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  • Career Center Staff Salaries Then and Now: 2005 and 2015

    March 23, 2016 | By NACE Staff

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    TAGS: salaries, surveys, benchmarks, spotlight

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals

    Among career center professional staff, directors earned the highest annual base salary, followed by associate directors, according to NACE’s 2015-16 Career Services Benchmark Survey Report for Colleges and Universities.

    Career center directors earned an average of $74,337, while associate directors made an average of $61,982. Also among the top earners were assistant directors ($49,703) and technology coordinators ($46,471). (See Figure 1.)

    But, how have the salaries of career center professional staff members changed over the last 10 years, particularly from the perspective of inflation?

    In terms of nominal—or “on-paper”—dollar amounts, the mean director salary increased by an average of 2.8 percent for each year from 2005 to 2015. However, in terms of real dollars (inflation-adjusted dollars, using 2005 as the baseline year), the average year-to-year increase for directors was 0.6 percent.

    With some slight variations, similar trends were also observed for every other professional staff member, with the exception of career information coordinators, whose salaries rapidly grew from a meager $26,795 in 2005 to $45,722 in nominal dollar amounts ($37,624 in inflation adjusted dollar amounts) in 2015. (See Figure 2.)

    Ultimately, while the salaries of career centers’ professional staff members continue to grow “on-paper” over time, these increases are often insufficient to exceed the rate of inflation. In terms of actual purchasing power, this renders salaries stagnant from year to year, and, in some cases, they are even lower than they were in previous years.

    Data for NACE’s 2015-16 Career Services Benchmark Survey Report for Colleges and Universities were collected from September 14, 2015, to December 23, 2015, from NACE member institutions; there were 842 respondents, representing 42.9 percent of all eligible respondents. Survey results are available at www.naceweb.org/surveys/career-services.aspx. Participating career centers receive a complimentary copy of the results (see MyNACE > Research Reports).

    Figure 1: Salaries of Professional Staff Members, Overall

    Position Percentile 25 Mean Median Percentile 75
    Director $57,500 $74,337 $70,000 $87,000
    Associate Director $55,000 $61,982 $60,000 $68,500
    Assistant Director $42,250 $49,703 $49,500 $55,500
    Career Counselor $38,000 $44,262 $43,000 $48,000
    Career Information Coordinator $38,000 $45,722 $43,000 $50,000
    Internship Coordinator $38,000 $44,387 $44,787 $49,000
    Marketing Coordinator $35,000 $43,601 $42,000 $46,000
    Employer Relations Coordinator $36,000 $43,522 $42,000 $49,000
    Technology Coordinator $39,829 $46,471 $45,300 $53,000
    Source: 2015-16 Career Services Benchmark Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Figure 2: Mean Salaries of Professional Staff Members, Nominal Versus Real Dollars, 2005-15

    Position 2005 Nominal Dollars 2015 Nominal Dollars 2005 Real Dollars 2015 Real Dollars
    Director $58,073 $74,337 $58,073 $61,171
    Associate Director $50,381 $61,982 $50,381 $51,004
    Assistant Director $42,043 $49,703 $42,043 $40,900
    Career Counselor $34,637 $44,262 $34,637 $36,423
    Career Information Coordinator $26,795 $45,722 $26,795 $37,624
    Internship Coordinator $36,403 $44,387 $36,403 $36,525
    Marketing Coordinator $37,540 $43,601 $37,540 $39,553
    Employer Relations Coordinator $33,507 $43,522 $33,507 $35,814
    Technology Coordinator $37,997 $46,471 $37,997 $38,240
    Source: 2015-16 Career Services Benchmark Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers