Salaries For NHL Referees

Ice skating cannot be considered to be fun until you get the idea of NHL umpire duties. A hockey referee’s job is made more challenging by the exactness required for skating. The days are very exhausting; so on-ice referees must be well-adjusted, specific, watch out for audiences, and keep fights between fuming players to a stopover. In ice hockey, the NHL referee is an individual who has the main responsibility of rules implementation and retaining the momentum of the contest. let us know about that the Salaries For NHL Referees.

Salaries For NHL Referees

Types of NHL Referee

  • On-ice Officials

There are two types of officials, on-ice officials, who are the referees, and linesmen that implement the ordinances during gameplay.

  • Off-ice Officials

Off-ice officials have an organizational position rather than an enforcement position.

Role of NHL Referee

On-ice officials, NHL as the term suggests, perform their duties at the ice hockey rink. As part of their uniform, they wear black hockey helmets, black pants, and black and white striped shirts. They have whistles in their hands that they use to stop the game and are equipped with regular hockey skates. They exchange verbal and hand signals with players, coaches and officials.

Dress Code of NHL Referee

Since 1977, NHL officials have simply worn their surname as a method of proof of identity on the rear of their sports shirt, generally in one line diagonally on their shoulders. However, the NHL backslid to using only jersey numbers on his jerseys in 1994, and other game clubs followed suit. 

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Jeff Bezos Career Advice

When the NHL was first established in 1917, officials used bells as an alternative to whistles to stop games from ongoing. They are also dressed in waistcoats, ties, and trousers. 

From the 1930s to the early 1950s, NHL umpires sported cream sweaters over shirts and ties. Before the introduction of the black and white lined jersey in 1955, they wore an orange cropped sweater with half zip down. Since the introduction of black and white uniforms in 1955, NHL on-ice officers have had numbers on their rears for credentials.

Salary Range among Different Levels of NHL Referees

US NHL umpires earn between $14,441 and $385,332 annually, with an average salary of $69,166. NHL umpire’s average salaries range from $69,167 to $174,049, with the top 86 earning $385,332.

Based on yearly revenue, the typical regular season umpire grosses between $4,000 and $5,000 per game, so the incentive is judicious. NHL regular season salaries are based on years of service. Referees are paid $27,000 for all-around labor, while linesmen are paid $17,250. 

Annual salaries for NHL umpires range from $165,000 to $360,000. NHL umpires typically earn $235,000 from $110,000 which is slightly more than an NHL line umpire’s salary.

Salaries for Entry level NHL Referees

Starting salaries for first-year officers, which increase each year, are just over $200,000 for umpires and $137,000 for linesmen. 

Salaries for Experienced NHL Referees

The 15-year-old umpire’s annual salary is $430,000, and the 15-year-old linesman’s annual salary is $228,000.

Highest Paid NHL Referees

When it comes to the highest-paid NHL referees, there are some prominent tags. The highest-paid person in 1966 was Frank Udvari, who earned $22,600. His $22,600 translates to almost $170,000 in 2014 dollars. And today, the best judges can earn up to $300,000. Referee Burn Buffy is another name that comes to attention when we state. He received about $13,000 in a similar year as Frank Udvari.

Salaries as per Olympics match of NHL Referees

When it comes to the highest paid wages, the Olympics are another episode to contemplate. Therefore, it is not publicly known how much money he will be paid to NHL referees at the Olympics. However, gossip shows that referees can win up to $18,000 each game. 

Bonus Distribution among NHL Referees

NHL umpires are not formally paid. However, their salaries are paid in form of bonuses and it’s good enough. In the playoffs, salaries are also not awarded annually. Rather, it is determined by the game the referee is in charge of. So after splitting the total bonus, these umpires get around $18,000 per game. 

Additionally, NHL linemen earn about $12,000 a year. 

NHL referees in the National Hockey League drive unpaid during the postseason but collect substantial bonuses for partaking in the Stanley Cup sports events. NHL officials aren’t paid as highly as NHL players, but their salaries are comparable to those of professional referees in other elite sports.

Pension of NHL Referees

NHL officials are represented by unions and their contracts are negotiated collectively. As a result, civil servants are entitled to pensions, retirement funds, health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, and other benefits.

In addition, NHL referees receive retirement inducements based on the number of playoff games they manage during their contract. Each officer receives a retirement bonus based on the following formula 

  • Referees will get a payment of 27,000 USD times the number of playoff games they worked on throughout their careers divided by sixty.
  • Linesmen will receive a payment of 17,250 USD times by the same formula.


It takes years of hard work and determination to reach the professional level and become an NHL referee, and the road is not easy. The majority of umpires, after playing at the lower levels of ice hockey, decided to move into the position as a hobby or become full-time umpires to gain more experience. To stay fit and keep up with the fast-paced game of hockey, professional NHL umpires must endure intense training camps. Knowing everything about ice hockey, even betting tips, won’t help you to become an NHL referee, but it will improve your overall ice hockey knowledge and skills.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How much do NHL referees get paid?

In the United States, the median NHL referee salary is $74,687. NHL umpire salary in San Francisco averaged $112,912, 51% higher than the average U.S. salary.

What are my tax obligations as an NHL referee?

In 2018, the single claimant’s average federal tax rate in this tax bracket is estimated at 22%. An NHL referee can expect to take home $62,316 a year after paying the 22% federal tax rate, making each salary total about $2,597.

Salaries For NHL Referees

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