How Much Do Tennis Umpires Make?

You’ve been playing tennis in your local park for years, but now you’re wondering how much tennis umpires make. 

A tennis umpire can expect to make anywhere between $30,000 – $80,000 a year, depending on the level of competition and fame. In addition, umpires are also eligible for bonuses and incentives throughout the season that can propel their earnings even higher! 

US Tennis Umpires: The Average Salary  

An umpire’s annual salary can vary significantly depending on tenure, experience, and location in the US. 

The top 10% of umpires in the US earn an average of $75k to $100k. While the bottom 10% earn an average of $25,000 a year 

Tennis umpires are generally considered to be part of law enforcement and, as such, receive higher pay than other professional sports referees 

In Australia, umpires are known as third officials, and their salary ranges from AU$60k (US$43.9k) up to AU$140k (US$101.4k) for a very long tenure with a large number of games. 

The Basic Salary of Tennis Umpires 

The basic salary of a tennis umpire is $7,000. Tennis Umpires are the highest-paid umpires in professional sports. They earn an average of $823,000 a year. 

The US Tennis Association(USTA) has a total membership of over 9,000 umpires. It has different categories for the umpires, which are:  

  1. Professional (the highest),   
  1. Associate professional, and  
  1. Junior.  

It is primarily in the United States that tennis umpires earn hefty salaries, with only nine countries worldwide having salaries for umpires.  

How Do Tennis Umpires Earn Money? 

Umpires are often the most underpaid among all professional sports referees. That is because they get paid by the event, not by the hour. It means they are only getting paid if they officiate a match, which is not always an option. 

A typical umpire makes about $1,200 per match and about $2,000 for a tournament. Umpires also make money from advertising their shirts and other places like YouTube or social media accounts. 

Umpires are often underpaid because of their lack of visibility and because there is no governing body yet to regulate umpire salaries in tennis. 

Tennis umpires ensure that the game is played in a fair and sportsmanlike manner. In addition, they are responsible for making sure that the players do not use unfair tactics to win. 

Umpires get paid by tournament organizers and by the ATP or WTA Tours. 

Tennis umpires earn a median annual salary of $27,000, much less than what tennis players make. 

Umpires make about $48,000 a year in the US. They make about $35,000 in the UK and $30,000 in France. 

The average tennis player’s salary is around $3 million a year. Roger Federer is the highest-paid tennis player, earning around $33 million a year. 

Umpiring as a Career in the US 

Professional tennis umpires officiate matches in tennis tournaments like Wimbledon and US Open. They are responsible for enforcing the game’s rules, determining whether a point has been won, and calling time-outs. 

There is a growing demand for professional tennis referees in America. The job requirements include having an advanced understanding of the rules of tennis and being able to speak clearly while communicating with players, coaches, and spectators. 

The salary range for professional tennis referees is between $25,000 to $60,000 annually. 

A tennis umpire is an essential part of a tennis match. However, it takes more than just having a good eye to be a successful umpire because they are responsible for the integrity of the game and must make sure that players are not cheating. 

Umpires are responsible for the game’s integrity and must ensure that players are not cheating. In addition, they must have excellent communication skills and knowledge about rules and regulations.  

They must also maintain composure during high-pressure situations, remain unbiased, and keep track of all match aspects. 

Chair Umpires: The Main Decision-Makers 

There are many types of tennis umpires. These include- 

  1. Chair Umpires 
  1. Line Umpires 
  1. ATP Tour Umpires 

 Chair umpires are the main decision-makers during play. Line umpires are purely responsible for determining if a shot has landed within a specific court area. ATP tour umpires are in the middle of the pay scale. The amount of money they earn varies depending on their level. However, the majority of umpires earn less than $50.000 a year. 

Functions of a Chair Umpire: Tennis matches are managed by chair umpires. These officials make the first decision regarding the game’s law in a tennis match. If a player differs with the Chair Umpire’s decision, he has the right to appeal to the Referee. A chair umpire oversees the play of a tennis match by checking the mark of a ball on the clay. 

