Feature Article - July 2011
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Money & Happiness

Our Fourth Annual Salary Survey

By Emily Tipping


Respondents from camp facilities and schools and school districts reported the highest number of years working in their current position. Camp respondents have been in their current jobs for an average 12.8 years, while school respondents have been in their current jobs for an average of 12 years.

At the same time, respondents from parks and recreation, as well as schools and school districts, reported having the most experience in the industry. Parks respondents have been in the industry for an average of 22.7 years, while school respondents have an average 22.2 years of experience in the industry. That said, even those with the least amount of experience in the industry—respondents from community centers and camps—had at least 18 years of experience. (See Figure 4.)


While a majority of respondents (69.2 percent) said they had earned their CPR/AED/First Aid certification—a requirement for many recreation, sports and fitness careers—other certifications were less popular.

The most commonly held certifications, other than CPR/AED/First Aid, included aquatic management and pool operations certification, held by 19.7 percent of respondents (a slight increase from 19.3 percent last year); coaching certification, held by 18.8 percent of respondents (down from 21.5 percent last year); and lifeguard certification, held by 16.8 percent of respondents (up slightly from 16.4 percent last year).

The only change greater than 2 percent in the number of respondents with a particular certification was found for those holding teaching certifications, a number that dropped by 3 points, from 16 percent of respondents in 2010 to 13 percent in 2011.