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GCSAA survey shows rise in salaries for golf course superintendents

by May 11, 2021 | Mike Strauss

Average salary for certified superintendents up 7.5% in biennial report

Lawrence, Kan. (May 11, 2021) – Golf courses around the country continue to recognize that an investment in golf course superintendents is an investment in the facility, as the average salary for superintendents climbed to $97,354 annually.

The average salary and additional data come from the latest biennial Compensation and Benefits Report from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). The 2021 report showed that the $97,354 average salary was an increase of 4.5 percent over the 2019 report, continuing the trend of increases in every two-year period since GCSAA began tracking the data in 1993. Superintendents’ salaries have more than doubled in three decades since that first report, when the average salary was $44,500.

Certified golf course superintendents, those who have achieved the highest level of recognition through education, experience and service, saw an increase of 7.5 percent over 2019. Their average salary rose to $119,558, an increase of $8,308 over 2019.

Assistant superintendents and golf course equipment managers also saw increases in their incomes. Assistant salaries rose 5.6 percent, and equipment managers saw a 5 percent increase from the average salary two years ago.

“As golf has risen in popularity in the past year, it clear that employers understand the value of these highly educated professionals who oversee the golf facility’s top asset,” said Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO. “In particular they see the positive impact of rewarding those who seek the highest level of knowledge as certified golf course superintendents do.” 

The report also gives a good picture of the profile of GCSAA superintendents and their operations. The average age of a superintendent is 47.3 years, and they have spent 16.7 years in the profession. The average number of years superintendents have spent in their current position stayed steady at 10.4 years.

Between December 2020 and January 2021, the association research firm Industry Insights sent the 2021 survey to all GCSAA Class A and Class B members and the response rate was 43 percent, with a margin of error of +/-1.3 percent and a 95 percent level of confidence.

More information about the 2021 Compensation and Benefits Report is available at