Feature Article - July 2009
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Dollars and Sense

Our 2009 Salary Survey of the Managed Recreation, Sports & Fitness Industry

By Emily Tipping


Broken down by the communities where they reported from, the average salaries of our respondents fell along expected lines, with those in suburban communities earning the highest salaries, and those from rural areas earning the lowest. In fact, suburban respondents earn 26.7 percent more on average than those from rural communities. (See Figure 9.)

Likewise, this year's survey followed a similar regional trend to last year, with Midwestern respondents again earning the lowest average salaries, at $58,800. That said, Midwesterners' salaries saw an increase this year of 1 percent over last year's reported salary for this region. Other regions reporting an increase were the West, which saw a jump of just 0.3 percent from the salary reported last year, and the South, which reported the highest increase, of 1.9 percent. The Northeast, by comparison, saw a drop of 1.2 percent. (See Figure 10.)

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

This year's respondents were far less likely to report that they had received a raise from 2007 to 2008 than last year's respondents expected, and they were also more likely to report a lower salary. While more than three-quarters (75.5 percent) of last year's respondents reported that they expected a higher salary from 2007 to 2008, this year, just over two-thirds (67 percent) reported such an increase. And while less than 1 percent of respondents last year were expecting a decrease in that time period, this year, a full 9 percent reported such a decrease. That said, these numbers fall more closely in line with what last year's respondents reported for 2006 to 2007, when 73.2 percent saw an increase, but 8.8 percent saw a drop in their salary.