On average, NFL referees earn $173,000 per year as of 2014. Under the collective bargaining agreement signed prior to the 2014 season, average pay is expected to incrementally rise to over $200,000 by 2019.
In 2014, the salary for a rookie NFL referee is $78,000, and goes as high as $205,000 for veterans with 10 or more years of experience. Although NFL Referee’s are part-time employees, most have full-time jobs outside of the NFL. They spend roughly 35-40 hours per week on preparing for upcoming game assignments, staying physically fit, and studying rules. They are not paid for time off, nor do they receive health benefits.