NC Economic Development Salary Survey Released

This week, the North Carolina Economic Development Association (NCEDA) and Creative Economic Development Consulting released the first state-wide salary and compensation survey for the economic development community in North Carolina. Creative Economic Development Consulting partnered with NCEDA to administer and publish the survey. It was designed to sync with the International Economic Development Council’s Salary Survey so that comparisons could be made between North Carolina and national data. The data is useful on a personal level to economic developers in their careers and is also vital for economic development managers charged with recruiting or retaining talent in the industry.

We found a wide range of salaries in the survey. The lowest base salary reported was $20,000 and the highest was $155,000. The average salary of all North Carolina economic development professionals is $84,216, which is slightly lower than the national average of $90,100. Sixty-five percent of respondents received an adjustment to their salary during 2016. For those who did receive an increase in their base salary, the average increase was 4%, but the most frequent response was 3%.

Salaries vary based on the title of the respondent. The title choices in the survey align with the titles used in the IEDC survey. Below are the averages for several categories:

salary survey table

Creative EDC is often asked about bonus systems, especially from public-private nonprofit EDOs. The majority of respondents, 58%, were not eligible for any additional cash compensation in 2016, while 42% were eligible, higher than the national average. For those who did receive additional cash compensation, the average bonus was $5,878. Nationally, the average was $12,300.

Only 13% of NC respondents have an employment contract. For those who do have a contract, the average duration of the contract is 2.7 years. Nationally, the average duration of a contract was a little longer at 3.5 years.

The majority (94%) of NC respondents are offered a medical insurance plan, which was higher than the national average, and 96% of NC respondents are offered some type of retirement plan. We asked about ‘paid time off’ as one benefit and found that 92% of respondents are eligible for some paid time off – the average is 3.4 weeks.

In addition to information on salary, compensation and benefits, the survey explores the tenure, education, training, and retirement plans as well as demographic information about the respondents.  We will address these topics in a future blog post.

You can obtain a copy of the North Carolina 2017 Economic Development Salary Survey by going to the Creative EDC website here. The report has more in depth information and comparisons to national data.

Creative EDC initiated this project because we are often asked about trends in compensation, bonuses, employment contracts, and benefits. We decided to partner with NCEDA and make the survey results available at no charge as one of our pay-it-forward projects. To read more about our commitment to give back to the economic development community, see our pay it forward page.

We encourage you to purchase the national survey from IEDC to compare practices in your organization to national trends.  You can find the order form here. 

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