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What Is A Gymnastics Judge Salary [How To Become One?]

gymnastics judge salary

Let’s be honest, we’ve all wanted to be the person casually sitting behind a desk on the competition and mercilessly distributing scores. In some manner, it is an identical thought to ‘If I was the prime minister, I would change everything’. 

Well, what if I told you, you could have the golden opportunity…to be the prime minister of gymnastics. To put it more simply, you could be a gymnastics judge, not only in the wonderland of your imagination but in real life. What could possibly be better? 

In this article, I am going to give an overview on gymnastics judge salary based on levels and also all the prospects that are needed to become one. Therefore, sit tight and buckle up because we are going to talk about your potential future career.

With that being said, before we get started, I believe it is important to understand that it isn’t all fun and games on the other side of the picture. Being a judge puts a huge responsibility on your shoulders that one has to justly fulfill as part of their job. If you deem yourself worthy enough to take up that position, read on! 


What are the positive factors of becoming a gymnastics judge? 

Let’s go about the motivating factors first so it is easier for you to draw the scales of pros and cons and consider the possibility on legitimate grounds.

In my personal opinion, becoming a gymnastics judge is an incredible way to stay rooted in the sport itself, but is it the same for you? Find out for yourself! 

1) You get to be part of the sport.

Honestly, does it get any better than this? 

We all know how engrossing gymnastics as a sport is. If you are someone who is interested in being a part of the sport but for some understandable reason is unable to be a gymnast, this might be just the right post for you.

Similarly, being a judge can be a decent and favorable way for someone to take their place in the sport even after having retired.

In addition to this, several women have to give up on their career as a gymnast due to the unchangeable circumstances that take place in life. Yet their love and passion for the sport still remain unchanged.

If you are one of such people, there will likely not be a better and less demanding lucky chance for you. 

2) You get money for something you are passionate 

I mean, isn’t this what all of us want through one way or another? Unfortunately, not all of us get to be nature’s favorite and be given such chances.

However, this is the most unmatchable out of all other pros of being a gymnastics judge. Having known that, the question that stands next in line is, do gymnastic judges get paid well?

Why yes they do. Not only do they flourish in their career and work of choice but also get to fulfill, if not all, most of their materialistic needs. 

In order to give you a rough overview of the salary of a gymnastics judge, some stats are provided as follows; 

  • The salary of a level 5/6 gymnastics judge; $18 (per-hourly)  
  • The salary of a level 7/8 gymnastics judge; $20 (per-hourly)
  • The salary of a level 9 gymnastics judge; $26 (per-hourly)
  • The salary of a level 10 gymnastics judge; $30 (per-hourly)
  • The salary of a national gymnastics judge; $33 (per-hourly)
  • The salary of a brevet gymnastics judge; $36 (per-hourly)

Note:- The above-given figures are not standardized, they are roughly produced estimates of the Junior Olympics (JO) Program.

3) Being a judge is exciting

Trust me, I’m not exaggerating in any manner. Putting aside the excitement and thrill of being a part of the inner circle, you get to be a judge! Does that make any sense? Allow me to further unknot the concept.

You will be the person who is sitting on the other side of the desk and everyone else is expectantly looking towards you. I know, it may sound like an anxious thought but the reality is entirely contrasting.

Imagine sitting on that chair and getting to admire the talent of various gymnasts as they perform jaw-dropping skills. 

As a bonus point, on some days, you will be the sole reason why someone has a marvellous day!

What are the negative factors of being a gymnastics judge?

No job prospect is perfect, everything has its positive aspects and drawbacks. Not too different is the scenario of being a gymnastics judge.

I am going to put forward all the disadvantages of being a judge in front of you. I hope doing so puts forward the crystal clear version of reality in front of you to help you decide better. Without any further ado let’s get into it. 

1) Startup costs for gymnastic judges are high 

In comparison to the salary that you get as a judge, the cost that is required for you to take a kick start is higher than other casual jobs you could opt for.

A huge chunk of your (if any) saved money would be spent on buying the books that you need to learn the guidelines in detail as well as to join courses for a better understanding of them.

