Are MLB Umpires Full-Time? A Quick Answer

5 January 2022

Traveling across countries, getting all the things that you need to care for, and earning a high salary is what you get from becoming a Major League Baseball umpire. About 70 MLB umpires are working and one of them retires every year. Therefore, the competition is pretty high and fierce.

MLB umpires work for only 6 months during a year and it can be considered a full-time job. During that period, they might have to work for 18 hours per week. And, they have to work in a group of four. They are responsible for calling balls and strikes, keeping managers and players in line, and finding out the fair balls from foul ones.

What does it like to become a Major League Baseball umpire?

As said, Major League umpires work for about 6 months a year most of the time. However, during that season, they might need to stand in a crouched position for around 18 hours straight in a week. They have to work with a crew that consists of four umpires and are responsible for maintaining harmony among the players.

The crew chief or the umpire in chief is positioned at the home plate, whereas the other umpires are referred to as field umpires. The crew chief makes sure that all the rules and regulations of the League are observed and followed in the best way possible.

While the MLB umpires can make game calls and other important things, team members have the authority to challenge a ruling that umpires tend to give on the field. Sometimes, a protest is the most common way to show deep concern over a decision.

However, video reviews by senior supervisors tend to take place frequently so that umpires can perform well and remain sharp at all times. Apart from all these hassles, they enjoy some perks from this job. And, it includes first-class airfare, a lucrative salary, 4 weeks of paid vacation, and facilities for meals, hotel, etc. daily per day.

What is the education requirement to become a Major League umpire?

To make a living out of this lucrative career, you have to enroll in one out of two umpire schools approved by Major League Baseball. It is a 5-week course that includes both classroom instruction and practical field training. Also, it serves as a screening test to ensure that the candidate has all the necessary knowledge to make it to bigger leagues.

However, you don’t need prior experience to enroll in this course. You get to learn all the rules about the game including the signals and philosophy of umpiring. Also, you will learn how to cope up with difficult situations, the mechanism of umpiring and to have an authoritative voice.

Giving your best performance to the game is critical and you learn these things during the class. Around 16% of the students make it to the advanced course of Minor League Baseball. After that, you may get a chance to work in the minor league games. When you advance through the minor leagues, it opens opportunities for the Majors.

What is the salary in this industry?

To begin with, the pay increases for umpires incrementally in the minor leagues. According to the report of Major League Baseball, it stated that a Single A umpire can earn up to $2600 per month. Whereas, a Triple A umpire can earn up to $3900 a month.

When it comes to the earning potentialities of Major League umpires, the income is higher compared to the Minor ones. A Major League umpire earns about $120,000 in a year and seasoned umpires earn up to $350,000 annually. Moreover, per day benefits, travel expenses, and other benefits add to their overall package.

What is the growth trend for this job?

As said, seasoned umpires enjoy high-end salaries. Also, they are the ones to get the first crack at crew assignments, schedule choice, and field position. Because post-season play and all-star games including the popular World Series aren’t treated as regular seasons, experienced umpires are the first ones assigned for these coveted tasks.

Job openings for Minor League umpires are limited. Around 50 high-performing candidates make it to the minor league each year. When it is about Majors, the opportunity means 225 umpires from the minor league are looking for the prestigious spot.