Feature Article - July 2014
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Moving On Up

Our Seventh Annual Salary Survey

By Emily Tipping


Most respondents to the survey hold higher-level positions in their organizations, with more than one-third (34.4 percent) reporting that their job title was director. Another 20 percent are in administration management, with job titles such as administrator, manager or superintendent. Some 14.7 percent of respondents were in operations and facility management, including operations managers, facility managers, building managers and supervisors. Some 11.1 percent of respondents were in program and activity administration, with job titles such as activity or program director, manager, coordinator, specialist, coach or instructor. Slightly fewer (9.5 percent) were the chairman, CEO, president, vice president or owner for their organization. Around 1 percent were in services, including planners, designers, architects and consultants. Finally, 9.3 percent were in "other" job roles not specified in the report. (See Figure 1.)

Respondents with the "director" title were most likely to be working with colleges and universities (41.1 percent of these respondents were directors) and YMCAs (40.3 percent). Respondents in administration management positions were more likely to report in from parks, with 25.6 percent of parks respondents indicating they held administration management positions. Operations and facility managers, as well as program and activity administrators were more likely to report from community centers. Some 21.8 percent of community center respondents were in operations or facility management, and 18.6 percent were in program and activity administration. Those holding the title of chairman, CEO, president, vice president and owner were most likely to be from YMCAs, health clubs and camps. Some 33.1 percent of YMCA respondents, 31 percent of health club respondents and 30.1 percent of camp respondents held this title.

Career Paths

Respondents to our survey are highly educated, compared with the population of the United States. While 31.7 percent of Americans age 25 and older had achieved at least a bachelor's degree as of 2013, 78.8 percent of our survey respondents had done so. They were most likely to have earned a bachelor's degree. Some 41.1 percent of respondents had a bachelor's. Another 34.2 percent said they had earned their master's degree, and 3.5 percent had achieved a doctorate. Of the remaining respondents, 10.8 percent said they had attended some college, 6.5 percent had a two-year degree or associate's degree, and 4 percent had completed a high school diploma.

Respondents from schools and camps were more likely than others to have only a high school diploma, though only a small number of them did. Some 6.9 percent of respondents from these types of facilities had just a high school diploma. Respondents from colleges and from YMCAs were the most likely to report having earned a bachelor's degree, master's degree or Ph.D. Some 96.7 percent of college respondents and 86.1 percent of YMCA respondents had done so. Respondents from camps were the least likely to have earned a four-year degree or more, with 70.3 percent. Higher degrees were most common among college respondents, where 83.2 percent had earned their master's or Ph.D. They were followed by schools, where 56 percent had earned a master's or PhD.

Most respondents have amassed a great deal of experience, both in their current positions and in the industry. Nearly half (47.7 percent) reported that they have been in their current position for at least 10 years. Another quarter (24.2 percent) have between five and nine years under their belts in their current role. (See Figure 2.)

Respondents from camp facilities had the longest average tenure in their current job roles. On average, camp respondents have been in their current jobs for 13.4 years. They were followed by those from colleges and universities, with 12.4 years in their current jobs.