NBA Referee Salary How Much Do NBA Referee Make

There are many jobs, professions, titles, and business members who are earning an extreme amount of money. These people are those who are professionals, geniuses, and very hardworking, and who are doing their work tirelessly and do not want to be left behind. The amount of money that these professionals, businessmen, and other personalities are earning is not earned easily and they are earning this much money because of their sacrifices in the past and the hard work that they kept on doing.Let’s know NBA Referee Salary How Much Do NBA Referee Make.

NBA Referee Salary How Much Do NBA Referee Make

These people could be the CEO of big companies, professors of reputed universities or institutions, very experienced doctors, top athletes, and many more. But there are also people like the assistants of the CEOs of big companies, the teachers of reputed universities or institutions, doctors working with that famous experienced doctor, or the referees of the top athletic games. These are the people, who are not that famous like the above-mentioned people, but they are also earning a large amount of money.

In this article, you will understand how much an NBA Referee earns and why they earn this amount of money.

If you are thinking about how much an NBA Referee makes, then it is on an average of $150,000 to $550,000. The new or the rookie NBA referee’s salary is around $250,000, and the least amount of salary for an NBA Referee is around $180,000 nowadays. These are all estimations because there is no official statement from the NBA about the salary of a professional NBA Referee. There are also other things to be considered if we are talking about the salaries of the NBA referees like many referees are working in one NBA league, and every referee is in a different post and has different duties and responsibilities to do. So, for a game, there are mainly two or three referees, there is one lead referee who is known as the crew chief, and the other two are called umpires. These terms are not commonly used by people but there are different posts of referees in the NBA, and every referee earns a different salary. Many benefits come with being an NBA Referee. There are also many other types of posts for referees like for the NBA G League and the WNBA. Other jobs in the NBA also pay more than usual like the job of floor wipers and also the waterboys. 

If you want to know more about NBA referees’ salaries and other details about them, then continue reading, as we will be talking about some interesting things. 

What Is The Salary Of An NBA Referee?

It is not a surprise that an NBA Referee is earning more than the average local referee, because of the position and post of the company. An NBA Referee’s income was around $70,000 to $170,000 in 1994. Now, the average salary of an NBA Referee is around $250,000. The salary of an NBA Referee is also known to be varying around $150,000 to $550,000. They are also known for making at least $500 to $600 per game. These salaries are just an estimation because there is no official statement from the NBA about the Referees’ salaries. These salaries could be different in different areas and for different posts. The NBA Referees who are entry-level earn less, but as they gain experience and talent through the years, their salary also increases. It is also said that an NBA Referees’ salary increases by around $25,000 to $30,000 every match in the NBA Finals.

Why Do NBA Referees Earn This Much Of Income?

As NBA Referees earn this much money, we sure have many questions like why do they get paid so much? Why don’t they pay less or at least the usual amount of money? 

The main reason that they earn this amount of money is that they are working in the NBA. Yes, to be even able to become an NBA Referee, is an extremely difficult task, and one reason for the difficulty is the competition for the pay. So, becoming an NBA Referee is in itself a reward, but just becoming an NBA Referee is not the stopping point, as you will have to put yourself in extreme situations and you have to work tirelessly or else you will be left behind. You also have to be extremely fit and healthy for the job. So it is not even easy to become an NBA Referee, and if you go through all the hardships to become one, it is not even easy to be an NBA Referee. So the pay of NBA Referees is a little bit justified. 

What Are The Duties Of The NBA Referees? 

Becoming NBA Referees is not an easy task, but also being one is also a difficult job as you have many duties and responsibilities on you. There are many duties and responsibilities on NBA Referees that are listed below for you to understand. The duties are:-

1. Before the game starts, the NBA Referees need to check if all the game requirements are there are not. Like they need to check the court, basketballs, hoops, and also talk about any issues with the team coaches and the captains. They also need to discuss requirements with other officials. 

2. They also need to make sure that every player and official is wearing their proper clothes and uniforms or not. Everyone needs to be in their proper attire.

3. NBA Referees need to learn all the rules and regulations by heart so that they could even tell all the rules and regulations first to last and last to first.

4. NBA Referees need to stay sharp and observe the game with great precision, and they have to be fit and healthy the same as the players. So they need to match the level of a professional athlete in the case of fitness and health. 

