It's not easy to be an NHL referee. Fans, coaches, and players constantly criticize and yell at officials and the way you can tell if a referee is doing a good job is if you don't notice them.
They, like the players, put their bodies on the line each and every night in order to keep the superstars we love watching safe and they do it while enduring the constant bashing they take from everyone.
That said, referees in the NHL are compensated quite well based on this picture that was posted on hockey reddit by reddit user Hockey_Ops_Guy.
That's $193,174 to $224,569 (USD) per year. That’s a good chunk of change, but it make sense for someone at the very top of their industry.
When you consider the things referees have to deal with, though, they might be underpaid to some. These refs are on the road all the time and away from their families. They deal with criticism all the time, get pucks unintentionally shot at them, and have to break up fights between the toughest players in the game.
It's far from an easy or glamorous job, but skating all day, being on the ice with NHL players and having a long offseason has fans pretty envious. Also, they get a nice little bonus in the playoffs.
Plus, based on that job description, NHL referees are doing much more than officiating games each night.
They all worked hard to get to where they are at although they're not perfect (who is?), they’ve earned their spot.