A chair umpire is responsible for calling points and making calls during a tennis match. Sometimes, the chair umpire makes calls and has the authority to overrule line umpires. Also, in some cases, the chair umpire will overrule the decision of the line umpire. Players can request a Hawk-Eye review of the call if this is the case. 

How Chair Umpires are Selected: 

A chair umpire can be recruited from the tennis community or professional training school. The training takes two days and builds on the knowledge acquired as a line umpire. Becoming a chair umpire takes a considerable amount of time, as it involves classroom study and on-court work. In many countries, chair umpires are responsible for a match’s fairness and the game’s rules.  

The chair umpires have several responsibilities before, during, and after a tennis match. Their primary responsibilities include calling out the final scores, announcing the results of a game, and ensuring that the players follow the game’s rules. In the case of a dispute, the chair umpire is the final authority on the matter. He can also overrule the Line Umpire if he believes the latter is wrong. 

A chair umpire must have excellent concentration. Swearing is considered a violation of the rules of tennis. In addition, a roving umpire cannot have more than six courts at a time. They also help the chair umpire by advising them of the tournament and the use of the ball. The duties of both chair and roving umpires are similar. 

Jobs of the Line Umpire: 

Line umpires are purely responsible for deciding whether a shot has landed within the area of the court 

A line umpire’s job is determining whether a shot has landed within the court’s area. They may move around to avoid getting in the way of the players, but they must remain aware of the relevant lines. At larger tournaments, line umpires can be overruled by the chair umpire. In the meantime, players can ask for a Hawk-Eye review of a call. 

In a tennis match, there are many people involved. In addition to the players, there are line umpires, chair umpires, and chair judges. Chair umpires keep score, ensure the rules are followed, and arbitrate disputes. They also make clear decisions regarding whether a shot landed within the court. 

Umpires are appointed for an entire season and are responsible for various tasks. They can be appointed to work one or more matches, including deciding if a shot has landed on the court. Depending on the type of game, umpires may be rotated among different courts. During a game, one umpire is in charge of each court. 

Earnings of Tennis Umpires 

  • Umpires earn a good living by taking on this role.  
  • Most gold badge holders work on the ATP or WTA tour.  
  • The Australian Open chair umpire, for example, earns $546 per day.  
  • The French Open chair umpires earn $443 per day.  
  • Chair umpires at major events, such as Wimbledon, earn around $450 daily.  
  • In future tournaments, however, the fee for chair umpires will be higher. 

Tennis umpires have to be cautious about players violating any rule. An example of a code violation is hitting the ball into the stands or voicing obscenity. A player who violates this rule will face a warning, a point penalty, or even the game itself. Players can also lose their if they commit a fourth violation. 

In addition to umpires, tennis tournaments are governed by time rules. In the past, tennis players would take several minutes to serve between points, frustrating their opponents and the fans. Now, tennis has implemented a 30-second clock for a shot to be inbounds. In addition, the umpires have several other rules that govern the timing of a shot. 

A good umpire will give the player more time to focus on the game. Conversely, a bad umpire can ruin a match for the players. Whether a shot lands within the court area is a critical decision, and umpires are trained to handle high-pressure situations.  


While the US Open is the highest-paying tournament, many other tournaments pay well to tennis umpires. For example, a two-week stint at the US Open will earn you $5850, while umpiring the four Grand Slams will bring around $30k. 

There are roughly 25-30 tournaments in a calendar year, with pay varying according to the prestige and revenue of each event. For example, a top-level umpire will earn around $70-80k per year, which is still relatively low compared to players’ salaries. 

Umpires can make double or triple that amount by umpiring big tournaments. The pay is not the highest in the world, but the benefits and opportunities can make it worth it. However, it can be lucrative for someone with a strong desire to take the job.  

While chair umpires earn around $50,000 annually, line umpires only make $350 per match. The pay for women’s umpires varies depending on their experience. 

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