The NFL is a favorite American pastime, with yearly viewership in the hundreds of millions. Do you ever wondered how much the referee for these games makes? The average annual salary for an NFL referee is $29,000 per year. Their salary may range from $24,000-$72,000. While this may not sound like a lot for such a prestigious position, remember that they only need to referee 16 games per season and so it is usually a part-time job, an excellent supplement to a standard income. NFL refereeing is usually done through contract.