Career Services Staff Salaries Begin to Separate at Management Level

July 10, 2020 | By NACE Staff

Trends & Predictions
A group of career services professionals.

TAGS: compensation, nace insights, salaries, surveys,

Spotlight for Career Services Professionals

There is very little differentiation in the average salaries for each of the career services positions until one gets to the management level, according to results of NACE’s 2019-20 Career Services Compensation Report.

In fact, the average difference as one moves up the ladder from career information coordinator (the lowest-paid position at an average of $45,577) to data analyst (the highest-paid position at an average of $50,539) is only 1.3 percent for every step up the ladder. (See Figure 1.)

At the management levels, there are some larger differences in compensation levels related to positions. Assistant director salaries are, on average, nearly 9 percent greater than those for data analysts; associate directors get a 20 percent bump over those at the assistant director level; directors’ salaries are, on average, 19 percent greater than those of associate directors; and executive directors/vice presidents see an average boost of 37 percent over those simply with the director’s title/function.

The relative positioning of salaries among career services professionals remained approximately the same in 2019-20 as they were in 2018-19. Most of the averages did see an increase—the average increase across all positions was 3.2 percent. There were several outliers, however. Three positions recorded changes of 10 percent or more, including director (an increase of 10.1 percent), career counselor (a decrease of 12.6 percent), and career adviser (an increase of 16.9 percent).

The survey on which NACE’s 2019-20 Career Services Compensation Report is based was conducted from November 17, 2019, until January 27, 2020. A total of 586 career services offices provided responses to the survey out of 1,869 total questionnaires delivered—a response rate of 31 percent.

However, it is important to consider the timing of this survey. Data were collected from November 2019 to January 2020. Therefore, responses were submitted before the coronavirus pandemic and do not reflect any changes career services offices may have made to their budgets and/or operations in response to it. Still, NACE is reporting the data to illustrate where college career services compensation was pre-pandemic and to eventually help our field assess how the pandemic impacted it. The 2019-20 Career Services Compensation Report will be available on NACEWeb later in July.

Figure 1: Average Salary by Position

Vice president
Average Salary$107,941
Average Salary$78,584
Associate director
Average Salary$66,233
Assistant director
Average Salary$54,955
Data analyst
Average Salary$50,539
Career counselor
Average Salary$50,439
Internship coordinator
Average Salary$49,749
Employer relations coordinator
Average Salary$49,463
Information technology coordinator
Average Salary$49,397
Marketing coordinator
Average Salary$48,452
Career coach
Average Salary$48,188
Career adviser
Average Salary$46,602
Career information coordinator
Average Salary$45,577
Position Average Salary
Vice president $107,941
Director $78,584
Associate director $66,233
Assistant director $54,955
Data analyst $50,539
Career counselor $50,439
Internship coordinator $49,749
Employer relations coordinator $49,463
Information technology coordinator $49,397
Marketing coordinator $48,452
Career coach $48,188
Career adviser $46,602
Career information coordinator $45,577
Source: 2019-20 Career Services Compensation Report, National Association of Colleges and Employers
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