Feature Article - July 2020
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Money Matters

Our 13th Annual Salary Survey

By Emily Tipping


Are You Experienced?

As an audience, respondents to the Industry Report Survey tend to be better educated than the American public at large. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, around a third of American adults 25 and older have earned a college degree. By comparison, 80% of Industry Report Survey respondents have earned at least a bachelor's degree. Nearly half, 46.7%, of respondents said they have a bachelor's degree, while 31% have a master's, and 2.3% have an advanced degree. Another 6.5% said they have earned a two-year, or associate's degree, and 11% said they attended college without earning a degree. Finally, 2.5% of respondents said they have a high school diploma.

On average, respondents have been working in their current position for 11.7 years, up from 10.7 years in the 2019 survey. Nearly half (45.6%) of respondents said they have been in their current position for at least 10 years, with 18.4% indicating they've been in their current position for at least 20 years. Some 21.1% of respondents said they've been in their current job for five to nine years, while about a third (33.1%) have been in their current job for less than five years.

Respondents to the survey have racked up a lot of experience, with an average of 22.3 years in the recreation, sports and fitness industry. Well over half (57.4%) said they have been working in the industry for at least 20 years, and 27.6% have been involved in the industry for 30 years or more. More than a quarter (26.7%) of respondents said they have between 10 and 19 years in the industry, while 9.1% have five to nine years. Just 6.8% of respondents have been in the industry for four years or fewer. (See Figure 2.)

Let's Talk Dollars & Sense

Salaries have been on the rise for the past five years, increasing 1.5% year-over-year in 2018 and 2.9% in 2019. In 2020, respondents reported an average salary of $75,370. This represents a 5.5% increase from 2019. It is 15.4% higher than the average salary reported in 2010, $65,300. (See Figure 3.)