Pickford has previously played for Sunderland's academy, reserve, and senior teams in addition to loan spells at Darlington, Alfreton Town, Burton Albion, Carlisle United, Bradford City and Preston North End. He signed for Everton for a fee of £25 million in June 2017.
Pickford has represented England at under-16, under-17, under-18, under-19, under-20 and under-21 levels. Pickford received his first call-up from the full England national team for the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Slovenia in October 2016.
Pickford was born in Washington, Tyne and Wear and attended St Robert of Newminster Catholic School.
Pickford joined Sunderland's Academy at the age of eight and progressed through the age groups before signing two-year scholarship terms in 2010. The following year, Pickford was promoted from the Academy to the reserve team.
In 2011, Pickford signed his first professional contract with the club. The following year, Pickford signed a contract extension with the club.
Pickford signed on loan for Darlington in time to make his debut against Fleetwood Town on 21 January 2012, playing the whole of a 1–0 home loss. The initial month-long loan was subsequently extended until the end of April. Pickford went on to make seventeen appearance for Darlington, who were relegated and subsequently liquidated.
On 25 February 2013, Pickford signed for Alfreton Town, again on an initial month-long loan and was a cover for Phil Barnes, who was injured. He made his debut the next day in a 5–1 win over Hyde United. His loan spell at the club was subsequently extended until the end of the season. During this spell, Pickford kept five clean sheets in twelve games.
After being recalled by Sunderland from a loan spell at Burton Albion twice, Pickford spent 11 matches as an unused substitute on the bench, acting as cover for Vito Mannone between 23 November 2013 and 18 January 2014.
On 2 August 2013, Pickford signed another loan deal, this time with Burton Albion, and made his debut the next day against Cheltenham Town. However his loan ended on 17 August, after Sunderland recalled him with Pickford featuring just three times for Burton. On 13 September, Pickford re-joined Burton on loan. His handful of first-team appearances at Burton Albion led to an extension of his loan spell for another month. After making 12 appearances across his two loan spells, Pickford was recalled by his parent club once again. He subsequently spent 11 matches as an unused substitute on the bench as a cover for Vito Mannone between 23 November 2013 and 18 January 2014.
Although it was rumoured that he could return on loan to Burton for the third time, Pickford joined Carlisle United on a one-month loan on 8 February 2014. He made his debut that same day in a 2–1 loss away to Gillingham. His form and handful of first-team appearances led the club to keep him on loan for the rest of the season. After extending his loan at the club, Pickford went on to make 18 appearances for Carlisle.
At the end of the 2013–14 season, Pickford signed a four-year contract with Sunderland, keeping him at the club until 2018.
On 21 July 2014, Pickford joined League One club Bradford City on a season-long loan for the 2014–15 season. He made his debut on 9 August in a 3–2 win against Coventry City at Valley Parade, and kept his first clean sheet in the following game, a 0–0 draw away to Walsall. Pickford then received his first ever red card after he was sent off in the 11th minute of a 2–1 loss to Rochdale on 10 January 2015. He served a one-match suspension which his club did not appeal.
On 7 February, he was once again expelled from play as he was sent off in the last minute of a 2–2 away draw against Port Vale. After being given a two-match ban, the club successfully appealed and had it revoked.
Pickford established himself as a first-choice goalkeeper for most of the season until he was recalled by his parent club on 9 March 2015.
On 31 July 2015, Pickford joined Championship club Preston North End on a season-long loan for the 2015–16 season. He kept a clean sheet on his debut in a 0–0 draw against Middlesbrough at Deepdale.
Further clean sheets in a 1–0 win against Milton Keynes Dons in his second league game and a 0–0 draw with Rotherham United on 18 August made it three clean sheets from his first three league games for the club. On 25 August, Pickford kept another clean sheet as Preston defeated Premier League side Watford 1–0 in the League Cup. On 7 November, Pickford recorded a 6th consecutive clean sheet in a 0–0 draw against QPR, equalling the club record. During his stint at Preston, Pickford impressed his veteran goalkeeping teammate Chris Kirkland, who said “Jordan comes out to take crosses and has an authority for someone still very young... As for his kicking, that is brilliant! I have never seen anyone kick a ball like he does." On 20 December 2015, Pickford was controversially sent off in a 1–0 defeat against Leeds United: he rushed out of his box to challenge striker Chris Wood, and was judged to have handled the ball. Preston successfully appealed the decision, using replay footage that showed the ball hitting his chest.
On 1 January 2016, Pickford was recalled by Sunderland, with the side struggling in 19th place in the Premier League. He made his first-team debut on 9 January 2016, in a 3–1 FA Cup loss to Arsenal. He made his Premier League debut against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on 16 January 2016 losing 4–1, meaning he had played in the top five leagues of English football by the age of 21. On 26 January, Pickford signed a new contract committing his future to Sunderland until 2020.
Pickford began the 2016–17 season as understudy to Vito Mannone. However, after Mannone suffered a serious arm injury in training, Pickford started Sunderland's third league game of the season, away to Southampton. He produced several saves during the match, but in the 85th minute he made an error which allowed Jay Rodriguez to equalise for the hosts in a 1–1 draw.
On 13 April 2017, Pickford was named as one of six players shortlisted for the PFA Young Player of the Year award.
On 15 June 2017, Pickford signed for Premier League club Everton on a five-year contract. The initial fee of £25 million, with the possibility of rising to £30 million in add-ons, made him the third most expensive goalkeeper in history, the most expensive British goalkeeper of all time and will make him Everton's second most expensive signing, pending add-on payments, as Gylfi Sigurðsson is currently the club's most expensive signing with £40 million plus add-on payments. Pickford made his league debut for Everton on 12 August 2017, when his club beat Stoke City 1–0 at Goodison Park. Pickford kept a clean sheet in the game.
Pickford has represented the England international team at every level from under-16s to under-21s. In October 2009, Pickford made his England U16 debut against Wales U16.
On 25 August 2015 he was called up to the England under-21 squad for the first time. Pickford made his debut for the England Under 21s in a friendly against the United States under-23s at Deepdale on 3 September 2015.
He made his second appearance four days later against Norway under-21s. On 14 October, Pickford assisted Nathan Redmond's goal in the England U21s' 3–0 victory over Kazakhstan at the Ricoh Arena with a long range pass from his own penalty area. He was part of the team that won the 2016 Toulon Tournament, their first such win for 22 years.
On 9 October 2016 Pickford received his first call-up from the England squad, replacing an injured Tom Heaton for the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Slovenia.
Pickford led the England under-21 to the semi final of the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in June 2017 with a string of strong performances.
On 24 August 2017, Pickford was called up to the senior England squad by manager Gareth Southgate for two World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia, however he later withdrew from the squad due to injury.As of match played 23 September 2017
EnglandToulon Tournament: 2016