MAC Salary Survey: CU Marketers Still Happy Despite Pay Cuts

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WALNUT CREEK, Calif.-The Marketing Association of Credit Unions has released its 2011 Salary Survey and found that most CU marketing employees are happy with their jobs, even if they are making less than they were five years ago.

According to the study, conducted in conjunction with Data Based Marketing, the average salary for credit union marketers is $65,000, "a figure that directly correlated to the size of the credit union, industry experience, job title and other factors," the association said. The median was $58,500.

Marketers holding a vice president's level title had a median salary of $90,500, and averaged approximately 50 hours per week. Marketers holding a manager and Directors had a median salary of $55,000 working 45 hours per week. Business Development personnel had a similar salary, working 45 hours for $50,000. Specialists had a median salary of $41,000, and worked 40 hour weeks.

Salaries have not kept pace with inflation either. MAC's 2006 salary survey indicated real average salaries that were about 10% higher than in 2010. Of those earning the most in the credit union marketing field, nearly half (47%) had a master's degree.

The average age for respondents was 38.4. By comparison, the U.S. average is 44.7. Those in the 45-to-54 age group were more likely to work 50-plus hours per week, while younger employees were more likely to work fewer hours. The study found that those who were paid more worked longer hours (50-plus per week) vs. those who preferred the standard work load.

The data showed there are relatively few happy marketers in the nation's larger CUs. Work weeks that average over 40 hours might explain part of this ambivalence. Another explanation could be that, on average, men earn more than women, despite the fact that women outnumber men 3-to-1 in credit union marketing positions. An astonishing 86% of those in the lowest income quintile were women.

The study used the Net Promoter framework to gauge job satisfaction levels among credit union marketers. Those that ranked zero through six were considered "detractors." Those ranking seven or eight were considered "neutral." And the nine and 10 people were considered "promoters." The net score is derived by subtracting the zero through sixes from the nines and 10s.

13% ranked their CU a 10, and 17% scored a nine. On the other end of the spectrum, 16% were in the zero-to-six range. The remaining 54% fell into the neutral category.

Among the survey's respondents, there was a positive correlation between asset size and years of CU experience. Those at smaller CUs were much more likely to have shorter tenure in the industry, while those at larger CUs were much more likely to have long tenures. The average length of time spent in the industry was 8.8 years.

Not even one quarter of the survey's participants said there was "a strong likelihood" that they would stay in the credit union industry. Those with mid-term tenures were the ones most likely to have the lowest likelihood. Give them a better opportunity and most of them could be out the industry door.

The "2011 Salary Survey" included 23 questions posed to 225 credit union marketers between January and March, 2011. The average asset size was $417 million.

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