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Salary of NBA referees

A look at the salary earned by NBA referees.

nba referee salary

An NBA referee in action

What is the salary of NBA referees?

The average salary of an NBA referee is from $150,000 to $550,000. The average salaries have spiked considerably since 1983, when NBA officials made between $18,146 and $78,259 each season.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) referees are responsible for officiating games played by each of the 30 teams in the league. Each team plays 82 regular season games (the top teams in a season play more than that), making the job of a referee a hectic one. Referees are required to be physically fit to be able to run with the players and make correct calls during the whole match.

Entry-level nba referees: Entry-level referees in the NBA earn $150,000 per year, according to information released by the league. However, according to The Sport Economist, the National Basketball Referees Association (NBRA) claimed that number to be somewhat lower – $91,000 – during negotiations in 2009.

Senior nba referees:  The case of senior referees is somewhat better as they earn as much as $550,000 every year. The NBRA contested this too though, as they argued that these referees earn only $400,000 per year.

WNBA referees: The referees in WNBA make considerably less ($500 per game or about $16,000 per year). These referees mostly work part-time.

Note: The league seldom releases salary information about referees, and the latest salary data was provided in late 2009 ahead of the referee lockout.

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