Feature Article - July 2009
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Dollars and Sense

Our 2009 Salary Survey of the Managed Recreation, Sports & Fitness Industry

By Emily Tipping

Top Notch

Once again, the Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) certification is the most commonly planned credential among respondents who plan to get certified within the next two years. While 27 percent of parks and recreation respondents currently have the CPRP behind their names, more are planning to earn it. Of those parks respondents who are planning to earn any certification in the next two years, 55 percent plan to earn the CPRP.

This certification is granted by the National Recreation & Park Association (NRPA) to individuals who work in the recreation, park resources and leisure services profession who meet certain standards and complete an exam.

To learn more about the qualifications and how to get certified, visit www.nrpa.org.

The Nitty-Gritty

So what does all of this experience, education and certification add up to for our respondents? On average, respondents this year indicated they earn $62,200, an increase of 1.1 percent over 2008. This is well short of the 3.1 percent growth the U.S. Labor Department reported in hourly wages from May 2008 to May 2009, but is reflective of slower wage growth that has taken hold over the early half of 2009.

There was little change in salary distribution from one year to the next. Less than one in 10 respondents (8.3 percent) this year indicated that they earned $100,000 or more, which represented no statistical change from 2008, when 8.6 percent earned such a salary. More than half (52.2 percent) of this year's respondents indicated that they earn between $50,000 and $99,999, compared to 52.9 percent of last year's respondents. (See Figure 7.)