Feature Article - July 2012
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In the Money

Our Fifth Annual Salary Survey

By Emily Tipping


Slightly more respondents this year were male, compared with last year's survey population. Nearly seven in 10 (69.9 percent) of 2012 respondents were male, and 30.1 percent were female, compared with 66.1 percent and 33.9 percent in 2011.

Likewise, slightly more respondents in 2012 were white. Some 91.6 percent of respondents were white. The next largest ethnic group represented were black/non-Hispanic respondents, with 3.2 percent. They were followed by Hispanic (2 percent); Asian/Pacific Islanders (1.2 percent); American Indians/ Alaskan Natives (0.7 percent); and 1.2 percent who claimed other ethnicities.

Respondents held job titles that, for the most part, reflected a high level of responsibility and decision-making within their organizations. More than a third (36.1 percent) were directors. Another fifth (20.6 percent) held administration/management positions, such as administrator, manager or superintendent. Some 16.7 percent were in operations/facility management positions, such as operations manager, facility manager, building manager or supervisor. More than one in 10 (10.1 percent) were in program and activity administration, with job titles such as program director, manager, coordinator, specialist, coach or instructor. Some 7.6 percent were chairman, CEO, president, vice president or owner for their organization. And just 0.6 percent said they were in services positions, such as planner, designer, architect and consultant. Some 8.3 percent listed their job title as something other than one of these categories. (See Figure 1.)

Job titles differed a great deal depending on which type of facility the respondents were reporting from. For example, respondents from YMCAs were more likely than others to give director as their job title. More than half (52 percent) of YMCA respondents were the director at their organization. Parks respondents were most likely to be in administration management positions, with more than a quarter (25.1 percent) of these respondents listing this as their job role. Respondents from community centers were most likely to be in operations and facility management positions. A quarter (25 percent) of these respondents held such job titles. Respondents from colleges, closely followed by community centers, were most likely to be in program and activity administration. Some 14 percent of college respondents and 13.7 percent of community center respondents held such job titles. Finally, camp respondents and YMCA respondents were most likely to hold the title of chairman, CEO, president, vice president or owner, with 27.8 percent of camp respondents and 25 percent of YMCA respondents indicating this was their job title.

Learning and Growing

What path did our respondents take to get to their current job roles? For the most part, respondents are college educated, and have earned either a bachelor's degree (39.8 percent of respondents) or a master's degree (34.9 percent of respondents). A much smaller percentage indicated that they have attained a Ph.D. (3.7 percent). On the other end of the educational spectrum, fewer respondents said they had attained an associate's degree (5.9 percent); attended some college without earning a degree (11.9 percent); or had just a high school diploma (3.8 percent).

As you might expect, respondents from colleges and universities were the most likely to hold a Ph.D. or master's degree. Some 14 percent of these respondents indicated they had earned their Ph.D., and 62.4 percent had earned a master's. Respondents from camp facilities were the most likely to report that they had not earned a degree beyond a high school diploma. Some 5.2 percent of camp respondents had a high school diploma, and 18.1 percent had attended some college without earning a degree.