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BTN Salary Survey 2018

Sponsored By:

BTN Salary Survey 2018

Sponsored By:

BTN Salary Survey

BTN Salary Survey

Respondent demographics are again at the center of BTN’s Annual Salary Survey results. In the 2017 survey, a significant influx of small and midsize program managers and a larger-than-usual dose of early-career respondents drove average salary numbers down. This year, program demographics move closer to those recorded in 2016, when BTN recorded the highest ever watermark for travel manager salaries. As a result, in the latest survey, average travel manager income jumps back in line with the growth trajectory of the past 15 years.

BTN Salary Survey

In an era when many travel management companies call themselves “technology companies,” virtually every travel software provider calls itself a “platform” and tech startups enter corporate travel at a breakneck pace, it is hard to overstate the impact technology is having on distribution, the traveler experience, supplier sourcing, data management and operations.

BTN Salary Survey

Respondent demographics are again at the center of BTN’s Annual Salary Survey results. In the 2017 survey, a significant influx of small and midsize program managers and a larger-than-usual dose of early-career respondents drove average salary numbers down. This year, program demographics move closer to those recorded in 2016, when BTN recorded the highest ever watermark for travel manager salaries. As a result, in the latest survey, average travel manager income jumps back in line with the growth trajectory of the past 15 years.

What Drives Salary

The dramatic shifts shed some light on what factors most influence salary. The two most consistent indicators of travel manager salary levels are travel program size and the travel manager’s job title. To a lesser extent, the number of years an individual has been managing travel correlates with salary level; however, this indicator is most relevant when the travel manager’s career is young. Those managing travel for less than a year report an average salary of $71,500 this year. Respondents who have managed travel for one to three years are much higher, at $98,170, but that’s still considerably below the $115,306 overall average.

Factors beyond years of experience correlate more direct with salary levels. Take job title: A finance director or VP for a relatively small company may take on travel management responsibilities as the company grows.

The Value of Managing Travel

While a 15.6 percent salary jump from last year’s respondents to this year’s respondents provided a great headline opportunity, perhaps the most important statistic in the survey is this: The salaries of this year’s respondents has increased 6 percent over the same group’s 2017 salaries. That’s double the 3 percent average that consulting firm Korn Ferry predicted for all U.S. salaries. That figure indicates that employers value the travel management function highly. Savings and cost avoidance form employers’ No. 1 performance objectives for travel managers: More than two-thirds of respondents are held to this metric. Beyond that, 42 percent are measured by their contribution of value to the company and 40 percent work to meet year-over-year program improvement statistics.