GBTA Survey: Average Travel Buyer Compensation Up, Median Down - Business Travel News

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GBTA Survey: Average Travel Buyer Compensation Up, Median Down

December 07, 2011 - 02:45 PM ET

By Michael B. Baker

The average compensation for travel buyers this year increased 5 percent year over year to $101,736, according to the Global Business Travel Association Foundation's 2011 Travel Management Compensation and Benefits Survey.

Based on an October survey of 255 respondents bearing responsibility for travel buying decisions, the foundation found that both the average base salary and average bonus for travel buyers increased from 2010 to 2011. The median compensation level, however, was down 3.5 percent to $90,000, and the median base salary for travel buyers decreased by 1.2 percent to $85,000.

Average salaries rose among respondents with each surveyed job title. Directors' average compensation increased 1 percent to $133,965, managers' compensation was up 10.2 percent to $101,250, and travel coordinators saw their average salary increase by 4.7 percent to $62,514. Despite having the largest increase in average total compensation, the median compensation level for travel managers decreased from $92,200 to $88,300, while travel directors' and travel coordinators' median compensation levels were up from 2010.

Most buyers said they were satisfied with their compensation levels. Sixty-two percent said they either were very satisfied or satisfied with their pay, marginally down from the levels in last year's survey. Twenty-two percent of buyer respondents were neutral on their pay, and 16 percent said they were dissatisfied, a slight uptick from 2010.

Eighty-five percent said their travel team had seen no job cuts in the past 10 months.

Buyers also reported an increase in this year's travel budgets compared with 2009. The average domestic budget was up 11 percent, and the average budget for travel outside of the United States was up 9 percent.

The survey indicated a slight shift in buyer respondents' reporting relationships report. While the largest number of travel buyers report to purchasing—about a quarter, on par with the 2010 survey—the percentage reporting to finance dropped from 31 percent in 2010 to 19 percent in 2011. Much of the difference went either to strategic sourcing or operations.

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