2009 Cancer Program Administrator Survey and Salary Results
In February and March 2009, ACCC sent email surveys to cancer program administrators employed at ACCC-Member Cancer Programs. Slightly more than 19 percent (130 programs) responded to ACCC’s survey.
ACCC members may view the entire survey. Log on to the Members-Only section and click on Member-Content.
In this year of widespread economic distress, cancer program administrators, too, face a challenge: keeping their cancer service lines financially viable while still offering the best care to their patients. Sixty-four percent of respondents indicate that the economy is affecting their ability to access the capital needed to acquire new technologies or expand services. Of those respondents, 62 percent said upgrades to current radiation therapy equipment have been put on hold, including replacing outdated linear accelerators and HDRs or upgrading to IGRT, for example. Eight percent note that physical expansion plans have been put on hold.
All is not bad news, however. Although a majority of respondents report the economy is affecting their ability to access the capital needed to acquire new technologies or expand services, more than one in five (23 percent) report they are making upgrades to radiation oncology equipment and equipment for diagnostic imaging. A few report moving forward on building expansion.
The majority of the cancer program administrators remain happy in their positions. In fact, almost half report they are “very satisfied.” Just 3 percent express dissatisfaction, a sharp decline from 16 percent expressing dissatisfaction in 2006.
In brief, here's what we found:
- More than half of respondents have been in their position for five or more years.
- At the same time, new administrators are entering the field: About 12 percent have been in their positions as administrator for less than one year, and another 17 percent have been in their positions for one to two years.
- Overall cancer program administrators are highly credentialed. The majority of respondents (77 percent) have attained a Master’s degree or higher.
- When asked about staff size, most cancer program administrators responded that they "directly supervise" between 6 and 10 people (41 percent).
- 75 percent are female.
- The position title "Cancer Program Administrator" is disappearing. Only 8 percent of respondents answered that their official title is, in fact, "Cancer Program Administrator" or "Cancer Service Line Administrator." Of the remaining 92 percent, 67 percent hold the title of executive director or director.
- More than 70 percent report their future career goal is to continue employment as a full-time cancer program administrator.
- The average total annual salary was $121,458—up about 8 percent from $112,000 in 2006, keeping up with inflation from fall 2006 to early 2009. Bonus amounts varied from $350 to $40,000.
- The top three programmatic responsibilities are: 1) developing and maintaining a strong relationship with physicians and identifying areas for business opportunity and support, 2) maintaining high quality image in all programs and services, and 3) evaluating existing services and identifying new program opportunities.