Feature Article - July 2011
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Money & Happiness

Our Fourth Annual Salary Survey

By Emily Tipping


Education & Experience

When it comes to education, respondents to our Salary Survey were highly likely to have earned at least a bachelor's degree. More than three-quarters (76.8 percent) had earned a bachelor's, master's or doctorate degree.

The largest group of respondents, 42.6 percent, had earned a bachelor's degree. Another 31.1 percent indicated they had earned a master's degree or completed some level of postgraduate work. Some 12.7 percent had attended college for some time, but without earning a degree, and 6.8 percent said they had earned a two-year, or associate's, degree. Another 3.8 percent were high school graduates, and 3.1 percent had earned an advanced degree or Ph.D.

Predictably, respondents from colleges and universities were the most likely to report having completed a bachelor's degree or beyond. Some 95.9 percent of college respondents said they had earned a college degree or completed postgraduate work, with 16.4 percent saying they had a bachelor's degree, 67 percent reporting they had completed postgraduate work or earned a master's degree, and 12.8 percent indicating they had completed an advanced degree or Ph.D. Respondents from health clubs were the least likely to report having completed a bachelor's degree or higher, though 60.9 percent had.


Fewer respondents to this year's survey reported having two or fewer years of experience in their current jobs. While 19.8 percent of last year's respondents had been in their current position for less than two years, this year that number fell to 15.2 percent. Nearly a quarter (23.8 percent) of respondents said they had been in their current position for five to nine years. Another 17.3 percent had been in their current job for 10 to 14 years (a jump from 14.8 percent last year), and 16.9 percent had been in their current position for three to four years (up from 14.7 percent last year). (See Figure 2.)

On average, respondents have been working in the recreation, sports and fitness industry for 21.4 years. Here there was a jump in the number of respondents who had been in the industry for four years or fewer. This year, 8.7 percent of respondents had four or fewer years in the industry, compared to 7.1 percent last year. That said, well over half (55 percent) of respondents had been in the industry for at least two decades, and another 26.3 percent had been in the industry for at least 10 years, but less than 20. (See Figure 3.)