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Career and Education Opportunities for Umpires in Seattle, Washington

For those living in the Seattle, Washington area, there are many career and education opportunities for umpires. About 450 people are currently employed as umpires in Washington. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 19% to 540 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for umpires are expected to grow by about 10.4%. Umpires generally officiate at competitive athletic or sporting events.

The average wage in the general category of Sports jobs is $41,030 per year in Washington, and an average of $30,850 per year nationwide. Earnings for umpires are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Sports in Washington and not quite as good as general Sports category earnings nationally. Umpires work in a variety of jobs, including: race starter, racetrack steward, and equestrian competitive horse show judge.

There are sixty-five schools of higher education in the Seattle area, including one within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree to start your career as an umpire. The most common level of education for umpires is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be an umpire if you already have a high school diploma.


Umpire video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, umpires officiate at competitive athletic or sporting events. They also detect infractions of rules and decide penalties according to established regulations.

Umpires talk with other sporting officials and facility managers in order to furnish data and consider problems. They also officiate at sporting events or competitions, to maintain standards of play and to insure that game rules are observed. Equally important, umpires have to inspect sporting equipment and/or examine participants in order to insure adherence to event and safety regulations. They are often called upon to signal participants or other officials to make them aware of infractions or to otherwise regulate play or competition. They are expected to teach and explain the rules and regulations governing a specific sport. Finally, umpires resolve claims of rule infractions or complaints by participants and assess any needed penalties, in line with regulations.

Every day, umpires are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for umpires to judge performances in sporting competitions so as to award points, impose scoring penalties, and decide on results. They are often called upon to verify scoring calculations before competition winners are announced. They also keep track of event times, including race times and elapsed time during game segments, starting or stopping play when needed. They are sometimes expected to start races and competitions. Somewhat less frequently, umpires are also expected to research and study players and teams so as to anticipate issues that might arise in future engagements.

They also have to be able to resolve claims of rule infractions or complaints by participants and assess any needed penalties, in line with regulations and report to regulating organizations regarding sporting activities and actions taken or needed such as fines or other disciplinary actions. And finally, they sometimes have to verify credentials of participants in sporting events, and make other qualifying determinations such as starting order or handicap number.

Like many other jobs, umpires must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Seattle include:

  • Athletic Scout. Instruct or coach groups or individuals in the fundamentals of sports. Demonstrate techniques and methods of participation. May evaluate athletes' strengths and weaknesses as possible recruits or to improve the athletes' technique to prepare them for competition. Those required to hold teaching degrees should be reported in the appropriate teaching category.
  • Professional Athlete. Compete in athletic events.


Renton Technical College - Renton, WA

Renton Technical College, 3000 NE Fourth St, Renton, WA 98056-4195. Renton Technical College is a small college located in Renton, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,708 students. Renton Technical College has a less than one year program in Personal and Culinary Services, Other Specialties which graduated fifty students in 2008.


Sport Safety Training (6 1/2 hours): The American Red Cross and the United States Olympic Committee have joined forces to develop an exciting coach for coaches who want to keep their athletes safe.

For more information, see the American Red Cross website.


Athletic Event Official

Licensing agency: Department of Licensing
Address: Professional Athletics, Professional Athletics, 405 Black Lake Blvd., Bldg. #2, PO Box 2445, Olympia, WA 98507-2445

Phone: (360) 753-3713
Website: Department of Licensing Professional Athletics Professional Athletics


Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.