5. The referees need to make decisions quickly about the fouls and rules violations from a player and announce it.

6. They need to make sure of the time and let everybody know about the time regularly.

7. They need to be moving quickly with the players to check the positions and movements of the players.

8. They need to discuss the announcement they made with other referees and other officials.

9. Keep communicating with the coaches of both teams professionally about the ongoing game.

10. Explaining to the players why they make their announcements about the players professionally. 

11. They need to keep track of the points personally so that they will mention them to the scorekeepers about any issues.

12. They need to keep watch on the toss and jump ball to announce who got the first chance.

Who Are The Officials In The NBA?

There are officials in the NBA, who will make sure that the game played is fair or not. They are the Crew Chief, the Referees, the scorekeeper, and the timekeeper. They all have different duties and responsibilities that they need to take care of during the game. We will be listing some of the main duties of these officials. The list is below:-


1. They have to make sure that all the equipment is good to go.

2. He is the one who throws the ball in the middle to start the game.

3. He is the one to decide the result if there is a disagreement about the score.

4. He has to make sure that the scores are correct during the game.

5. He is the one who will discuss the disagreement with the team coaches for a call made by the referees. 


1. They have to make sure the game is played fairly.

2. They are the ones who decide the substitute will come or not.

3. They are the ones who announce time-outs. 

4. They need to make sure the timing is correct with the players.

5. They take care of fouls and rules violations.


1. They need to take notes of every score and update it.

2. They will record the time-outs of every team and report them to the referees.

3. They will update the scoreboards.

4. They will inform the referees of the five fouls of a player.


1. They need to check the time of the whole game.

2. They need to be updated with the scorekeeper regularly.

3. Stopping the clock on time on every needed occasion with great precision.

4. Starting and stopping the clock accurately for the game.

How Can You Be A NBA Referee?

There are some requirements, qualities, and qualifications for this job that are required, and it is not that easy. Firstly, you have to be at least older than 16 and have a high school diploma, and you need to have experience in the same field. Work as a referee for local games and then make your moves upwards. You need to be healthy and fit with good stamina and eyesight for a job like an NBA Referee, you need to have knowledge of the rules and regulations, patience, a positive personality, focus on every detail, and many more qualities. These would be some basic requirements for the job of an NBA Referee.

You need to work as a referee for at least a few years locally which will help you gain some experience as a referee. Then, try entering the NBA G Leagues as a referee. After getting into the NBA G Leagues, strive and show your skills and determination, and gain experience there. You will start getting a good salary there. After that try to get recommended for the WNBA referee and show the experience and skills that you have and strive for WNBA. When you get in the WNBA as a referee, continue with the same process and strive there. After that, try registering for the NBA Referee’s job or get recommended for the job. It will be a long and hard process but it will be worth it. 

Other NBA Jobs That Pays Significantly High

The NBA has other jobs that pay significantly high just because of their famed name. Just because of the name of the NBA, there is a vast competition to work a lowly job. The floor wipers that work at the NBA earn at least $50,000 to $80,000-$90,000 a year. That is not bad considering the work. Also, the waterboys at the NBA earn around $50,000 to $60,000. This amount of income is not the same as the NBA players, but earning this much money is not easy as there is cutthroat competition for these types of jobs. 


After reading this article, you might know that the NBA Referees are making a lot of money, around $150,000 to $550,000. The money they are making is crazy, but making this amount of money is also really difficult. There are many duties and responsibilities for the referees, and it is not a not an easy job that could be done by anybody, it needs many requirements, qualities, and qualifications.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. A person who was a football coach in college, can he apply for this job?

Answer-No, firstly, that person needs to get experience as a basketball referee, then there could be a chance of applying for this job.

2. What will be the required experience needed for this job?

Answer-The person needs to have professional experience of refereeing for a few years.

3. Can a kid be an NBA referee?

Answer-A NBA referee has to be of 16 years of age or older.

4. What would be the minimum qualification needed?

Answer-The minimum qualification needed is at least a high school diploma or any other equivalent certifications. 

5. What is the official salary of the NBA referees per game?

Answer-There is no official statement from the NBA itself about the salary of the referees but, according to some estimations, an NBA referee earns around $500 to $600 per game in the NBA finals.

NBA Referee Salary How Much Do NBA Referee Make

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