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.