Count Every Penny - 2003 Salary Survey

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Frugal or cheap, conservative or tightfisted. Call it what you like, but keeping track of your money is sound financial advice, especially for those on a budget.

This year's salary survey is intended to help you, the radio industry professional, maintain your income better by providing salary information for various market sizes and job titles.

Financial Facts

Each year, the Radio magazine-exclusive survey is conducted to determine the latest salary trends. In June, e-mailed invitation letters containing a link to a survey were sent to more than 3,700 Radio magazine subscribers, who were selected on an nth name basis, among radio station and network subscribers.

The results of the study are presented by job title group and market rank (Top 50 and Below Top 50). Where appropriate, medians have been presented for numeric responses. The median represents the middle value, or the point where half of the responses lie above and half of the responses lie below the value.

The information gathered in the survey is intended to illustrate broad trends in the industry. Treat the data as a starting point for salary ranges. Factors such as cost of living and the demand for a particular job are also important in determining salary range.

Estimated Median Salaries for Station Management. Salaries in large markets appear to have decreased slightly in 2003, while there appears to be an increase in small market salaries in 2003.


Number of years the typical respondent has worked in the broadcast engineering industry.

Estimated Median Salaries for Staff Engineers. Salaries in both markets appear to have decreased slightly in 2003.


Percentage of station chief engineers who have worked in the broadcast engineering field for 30 or more years.

9 Number of years the typical respondent has worked in his or her current position.

Contract Engineers earn an average hourly rate of $45 and bill an average of 18 hours per week. Contract engineer respondents are fairly evenly distributed between large and small markets.


Percentage of VP/GM/station managers who have worked in the broadcast engineering field for less than five years.

20.1 Percentage of respondents in the Top 50 market that have been at their current position for 6 to 9 years.

Less than half of all respondents received salary increases in 2003.


Average age of the typical radio industry respondent.

16.6 Percentage of total respondents that are responsible for four to five individual stations (AM or FM).

Salary Increase % 2% 2.1%-3% 3.1%-4% 4.1%-5 5.1%-9% 10%+
Mkt/Reg Dir/Corp Eng 10.5% 31.6% 21.1% 15.8% 5.3% 15.8%
Station Chief Engineer 21.6% 39.2% 13.7% 17.6% 7.8% 0%
Station Staff Eng/Tech 21.4% 39.3% 17.9% 10.7% 0% 7.1%
VP/GM/Station Mgrs 4.2% 20.8% 25% 25% 16.7% 8.3%
Operations Staff/Mgrs 36.4% 9.1% 18.2% 18.2% 9.1% 9.1%
Contract Engineers 14.3% 21.4% 7.1% 7.1% 14.3% 21.4%

Distribution of salary increases by job classification. Of those respondents that received a salary increase in 2003, 21.6 percent of station chief engineers received a 2 percent or less raise, while 21.4 percent of Contract Engineers received a 10 percent or more increase.


Number of radio stations respondents are personally responsible for (AM or FM) on average.

SBE certification pays off for staff engineers. Staff engineers with SBE certification earned significantly higher salaries than those without SBE certification.


Percentage of respondents in the Below Top 50 market that have been at their current position for 4-5 years.

More Info Online -
Survey respondents were also asked for feedback about IBOC and its implementation into their radio station. Find out what respondents had to say at .

Copies of the complete survey are available for purchase at $75 each. Contact Kari Taylor at or 913-967-1786 to order a copy.

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