Feature Article - July 2018
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In The Money

Our 11th Annual Salary Survey

By Emily Tipping


Education & Experience

Respondents to the survey tend to have attained much higher levels of educational achievement than the average American citizen. The U.S. Census Bureau reported in 2017 that 33.4 percent of Americans 25 or older had earned at least a bachelor's degree. Among survey respondents, 78.6 percent have earned a bachelor's degree or higher. Some 44.3 percent said they have earned a bachelor's degree, while 32.3 percent have earned a master's degree. Some 2 percent have earned an advanced degree or Ph.D. Another 12.7 percent of respondents said they have attended college without earning a degree, and 5.1 percent have earned a two-year, or associate's degree. Another 3.6 percent have a high school diploma.

On average, respondents have been working in their current position for 11.2 years. Some 44.3 percent of respondents said they have been in their current position for at least 10 years, with 16.5 percent indicating they've been in their current jobs for at least 20 years. Just over a fifth (20.1 percent) said they have been in their current position for five to nine years, and 35.7 percent have been in their current jobs for less than five years. (See Figure 2.)


On average, respondents have been working in the recreation, sports and fitness industry for 21.3 years. More than half (53.8 percent) said they have been working in the industry for at least 20 years, and 25.2 percent have been in the industry for 30 years or more. Those with less than 10 years of industry experience make up 18.1 percent of the survey population. (See Figure 3.)


Show Me the Money

Last year's salary survey showed a 1.6 percent increase in the average salary over 2016. In 2018, the average salary is up 1.5 percent from 2017, to $69,420.

The percentage of respondents who said they earn more than $100,000 increased from 13 percent in 2017 to 14.5 percent in 2018. The percentage of respondents who said they earn a salary between $50,000 and $100,000 fell slightly, from 57.5 percent in 2017 to 56.4 percent in 2018. The percentage of respondents who earn less than $50,000 also fell slightly, from 29.6 percent in 2017 to 29 percent in 2018. (See Figure 4.)