GCSAA survey shows salaries for superintendents have risen 4.7% in the last two years

by May 16, 2017 | Sarah Huerter

Salaries for superintendents have doubled since the first biennial survey in 1993.

Lawrence, Kan. (May 16, 2017) – Employers of golf course superintendents continue to reinforce the value they place in golf course facility leaders as the average annual salary for the profession climbed to more than $89,000 in 2017.

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 2017 report showed that the $89,189 average salary was an increase of 4.7 percent over the 2015 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 the last quarter century 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 more than 5 percent for the second consecutive survey. Their average salary rose to $109,620, an increase of $5,627 over 2015.

Assistant superintendents and golf course equipment managers also saw increases in their incomes. Assistant salaries rose 4.2 percent, and equipment managers saw a 5.1 percent increase from the average salary two years ago.

“Golf course owners realize that the No. 1 asset of the golf facility is the course, so they have continued to invest in golf course superintendents and their staffs,” said Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO. “The continued rise in compensation recognizes superintendents for the highly educated professionals they are.” 

The report also gives a good picture of the profile of GCSAA superintendents and their operations. The average age of a superintendent is 46 years, and they have spent 16.2 years in the profession. The average number of years superintendents have spent in their current position stayed steady at 10.4 years.

Between December 2016 and January 2017, the association research firm Industry Insights sent the 2017survey to all GCSAA Class A and Class B members and the response rate was 39.3 percent, with a margin of error of +/-1.4 percent and a 95 percent level of confidence.

More information about the 2017 Compensation and Benefits Report is available at gcsaa.org.

About GCSAA and the EIFG

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is a leading golf organization in the United States. Its focus is on golf course management, and since 1926 GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the U.S. and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to nearly 18,000 members in more than 78 countries. The association’s mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Visit GCSAA at www.gcsaa.org or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

The Environmental Institute for Golf is the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA. Its mission is to foster sustainability through research, awareness, education, programs and scholarships for the benefit of golf course management professionals, golf facilities and the game. Visit EIFG at www.eifg.org. or find us on Facebook or Twitter.