Online Community Compensation 2008

Cross-posted from the Online Community Report:

The Online Community Compensation study was initiated in July of 2008 as part of our ongoing research efforts with the Online Community Research Network. The intention of the study was to get a broad look at online community compensation, factors that effect compensation, and the current environment of the community team and community staff roles.

We received approximately 225 responses. Participants represent a healthy swath of the types of organizations participating in online community building activities, including: large software companies, large community destination sites, niche community sites, platform providers, interactive marketing firms and independent consultants.

Key findings from the report:
• The majority of the respondents are: Female (55%) vs. Male (45%),
• The majority (61%) of respondents ranged in age from 31-50 years of age.
• Most of the respondents have more than 5 years of experience, completed a Bachelors Degree, and work 41-50 hours per week.
• The average Salary of the respondents was $81k with a median of $72.5k. There were peaks on both the low ($0-$25k) and high ends (more than $150k), and then also at $60-$65k.
• Women are earning only 91% of what men are earning; women averaged $77k, and the men averaged $85k. The average annual salary for all participants was almost $81k.
• Most participants are satisfied with their jobs with an average satisfaction score of 4.2 and a median score of 4 (on a scale of 1-5).

Gender
This is the first time we have asked a gender question in our research, but this answer, combined with anecdotal data from our events supports a slight tendency towards females being in community roles vs. males.

Age
Most of the particpants skewed towards the 31-40 y/o segment.

Department
The responses indicate Marketing “owning” Community teams, or organizations creating a dedicated team. “No formal structure” and “Throughout the company” were also popular responses. The placement of the community team seems to be very much in flux, with a bias towards the marketing department.

Experience
The respondents generally represented a senior and seasoned body of practitioners. The dip in responses in the 3yr to 5 yr range likely represents the general waning of interest in online community during the 3 years after the Internet bubble, and the relatively recent resurgence in interest and investment.

Salary
The average Salary the research participants was $81k with a median of $72.5k. There were peaks on both the low ($0-$25k) and high ends (more than $150k), and then also at $60-$65k. The salaries reported represent a disparate, but generally healthy, range. Spikes in the “$0 to $25k” can be accounted for by volunteers, part time staff and C-level staff not currently taking compensation in startup environments.

Salary by Gender
Women are earning 91% of what men are earning; women averaged $77k, and the men averaged $85k. The average annual salary for all participants was almost $81k.

Satisfaction
It is encouraging to find that overall satisfaction with Online Community positions is well above average. This indicates the combination of salary, benefits, work environment and subject matter is working for most of the respondents.

Full Report
The full Online Community Compensation report contains a good deal more information on the topic, including:
• Community team size
• Respondent education
• Hours Worked
• Benefits
• Salary by Country (US, UK, Canada)
• Salary by Title
• Salary by Experience
• Salary increases in last 12 months
• Full write in comments from Survey

The report available for free to members of the Online Community Research Network, or available to purchase for non-members here:
Online Community Compensation 2008

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