Hot off the presses

Surprise, surprise, surprise--while most association execs saw their salary rise over the past two years, expositions/tradeshow manager saw a decline in total compensation (this on top of decreases from 2001 to 2002). Not a good trend, folks. For the full press release, click on "continue reading" below.

Update: This article from Meeting News has some more of the numbers.

    WASHINGTON, DC- Most association executives experienced an increase in median total compensation from 2002 to 2004, according to the just-published 15th edition of the American Society of Association Executives’ (ASAE) Association Executive Compensation & Benefits Study.

    This annual study examines the salaries and employment benefits of 34 executive-level positions at 679 responding associations across the country. More than half (54 percent) of the responding organizations were trade associations, and the remaining 46 percent were individual membership organizations. There were a wide range of industries and interest areas represented by the participating associations, with the most common being healthcare/medical (16 percent of respondents). Other commonly represented industries/interest areas included construction (9 percent), educational (8 percent), real estate (6 percent) and financial/banking and scientific/technical (5 percent each).

    Analysis of the most recent statistical data, collected in survey forms returned by ASAE member organizations earlier this year, indicates that from 2002 to 2004, 26 out of 34 job titles surveyed in both years experienced an increase in median total compensation during that period.

    On average, median total compensation for the positions examined in this study rose a modest 3 percent annually from 2002 to 2004. The five positions with the largest gains in median total compensation between 2002 and 2004 are Advertising Sales, Quality Service/Control, Chief Economist, Environmental Affairs, and Publishing. The seven positions that experienced decreases during that period are Administration, Expositions/Tradeshows, Industry/Consumer Affairs, Information Services/Library, Insurance, Regional/Field Services, and Washington, D.C. office. Three of these seven positions - Administration, Expositions/Tradeshows, and Industry/Consumer Affairs - also experienced decreases in compensation from 2001 to 2002.

    In addition to detailed information about compensation, the survey asked participants about the structure, size and characteristics of each organization - important factors to consider when comparing salary levels and employee benefits. The profile of participating organizations in the 2004 study is diverse with respect to total budget, total staff size, industry/interest area represented, and tax-exempt status, but as a whole, is reflective of ASAE’s membership.

    Analysis of data presented in the study shows that, as in previous years, the total annual budget of an association is the most important factor to consider when examining the total compensation of CEOs and other association staff. Almost without exception, the findings show that the larger the total annual budget of the organization, the greater the individual’s total compensation (and vice versa). For example, the total compensation of CEOs working at organizations with budgets of more than $15 million (this study’s largest budget category) is $304,107, which is five times greater than the median total compensation of CEOs working at organizations with budgets of $300,000 or less (this study’s smallest budget category).

    In general, the same rule applies when considering an organization’s staff size - the larger the staff, the greater the CEO’s or senior staff person’s overall earnings. Cost of living in various geographical locations is another key factor influencing compensation. As in previous ASAE compensation studies, New York (1st), Washington, D.C. (2nd) and Chicago (4th) rank as metropolitan areas with high median CEO compensation in 2004. Historically, Washington, D.C., and Chicago have been the two cities most densely populated by associations and other nonprofit organizations. San Francisco (3rd) and Tallahassee, FL (5th) round out the top five metro areas for CEO compensation.

    Overall, the 2004 compensation data indicates that female CEOs earn less than their male counterparts - a statistic that is consistent with previous ASAE compensation studies. In 2004, median total compensation of male CEOs was $164,525, while that of female CEOs was $100,067. Among the responding organizations, male CEOs outnumbered female CEOs two to one.

    Outside of the CEO and Deputy CEO, the five most common senor staff positions were Chief Financial Officer, Meetings/Conventions, Administration, Education/Certification, and Information Technology. The five highest paid executives (outside of CEO and Deputy CEO) were Attorney (Staff), Washington, D.C., Office, Chief Economist, Subsidiary (For-Profit), and Environmental Affairs.

    To purchase a copy of the 15th edition of ASAE’s Association Executive Compensation and Benefits Study, please visit ASAE’s bookstore online at www.asaenet.org/bookstore/ or call ASAE toll-free at 888-950-ASAE.

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