Feature Article - July 2008
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Our 2008 Salary Survey of the Managed Recreation, Sports & Fitness Industry

By Emily Tipping

Experience & Education Count

The most commonly held job title among survey respondents was director. More than a third (36 percent) of respondents reported holding this job title. The next largest group (20.9 percent) represented administration and management, with job titles like administrator, manager and superintendent. Just over 14 percent represented operations or facility management, with titles like operations manager, facility manager, building manager and supervisor. Less than 10 percent of respondents came from the other categories.

Figure 12: Job Titles and Salaries
Chairman, CEO, President, VP, Owner 9.3% $79,500
Administration/Management (Administrator, Manager, Superintendent) 20.9% $63,100
Operations/Facility Management (Operations Manager, Facility Manager, Building Manager, Supervisor) 14.1%$50,400
Program/Activity Administration (Activity or Program Director, Manager, Coordinator, Specialist, Coach, Instructor) 9.3% $42,100
Services (Planner, Designer, Architect, Consultant) 1.5%$65,500
Other 8.9% $57,500

The highest salaries were reported by those holding the title of chairman, CEO, president, vice president or owner, who earned an average salary of $79,500—29.3 percent higher than the average for all respondents. Other job titles earning higher-than-average salaries included directors (8.9 percent higher), professionals performing services such as planning, design, architectural work or consulting (6.5 percent higher), and those in administration and management positions (2.6 percent higher).

The lowest average salaries were earned by those working in program and activity administration. Respondents in this category, which includes activity and program directors, managers, coordinators, specialists, coaches and instructors, reported earning 46.1 percent less than the average respondent, with an average annual salary of $42,100. Those working as operations or facility managers, including operations managers, facility managers, building managers and supervisors, also reported earning a less-than-average salary, of $50,400, 22 percent less than the average respondent. (See Figure 12.)

More than three-quarters of respondents (76.6 percent) reported having earned at least a bachelor's degree, with more than a third (34.4 percent) having completed postgraduate work, earning either a master's or a doctorate. As one would expect, salary levels climb as participants reported a higher degree of education, with those at the doctorate level earning 14.3 percent more than the average respondent, while high school graduates earned 25.8 percent less than the average.(See Figure 13.)