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Sport, Fitness and Aquatic Workplace Survey Results

Sport, Fitness and Aquatic Workplace Survey Results
February 12, 2010

The sport, fitness and aquatic sectors were not immune from the general economic downturn in 2009 with fewer people working permanent full-time and more working casual or part-time, according to the 2009 Sportspeople Workplace Survey.

The recently published survey found that permanent full-time employment has dropped from a high of 80.5% in 2003 and 77% (2008) to 66.8% in 2009.

Full-time salaries across the sector increased 3.6% in 2009 while the rate of pay for females increased 6.5% compared to 2.8% for males. Despite the uncertainty of 2009, 85.1% of employees in the sport, fitness and aquatic sector remained either satisfied or very satisfied with their current job.

Key findings of the 2009 Sportspeople Workplace Survey include:

• Sydney (31.8%) and Melbourne (21.8%) lead the nation as the hot spots for jobs in sport, fitness and aquatics;
• The majority of respondents had completed a tertiary education course, with 68.3% (62% in 2008) of respondents holding a Bachelors degree or higher qualification.

Almost one third (29%) of respondents who have completed a Bachelors degree also had an industry accreditation. 85.6% of these qualifications are either wholly or partially specific to the job in which the respondent is presently employed.

• 66.8% of respondents were employed on a permanent full-time basis in 2009 down from 77% in 2008 and 80.5% and 2003. 28% of part-time employees work more than one job, with some working for as many as six different employers.
• The mean full-time salary for the sport, fitness and aquatic sector (combined) sits within the $65,000-$70,000 range and increased 3.6% over the past twelve months.
• The mean full-time salary for males is between $70,000 and $75,000 an increase of 2.8% from 2008. For females the mean full-time salary was between $55,000 and $60,000, up 6.5% from 2008.
• The mean full-time salary in the sport sector was between $65,000-$70,000. The mean full-time salary in fitness and/or aquatics was between $60,000-$65,000.
• The mean hourly rate of pay for both males and females is between $30-$35, with females earning 2.8% more than males. Where pay was by the hour, the aquatic sector was the highest paid, followed by fitness and then sport.
• 39.6% of the respondents in 2009 had worked in the sport, fitness or aquatic industry for 4 years or less, up from 34.8% in 2008.
• 64.8% (55% in 2008) of full-time respondents worked more than 40 hours a week, with 19% (18% in 2008) working more than 50 hours a week.
• 68.4% of respondents travel less than 20 kilometres to work (one way) and 61.4% travel for less than 30 minutes to work (one way).
• 85.1% of respondents are either satisfied or very satisfied with their current job, up from 74.6% in 2008.
• The one hour lunch break is a thing of the past with 32.1% of all respondents taking less than a 15 minute break and another 33.5% taking less than 30 minutes

“It seems that people in the sport, fitness and aquatic sector are generally a happy bunch with job satisfaction as high as 85.1%. While pay has certainly improved over the past twelve months, up 3.6%, it should be noted the ABS Average Weekly Earnings data (August 2009) showed a national wage growth of 4.2%, meaning this sector has in fact fallen behind.

“While it is particularly pleasing to see the mean salary for women jump 6.5%, their full-time earnings are not equivalent to their male colleagues, so more work is needed to achieve wage parity. Yet, hourly rates in excess of $30 were earned by more females (44%) compared to males (29%) and I suspect this is as a result of the high number of women working in the fitness and aquatics sector where an hourly rate of pay is common.

“The education level in the sport, fitness and aquatic sector continues to be strong, with a massive 68.3% of respondents holding a Bachelors degree or higher, outstripping the national average of 23% (ABS. May, 2009). This sector would be an excellent case study for the Federal Government as they pursue their 2025 target of having 40% of Australians aged 25-34 with at least a Bachelor level qualification.

“Generally speaking, people working full-time in the sport, fitness and aquatic sector still face significant work-life balance issues with 64.8% working over 40 hours and 19% more than 50 hours a week. The nature of the industry severely impacts on this work-life balance and good employers need to build strategies to best manage overtime and time-in-lieu issues.

“The 2003, 2008 and 2009 Sportspeople Workplace Surveys provided us with a snap shot of the sector against which we were able to measure and report changes to each of the survey

areas. In 2010/11 we plan to undertake specific wage and occupation surveys and we are scheduled to conduct the next Sportspeople Workplace Survey in 2012.”

1,129 respondents participated in the 2009 Sportspeople Workplace Survey with data compiled by the Sport Business Unit, Southern Cross University.

The 2009 Sportspeople Workplace Survey is managed by job board operator and recruitment agency Sportspeople and supported by a number of key industry partners including: Fitness Australia, QSport, AUSTSWIM, Service Skills Australia, ACTSport, SportSA, Aquatics & Recreation Victoria, VicSport, Institute of Sport Management, WA Sports Federation and the NSW Sports Federation.

For more information contact Sportspeople on 1800 634 388,


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