Football referee

Football referees officiate at football matches, from local youth and amateur leagues up to professional level.

Potential salary
variable
Working hours
36 to 38 variable
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • concentration skills
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • inspecting the pitch and markings
  • making sure equipment like goalposts and nets are safely set up
  • checking you have everything you need for the game, like stopwatches, cards and radio communications (at top levels)
  • meeting with team managers
  • briefing your assistants on which signals to use and what to do in particular situations, like if there’s a confrontation on the pitch

During a game, you’ll:

  • follow the play and make decisions
  • communicate with your assistants to help with rulings
  • control the behaviour of the teams on the pitch, and their coaching staff on the sidelines

You may need to wear a uniform.

You could work at a college, at a sports arena or at a university.

Your working environment may be physically demanding, outdoors in all weathers and you'll travel often.

With experience, you could train to become a referee training instructor, match assessor or referee development officer with a County FA.

You could also use your knowledge and experience to move into related areas, like sports development in the community.

You can find out more about becoming a referee from The Football Association.

Data from National Careers Service.
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11th July 2020