Moreover, some additional introductory material that you will have to invest in will include; 

  • Judging Test fees ($30/part at least once every 4 years)
  • Buying the uniform that cost roughly $300 (includes Jacket, Shirt and Pants)
  • Purchasing the official USA membership ($95 per year)
  • USA Gymnastics Background Check ($21.25, once every 2 years)
  • USA Gymnastics Safety Certification ($65, once every 4 years)
  • NAWGJ Membership ($60 per year)

2) You will have to sacrifice your weekends 

Ah! This is the most laborious of all tasks. Judge meet-ups are conventionally scheduled on several divided weekends and at times might take up the entirety of your day.

Therefore, if you are planning to go on a barbeque with your friends or have a girl’s night out, you might want to postpone it for a while. Additionally, if the meet-up is in town, you might be spared for a Sunday. But if the meet-up is out of town, you might want to call it a seven-day week!

I understand, giving up one's weekend can truly be a heartbreaking experience, even if you are a workaholic. But is it heartbreaking enough for you to give up on a job choice you are actively passionate about? 

3) Payment restrictions

This is a rather major drawback that comes along with being a gymnastics judge. To help you understand this example better, let us look at it through the eyes of an example.

If you are a gymnastics judge and you spend your entire day at the gym with the opinion that you will be paid accordingly to the time you spend there, you’re in for bad news. As a judge, you will strictly only be paid for the calculated time that you spend judging at the gym.

Henceforth, it might be difficult to get off any loans that you may have taken to kick start with your initial procedure of getting started as a gymnastics judge. 

4) Posting and scheduling of judges is dependent on the level of seniority

This component is largely varying in correspondence to the availability of judges in your state. If you are in a state where there are a handful of senior judges who are up for scheduling, the door of opportunity for you might be slim.

Nevertheless, if this is not the case, viola! Keeping the above-given details in mind, it is not the wisest of mindsets to entirely rely on the income that you make from judging to recover the amount that you originally spent. 

5) You will have to be retested 

The grind really doesn’t ever stop! Once you’ve passed the test and have gone through all the required stages, it doesn’t just end there.

You will have to be retested after 4 years (if you keep up with the job) as a judge for optional. Whereas, in case of compulsory, you will have to go through a test after 8 years. 

How to become a gymnastics judge? The steps 

So, after reading through the pros and cons, you have decided to become a gymnastics judge. Here are the step by steps to reach your goal.

1) Get down to studying 

Primarily, you will have to buy the guidelines as well as the books to understand and study for the test. Each of the levels of Junior Olympics (JO) has a handbook or a guideline book. 

Some of these books you will have to get are mentioned below;

  • USA Gymnastics Junior Olympics Compulsory Book
  • USA Gymnastics Junior Olympics Code of Points
  • USA Gymnastics Technique Magazine

You can buy all these books here.

2) test

Preferably, you should begin with getting tested for both compulsory as well as optional levels, for the reason of opening wider and broader horizons, for example, able to judge for the Xcel Program

The test can be given at several different stages such as; regional, national as well as at state clinics. The only demand criteria of these are that you have to be of at least 16 years of age or older. 

If you are rooting to become an optional judge, you will have to hop on with either level 6, 7, or 8. On the contrary, in case of becoming a compulsory judge, you will have to give the test of either level 4 or 5.  Here is a brief explanation on the differences between compulsory and optional gymnastics.

3) Be a member of the USA Gymnastics Professional Member

Once you have passed the test for your concerned judge post, becoming a member will likely not be a problem.

There are a few background checks that will need to be run as well as a number of verifications after which you will be good to go. The cost of being a professional member is roughly $95 per year.

4) Become a member of NAWGJ 

You have to become a member of the  National Associations of Women's Gymnastic Judges. Here is the link for more info and the cost is $60 per year.

5) Get in contact with your state judging director

This is the last prominent step between you and becoming a gymnastics judge. You will need to reach out to your judging director and become a part of the schedule head over.

As soon as you provide them with your official test level result and the gymnastics membership, congratulate yourself! You’ve finally reached your goal.