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Parks and Recreation Director Salary

With slightly less than three-fifths of Parks and Recreation Directors in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience, the field is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Average pay for Parks and Recreation Directors is $55K annually and can range from $30K on the lower end to $101K per year near the higher end. Most Parks and Recreation Directors report high levels of job satisfaction. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. The majority of Parks and Recreation Directors (66 percent) survey respondents are male. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$30,739 - $102,148
(Median)
$31K
$55K
$100K
MEDIAN: $55,444
10%
50%
90%

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$12.15 - $27.51
(Median)
$12
$17
$28
MEDIAN: $17.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$30,739 - $102,148  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,936  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$30,294 - $100,864  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 248
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$12.15 - $27.51  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $60.13  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,936  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$30,294 - $100,864  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 32

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Job Description for Parks and Recreation Director

Parks/recreation directors are generally hired by cities and towns. If hiring, local governments seek individuals who can fulfill the duties of overseeing parks/recreation programs. Ideal applicants should have a Bachelor's degree, usually in Park Management, Public Administration, or a related field. A Master's degree is more preferable, but not necessary for the position. Many organizations require at least four years of experience supervising staff in park management or other relevant work. Some cities may require that their parks and recreation director be a resident of the city for a period of time, as well.

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Parks and Recreation Director Tasks

  • Administer the parks and recreation budget to ensure that funds are spent efficiently and projects remain within budget.
  • Develop and implement plans for the parks and recreation system, and direct the collection and analysis of data to support planning.
  • Oversee parks and recreation staff, assign tasks, supervise work, and provide training.
  • Under the direction of the city manager operate a city’s park system and recreational programs.
  • Facilitate communication of parks and recreation department activities, programs, and projects to the public.

Parks and Recreation Director Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Parks and Recreation Director


Survey results show that Parks and Recreation Directors use a fair number of skills. Lucky workers who know People Management can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 20 percent above average. Event Management and Budget Management are also correlated to pay that is above average, with increases between 7 percent and 20 percent. Those listing Event Planning as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Those familiar with Budget Management also tend to know Project Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Parks and Recreation Director

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Parks and Recreation Directors with a lot of experience tend to enjoy higher earnings. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $36K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $49K. On average, Parks and Recreation Directors make $61K following one to two decades on the job. Parks and Recreation Directors who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $68K on average.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Parks and Recreation Director Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 30%


National Average
$52,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 6%

Entry-Level
up arrow 31%

Skills That Affect Parks and Recreation Director Salaries

People Management
up arrow 20%


Project Management
up arrow 7%

Event Management
up arrow 7%

Strategic Planning
up arrow 6%

Operations Management
up arrow 3%

National Average
$52,000

Event Planning
up arrow 34%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 65 votes.

Gender

Female
34 %
Male
66 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
24%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
32%
20 years or more
26%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 73%
vision benefits Vision: 57% employee benefits None: 11%