Feature Article - July 2008
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Money-Wise

Our 2008 Salary Survey of the Managed Recreation, Sports & Fitness Industry

By Emily Tipping


The average respondent has 12.8 direct reports, though more than half (50.6 percent) of respondents indicated that between one and 10 people are reporting to them. Just 6.6 percent said they do not have any employees reporting directly to them, indicating the high level of responsibility among most survey participants. Nearly one-fifth (17.6 percent) of respondents indicated that they have more than 30 direct reports. (See Figure 3.)

Professionals in the recreation, sports and fitness industry are hard-working, with the typical respondent putting in an average of 47.7 hours per week. This is slightly higher than the mean number of hours worked by adults employed full- or part-time interviewed by Gallup. According to Gallup, the mean number of hours worked in August 2007 by adults employed full- and part-time was 43.6. The discrepancy could be explained by the small number of part-time workers we surveyed. Fewer than 7 percent of respondents work less than 40 hours a week. Around a third (33.5 percent) indicated that they work at least 50 hours per week! (See Figure 4.)

The majority of respondents (72.6 percent) said that their responsibilities had increased over the past year, and even more (75.7 percent) expect their responsibilities to increase even further in the coming year.

More than half (50.1 percent) of respondents feel that their salaries are too low, given their current responsibilities. Nearly half (49.5 percent) feel their salaries are appropriate, given their current responsibilities. And surprisingly, 0.4 percent of respondents feel their salaries are actually too high, given their current responsibilities. Those who reported feeling their salaries are inappropriately low were more likely to report that they worked in excess of 50 hours per week than those who feel their salaries are appropriate.

Despite the fact that so many feel they are underpaid, the majority (77.6 percent) of respondents indicated that they are either very satisfied or satisfied in their current position. Less than 10 percent (8.1 percent) said they were either unsatisfied or very unsatisfied. (See Figure 5.)

Not surprisingly, respondents who received a raise in 2007 were more likely to indicate that they were either very satisfied or satisfied. A full 80 percent of respondents whose salaries were higher in 2007 than in 2006 said they were happy in their work. Interestingly, those whose salaries were lower were more likely than those who had seen no change in salary to indicate higher levels of job satisfaction. Nearly 14 percent of those who saw no change to their salary said they were unsatisfied or very unsatisfied, compared with 9 percent of those whose salaries were lower. And while 73.2 percent of those with lower salaries in 2007 indicated they were very satisfied or satisfied, just 65.6 percent of those whose salaries had remained the same felt this way. This could reflect people switching careers or jobs into lower-salary positions that offer more fulfillment.