To become a professionally certified umpire, complete an umpire training course that has been certified by a national sports association such as Major League Baseball. Generally, umpire certification courses take between four and five weeks and only take place at certain times of the year.
Examples of organizations that offer umpire training courses include the Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School and the Minor League Baseball Training Academy. Both of these organizations are certified by MLB and offer their students all the training necessary to become professional major league umpires. MLB estimates that it takes a professional umpire between seven and 10 years to move from the minor leagues to the major leagues, nearly twice the amount of time an athlete needs to do the same.
Umpires must meet a number of minimum requirements, including 20/20 vision, athletic ability and quick reflexes. Additionally, certified umpires must have a high school diploma or a G.E.D. to qualify for work in the field. Upon reaching Class-AAA, the highest minor league class available to umpires, no further advancement can occur until a major league organizer has an available position. When this happens, the organizer makes a call to any one of the available minor league umpires. There is no employment submission procedure for MLB umpires.