March 23, 2016 | By NACE Staff
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
Figure 2: Mean Salaries of Professional Staff Members, Nominal Versus Real Dollars, 2005-15
Percent of staff time spent student-facing
Median number of FTE professional staff
Median number of students per professional staff member
Percent of budget spent on personnel costs
Percent of career centers with employer partnership programs
Percent of career center leaders with title “executive director”
2019-20 Career Services Benchmark Survey Report