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Average Salary of an NHL Referee – Highest-Paid NHL Referees

Average Salary of an NHL Referee. While they are on ice, hockey referees are dressed in the traditional black and white shirt with vertical stripes. Currently, the National Hockey Leagues has a total of four officials in each game – two linesmen and two referees. The referees are the judges during the game.

Average Salary of an NHL Referee – Highest-Paid NHL Referees

How Much Does an NHL Referee Make?

They need the rules of the game like they know the back of their hand. They are also required to have good skating skills. For this reason, the pay rate is competitive.

Some people are under the impression that hockey referees do not make a whole lot of money. Those that believe this are wrong. The referees make between $110,000 to $255,000 each year. The linesmen earn between $70,000 to $162,000 per year.

Salary Range for a National Hockey League Referee

The average pay for a referee is between $115,000 to $255,000 each year. This is an average payment of $1,402 to 2,682 per game.


The work of an NHL referee requires a great deal of skill, so the individual will need to go through some intensive training. Aside from having to have excellent skating skills, the referees will also need to be quick enough to dodge out of the way of the puck and other players. The referees will also need to be physically able to break up fights that take place from time to time between hockey players. Any individual is fully capable of learning the NHL rulebook, but not everyone is able to be a referee.

Linesmen in Comparison to Referees

Referees have assistants – they are linesmen. The linesmen make between $77,000 and $120,000 each year. This depends on the seniority, skills and experience. The linesmen may not have all of the responsibilities a referee has, but their work depends on fast responses. People believe that hockey referees don’t make good salaries. So wrong, for the hockey league referees too make a salary between $110,000 and  $255,000. If you’re a linesman, you can earn a salary between$70,000 to $162,000.

Fun Fact: The first black referee, Jay Sharrers, he officiate his first, the Philadelphia Flyers against visiting Florida Panthers NHL game on

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