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The average annual salary for golf course superintendents has climbed to $97,354 in 2021.
This and additional data come from the latest biennial Compensation and Benefits Report from GCSAA. The $97,354 average salary represents an increase of 4.5% compared with the average salary in 2019, 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 three decades since the 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 — have seen a 7.5% salary increase compared with 2019. Their average salary has risen to $119,558, an increase of $8,308 over 2019.
Editor’s note: Regional agronomist Dave Waymire, CGCS, shares wisdom from several tenured turf managers to help fellow superintendents get to the top of their game in The 10 commandments of successful golf course superintendents.
Assistant superintendents and golf course equipment managers have also seen increases in their incomes. Assistant salaries have grown 5.6%, and equipment manager salaries 5% compared with two years ago.
“As golf has risen in popularity in the past year, it’s clear that employers understand the value of these highly educated professionals who oversee the golf facility’s top asset,” says Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO. “In particular, they see the positive impact of rewarding those who seek the highest level of knowledge, as Certified Golf Course Superintendents do.”
The report also offers a profile of GCSAA superintendents and their operations. The average age of a superintendent is 47.3 years, and he or she has spent 16.7 years in the profession. The average number of years a superintendent has spent in his or her current position has stayed steady at 10.4 years.
In December 2020 and January 2021, the association research firm Industry Insights sent the 2021 Compensation and Benefits survey to all GCSAA Class A and Class B members, and the response rate was 43%, with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.3% and a 95% level of confidence.
Get more information about GCSAA’s 2021 Compensation and Benefits Report.