January 30, 2012

IOA Publishes Survey of Ombuds Compensation

The International Ombudsman Association has released its 2010 Compensation and Ombudsman Practice Survey. The year-long study of IOA members collected an unprecedented amount of data about the work done by and compensation of Organizational Ombudsmen. The data show that the 2010 median salary in the U.S. was $82,000 for Academic Ombuds, $150,000 for Corporate Ombuds, and $133,000 for Government Ombuds. The authors of the study believe the data will be valuable for individual practitioners and organizations interested in creating an Ombudsman Office.

The IOA website lists other findings from the 2010 Survey:

In the Academic Sector
  • Average salary from 2009 to 2010 increased by 0.6% for full-time solo practitioners and by 1.0% for part-time solo practitioners. 
  • Average salary among full-time co-equals increased 1.5% from 2009 to 2010. 
  • OOs reported more high risk cases than in previous years related to individual job security, reputation of organization, individual health. 
  • OOs reported engaging in more facilitation/mediation and training than in previous years. 

In the Corporate Sector
  • Average salary for full-time solo practitioners increased 3.5% from 2009 to 2010. 
  • Average salary among co-equals increased 2.3% from 2009 to 2010. 
  • 50% of Canadian respondents reported receiving a bonus; average bonus doubled from 2007. 
  • Operating budgets in 2010 ranged from $9,100 to $1.8 million. 
  • Os reported engaging in more facilitation/mediation, training, contacting compliance office within the organization than in previous years. 
In the Government Sector
  • Difference in average salary of full-time solo practitioners from 2009 to 2010 was negligible. 
  • Average salary of full-time managing/co-managing OOs increased 1.6% from 2009 to 2010. 
  • 40% reported receiving a bonus, approximately the same percentage of those in 2007. 
  • OOs reported seeing more of the following than in previous years: more than 3 issues in a case, multiple sets of rules, codes, contracts, or regulations, cases lasting 3+ months 
In the Nonprofit/Other Sector
  • 18% reported receiving a bonus in 2010, up from 2007. 
  • Operating budgets in 2010 ranged from $60,000 to $1.2 million. 
  • OOs reported seeing more of the following than in previous years: groups as visitors, multigenerational issues, more than 3 issues in a case. 
IOA members have access to a free copy of the report. Non-members and the general public may purchase the 2010 Compensation and Ombudsman Practice Survey for $200.00. (IOA News.)


  1. Has anything else been done on compensation since this 2010 report?

  2. The IOA Research and Assessment Committee will be collecting salary data again soon!

  3. Very useful. Thank you. Is there any information on mean compensation for part time academic ombuds?

  4. I believe the survey had some limited data. It's pretty out of date at this point.

  5. Any sense of when the new data will be ready to share?