Golf Course Turf Manager Salary Expectations

With experience and education, greenskeepers can work up the career ladder. There are many greens team positions to grow into, such as equipment manager, spray technician, irrigation technician, foreman, assistant superintendent, and superintendent.

Average Turf Manager Salaries:
Interns and entry level groundscrew can expect to earn anywhere between minimum wage and upwards to $20 an hour. According to the 2019 Compensation and Benefits report by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), golf course superintendents make an average of $93,176 annually, whereas the average base salary for an assistant superintendent is $46,270. Equipment managers report earning an average of $50,547 a year.

How Education Increases Average Turf Manager Salaries:
Education plays a substantial role in expected superintendent salaries. The chart below shows the average annual base salaries of golf course superintendents based on their level of education. You'll see that the average base salary for 2-year certificate holders is MORE THAN the average base salary for those who have earned 4-year degrees. In short, golf course superintendents with a 2-Year Certificate are among the top earners nationwide.

National Average Base Salary of a Golf Course Superintendent Chart

Source: Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA)
2019 Compensation and Benefits Report

High School
Some College
1 Year Certificate
2 Year Certificate

*Data includes both class A and certified superintendents.


Other Factors that Affect Average Golf Turf Manager Salaries:
Golf course superintendent salaries also vary widely by state. According to the GCSAA 2019 Compensation and Benefits report, the mean salary for New Jersey golf course superintendents is $114,828. In Pennsylvania the average golf course superintendent salary is $92,718 and in South Dakota it is $63,057. In addition to individual education and course location, the type of facility plays a role in how much staff members earn. A turf manager's salary depends on whether you work on a private, public, or municipal golf course. Private courses typically offer the highest salaries.

No Substitute for Hard Work:
As is often said, there is no substitute for hard work. Years of experience, years of loyalty to a particular golf course, management skills, talent for motivating crews, and countless other factors affect the salary a golf course turf manager or superintendent may earn. You can make a healthy and honest living as a turf manager and we offer the education you need to succeed in the greens industry.

How Rutgers Can Help You:
The Rutgers Professional Golf Turf Management School is designed to help up-and-coming turf managers, like you, do your job better, so you can advance your career and grow your salary. We teach our students to work smarter, not harder. Our curriculum is focused on the math (calculating area, fractions for pesticide calibration, etc.) and science (insect life cycles, PH levels of soil, etc.) behind turfgrass management. In addition, our expert instructors cover budgeting and management techniques, the very skills which often differentiate superintendents from assistants.