Feature Article - July 2014
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Moving On Up

Our Seventh Annual Salary Survey

By Emily Tipping


As usual, higher levels of educational attainment deliver higher salaries. Respondents with a bachelor's degree earned 37.9 percent more, on average, than those with just a high school diploma. That said, respondents with Ph.D.s continued to see their salaries decrease in 2014. After a 6.4 percent drop from 2012 to 2013, these respondents reported a further decrease of 2.3 percent in 2014. At the same time, respondents with a master's degree reported a 0.5 percent increase from 2013 to 2014. (See Figure 9.)

Interestingly, while many survey respondents tend to be more optimistic about the future when it comes to operational budgets, they tend to be more pessimistic when it comes to salary expectations. Consistently, fewer respondents expect to see their salaries increase than actually see such increases. This year, nearly half (47.2 percent) of respondents said their salary had increased from 2012 to 2013. (See Figure 10.) Only 25.6 percent of respondents in 2013 expected an increase in that time frame. Therefore, it is likely that although only 28.3 percent of respondents in 2014 said they expect to see a salary increase from 2013 to 2014, a greater number will actually receive such an increase.

Respondents from YMCAs were the most likely to report that their salaries had increased from 2012 to 2013, but those from health clubs reported the greatest average increase in that time frame. (See Figure 11.) More than half (56 percent) of YMCA respondents said their salaries had increased in that time period, and they reported an average increase of 3.3 percent. Some 44.8 percent of health club respondents said their salaries had risen from 2012 to 2013, and they reported an average increase of 6 percent. Looking ahead, respondents from health clubs are the most likely to believe their salaries will increase in 2014. Some 43.8 percent of health club respondents expect an increase in that time frame. They were followed by YMCA respondents, 34.5 percent of whom expect an increase in 2014.

Our annual salary survey report revealed a slight increase to average salaries for professionals in the field of recreation, sports and fitness, with salaries rising 1 percent from the average reported in 2013.