While the median compensation for association executives has risen 3 percent annually since 2002, executives in the exposition/field saw their pay go in the opposite direction.
Exposition/trade show managers experienced a decrease in salary between 2002 and 2004, according to the American Society of Association Executives’ Association Executive Compensation and Benefits Study. It’s been three straight years of a decline in the median salary for association exposition/trade show professionals, who saw pay drop from 2001 to 2002 as well.
The positions with the largest gain in median compensation the last two years are advertising sales, quality service/control, chief economist, environmental affairs, and publishing.
The six other job titles that experienced a decline in median salary since 2002 are administration, industry/consumer affairs, information services/library, insurance, regional/field services, and Washington D.C. office.
The survey, which polled 679 associations across the U.S.—roughly half trade and half professional organizations—found that salaries were largely tied to the association’s annual budget. Almost without exception, the larger the total annual budget, the higher the salary. For example, the median compensation for chief executive officers who work for organizations with budgets over $15 million is $304,107, which is approximately five times greater than the median total compensation of CEOs working at organizations with budgets of $300,000 or less.
, The study also indicates that female association CEOs earn less than their male counterparts. In 2004, median compensation for male CEOs was $164,525 while that for female CEOs was $100,067.