Umpires, referees, and other sports officials held about 19,800 jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most umpires, referees, and other sports officials were as follows:
State and local government, excluding education and hospitals
Amusement, gambling, and recreation industries
Educational services; state, local, and private
Performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries
Umpires, referees, and other sports officials work indoors and outdoors. Officials working outdoors will be exposed to all types of weather conditions. Some workers must travel on long bus rides to sporting events. Others, especially officials in professional sports, travel by air.
Some sports require officials to run, sprint, or jog for an extended period of time.
Because sports officials must observe play and often make split-second rulings, the work can be filled with pressure. Strong disagreements and criticism from athletes, coaches, and fans can result in additional stress.
Umpires, referees, and other sports officials often work irregular hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays. Many work part time.