The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that in 2015, there were more than 153,000 full-time employees of local park and recreation agencies throughout the United States. Park and recreation agencies have to offer competitive compensation to attract and retain the best people to serve their communities. Beyond base salaries and the possibility of earning a bonus, workers also consider other benefits when choosing an employer, including healthcare, retirement plan, vacation days and sick days.

Having access to comprehensive compensation data informs park and recreation agency leaders on how to attract the best staff. Conversely, this data also provides park and recreation professionals insights on salary and benefits offerings from potential employers. This is where the NRPA Park and Recreation Salary Survey report comes in. In April 2018, NRPA’s research team sent a 32-question survey to elicit not only the salary data of 10 positions at park and recreation agencies, but also about general information on benefits and salary policies. The survey generated responses from 714 park and recreation agencies across the United States, resulting in a 15-percent response rate.

The NRPA Park and Recreation Salary Survey report features detailed base salary and bonus data for ten typical park and recreation agency positions:

  • Park and Recreation Agency Director (or Executive Director or Superintendent)
  • Planning Director (or Superintendent)
  • Director of Finance (or Business Manager or Administrative Director)
  • Recreation Director (or Recreation Superintendent or Assistant Director - Recreation)
  • Park Operations Director (or Maintenance Director or Maintenance Superintendent)
  • Park Operations Foreman (or Maintenance Foreman)
  • Facilities Manager
  • Athletics Supervisor (or Athletics Manager)
  • Aquatics Supervisor (or Aquatics Manager)
  • Recreation Programs Coordinator (or Recreation Programs Manager)

Summarized Salary Survey Report

Park and Recreation Salary Survey

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