties, determining first downs, and ultimately deciding the winner of a matchup. Their job is to ensure fairness and integrity in the game, which is why they are so highly valued by fans and players alike.

Salary Breakdown

According to recent data, the average salary for an NFL referee in 2021 is around $208,000 per year. However, this number can vary depending on a variety of factors, including years of experience, location, and the specific duties involved in the job.

It’s important to note that NFL referees are not just paid for their time during games. They also receive additional compensation for attending training camps, traveling to games, and other related activities. This extra pay can add up to an additional $50,000 or more per year.

Real-Life Examples

One example of the importance of NFL referees can be seen in the 2017 NFC Championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons. In this game, a controversial call by referee Bill Vinovich was made that ultimately decided the outcome of the matchup. The call was later reversed after an investigation, but it highlights the critical role that NFL referees play in the sport.


In conclusion, NFL referees are highly valued for their job due to the critical decisions they make during each game. While salaries can vary depending on a variety of factors, the average salary for an NFL referee is around $208,000 per year. Ultimately, the importance of NFL referees cannot be overstated, as they play a crucial role in ensuring fairness and integrity in the sport.

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