Feature Article - July 2018
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In The Money

Our 11th Annual Salary Survey

By Emily Tipping


As usual, respondents who are the chairman, CEO, president, vice president or owner of their organization reported the highest average salary, earning 31.2 percent more than the average for all respondents. That said, these respondents reported the greatest decrease to their average salary from 2017 to 2018, with a 5.3 percent drop to $91,050. Respondents in administration management also reported a decrease, with average salary falling 2.2 percent to $72,070 in 2018. The greatest increase was seen by respondents in operations and facility management, who saw their salaries rise 2.9 percent to an average of $60,320. They were followed by directors, with a 1.3 percent increase to an average of $84,420. Respondents in program and activity administration reported virtually no change to their average salary, with a mere 0.1 percent increase from 2017 to an average of $51,350 in 2018. (See Figure 7.)


Typically, respondents with higher levels of education tend to report higher average salaries, and 2018 is no exception. Respondents with advanced degrees reported an average salary that is 51.9 percent higher than the average for all respondents. That said, the greatest increase to average salary was reported by high school graduates, who saw a 17.7 percent increase from 2017 to 2018. They were followed by those with advanced degrees (up 14 percent). Smaller increases were seen among those with some college but no degree (up 3 percent), those with a master's degree or other postgraduate work (up 2.6 percent), and those with an associate's degree (up 0.6 percent). Respondents with bachelor's degrees reported a 5.3 percent decrease to their average salary from 2017 to 2018. (See Figure 8.)


Over the past few years, the number of respondents who have reported increases to their salaries has been on the rise. While 57.4 percent of respondents said their salaries increased from 2015 to 2016, 59.8 percent reported an increase from 2016 to 2017. Another 33.6 percent said their salaries did not change from 2016 to 2017, and 6.6 percent reported a decrease. (See Figure 9.)


Typically, the percentage of respondents who expect their salaries to increase in the year the survey is taken tend to be much lower than the percentage who end up seeing an increase. (No one wants to put the cart before the horse.) For example, only 31 percent of respondents to the 2017 survey said they expected to see an increase in 2017. This year, 33.1 percent of respondents said they expect their salaries will increase from 2017 to 2018, a number that will be substantially higher when we take responses again in 2019, if the trend holds.