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Parks and Recreation Director Salary (United States)

Over one-half of Parks and Recreation Directors in the United States are seasoned employees who have more than 10 years of experience in the field. Pay ranges from $30K to $101K per year, and the average number comes out to $54K annually. A solid majority report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
Parks and Recreation Director Salary (?
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.
)
$31,320 - $101,575
(Median)
31K
40K
54K
73K
100K
MEDIAN: $53,691
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Parks and Recreation Director Salary (?
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.
)
$11.95 - $26.64
(Median)
12
17
23
27
MEDIAN: $16.00
10%
50%
75%
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
$31,320 - $101,575  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,064  
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).
)
$30,194 - $100,603  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 227
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
$11.95 - $26.64  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $43.75  
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 - $3,064  
   
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).
)
$30,194 - $100,603  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 35
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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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Parks and Recreation Directors generally report applying a varied skill set to their work. Most notably, facility with People Management, Project Management, and Operations Management are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 24 percent, 14 percent, and 12 percent, respectively. Those listing Event Planning as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Budget Management and Operations Management are correlating skills — those who know the former usually know the latter.

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 who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $35K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $50K. Parks and Recreation Directors who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $61K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $69K. Parks and Recreation Directors with one to 10 years of experience are most common in the field, followed by those with 10 to 20 years and more than 20 years.

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Experience Affects Parks and Recreation Director Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 36%
Experienced
up arrow 21%
National Average
$51,000
Mid-Career
up arrow 2%
Entry-Level
up arrow 30%

Skills That Affect Parks and Recreation Director Salaries

People Management
up arrow 24%
Project Management
up arrow 14%
Operations Management
up arrow 12%
National Average
$51,000
Event Planning
up arrow 33%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 71 votes.

Gender

Female
31%
female alumni
 
Male
69%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
30%
20 years or more
25%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 88% dental benefits Dental: 72%
vision benefits Vision: 58% employee benefits None: 12%