What does your salary signify?
Photo illustration by Lisa Kenney
GCSAA superintendents who responded to the 2009 GCSAA Compensation and Benefits survey can now access the final report at www.gcsaa.org. Some of the data, especially statistics demonstrating trends, are shared with those outside the membership for several reasons:
A key expectation of an association is to maintain data, including salaries, about the profession.
• Other groups collect salary data about GCSAA members, and ours should be regarded as closest to the source. With a response rate to the 2009 survey of more than 50 percent of superintendents polled, the validity of the data assures its usefulness in a wide range of categories.
• The golf course management profession is unique, as factors that influence salary levels vary widely from course to course. Several criteria need to be examined along with the corresponding salary data. The superintendent should be involved to explain what key factors determine why they are paid a particular salary.
• When employers call GCSAA career services, they are typically referred to their superintendent to discuss salary information in order to better clarify the factors that are key at that golf facility. GCSAA staff members work with individual superintendents to help them find the appropriate salary range for their current position.
If reading tables of numbers, even those with dollar signs attached, isn’t your idea of the best way to spend your precious time away from tees and greens, here are some ways to make use of that information.
Learn demographic details about the profession to share with golfers and employers.
• The average age of superintendents is currently 43.7 years, inching up from 42 in 2005.
• 70 percent of superintendents have retirement accounts beyond what their employer offers.
• 70.4 percent of working superintendents have earned an associate’s degree or higher. 46.7 percent have at least a bachelor’s degree.
Be assured that superintendent salaries continue to rise.
• The median salary for 2009 survey respondents is 6.9 percent higher than in 2007.
• Assistant pay is also advancing, but not at the same rate. The current median of $37,500 is 5.3 percent higher than in 2007.
• Average maintenance budget amounts relate to salary levels as they may be determined by many of the same factors (level of course conditioning, golfer expectations, amount of fiscal resources available, etc.).
• Of those who reported having received a bonus in 2009, the average was almost $7,500. The most common criteria for bonuses listed are merit/job performance (63.9 percent), profitability of overall operation (43.9 percent) and staying under budget (37.2 percent).
Don’t forget the “hidden compensation” of benefits.
• Often higher salaries are found at private facilities, and just as often, better benefits can be found at public, especially municipal, facilities.
• 97 percent of GCSAA membership dues are paid by employers; 96 percent also pay chapter dues. Professional development is supported by employers — 89 percent cover seminars, and 74 percent pay for conference registration. In addition, 70 percent cover travel to the GCSAA conference and show.
Gearing up for a big presentation to your greens committee, group of visitors to your course or your employer and need help creating a PowerPoint presentation? Take advantage of GCSAA’s On-Demand webcast designed specifically for you. “Animation & Presentation Tips for PowerPoint Users” offers tips on how to add audio, video and animation to your PowerPoint presentation without overdoing it. Presented by Tracy Adair Derning, GCSAA’s online product specialist and software trainer, it gives all the how-tos of PowerPoint with some rules on what not to do. Contact GCSAA Education for more information at 800-472-7878, or visit www.gcsaa.org/education/webcast/webcast.aspx.
For superintendents crafting an employee handbook for their maintenance staffs, the U.S. Department of Labor offers some basics. An employee handbook should contain: employment policies and procedures; orientation information for new employees; legal obligations of employer and employee; and responsibilities of employer and employee to each other. When it comes to the actual creation of the handbook, keep it simple, clearly written and well organized; keep it current, updating it with policies every time they change; remain current on employment law issues and pay attention to legalities; distinguish between company-wide policies and job specifics; and control the distribution of the handbook — have employees sign an agreement of receiving and understanding the handbook’s contents.