2020 Compensation & Benefits Report

SNA’s 2020 Compensation & Benefits Report provides as comprehensive a picture of compensation and benefits in the school foodservice sector as there currently exists. The report summarizes the findings from a survey conducted from October 2019 through December 2019, with director-level SNA members from 1,042 unique school districts nationwide.

Key findings include:

  • At the beginning SY2019-20, the typical school nutrition program employed, on a district-wide basis, five management-level employees, 11.5 full-time non-management level employees and 13 part-time, non-management-level employees.
  • A majority of the respondents report zero turnover for their management-level staff, and about one-third report there has been no turnover for their full-time, non-management staff. Turnover is considerably more common for the part-time, non-management employees, with only 19.3% of the districts reporting no turnover.
  • The recruitment and retention of non-management-level staff presents a far more significant challenge than these same issues with management-level staff. About one-quarter to one-third of the respondents rated recruiting and retaining non-management-level staff as a “significant” challenge for their school nutrition program. In sharp contrast, only 11.5% rated recruiting management-level staff as a “significant” challenge and even fewer (3.1%) rated retaining management-level staff as a “significant” challenge.
  • Across all positions, the most common certificates/certifications/credentials held tend to be the SNS, the SNA Certificate Level 4 and the RD or RDN. Among directors in particular, the percentage holding the SNS credential increases as district size increases, from 13.1% of directors at districts with less than 1,000 students to over 50% of directors at districts with more than 24,999 students.
  • A salary increase was the norm in SY2018-19 for all employee categories. An increase was most commonly reported for management-level employees, with nearly 90% of the respondents reporting a salary increase for that employee category. Full-time, non-management=-level employees were only slightly less likely to receive an increase (87.3% cited an increase), followed by part-time, non-management-level employees (82.5% cited an increase).
  • A retirement or pension plan is a common benefit, with nearly 95% of responding districts offering some type of retirement/pension plan to school nutrition employees. However, about 51%of the districts offer the benefit to both full- and part-time staff, with 43.6% limiting the benefit to only their full-time staff.
  • Virtually all districts (98.2%) provide health insurance benefits to either their full- or part-time staff. This benefit is usually limited to full-time staff, with only 27.6% providing health insurance benefits to both full- and part-time staff.
  • The typical district reports having a $2 million school nutrition operating budget.
    Budgets increase proportionally across district enrollment categories, moving from a median of $350,000 among the smallest districts, to a median of $21.8 million among the largest.

The full report is available and gives a deeper understanding of the compensation and benefits currently available at school nutrition departments across the United States. SNA operator and Patron members can log in to download the full report for free . The full report provides in-depth compensation and benefits data on specific positions at the school and district levels, segmented by district size, region, unionization status, certification/credentialing and other variables.

The report is for sale for $129 for industry members (non-patrons) and $199 for non-members in SNA’s bookstore

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