Golf course superintendents and their teams are being recognized for the value they bring to their facilities and communities with salary increases outpacing the national average. The average salary for superintendents has climbed to $109,621 annually.
The salary data comes from the latest biennial Compensation and Benefits Report from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). More than 3,200 GCSAA-member superintendents responded to the survey (for a response rate of 40%), providing salary, budget, benefits, and staffing information. Respondents to the 2023 report reported a $109,621 average salary, which is an increase of 12.6 percent over the 2021 report. This compares to the national average of all private sector occupations increasing 10.1 percent over the past two calendar years and continues the trend of increases in every two-year period for superintendents since GCSAA began tracking the data in 1993. Superintendents’ salaries have risen more than 146% since that first report, when the average salary was $44,500.
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Assistant superintendents and golf course equipment managers saw even higher increases in their incomes since 2021. Average assistant salaries rose 15.3 percent to $56,299, and equipment managers saw a 14.2 percent increase to $60,584 from the average salary two years ago.
Certified Golf Course Superintendents (CGCS), saw their average salary rise to $128,731 in 2023 or 16% higher than the survey’s average for a superintendent. CGCS is GCSAA’s highest level of certification recognizing a Superintendent’s education, experience, and service.
“Superintendents and their teams bring the essential knowledge and expertise driving the enjoyment of the game of golf and providing environmental, economic and recreational benefits to their communities,” said Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO. “The substantial rise in their salaries acknowledges golf course management teams for the highly skilled professionals that they are and the essential role they play in golf’s success.”
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Another element of the report is the profile of GCSAA superintendents and their operations. The average age of a superintendent is 47.1 years, with 16.6 years in the profession. The average number of years superintendents have spent in their current position decreased slightly to 10.3 years.
Survey participants can access the report for free and others can learn more and purchase the report by visiting gcsaa.org/career/compensation-report.
The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is a leading golf organization in the United States. Its focus is on golf course management, and since 1926 GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the U.S. and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to more than 19,000 members in more than 78 countries. The association’s mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and improve communities through enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Visit GCSAA at www.gcsaa.org or find us on Facebook or Twitter. Visit our industry-leading magazine at GCMonline.com.
The GCSAA Foundation is the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA. Its mission is to secure funding and support to strengthen advocacy, education, and research that advances the work of golf course management professionals. Visit the Foundation at www.gcsaa.org/foundation.