Here are the steps to becoming a soccer referee in New Jersey and what you need to know to decide if it’s worth it.
Options to Become a Soccer Referee in New Jersey
There are several different ways to become a soccer referee in New Jersey. Some companies require you to pay for their training, background check, and registration fees before they’ll let you work for them. Others follow traditional hiring practices and don’t charge new referees anything.
There are several places you can look for referee jobs. Check job listings on Indeed, Craigslist, and local sports leagues for additional opportunities. People who live near New York City also often choose to become a referee in New York.
Adult Soccer Referee Jobs in New Jersey
Most recreational sports leagues hire their own referees for games they organize. Contact the league directly to get more information.
More competitive leagues may hire referees certified by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) through the New Jersey State Referee Committee. To obtain your referee badge, you must first register and then pay a fee.
Adult soccer leagues in New Jersey include:
- Garden State Soccer League
- Soccer Centers / Dutch Total Soccer
- PlayMore Sport & Social Club
- NJ Coed Sports
- NJ Play Sports
- NJ Adult Soccer Leagues
- Central New Jersey Adult Soccer League
- Edison United Soccer Association
- Zog Sports
- Soccer Coliseum
- Hoboken Adult Soccer League
Youth Soccer Referee Jobs in New Jersey
Like adult soccer, there is a mix of different leagues. Recreational leagues often hire directly. Travel clubs may use USSF-certified referees.
Youth soccer leagues in New Jersey include:
- Morris County Youth Soccer
- Metro Youth Soccer League
- Mid-New Jersey Youth Soccer
- Monmouth Ocean Soccer Association
- Suburban Youth Soccer League
- South Jersey Soccer League
- West Patterson Soccer Association
New Jersey High School Soccer Referee Jobs
New Jersey high schools play under the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. If you have experience in other sports, you can become an official for those sports as well.
College Student Soccer Referee Jobs
College students often take advantage of all of the above options. They’re able to balance their referee schedule around their studies. They also have the potential to earn extra income both at home and at school.
What qualifications do you need to be a referee in soccer?
You can become a referee in the lowest levels of soccer without any experience at all. It helps if you’ve played before. Parents who never played soccer and officials from other sports sometimes struggle with the nuances of soccer.
As you progress through the ranks, there are specific experience requirements to earn your place at each level.
How do you become an NCAA soccer referee?
To become an NCAA referee, you must start at the lowest level of competition and work your way up. Many active NCAA referees continue working those games and can guide you through the next steps.
College soccer referee pay typically ranges from $100 to $1,500, depending on division. However, the time requirements outside of game days for higher divisions are much higher.
How do you become a professional soccer referee?
Referees start out working their way through the youth and amateur ranks before becoming professional. If you’re interested in working professional games, you should first become a regional referee.
You should know that there are similar odds of becoming a professional referee as there are of becoming a professional athlete. There are only about thirty full-time professional referees out of thousands of referees who are trying to become professional referees. Because PRO is unionized and has little turnover, there are only a handful of openings each year.
The professional soccer referee salary is not publicly disclosed by PRO or PSRA and is estimated to be between $50,000 to $70,000 per year.
How old do you have to be to ref soccer in New Jersey?
Under New Jersey child labor law, minors must be at least 14 years old to work and are also subject to restrictions on the number of hours they can work.
Some organizations may have different minimum age requirements for referees depending on the needs of their competitions. Some leagues may only use adult officials.
Parents should monitor their child’s schedules and be aware of assignors attempting to schedule young referees without adequate breaks or time to eat. Assignors should carefully research their legal obligations as they are subject to civil and criminal penalties if they violate the law and something happens to a minor while working (even if it was never a problem before).
What other jobs are good for teenagers?
Many major retailers and fast food chains offer competitive hourly wages, college tuition assistance, and potential career opportunities in management or at the corporate level.
How much do soccer referees make in New Jersey?
Referees are usually paid per game. Games range from $25 to $90 depending on level.
Most referees are independent contractors. Be sure to check out referee tax deductions.
If you’re interested in exploring more flexible job options, check out these gig economy jobs.